Why do we even have a Justice Department? For looks? Where’s William Black when you need his eagle eye ability to spot a thriving Gresham’s Dynamic of systemic control fraud?
Goldman Sachs off the hook, just as you knew they would be….from USA Today:
The Justice Department’s decision capped a good day for Goldman as the Securities and Exchange Commission decided not to file charges against the firm over a $1.3 billion subprime mortgage portfolio. At the same time, the Justice Department’s decision ensured that the Obama administration will continue to feel political heat, particularly from the liberal wing of the president’s own party, for not having brought more prosecutions in the financial crisis.
The Senate panel probe turned up company emails showing Goldman employees deriding complex mortgage securities sold to banks and other investors as “junk” and “crap.”
Levin said during his subcommittee’s investigation that he believed that Goldman executives “misled the Congress” and that Goldman “gained at the expense of their clients and they used abusive practices to do it.”
Levin questioned the accuracy of testimony Goldman Sachs executives gave to Congress about whether the firm steered investors toward mortgage securities it knew likely would fail.
Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein told the Senate panel that the company didn’t bet against its clients and couldn’t survive without their trust. The company lost $1.2 billion in the mortgage meltdown in 2007 and 2008 that touched off the financial crisis and the worst recession since the 1930s, Blankfein testified. He also insisted that Goldman wasn’t making an aggressive negative bet — or short sale — on the mortgage market’s slide.
In 2010, Goldman agreed to pay $550 million to settle civil fraud charges by the SEC of misleading buyers of mortgage-related securities. The agreement applied to one of the four deals cited by the Senate subcommittee.