Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Blankfein speaks Martian, Levin speaks Venutian

tourre.jpg

UPDATED at 6:18 p.m.:

There's really no way to describe the looong exchange between Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein as anything else than two people not speaking the same language.

Levin was speaking a political language; Blankfein, a financial one.

For what seemed like 20 solid minutes, Levin probably repeated the phrase "you sold an investment to someone and bet against it" two dozen times. Levin was trying to get at the central element of the SEC's fraud charge against Goldman: That it assembled a portfolio of investments without fully informing all sides -- to the SEC's satisfaction -- that Goldman took a short position against the portfolio.

Blankfein tried a half-dozen times to explain to Levin: That's. Just. What. Investment. Banks. Do. He even resorted to something that sounded like a lesson out of Investment Banking 101: ""The act of selling something gives us the opposite position of the client."

He tries to explain to Levin that Goldman may assemble and sell, let's say, an oil exploration IPO. Goldman may actually be negative on the oil business AND the exploration business and STILL market the IPO. That's just how business works.

Eventually, the expression on Blankfein's face suggests that he's hearing Martian. And probably Levin feels the same way. He's got a constituency back home, a national constituency in the Democratic party and he favors tight new regulations on banks like Goldman. He can't sell that unless he paints Goldman as the Golden Nugget of Wall Street casinos. And that's okay -- that's what he may believe.

But it's absolutely clear that Blankfein and Levin do not understand each other and never will. Blankfein gives an explanation, then Levin begins with "...bet against it..." and Blankfein's body language says it all: his shoulders slump, his head drops and his face looks utterly crestfallen.

This could go one like this for hours.

CEO Blankfein sworn in, defends firm

5:28 p.m.: Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein finally rose at the witness table in the Senate, getting sworn in 7 hours 17 minutes after this hearing began.

In his written testimony, Blankfein said that Goldman "certainly" did not bet against its clients, "rewards saying no as much as it rewards saying yes" and added that many Americans are "uncertain" about the contribution of investment banks to the economy, to say the least.

"We need to strike a balance between what the client wants and what the public regards as excessive risk," Blankfein wrapped up.

Levin immediately began with more of a lecture and litany of Goldman offenses rather than a question. He brought up the "s****y deal" e-mail one more time. There's so much cussing in this proceeding, I don't know if I'm watching a Senate hearing or "Treme."

Levin pounces, finally gets his blood from Goldman CFO

4:54 p.m.: The second panel of the Goldman Sachs Senate hearing just went into recess and Goldman CFO David Viniar wishes it had recessed about 30 seconds sooner.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has been interrogating Goldman execs since 10 a.m. today and is doing a poor job of hiding his disgust with them, their company and Wall Street in general.

He recalled a Goldman e-mail discussed earlier in the day, in which an employee described a "s****y deal." Levin has been using this as Exhibit A in his charge that Goldman knowingly sold crap products to investors without fully informing them.

Viniar, who had been moving pretty effortlessly through his turn at the witness table, answering questions with a mix of confidence and suitable deference, patiently explained that if Goldman sells something to an investor for 20 cents on the dollar, "We know it's not a great piece of paper, but it means they think it's worth more than 20 cents." This drives Levin crazy, but it's how markets work.

But then Levin pulled out the "s****y deal" e-mail and asked, "Do you think Goldman ought to be selling it?"

Viniar responded: "I think that's a very unfortunate thing to have on an e-mail," drawing a burst of laughter from the hearing room.

Levin saw his opening and pounced.

"On an e-mail?" he thundered. "What about [an unfortunate thing] to believe?"

Viniar tried to backtrack but stepped squarely in a pothole.

"I think that's a very unfortunate thing for anyone to say in any room," he said.

Levin tightened his grip.

"What about believe?" he yelled.

"Yes, it's a very unfortunate thing to believe," Viniar said.

"That's what you should have started with," Levin said.

Fully cowed by now, Viniar surrendered. "You are correct," he said. "It is."

This gets at the thing that drives Levin batty and millions of Americans, as well. Is Goldman only sorry that it wrote on an e-mail that was eventually made public that it was peddling s****y deals, or is it really sorry it was pedaling those types of deals?

Goldman stock rises as markets plunge

4:22 p.m.: Even though the Senate grilling of Goldman Sachs executives will continue for at least a couple more hours, Wall Street has returned its verdict on the day: Goldman 1, Congress 0.

The three major indexes had a terrible day. A massive sell-off largely fueled by escalating worries about Greek's ever-worsening debt situation pushed each index down dramatically. The Dow closed down 1.9 percent. The S&P 500 closed down 2.3 percent. The Nasdaq closed down 2 percent.

But take a look at shares of Goldman Sachs. Even as its top executives were getting raked over the coals on Capitol Hill, shares of Goldman closed UP seven-tenths of 1 percent.

And don't think all financials did well today. Morgan Stanley closed down 3.2 percent. The Bank of New York Mellon closed down 2.5 percent. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. closed down 3.4 percent. Citi closed down a whopping 5.9 percent.

Again: Goldman closed UP seven-tenths of 1 percent.

