And, clearly, if you spend time trawling through that amount of stuff, you are bound to find something explosive - especially if quoted out of context. Having said that, some of the e-mails that investigators found that were sent (mainly to his girlfriend) by Fabrice Tourre, an Executive Director in Goldman's Structured Products, Group Trading unit, have to be seen to be believed.
One banker told Here Is The City: 'To send e-mails like these, you either have to be extremely naive or truly arrogant. This young man has displayed a real lack of judgement in sending these e-mails. Looking back at them now, in light of what occurred during the financial crisis, they are truly awful. Although they may not amount to admissions of wrongdoing, they will certainly make it more difficult for Tourre, and Goldman, to win the PR battle that is playing such an important part in this case'.
Another banker said: 'These e-mails are lifting the lid on Goldman in more ways than one. Not only do we see how they conduct their business, but we also learn that, despite the firm's infamously long drawn out recruitment process, Goldman still manages to hire some incredibly immature people. In terms of its reputation, these e-mails are very damaging for Goldman - much more so than the fines that may become payable to settle this case'.
Here are some of the e-mails
1. 'Just made it to the country of your favourite clients (Belgians)!!! I have managed to sell a few Abacus bonds to widows and orphans that I ran into at the airport, apparently these Belgians love synthetic ABS CDO2!!!!'.
'Not feeling too guilty about this, the real purpose of my job is to make capital markets more efficient and ultimately provide the US consumer with more efficient ways to leverage and finance himself, so there is a humble, noble and ethical reason for my job.....amazing how good I am in convincing myself!!!'.
'Yup. work is still as laborious, it's bizarre I have the sensation of coming each day to work and re-living the same agony - a little like a bad dream that repeats itself....
In sum, I'm trading a product which a month ago was worth $100 and which today is only worth $93 and which on average is losing 25 cents a day.....That doesn't seem like a lot but when you take into account that we buy and sell these things that have nominal amounts that are worth billions, well it adds up to a lot of money.
When I think that I had some input into the creation of this product (which is by the way a product of pure intellectual masturbation, the type of thing which you invent telling yourself: 'well, what if we created a 'thing', which has no purpose, which is absolutely conceptual and highly theoretical and which nobody knows how to price ?') it sickens the heart to see it shut down in mid-flight......It's a little like Frankenstein turning against it's own inventor :)'.
'I will give you more details in person on what we spoke about, the summary of the US subprime business situation is that it is not brilliant.
According to (head of Goldman's subprime business Daniel) Sparks, that business is totally dead, and the poor little subprime borrowers will not last long!!
All this is giving me ideas for my medium term future, insomuch as I do not intend to wait for the complete explosion of the industry......'
4. 'I have 'to mentor' the others, in view of the fact that I am now considered a 'dinosaur'. In this business (at my firm the average longevity of an employee is about 2-3 years!!) people ask me about career advice. I feel like I'm losing my mind and I'm only 28!! Ok, I've decided two more years of work and I'm retiring'.