According to the indictment against them, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, with others, "agreed to make misrepresentations [about the health of their funds] in the ultimately futile hope that the funds' bleak prospects would change". The core of the evidence against them is contained in emails, diary entries and recordings of conference calls.
Email from Tannin to himself, 23 November 2006:
"I became very worried very quickly. I was also very nervous about the state of the market and how we are going to perform. Credit is only deteriorating... I was worried that this would all end badly and that I would have to look for work."
Email from Cioffi to a team economist, 15 March 2007, Subject line: "Fear":
"I'm fearful of these markets... it's either a meltdown or the greatest buying opportunity ever; I'm leaning towards the former. As we discussed, it may not be a meltdown for the general economy, but in our world it will be... Wall Street will be hammered with lawsuits. Dealers will lose millions and the CDO [collateralised debt obligations] business will not be the same for years."
Tannin diary entry:
"I had a wave of fear set over me that the fund couldn't be run the way I was 'hoping'. And that it was going to subject investors to 'blow up risk'."
Email from Tannin to another member of the portfolio team, March 2007:
"Believe it or not – I've been able to convince people to add more money."
Email from Tannin to Cioffi and another Bear Stearns fund manager, 22 April 2007:
"There's simply no way for us to make money – ever. The sub-prime market looks pretty damn ugly ... if analyses are anything close to accurate I think we should close the funds now. The reason is that if [the CDO report] is correct then the entire sub-prime market is toast."
In a subsequent conference call Tannin told investors:
"We're comfortable with exactly where we are. It really is a matter of whether one believes that careful credit analysis makes a difference, or whether you think that this is just one big disaster. And there's no basis for thinking this is one big disaster."
Cioffi in June 2007, just before the collapse of the funds he managed:
"I've effectively washed a 30-year career down the drain."Reuse content