Wall Street's reaction may not only be a reaction to Goldman's performance today on the Hill. It may also be a vote of confidence for the company against the SEC fraud charge.

And, as a colleague pointed out, semi-seriously: Do you think Goldman and its big Wall Street rivals knew this kind of market plunge was coming today and hedged against it?

Goldman CFO defends company's short positions

4 p.m.: The second panel began about 20 minutes ago with Goldman CFO David Viniar and Goldman chief risk officer Craig Broderick.

In their opening testimony, they said that, yes, Goldman had a lot of short positions in 2007 and 2008 but they took those positions to offset the losses they -- and everyone else -- were taking in their long positions. (See, that's the difference between you and Goldman Sachs: You probably can't afford the extra money it takes to buy short positions to offset your long-position losses.)

Viniar said that Goldman weathered the financial crisis and prospered not by magic or by deceit, but by constant and careful balancing of its risk exposure.

Levin is using a chart in an attempt to show that Goldman was excessively short during those years; in essence, trying to prove that the lion of Wall Street made money by betting on continued economic misery for the rest of America.

But Viniar countered by saying, yes, we were significantly short, but we only took those short positions to offset our losses on long positions. "We were only significantly net short BECAUSE we were net long," he said.

"It was the big short that kept you in the black, is that right?" Levin said.

"It was the big short offsetting the big long, that's right," Viniar said.

Levin tries to get Tourre to admit he lied in e-mail

3:25 p.m.: Levin tried to get the Fabulous Fabrice Tourre, the Goldman bond trader (pictured above) at the heart of the SEC charge against Goldman, to admit that an e-mail he wrote at the time was a lie, but Tourre didn't bite.

Instead, he said he was the victim of his own fast typing.

The crux of this case is the following: The securitized sub-prime mortgages included in the CDO in question were picked in part by hedge fund manager John Paulson who wanted to bet against them. Goldman sold a piece of the CDO to German bank IKB and Goldman took a position. Goldman says that a third party, ACA, also helped pick the pieces of the CDO.

Levin read from an e-mail from Tourre to fellow witness Josh Birnbaum where Tourre said the parts of the CDO were picked by Paulson and ACA. This was clearly Levin's "Gotcha!" moment.

Levin pressed: " Would you say what you wrote was accurate?"

Tourre parried: "It could have been more accurate, Mr. Chairman."

Tourre went on to say that he was trying to quickly respond to an e-mail request from Birnbaum and should have written the CDO's composition was picked by Paulson, ACA AND Goldman AND IKB.

This frustrated Levin to no end.

Levin plays the shame card on Goldman witnesses, but it doesn't stick

2:22 p.m.: So far unable to get the Goldman witnesses to admit wrongdoing, Levin is attempting to publicly shame them.

"You got no regrets?" Levin asked, sarcastically. "You ought to have plenty of regrets. You won't acknowledge. That's why we gotta do some regulation, some re-regulation."

Levin sounds basically disgusted when he reads from the Goldman documents and internal e-mails, like a man ticking off a list of deviant behaviors he finds repellent.

At one point, he read an e-mail from a Goldman boss singling out two executives for good performance after they packaged some bad mortgage-backed securities into something investors wanted to buy.

"You traveled the globe, you packaged...and you made lemonade from big, old lemons," the Goldman document stated, which Levin read.

In point of fact, that was the job of these Goldman executives. They had large investor clients who wanted to bet that the housing market would decline in 2006 and 2007. It was their money and their right to invest it how they wanted. Goldman created the investment vehicle for these clients and protected itself by shorting the housing market as well. Again, nothing illegal here.

Levin quoted from a Goldman document that said of the firm: "During most of 2007 we maintained a net short sub-prime position and therefore stood to benefit from declining prices in the mortgage market."

Levin asked the witnesses: "Is there any doubt in your mind that this was true?"

Again, what is Levin trying to get at? This would be like Levin or any senator asking Coca-Cola, "Is there any doubt in your mind that you were trying to sell Coke to customers?"

Sen. Pryor to execs: Did Goldman contribute to crisis?

1:38 p.m.: Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) just completed the inevitable "I'm going to ask all of you the same question" question, which is usually meant to force witnesses to admit wrongdoing in these hearings. Pryor asked: Do you think your actions and Goldman's actions contributed to the economic downturn in 2008?

The question prompted some interesting answers.

Each of the four Goldman witnesses maintained that they believe they did nothing improper. Which is to say, illegal, which is important to say, especially in the case of the Fabulous Fabrice Tourre, who is being charged (pictured above), along with Goldman, by the SEC for fraud.

Former Goldman exec Dan Sparks, who has taken the lead among the four witnesses, said that it sounded like Pryor was asking him if he had any regrets, and said: "Regret to me is when you feel bad about something you did wrong and I don't feel that. We made mistakes," he said, but did nothing wrong.

But did Goldman contribute to the downturn, Pryor persisted.

"I don't know," Sparks said. "I would like to think about that. I hadn't thought about that specifically."

When Pryor suggested that the witnesses were not taking responsibility for their actions, they bristled.

