The emails can make the person or their firm look bad and they can get taken out of context. It happens all the time.
It appears that Steve Cohen’s $14 billion SAC Capital used to have a policy in place that would avoid this.
Bloomberg News’ Greg Farrell reports that until the fall of 2008 SAC’s emails would be automatically deleted if they were 30 or 60 days old, according to a two year-old deposition transcript from a case that was dismissed.
It’s smart when you think about it. No one would want their emails made public. Ever.
Now this is also an interesting twist into the government’s investigation of SAC. It’s possible that the fund’s email retention policy may have hindered the government’s probe through a lack of formal email evidence, the report said.
July 2008, which is when the policy was in place, is a time period that would be of interest for the government.
Former SAC portfolio manager Mathew Martoma was charged back in November 2012 in what is believed to be “the most lucrative” insider trading scheme ever. The complaints against him allege that the insider trading scheme involved information in pharmaceutical companies, Elan Corporation and Wyeth, between the summer 2006 and mid-July 2008.
In the fall of 2008, SAC changed its email retention policy so it would keep emails.
Of course, this does not suggest any wrongdoing on SAC’s part.