Lisa Chow is the economics reporter at WNYC. She tries to explore in her stories surprising aspects of New York’s many economies—in plain view or hidden, in neighborhoods or sectors.
Beth Glover was a juror on the trial of former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre. When the lawyers were discussing the mortgages tied to the securities at the center of the case, Glover realized that, for all intents and purposes, they were talking about her mortgage.
"When they were looking at the subprime mortgage groupings, I think I would have been in one of those," Glover told me. "I didn't have as great as FICO score at that time."
Glover's an Episcopal priest. She says she saw the devastation the financial crisis caused to her parishioners. They lost homes and jobs. Church programs had to be cut for lack of funds.
Another juror I spoke with, Dylan Maxwell, said he might still be underwater on his mortgage. (He hasn't checked recently.) But, he says, when it came time to deliberate, it was not Wall Street on trial. It was just Fabrice Tourre.
"We didn't feel any malice towards him. We felt sympathy at times," Maxwell told me. "We saw Goldman as the bigger problem. And the whole system as a bigger problem."
Glover agrees. She said she'd like to see some of the people above him put on trial. Tourre seemed to her like a scapegoat.
"The problem with just going after Fabrice Tourre or going after the different sort of Fabrice Tourres that are in all of these banks is that it doesn't change the system," she told me. "At least not enough."
The jury found Tourre liable for fraud. He will probably have to pay a fine; the amount is still unclear. He could also be banned from working on Wall Street. Goldman paid a $550 million fine in 2010 to settle charges related to the case.