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'Fabulous Fab' Tourre adds to new genre: Financial crisis songs

July 26, 2013|By Andrew Tangel
  • Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre leaves for a lunch break from federal court in New York.
Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre leaves for a lunch break from… (Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images )

NEW YORK -- What's the deal with Wall Streeters penning songs as the housing market collapsed?

Fabrice Tourre, the former Goldman Sachs employee on trial for alleged securities fraud in a high-profile case from the financial crisis, is the latest contributor to this little-known genre.

It was a Saturday afternoon in February 2007, and Tourre -- nicknamed "Fabulous Fab" -- wrote a song parody in his native French.

Translated:

In the trading rooms
A few of us
Were looking for glory

Although we were sad
To have an empty P&L
We could not help but keep on hoping

And when a few clients
Took a credit-linked note
In exchange of a good fresh P&L

We narrated verses
Gathered around the stove
Forgetting about the crisis

Tourre's lyrical talents emerged in his civil trial over a case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

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The regulator trotted out the song -- contained in an email labeled Plaintiff's Exhibit PX-148 -- during Tourre's testimony Thursday in a federal courtroom in Manhattan. Tourre sent the email to his girlfriend.

The SEC reportedly used the song as a way to show Tourre knew the housing market was collapsing but nonetheless sold sub-prime mortgage investments that wound up plunging in value.

Tourre was not the only songwriter on Wall Street.

Earlier this year, it emerged that an analyst at ratings firm Standard & Poor's composed a song making light of the unfolding mortgage crisis in 2007. The song was a parody of "Burning Down the House" by the Talking Heads.

The U.S. Justice Department dredged up the email when it sued S&P in federal court in Los Angeles.

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