The Corner

Workaholique

Inside skinny on that French trader who lost his firm $7bn:

FRENCH TRADER WAS FORCED TO WORK 30 HOURS A WEEK

Friends of rogue trader Jerome Kerviel last night blamed his $7 billion losses on unbearable levels of stress brought on by a punishing 30 hour week.

Kerviel was known to start work as early as nine in the morning and still be at his desk at five or even five-thirty, often with just an hour and a half for lunch.

One colleague said: “He was, how you say, une workaholique. I have a family and a mistress so I would leave the office at around 2pm at the latest, if I wasn’t on strike.

[Derb]   In the same zone, though not humorous: I was talking a few weeks ago to an ex-colleague, middle-manager in the business world (which I left to work from home in 1999). He told me the companies expect far more hours from their employees now than they used to. Doesn’t see much of his family, though fortunately his kids are grown. Anyone got other data points on this?

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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