No, A French Bank (Probably) Didn't Order 150 Ferraris

We heard a wild and crazy rumor last night that French investment bank Société Générale went down to the Geneva Auto Show and ordered 150 Ferraris, all to be distributed to French management as an employee perk. If that sounds too good to be true, that's because it is. Probably.

Let me break down why this is insane, just off the bat, based off of my years covering the financial industry:

- Banking is culturally a fairly conservative enterprise, and if they're going to place orders for any sort of vehicles, it's more likely to be a fleet of (relatively) dull Audis than mid-engined rampaging scream machines

- Bankers like their perks in cash and options, not in cars, because bankers already have cars, can already afford cars, and if they want a new car, they just use the cash to buy one

- When banks place an order, they likely don't just walk up to the Ferrari stand at a car show and say "I would like 150 of your finest motor vehicles, please!" to the nearest marketing guy

- Ferrari doesn't release sales figures for France, but they do release sales figures for the United Kingdom and Germany. The UK bought 677 Ferraris, and Germany bought 652 Ferraris. Assuming France is relatively the same, even liberally estimating that it bought 700 cars in total, this one order would make up more than 20% of all Ferrari purchases in the country. That's massive.

- Société Générale is a French bank, not Oprah. There are no words for "YOU GET A CAR! YOU GET A CAR! EVERYBODY GETS A CAR!" in French. Those words just don't exist. They say "voiture," instead.

But hey, let's say all of those reasons why not still sound crazy to you, because you so badly want to believe it's true that you've already signed up for the first SocGen internship you saw in the hopes of desperately clawing your way up the ladder over the next 30 years, all to be handed your sweet, sweet Ferrari at the end, we made a few phone calls.

A source familiar with the bank's operations said it was extremely unlikely, they had heard nothing of it, and it would be the first time in the bank's history something like that was done. He even used the word "preposterous."

But hey, you never know. Maybe he's getting a secret Ferrari in the mail.

(He's not getting a secret Ferrari in the mail.)

We've put in a call to SocGen to see if they'll comment on the rumor, and will update you as soon as we hear back.

Photo credit: Flickr user Axion23