Friday, April 30, 2010

Goldman's Less Than Golden Moment

Having written about the role of e-mail in the Enron scandal in the Virtualpolitik book, I have been -- of course -- closely attending to the role of e-mail in the official exhibits of the congressional investigative committee examining how Wall Street firms exploited buyers of their derivative products who were unaware of how the instruments functioned and the fact that they were tied to mortgages with high interest "liars' loans."

As points out, "E-mails come back to haunt Goldman Sachs," and the Boston Globe
notes that the firm seemed to be well aware that Harvard University was among the institutions it was defrauding.

The New York Times has assembled a number of documents from the Goldman Sachs internal e-mails that illustrate the portraits that they draw of impetuous traders, including the self-described "Frankenstein" Fabrice Tourre. Many of these high finance digerati are so confident that e-mail is a one-to-one rather than one-to-many channel for communication that they make a number of gaffes that my students of digital rhetoric would avoid.

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