Will the Fabulous Fab Push the Bank Reform Bill Over the Top?

On Monday night, Senate Republicans lined up like lemurs and voted “no” on a motion to bring the Senate bank reform bill to the floor for a debate. Forty Republicans and one Democrat, Senator Ben Nelson (D-Kansas), stood shoulder to shoulder with 1,500 bank lobbyists and said “no” to Wall Street financial reform. (Evidently, Nelson was displeased that his friend Warren Buffett did not get special treatment in the bill.)

Before gloom sets in, it is worth noting that on Tuesday, all eyes will be on the “Fabulous Fab,” the Goldman Sachs trader at the heart of the SEC’s recent charges against the firm. Some of us are rooting for the Fab, hoping that his testimony will put financial reform back on the floor and put us on the path to reform.

The Fab (a.k.a.,Fabrice Tourre) is the 31 year-old Goldman trader accused of creating sub-prime mortgage investment deals devised to fail in order to benefit a privileged client. His nickname was generated from emails released as part of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation. Emails he wrote predicted that because of his clever double dealing, he would be the sole trader left standing when the market collapsed.

“More and more leverage in the system. The whole building is about to collapse anytime now! Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab[rice Tourre] standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstrosities!!!"

Tourre will be testifying with Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who recently shoved the Fab off a cliff by releasing embarrassing personal emails from his Goldman account. Let’s hope the Fab gets a chance to return the favor at tomorrow’s hearing.

Momentum is clearly with the reformers. On Monday, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) succeeded in getting her surprisingly strong amendment to force banks to spin off their trading desks rolled into the Senate reform bill. This critical measure will stop the banks from using taxpayer FDIC insurance to back up risky gambling activities by their trading desks. Other strengthening amendments wait in the wings including: 1) Senator Brown’s amendment to end “too big to fail” by capping the size of the big banks; 2) Senator Merkley’s amendment to ban conflict of interest trading; 3) Senator Menendez’s amendment to end “off balance sheet” book keeping, and 4) Senator Bernie Sander’s amendments to cap interest rates at 15% and audit the Federal Reserve.

Sign a petition in support of these critical amendments at www.BanksterUSA.org.

Will the Fabulous Fab release those emails where he asked his former friend Lloyd, “gee boss, shouldn’t I disclose to investors that this CDO is toxic junk put together by a friend of yours?”

Will Lloyd (“I am doing God’s work”) Blankfein release his correspondence with the Prince of Darkness?

Tune in, and in the mean time sign the petition!

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is a reporter for the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). She helped launch CMD's award-winning ALEC Exposed investigation and is a two-time recipient of the Sidney Prize for public interest journalism from the Sidney Hillman Foundation.