Chillin' out till it needs to be funded
It was late 2006, and an argument had broken out inside the Wall Street bank’s prized mortgage unit — a dispute that would reach all the way up to the executive suite.
One camp of traders was insisting that the American housing market was safe. Another thought it was poised for collapse.
Among those who saw disaster looming were an effusive young Frenchman, Fabrice P. Tourre, and his quiet colleague, Jonathan M. Egol, the mastermind behind a series of mortgage deals known as the Abacus investments.
Their elite mortgage unit is now at the center of allegations that Goldman and Mr. Tourre, 31, defrauded investors with one of those complex deals.
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil fraud suit on Friday that essentially says that Goldman built the financial equivalent of a time bomb and then sold it to unwitting investors. Mr. Egol, 40, was not named in the S.E.C.’s suit.
Goldman has vowed to fight the S.E.C. But the allegations have left many on Wall Street wondering how far the investigation might spread inside Goldman and perhaps beyond. (nytimes)