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Thread: Goldman Sachs Attacked at Hearing

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    Post Goldman Sachs Attacked at Hearing

    The chairman of an inquiry into the causes of America's financial meltdown has attacked the role of Goldman Sachs.

    Senator Carl Levin spoke of the reckless greed that infected Wall Street's financial community.

    In his opening address to the hearing in Washington, Mr Levin said Goldman executives had caused widespread harm to their fellow citizens.

    Several Goldman executives are giving evidence at the hearing, and all have denied they acted improperly.

    “ The "masters of the universe" would be wise to curb their arrogance and not vent their frustration by making wisecracks. ”
    Mark Mardell, BBC North America editor

    Mr Levin, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said that Goldman had proclaimed a responsibility to its clients, "yet the evidence shows that Goldman repeatedly put its own interests and profits ahead of the interests of its clients and our communities".

    The firm packaged complex mortgage-backed securities and then sold them to investors not only knowing that the housing market was about to collapse but also profiting from it, the committee alleges.

    Goldman is also facing specific allegations from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it defrauded investors by not telling them that one of its financial products was designed by a firm that was betting it would fail.

    Goldman says the SEC allegations are wrong in "fact and law".

    Mr Levin said it was not his committee's role to judge the legality of the SEC's claims, adding that the hearing was concerned with "ethics and policy".

    But he said that Goldman's actions reverberated around America. The firm's "misuse of exotic and complex financial structures helped spread toxic mortgages throughout the financial system," he said.

    "And when the system finally collapsed under the weight of those toxic mortgages, Goldman profited from the collapse," he added.

    Goldman executives at the hearing include Fabrice Tourre, Daniel Sparks, Joshua Birnbaum, and Michael Swenson.

    Lloyd Blankfein, the firm's chief executive, is due to appear later in the day.

    Time wasting

    FABRICE TOURRE
    # 31-year-old executive director of Goldman Sachs International
    # Charged with securities fraud for making misleading statements to investors
    # Responsible for Abacus 2007-ACI, the complex financial product at the centre of the financial regulator's investigation. Denies charges
    # Referred to himself as "the fabulous Fab" in an e-mail

    In the opening session, Mr Levin and other committee members challenged the Goldman executives about their duty to clients and the amount of money the firm made in the housing market.

    Clearly frustrated at some of their answers, Mr Levin accused the executives of evading the questions and of having "a strategy" to waste time.

    "We're going to stay here as long as it takes to get this information," Mr Levin warned the executives.

    In a series of tense exchanges, Mr Levin quizzed Mr Sparks, former head of mortgages, about whether he felt obliged to tell clients when Goldman was betting against investments that he sold.

    The senator highlighted one particular investment portfolio that Mr Sparks' own bosses had described in highly derogatory terms.

    Mr Sparks did not respond directly, repeating that the description of the investment product used by his bosses was not his own.

    Tuesday's hearing is the fourth in a series that is focusing on what lay behind the financial crisis and the collapse of the housing market.

    This latest hearing focuses on the role of investment banks, and specifically that played by Goldman.

    'Saddened '
    LLOYD BLANKFEIN
    # Chairman and chief executive of world's biggest investment bank, Goldman Sachs
    # Earned more than $70m in 2007 - a record for a Wall Street boss. Took home less than $1m in 2009
    # Told magazine interviewer last year "I'm doing God's work".

    During several hours of questioning the executives rejected suggestions from the committee that they contributed to the financial crisis.

    "We did not cause the financial crisis.... I do not think that we did anything wrong," said Mr Swenson, who runs Goldman's structured products division.

    Mr Tourre said: "I am saddened and humbled by what happened in the market in 2007 and 2008.... But I believe my conduct was proper."

    In a statement released ahead of the hearing and later read to the senators, Mr Tourre denied wrong-doing and said he would clear his name in court.

    Mr Tourre, the only individual to be charged, said: "I deny - categorically - the SEC's allegations. And I will defend myself in court against this false claim."

    Mr Blankfein also denies that his investment bank bet against its own clients in the US property market.

    The under-fire banker will argue that Goldman was simply "managing [its] risk" in betting on market falls.

