Throughout Tuesday morning, as the thermometer neared 100 degrees outside the Manhattan federal courthouse where former Goldman Sachs VP Fabrice Tourre is being tried for securities fraud, jurors could be seen struggling to pay attention to the complex testimony.
Bloomberg News reports that some rubbed their eyes. One’s eyes were closed, head propped on a hand, while others looked at the clock as an expert testified about CDOs, synthetic CDOs and CDOs of CDOs.
'I think the jury was lost', Sean Coffey, a lawyer for Tourre, 34, said during a break in the testimony of a professor called to the stand to describe collateralized debt obligations, which are at the heart of the case. 'It is critical that they understand how a synthetic CDO works'.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Tourre and Goldman Sachs in 2010 over Abacus 2007-AC1, a synthetic CDO investors used to bet on mortgage bonds. They lost more than $1bn on the wager. Goldman Sachs paid a then-record $550m to settle the case.