Monday, April 26, 2010

Tourre emails show agony, ecstasy of being a banker

Tourre emails show agony, ecstasy of being a banker

By Alistair Barr, MarketWatch
April 26, 2010

Fabrice Tourre comes across as an arrogant investment banker in the Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against him and his employer Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

But personal emails released by Goldman /quotes/comstock/13*!gs/quotes/nls/gs (GS 151.93, -5.47, -3.48%) this weekend show Tourre struggling with "ethical questions" as he sold complex mortgage-related securities that he worried were suspect.

The SEC charged Goldman with securities fraud on April 16, alleging the investment bank didn't tell investors in a collateralized debt obligation that hedge fund firm Paulson & Co. helped structure the deal and was betting against it. Goldman and Paulson have denied wrongdoing. Read about the charges.

The SEC also charged Tourre, an executive director in Structured Products Group Trading, with securities fraud, alleging he was mainly responsible for the CDO, known as ABACUS 2007-AC1. Pamela Chepiga, an attorney for Tourre, declined to comment.

In the suit, the SEC quoted a January 2007 email that Tourre sent to a friend.

"More and more leverage in the system, The whole building is about to collapse anytime now...Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab[rice Tourre]...

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