    He will also say that the bank lost $1.2bn (£779m) as a result of the collapse in house prices in 2008.

    Charge disputed

    In a text of his prepared testimony, Mr Blankfein said the bank "strongly disagreed" with the SEC's complaint, calling the episode "one of the worst days in my professional life".

    "We have been a client-centred firm for 140 years and if our clients believe that we don't deserve their trust, we cannot survive."

    He added that the accusation that the bank made money from bets on market falls ("short" positions) was simply not true.

    "We didn't have a massive short against the housing market and we certainly did not bet against our clients," he said.

    "Rather, we believe that we managed our risk as our shareholders and our regulators would expect."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/h...ss/8645945.stm
    Love all living things whose humble task is not opposed in any way to yours, to ours: men with simple hearts, honest, without vanity and malice, and all the animals, because they are beautiful, without exception and without exception indifferent to whatever "idea" there may be. Love them, and you will see the eternal in the glance of their eyes of jet, amber, or emerald. Savitri Devi

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    Its interesting how they manage it because this bank is definitely part of the plutocratic banking cartel in the USA and not just something...

    Would be great if at least some more "dirty secrets" would come in the course of this events.
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    I think the Goldman Sachs thing is just a front.They are using them to calm
    the general public down so they can get back to their dirty tricks.
    The General Public is so angry at these guys because
    A.We voted not to bail them out but Bush went ahead and did it anyways.
    B.We are sick of their policies and constant spending.

    After this Circus blows over,it will be business as usual for these clowns!

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    Some members of Congress are just trying to save their own skins ahead of the November elections. People need to remember that the previous 2 adminstrations (along with the current one), along with Congress (both Republicans & Democrats) helped to create this mess. To have people like McCain & Levin pointing the finger at Goldman Sachs is like having the pot call the kettle black.

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    They should state it for what it really is, Economic and Financial Terrorism used to undermine a coutries security and resources at the expense of human lives, culture and wellbeing. They have acted unethically to cripple and expose an entire country to absolute ruin.

    It's a war based on financial illusion and endless depths of convoluted, unseeable trickery. Basically it makes the ordinary people 'have' to believe in the honesty of wicked people. Disgusting how the media paint these dirty scum as leading entities too.

    If it could be made more simplified and transparent, how much would economics boom because of ethics!?

    How long will Americans accept the bullsh*t worm-talk of jew-sociopaths?

    They need a qualified mechanism to bring back uniformity and consistency to economic flow, anything or anyone going beyond those laws should be prosecuted 'absolutely' and imprisoned.

    Right now, it seems as though, so long as you can trick 'honest people', and know enough of financial jargon, you can get away with something equivalent to murder. The punishment should match the crime. What's even worse is these bankers just run to Israel and hide when they have enough illegally aquired funds. Disgusting!

    I also saw on the news, they hired a pretty, blue-eyed, blonde to sweet talk and water down the impact of these financial rapists story.

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    Goldman Sachs

    A house full of Jews will pray upon the community and steal all they can. Goldman Sachs is a investment bank and operates under a charter granted by the people. Lets do three things:
    1) Take all their money,
    2) Take ownership of Goldman Sachs building and business.
    3) Give them time in Prison.
    When they are released send them to Israel for good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedford Brown View Post
    3) Give them time in Prison..
    With hard labour, because work will set them free.

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    Mr Levin said Goldman executives had caused widespread harm to their fellow citizens.
    What about the rest of the world?
    Although the word "Commando" was wrongly used to describe all Boer soldiers, a commando was a unit formed from a particular district. None of the units was organized in regular companies, battalions or squadrons. The Boer commandos were individualists who were difficult to control, resented formal discipline or orders, and earned a British jibe that"every Boer was his own general".

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    Exactly! That's what I said, this whole thing is like criminals calling out criminals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Æmeric View Post
    Some members of Congress are just trying to save their own skins ahead of the November elections. People need to remember that the previous 2 adminstrations (along with the current one), along with Congress (both Republicans & Democrats) helped to create this mess. To have people like McCain & Levin pointing the finger at Goldman Sachs is like having the pot call the kettle black.
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