If William K. Black and Janet would only team up to write a book?
There were many factors that contributed to our recent financial bubble: deregulation, cheap money from the Fed, failure to enforce remaining regulations, crony capitalism, hubris, speculation, leverage, and fraud among other problems. While fraud wasn’t the only issue, it was and is a significant contributor to the credit bubble. Restraining fraud is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a sound financial system. Congressional investigations in recent years have put ample evidence of fraud in the public domain.
To illustrate just one type of malicious mischief, Senator Carl Levin (D. Mich.), Chairman of a senate investigative panel, issued a memo stating that Goldman ” magnified the impact of toxic mortgages.” The Wall Street Journal reviewed data showing that a $38 million subprime-mortgage bond created in June 2006 was referenced in more than 30 debt pool causing around$280 million in losses to investors by 2008. In other words, Goldman kept repackaging, reselling or protecting (buying credit default protection on) losers. It took the wrong kind of nerve for Goldman’s CEO to say he was doing “God’s work.”
New York prosecutors are widening their probe into the manner in which Goldman Sachs (GS.N) marketed certain mortgage-linked securities before the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein has hired Reid Weingarten, a high-profile Washington defense attorney whose past clients include a former Enron accounting officer, according to a government source familiar with the matter.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), the fifth- biggest U.S. bank by assets, received a subpoena from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office seeking information on the firm’s activities leading into the credit crisis, according to two people familiar with the matter.
“I think we found a white elephant, flying pig and unicorn”
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) executives have good reason to be worried about the risk of receiving subpoenas from the Justice Department, and investors should be concerned too.
The U.S. government has a real chance of finding inconsistencies between Goldman executives’ testimony to Congress and their internal documents, which means subpoenas could turn into something more serious, lawyers said.
Matt Taibbi has a new article on Rolling Stone on the recent hearings in the U.S. Senate and whether or not Goldman Sachs executives should be facing criminal trials or not in the wake of ongoing investigations into their part in the financial meltdown we went through a few years ago. CNN decided to bring in the Atlantic Monthly’s Wall Street apologist Megan McArdle to debate Taibbi on Your Money.
A Senate committee has laid out the evidence. Now the Justice Department should bring criminal charges
They weren’t murderers or anything; they had merely stolen more money than most people can rationally conceive of, from their own customers, in a few blinks of an eye. But then they went one step further. They came to Washington, took an oath before Congress, and lied about it.
Holder told the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing today that the department is reviewing the April report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, led by Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat. Holder didn’t say which aspects of the report, which probed the causes of 2008 financial crisis, are under review
In 2007, the report says, Deutsche Bank rushed to sell off mortgage-backed investments amid worries that the market for subprime loans was deteriorating.
“Keep your fingers crossed but I think we will price this just before the market falls off a cliff,” a Deutsche Bank manager wrote in February 2007 about a deal stocked with securities created from raw material produced by Ameriquest and other subprime lenders.
Dylan Ratigan with special guest New York Times’ Louise Story, discussing the 600+ page report uncovering Goldman Sachs scheme to defraud investors. According to Bloomberg, The U.S. Justice Department and regulators will have to determine whether employees and executives of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. violated any laws when they traded securities tied to the housing market and testified to Congress about the transactions, Senator Carl Levin said.
NEW YORK — E-mails released by a Senate committee investigating the financial crisis show top executives at Goldman Sachs Inc. boasting about money the firm was making as the housing market collapsed in 2007.
The documents suggest that Goldman benefited at least for a time from bets that subprime mortgage-backed securities would lose value. The e-mails appear to contradict previous statements by the investment bank that it lost money on such securities.
“Of course we didn’t dodge the mortgage mess,” CEO Lloyd Blankfein wrote in an e-mail dated Nov. 18, 2007, according to the documents released Saturday morning. “We lost money, then made more than we lost because of shorts.”
Short positions, in contrast to long positions, are bets that a financial security will lose value. Goldman is also the target of a civil fraud lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleges that the firm misled investors about how a subprime mortgage-backed security was created. Goldman has denied the charges.
The e-mails were released by Sen. Carl Levin’s office, who is presiding over an investigation into the financial crisis. Blankfein, along with other Goldman personnel, are scheduled to testify during a Senate hearing into the crisis on Tuesday.
In another e-mail, Goldman Chief Financial Officer David Viniar says that in one day the firm made more than $50 million on bets that the housing market would collapse, according to a statement from Levin’s office.
“Tells you what might be happening to people who don’t have the big short,” Viniar writes in the message dated July 25, 2007. Viniar is also scheduled to testify on Tuesday.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed