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Friday, April 16, 2010

First chicken arrives back at roost

The boys at Goldman Sachs begin to pay for their sins.

Comments (26)

Perhaps some of those Structured Instruments were made of cards. Jokers at that.

Good for the SEC.

"This American Life" radio just did a program about a hedge fund whose business model was the same thing: structure the weak CDO and profit on the Credit Default Swap.

Too bad the SEC wasn't on this before we let the Paulson family soak us.

Must-read here from the author of Liar's Poker and "The Big Short"

This Paulson Hedge Fund guy, John, is not related to Henry and Merritt.

"John, is not related to Henry and Merritt"

True, but Hank was CEO of Goldman Sachs and all of his net worth is tied in GS stock, so he may have to sell the Timbers.

The hopey, changey crowd fall for another chicago style political machine maneuver. This is nothing more than the Bama administration trying to drum up a lawsuit to gain leverage over one of many companies trying to protect their interests in the financial "reform" tango. Goldman is no saint but folks dealing with this firm typically are well aware of this, and it is stupid to say the party on the other side of a trade is betting against the other. This is the basis of all trading.

The Bama administration is no bunch of choir boys themselves, as they comprise admitted tax cheats and other assorted crimes.

The court of reality will eventually bring down the hopey, changey administration. That's my hope for change.

The court of reality will eventually bring down the hopey, changey administration. That's my hope for change.

When did Sarah Palin start commenting at this blog?

Goldman collected a few million in fees brokering a transaction that may or may not have defrauded poor, defenseless ABN AMRO (which at about $1.3 USD trillion total assets is one and a half times the size of Goldman Sachs). Way to go after the big fish and protect the little guy!

And this was done selling "complex" CDO's (something that Freddie and Fannie have done for decades).

Is this really the best the SEC can come up with?

This complaint has politics written all over it.

Ah, don't kid yourselves. It's just a show. Kinda like *Mystery Financial Theater 3000*

"Kinda like *Mystery Financial Theater 3000*"

My favorite reference here ever. Well done. I'm just not sure what names would be called out during the Robot Roll Call.

Nothing to get excited about folks. All the rubes on the Obama side of the political aisle will try to spin this as the SEC "punishing" the bad guys. In reality, a few GS executives will come up with a few excuses at a hearing. A fine will be charged to GS and life will go on.

Dave A., do you mean rubes like JPM's Jamie Dimon?

Remember this excerpt from Duff McDonald's book, "Last Man Standing," offered in Newsweek, 9/11/09:

"In the past year,... Dimon's opinions on issues like the deficit, tax cuts, and stimulus have become part of the national conversation. Barack Obama, whom Dimon had avidly supported, routinely sought out Dimon's views. The esteem in which Obama holds Dimon was revealed by The Wall Street Journal's Monica Langley in a story about a March 2009 meeting at the White House. Business executives, she wrote, "implored Mr. Obama to get credit flowing again. 'All right,' the president said. He'd have his people 'talk to Jamie.' " Even today, it's a fair bet that those conversations are continuing."

Grady, if Fannie and Freddie have done it for decades, why did the ones just sold in the past 7 years become a problem? I want justice as much as the next person who lost heavily in the past 7 years when no oversight was employed.. All these bad loans are from the last 7 years, not as some on this board have claimed and caused by some 30+ year old legislation..and of course, Barney Frank and all the minorities as FOX tells us...

I really think this is all for spectacle as a comment I read in a recent article says it all..

"Truthfully, any indictment is unlikely as it would threaten Goldman's charter as a dealer of Treasury securities and throw the financial community back into panic."

Not to mention that the banks will demonize every dem running for office this fall, that doesnt error in their favor, with the help of that new ruling by the supreme court allowing the corps free speech rights equating money = speech.. of course it will be done through front groups... but hopefully there will have to be a disclaimer showing who really funded the ads..

PS - I read in one article that some French guy was behind all of this.. so we've already demonized some foreigner as the problem in America's banking system.... and the French served well to be demonized in the run up the Iraq war for their lack of support.. remember when some rep wanted french fries changed to freedom fries?

The SEC's Goldman Sacks show is standard dead horse whipping by Fedophiles. Keep your eyes on the balls in play, people. This is classic illusionists' distraction trickery, and the ruling class henchmen are just throwing some stumbling fall guys to the lions for the crowd. Keep you focus where it matters most.

Grady, if Fannie and Freddie have done it for decades, why did the ones just sold in the past 7 years become a problem?

Robert, the Federal Government in the end, will probably be in hock directly and indirectly for a trillion dollars or so in covering for Fannie and Freddie. That's not just the last seven years my friend.

In addition to direct bailouts administered by the US Treasury, the Federal Reserve has quietly amassed $1.25 trillion in GSE debt (that's Freddie and Fannie) in the last year by, in effect, printing money. This $1.25 billion loan is off balance sheet as far as the national debt is concerned.

The implicit guarantee of Government Sponsored Enterprise debt (which became explicit in the early 2008 guarantees and then the September conservatorship) caused the market to overlook the risk associated with residential real estate loans - the GSE bond holders (a big chunk held in sovereign wealth funds in places like China) knew their investment in Fannie's and Freddie's bonds were secure regardless of how the underlying assets (mortgages) performed.

