Goldman Sachs is standing by its man – so far. The investment bank has said an internal inquiry cleared Fabrice Tourre, the 31-year-old at the centre of fraud allegations, of any wrongdoing. He was apparently not at work today, at Goldman's Fleet Street offices, but the bank said it was a "personal decision", adding he has not been suspended.
But if he does return to work, Tourre will find it difficult to live down the moniker of "Fabulous Fab" after describing himself as such in an already infamous e-mail sent to a friend, in which he boasted with a flourish that he would be a "survivor … of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implication of those monstrosities (sic)!!!".
French-born Tourre has a mathematics degree from the Ecole Centrale in Paris, one of the top universities in France, and a master's in operations research from Stanford University.
He joined Goldman in New York in 2001 and quietly worked his way up through the firm, to become a vice-president on the structured product trading desk, where he helped create the Abacus 2007-AC1 CDO, packed with toxic sub-prime mortgages.
He moved to London in late 2008 where he is now an executive director, a title that belies his relatively junior position in the bank.
Little else is known about Tourre. One report described him as "a slight man with a flair for salesmanship". The Daily Mail suggested he lives in a £3,000-a-month apartment, claims to come from a prominent French family, earns £1.5m a year and is something of a party animal.
He did at least have a clear understanding of the perils of the housing boom. In his e-mail of January 2007, he warned the "whole building is about to collapse anytime now", just three months ahead of closing the Abacus deal that is now under the microscope. In fact the New York Times cited a former colleague who said Tourre was "way ahead" of his time and had been predicting a crash as early as 2005.
(from guardian.co.uk, April 19, 2010)