Yesterday, SEC lawyer Lorin Reisner said that the agency had had only "very preliminary" settlement discussions with lawyers for Fabrice Tourre, the 28-year-old Goldman Sachs executive whom the agency accused of falsely marketing the collateralized-debt obligation Abacus. This means the case will probably go to trial, which leaves open the strong possibility that Tourre, who referred to himself as "Fabulous Fab" in several ill-advised e-mails obtained by the agency, could end up paying a large fine. It also makes it seem as though Goldman Sachs, which is currently footing Tourre's legal bills after paying the SEC $500 million for its own involvement with Abacus, is not doing all it can for its young protégé. "He's crazy to not get his own lawyer," one former Goldman executive, who summed up the culture of the firm as a "snake pit," told us recently. "That place. They put an arm around you, and stab you right in the back."
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