On the business side, Fannie and Freddie were managed as much or more for political purposes as for economic return (I got a little more insight than most on this when I lived across the street from a fellow whose job title was Senior VP Government and Industry Relations at Fannie; he was a solid citizen Republican working for a committed Democrat).

Requiring loans be made to poor credit risks made these bad situations worse.

Subprime was the last straw of many.

The most critical issue here is not under whose political influence these issues should be resolved; the challenge is to get them out of the political arena, period.

Here's a little background on Oregon's own Chester Paulson, the founder of Paulson & Co, named in the complaint:

(From the corporate website)

Chester L.F. Paulson, Founder and Chairman
Chester L. F. Paulson founded Paulson Capital Corp. in 1970 and has served as its Chairman, President and CEO since that time. Mr. Paulson is also the Co-Founder and Chairman of Paulson Capital Corp.’s wholly owned subsidiary, Paulson Investment Company, Inc. (originally Paulson Trading Company). Mr. Paulson has been actively involved in the investment banking, financial consulting and project funding for over 40 years. In 1959, Mr. Paulson started his career as a securities trader for June S. Jones Company in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Paulson served in the United States Army as a member of the Army Security Agency and graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Economics. He furthered his education at the University of Portland where he obtained his Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He currently serves as a board member for the National Investment Bankers Association and is a member of the Securities Traders Association and Southern California Investment Association.

Some more: Badger v Paulson Investment Co, 311 Ore. 14, 803 P.2d 1178 (1991).

I think it is interesting that the fall guy for G/S is "fabulous Fabian", the 31 year old VP and wonderkind from France!, whose incriminating emails have now mysteriously come to light.
The whole thing stinks, and the rest of us got stuck with the bills.
And the nutty teapartiers and dumb repubs don't want any banking and investment controls???

Bill Moyers did a great story on this situation and what appears to be a hopeless situation when it comes to reform... theyre all in bed with each other.. how can we expect any kind of reform when the reformers take money in the form of donations from the banks to get elected... The dems can't both represent the peoples interest and the banks at the same time... its one or the other!


"Requiring loans be made to poor credit risks made these bad situations worse."

Are you referring to Community Reinvestment Act loans? That's a cannard often trotted out by Fox News, to stir up racial hate and deflect blame from the guilty.

CRA loans perform better than subprime. Also, there was no CRA in the UK, Spain, Ireland, or any of the other countries that also experienced mortgage-based financial crises. What those countries DO have in common with the US is an overreliance on Mortgage Backed Securities, of the same sort that Goldman Sachs sold to customers while betting against them.

It's like they sold a house with a bad gas leak in the basement, then bought a fire insurance policy on it. Now they'll say they're SHOCKED that the house burned down, and the only reason they profited was a rogue 31 year old trader, who, being French and calling himself "Fabulous Fab", is the perfect fall guy for an American public that wants to see banksters' necks in nooses.

Yes, it's all politics, but not for the reasons you think. :(

If anyone thinks that GS is going to get something other than a fine and a slap on the wrist, they're fooling themselves into thinking that theirs justice in this country.

Stu, but isn't it John Paulson, not Chet, who peddled the bundled toxics on Wall St until GS said yes and who then bet against the bundle that GS had sold to others? That is, this billionaire Paulson, from amongst so many infamous Paulsons, none of whom seem to be related:

Meanwhile, Edward Harrison, one of the NYTimes's forum of expert commentators, tying a DC event on Tuesday with Friday's Wall St charges, remarked yesterday:

"But, Goldman Sachs has often been accused of looking after its own interests rather than that of its clients. Allegations that Goldman bet against its own clients in derivatives deals involving American municipalities and European countries are examples of the purported double dealing. It is no wonder that former Washington Mutual Kerry Killinger recently testified before Congress that he was wary of engaging Goldman Sachs as an adviser for just this reason. To date, most of this behavior could have been construed as legal but unethical."

WaMu's board of directors, however, hired GS to find a buyer for the nation's former largest thrift during the summer of 2008. Henry Merritt Paulson, Jr, working closely with the FDIC's Sheila Bair and JPM's Jamie Dimon, had other plans for WaMu. One might well ask whether GS played a willing role in those plans.

I don't quite see the cause for cynicism and pessimism about this development, until we see how it unfolds. We know they (the Goldman boys) done us wrong, and now we see the federal government doing something overtly about it. What else would we expect? That they send a Blackwater team in to invade Goldman Sachs? I think these charges are a positive development, and I hope they're just the beginning.

Are you referring to Community Reinvestment Act loans? That's a cannard often trotted out by Fox News, to stir up racial hate and deflect blame from the guilty

That aspersion is right up there with accusing Goldman Sach's critics of being anti-semitic. My recommendation is to park it.

CORRECTION: Hey Stu, this isn't the same Paulson-named company that you listed, so nevermind my subsequent reference, folks. Apologies to the (real) locals, esp. Chet.*

Here's more on the real guy, John A. Paulson:

"Investor Who Made Billions Is Not Target of Suit"

John A. Paulson



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