Oh That Goldman Sachs!

Ah, facts and more facts, yet nothing changes. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a mammoth report in April on the financial crisis, Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse, which is available here.



Committee Chair Senator Carl Levin:

The financial crisis was a man-made economic assault, the product of reckless risk-taking and rampant conflict of interest on the part of some big banks, mortgage companies and credit rating agencies. The recession that followed the crisis devastated Michigan’s economy; it cost more than 400,000 Michigan jobs; it cost thousands of Michiganians their homes; and it nearly decimated our domestic auto industry. That’s why it’s so important for Michigan and the country that we get a clear picture of the causes of the crisis, to try to make sure it never happens again.

What did we learn in our investigation? Conflict of interest is the common thread that runs through this whole sordid story. Our bipartisan report pulls back the curtain on shoddy, risky and deceptive practices. We showed that major financial institutions deceived their clients and the public, aided and abetted by conflicted and deferential regulators and credit rating agencies.

Levin also write an article article over-viewing the report. Look at what they discovered on Goldman Sachs:

Some of the structures we exposed were as impressive in their complexity as they were repulsive in their breach of the clients' trust. There are countless examples, such as investment vehicles set up to contain highly dubious assets sold with aggressive sales tactics to clients, while the financial institution that selected the poor assets made huge profits by secretly betting against these very assets with short positions. In one case, a $2 billion security called Hudson was marketed by Goldman Sachs to clients with promotional materials representing that the firm's interest was aligned with the security, when in fact Goldman had secretly held the short position, which resulted in Goldman enriching itself at its clients' expense when the security tanked.

Now Reuters is reporting Goldman Sachs is being probed by regulators and may even be facing charges.

Massachusetts securities regulators may charge Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) with improperly passing along analysts' tips to top clients.

The Massachusetts Securities Division is weighing administrative proceedings against the bank over communications among its analysts, sales staff and clients, according to Goldman's quarterly filing with U.S. regulators.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and others are investigating similar matters, Goldman said.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission staff had told the bank's execution and clearing unit that they will recommend the CFTC bring charges against the unit. The charges would be linked to Goldman's clearing trades for a broker-dealer.

Mind you these are more civil charges, to date only one token thug of no political importance has gone to jail or even been charged for one of the biggest financial disasters in history.

Now Rolling Stone Matt Taibbi has written a new article where he dug around in the above report.

Goldman, as the Levin report makes clear, remains an ascendant company precisely because it used its canny perception of an upcoming disaster (one which it helped create, incidentally) as an opportunity to enrich itself, not only at the expense of clients but ultimately, through the bailouts and the collateral damage of the wrecked economy, at the expense of society. The bank seemed to count on the unwillingness or inability of federal regulators to stop them — and when called to Washington last year to explain their behavior, Goldman executives brazenly misled Congress, apparently confident that their perjury would carry no serious consequences. Thus, while much of the Levin report describes past history, the Goldman section describes an ongoing? crime — a powerful, well-connected firm, with the ear of the president and the Treasury, that appears to have conquered the entire regulatory structure and stands now on the precipice of officially getting away with one of the biggest financial crimes in history.

Folks, this really is the biggest crime in recent history and it seems not only it is being swept under the rug, most of the vehicles which were used to perpetuate this glorified mobster gambling casino are still in place, running amok, unfettered, lurking behind even more too big to fail financial institutions.

Some of the hearings on Goldman Sachs were bombshells, and who can forget the shitty deal, otherwise known as Timberwolf.

The problem is we cannot get any real reform. These cats not only run Washington, they are Washington at this point. What to do? Keep your outrage on and keep squealing, for it this gets swept under the rug as it has been, you can bet that growing dust bunny will turn into another Godzilla of a financial disaster.



Matt Taibbi had it right

A true Vampire Squid

Excellent post

Bending the curve of hte arc of justice

This is highly pertinent news. GS must be a big surprised that various government entities are going after the firm.

As you said,

This ... is the biggest crime in recent history and, it seems, not only it is being swept under the rug, most of the vehicles which were used to perpetuate this glorified mobster gambling casino are still in place, running amok, unfettered, lurking behind even more too big to fail financial institutions.

The vehicles for the big scam are still there, as are the cheerleaders (although they're wearing different jerseys).

crime under the protection of incorporated

We have the highest prison population percentage anywhere in the world, loaded with stupid nonsensical crime and drug offenses.

White collar? Hardly anyone. It's pretty clear only stupid criminals use guns or physical presence.

Smart ones incorporate, steal digital bits and paper, go to Wall Street.

As far as I know the entire derivatives trading is majority just a few big banks, pretty much the same ones who caused the financial crisis and it's just going on pretty much as before.

We've had hearing after hearing, book after book, outrage after outrage and hardly anything has happened.