So the verdict has been handed down: Goldman Sachs golden boy Fabrice Tourre defrauded investors. He is liable to repay millions in ill-gotten gains. The SEC was kind enough to pursue justice in civil rather than criminal court; can you think of a more unfortunate nickname than “Fabulous Fab” for a prison inmate?
Although Tourre was a rising star at Goldman, he was actually a fairly low-level operator. The bosses who were supposed to be supervising this pedigreed, grande ecole-educated, best-and-brightest type probably heard about the verdict on Channel 27 in Grand Cayman. After five years, the v.p.-level drone represents the only success the SEC has had in punishing anyone connected with the worldwide financial meltdown of 2008. In this jury trial, Tourre’s legal team was unable to make the “junior staff defense” work. They couldn’t convince the court that there was anything misguided or improper about fishing for minnows.
If you, as an entry-level job hunter in the investment banking industry, are chilled by that, good. It won’t say so in your letter of hire, but “scapegoat” and “sacrificial lamb” may be part of your real-world job description. It might be a good idea to be able to talk the talk about business ethics and securities law before taking that meeting with a Wall Street recruiter.