Gmail Records Show Bear Stearns Anticipated “Blow-Up Risk” to Investors

Bear Stearns

If you’re planning to mediate on the collapse of your publicly held company, you’d better think twice about doing it on Gmail. Google’s email service promises that you’ll “never need to delete another message,” and in fact it keeps everything you throw away conveniently in your trash folder–a feature unbeknownst to Bear Stearns fund manager Matthew Tannin, whose Gmail account records show him anticipating a “blow-up risk” to investors as early as November of 2006, according to Reuters.

Tannin and another manager have been indicted for fraudulent activity surrounding the hedge fund’s collapse last year. Prosecutors obtained Tannin’s emails from Google this week. The content is incriminating. According to The New York Times:

“As I sat in John’s office I had a wave of fear set over me that the fund couldn’t be run the way that I was ‘hoping’,” Mr. Tannin wrote on November 23, 2006, referring to his then superior John Geissinger at Bear Stearns. “And that it was going to subject investors to ‘blow up risk’.”

The failure of the fund in question cost its investors $1.4 billion. Bear Stearns itself collapsed in March 2008 and was subsequently sold to JPMorgan Chase via governmental intervention. The managers’ trial begins with jury selection next week.CD