The Fabulous Fab Rule

Don't write emails so provocative that they wind up reproduced on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

With many fund managers having to register under the Investment Advisers Act, they will now be subject to more extensive record-keeping requirements. That means more emails will be saved for a longer period of time.

Those questionable emails will preserved for litigants and federal regulators to see, long after you hit the delete button in Outlook.

E-mails from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. director Fabrice Tourre are the center of the case saying Goldman misled investors. In one he wrote, "The whole building is about to collapse anytime now," according to the complaint. "Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab."

(I need to give credit to Kevin LaCroix of The D&O Diary for the new name for this rule: The Essential Lessons of the "Faithless Servant".)

Here is another great email quote from the Fabulous Fab:

When I think that I had some input into the creation of this product (which by the way is a product of pure intellectual masturbation, the type of thing which you invent telling yourself: "Well, what if we created a 'thing', which has no purpose, which is absolutely conceptual and highly theoretical and which nobody knows how to price ?") it sickens the heart to see it shot down in mid-flight. .. It's a little like Frankenstein turning against his own inventor.

The other detritus that ended up in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations were the email love letters from Fab to his girlfriend. Another reminder to keep personal email off the company's network and company time.


For additional commentary on developments in compliance and ethics, visit Compliance Building, a blog hosted by Doug Cornelius.