Since the federal government's revolving door has all but given up on meaningful punishment for the financial sins of the aughts, we must huddle around discovery documents from private lawsuits like refugees crowding around a mound of burning tires to glean how stupid we were to trust the Masters of the Universe. According to internal emails obtained by Pro Publica, Morgan Stanley knew exactly how awful the mortgage-backed-securities they were peddling to investors in 2007 actually were. "How about Nuclear Holocaust 2007-1, ShitBag 2007-1, Mike Tyson's Punchout 2007-1, Fludderfish 2007-1," a Morgan Stanley employee wrote, referring to financial products they were selling that would later implode.
The emails surfaced in a lawsuit filed in New York against Morgan Stanley by a Taiwanese bank that purchased portions of a $500 million CDO called "Stack." $415 million of it would later prove to be worth nothing. Morgan Stanley responded to the emails, written by Philip Blumberg, a Vice President of the firm's Fixed Income department, with this statement:
“While the e-mail in question contains inappropriate language and reflects a poor attempt at humor, the Morgan Stanley employee who wrote it was responsible for documenting transactions. It was not his job or within his skill set to assess the state of the market or the credit quality of the transaction being discussed.”
Perhaps then they should have promoted him, since apparently he was the only one who knew that the CDOs were dogshit investments that would eventually ruin the economy? (Ha ha jk Morgan Stanley had been betting against the CDOs they sold all along!)
Well, at least Blumberg and his boss Jonathan Horowitz (who was nicknamed "Hitman") don't work at Morgan Stanley anymore.
Both Mr. Blumberg and Mr. Horowitz, now at JPMorgan, declined to comment through representatives at their banks.