One has to ask the question: If Goldman Sachs was found guilty of selling toxic mortgage investments (and they were), then why is Fabrice Tourre now being singled out and charged with the same crime? Tourre was just one of many guilty parties to the fraud scheme so why is so much individual attention paid to the little guy?
William D. Cohan has one explanation:
Wall Street's Great Scapegoat Hunt
By William D. Cohan - Bloomberg
Wall Street has increasingly taken up its old habit of blaming junior bankers and traders for what goes wrong.
This is particularly troubling because Wall Street is similar to the military: There is no upside for anyone working in finance to do anything but to follow the orders given by the bosses. The idea of a “rogue trader” is really a myth. The goal at every firm is always to make more money in any way that is legally defensible -- by selling more mortgage-backed securities, by doing bigger and bigger mergers-and-acquisition deals or by making a larger and larger bet on the direction of an obscure debt index.
When things go well -- the firm lands a big underwriting or a high-profile merger or executes a profitable trade -- there is no shortage of people around to claim credit. Of course, when something goes terribly wrong -- see “Whale, London” or “Synthetic CDO, Abacus” -- the senior executives disappear from the scene faster than cockroaches when the light is turned on. In return, employees get paid more working on Wall Street -- without putting any personal capital at risk -- than they can at almost any other job on the planet. This is not a subject open to debate on Wall Street. This is the way it is. If you don’t like that bargain, you leave. (Sorry, Greg Smith.)
Read the whole article here