Cactus Raazi Was Short the Housing and Print-Journalism Markets

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It wasn't just Fabrice Tourre who helped Goldman Sachs unload their toxic mortgage assets by packaging and selling them in the form of collateralized-debt obligations. Reuters dug through the e-mails released this week by the U.S. Senate panel probing the firm, and found that Goldman had at least one other star in this field, one who goes by the awesome name of Cactus Raazi. In spring of 2007, when the housing market first began to tank, Raazi was hailed as a visionary by the firm's higher-ups.


Most notable is an email sent by Goldman mortgage executive Tom Montag, now with Bank of America (BAC.N), to Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein on March 14, 2007, with the subject line "Cactus Delivers." Montag praises Raazi for helping Goldman cover "another $1.2 billion in shorts in mortgages."

Two weeks later, Raazi's feats of selling are lauded again in a memo sent around to the entire "GS Syndicate" for CDOs and other mortgage-backed securities. That memo begins: "Great job Cactus Raazi trading us out of our entire Timberwolf Single-A Position--$16 mm."

This wasn't the first genius move Raazi ever made. According to his LinkedIn profile, Raazi worked on the business side of Rolling Stone before selling out to Goldman Sachs in 1997. It's often said that the calls these guys make are based on luck. But getting out of two markets just before they are about to collapse? That takes skill.

Cactus Raazi [LinkedIn]
Emails reveal Goldman's Glengarry Glen Ross side [Reuters]