Search All the Documents in the FCIC’s Treasure Trove
by Marian Wang ProPublica, Jan. 31, 2011
After the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission released its final report last Thursday, many considered it a rather lackluster report telling us little more than what we already know. But while the 662-page report may not be a page-turner, the panel also released a really valuable cache of documents . We’ve put the complete archive into our document viewer . (The FCIC’s site also has the archive, though its search is clunkier and often turns up fewer results.)
We’ve already dipped into it and found documents confirming the conclusion  of our investigation of the hedge fund Magnetar and its role in creating CDOs that it bet against.
There are hundreds of other documents out there. A few quick searches on “transcript,” “email CDO,” and names of execs turned up these interesting items:
- Transcript from a July 2007 phone conversation  between two AIG executives discussing potential Goldman losses as being “a fucking number that’s well bigger than we ever planned for.”
- The full text of the famous email  between former Bear Sterns hedge fund managers Matt Tannin and Ralph Cioffi. Prosecutors built a fraud case against the two based heavily on the emails, in which Tannin and Cioffi describe the entire subprime market as “toast” just days before they told investors that their funds were in good shape . The two were found not guilty  of lying to investors.
- Also from Matt Tannin: Diary of a Bear Sterns Manager 
- A 2007 email from Moody’s CDO rating head to Moody’s CEO regarding the CDO market, noting that Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and UBS were “furiously doing transactions to clear out their warehouses ,” even though the products weren’t selling well. (Related: See paragraph four  of our story about banks’ self-dealing.)
- And who could forget the famous emails from Goldman executive Fabrice Tourre? Torre famously dubbed himself the “fabulous Fab” in this email  describing the “complex, highly levered exotic trades” he created as “monstruosities” and—with a winky face—joking that he was good at convincing himself of the “humble, noble, and ethical reason” behind his job.