Say you work for a large bank that has been embroiled in a crisis or scandal. In the discovery processes of the inevitable lawsuits that follow, investigators and lawyers (and in some cases, the U.S. Senate) find all manner of incriminating emails that the bank’s risk and compliance departments did not know existed.
This scenario has occurred quite a bit in the aftermath of the mortgage crisis. A few classic examples from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) analysts — emails they wrote as they were inflating the ratings of worthless collateralized debt obligations — were made public by Rolling Stone magazine just this summer:
“Lord help our [expletive] scam … this has to be the stupidest place I have worked at,” wrote one S&P executive.
“As you know, I had difficulties explaining ‘HOW’ we got to those numbers since there is no science behind it,” wrote a high-ranking S&P analyst.
“Let’s hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of card[s] falters,” wrote another S&P executive.
Memorable gems. But you wouldn’t want them discovered in your company.
Ten large U.S. and European banks are using natural language processing technology from Digital Reasoning — one of Bank Technology News’ ‘Top Ten Tech Companies to Watch for 2012’ — to uncover such revealing documents before lawyers and examiners do.