Sparks tried another way to answer Pryor:

"It's clear that credit standards overall got loose," he said. "Too loose. There were assumptions made and I think risk overall wasn't respected across the industry and we participated in that industry. I'm not trying to avoid your question, senator. I mentioned my feelings about what I did and I don't have regrets...But we participated in an industry that got loose."

Sen. McCaskill to Goldman execs: 'What's your vig?'

12:48 p.m.: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is pressing her betting-bookie analogy again, which she launched with two hours ago.

"You all are the house, you're the bookie," she said. Clients "are booking their bets with you. I don't know why we need to dress it up. It's a bet."

McCaskill, who copped to betting on college sports, asked the Goldman execs: "What's your vig?" In other words, what was Goldman's fee for setting up these bets?

Former Goldman exec Dan Sparks, who is testifying, said he would like to resist the gambling analogy and instead pointed out that, as a market-making firm, Goldman got fees and a "bid-offer spread," another kind of fee. Or McCaskill's vig.

Sparks said the bid-ask spread varied widely for each deal, frustrating McCaskill.

The Fabulous Fabrice Tourre, the Goldman bond trader at the heart of the SEC charge (pictured above), just admitted "regret" over the e-mails Goldman released over the weekend that he sent to his girlfriend in 2007.

The committee's ranking minority member, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) asked Tourre how he felt about the e-mails being released.

"I regret these e-mails," Tourre said. "They reflect very badly on the firm and on myself and I think I wish I hadn't sent those."

Kaufman concludes productive questioning

12:16 a.m.: Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) is concluding some productive questioning. He's trying to get at the point that Goldman sold investments filled with securitized mortgages that had been based on "stated-income loans." A stated-income loan was one of the most odious features of the sub-prime crisis: People got home loans based only on what they said their income was, and did not have to provide any documents supporting their claim.

Kaufman was trying to find out why Goldman sold packages that included these sketchy loans.

Former Goldman Sachs exec Dan Sparks said "We made a number of poor decisions in hindsight but there were people then who wanted to be long in that risk." What he's saying is the following: In hindsight, we should not have been in those positions, because we lost money. However, we had investors who really wanted to put money in those investments and our job is to serve our clients' wishes.

The exchange wrapped up with a good zinger from Kaufman. Sparks said there were a number of mortgage originators that Goldman chose not to deal with, after doing due diligence on them, figuring the underlying mortgages would likely default.

Kaufman then noted that Goldman dealt a great deal with Long Beach Mortgage, one of the biggest purveyors of stated-income home loans.

"So you looked a Long Beach and said, 'Boy, that's a great originator!' " Kaufman said, drawing some chuckles from the hearing.

Levin drops s-bombs all over the place

11:44 a.m.: Levin just finished dropping repeated s-bombs after quoting from a Goldman e-mail about a particular deal called Timberwolf.

The e-mail was addressed to Goldman exec Dan Sparks, who is testifying, and said: "Boy, that Timberwolf was one s****y deal."

Levin said that Sparks and Goldman continued to sell the Timberwolf portfolio to its clients even after it was identified internally as being, well, s****y. This gets at the heart of what Levin is trying to prove: That Goldman peddled bad investments to clients without warning them of the risk while taking short positions against the bad investments to protect itself.

"You sold Timberwolf after" that e-mail, Levin charged.

That's true, Sparks said, but some context would be useful, he tried to add.

"The context is mighty clear," Levin said, cutting him off.

Sparks ended up by saying that he believed the s****y comment was a reference to his performance in running the deal, not necessarily the deal itself.

Indecency note: profanity on cable television channels such as CNBC and C-Span where this hearing is airing is outside the FCC's indecency jurisdiction.

The Fabulous Fabrice Tourre (pictured above), charged by the SEC, finally got a chance to say something besides his opening statement. He was asked by acting ranking minority member Susan Collins (R-Maine) if Goldman has a duty to act in the best interest of its clients. Collins, like Levin, has gotten really upset at what she sees as Goldman's squishy answers, but Tourre, the Frenchman, provided the most clarity when he answered Collins' question. He said: "I do not believe we were acting as investment advisers to our clients."

Bingo. That gets right at the heart of it. People like you and me -- retail investors -- have relationships with investment advisers who are charged with acting in our best interest and giving us good advice. We are meant to believe they have our interest at heart.

HOWEVER, big investment firms like Goldman Sachs are NOT investment advisers. They are market-makers: that means they literally create markets for investors who, unlike us, should have a high and clear understanding of financial markets. That's the difference between Goldman Sachs and your friendly investment adviser at your local bank.

Levin already getting frustrated with Goldman execs

11:23 a.m.: Levin is being really elliptical in his questions, but here's how I take them: When asked by a client how Goldman got comfortable with the amount of risk involved with one deal, did Goldman have a responsibility to tell the client that Goldman felt comfortable with it because it had taken short positions, thereby protecting itself?

Former Goldman exec Dan Sparks appeared befuddled by Levin's question, and said: "Investors should and did focus on was whether the names was something they wanted at that price. The clients that did not want to participate in that deal, they did not. We would have had the sales force get on with the deal team and walk [clients] through their concerns."

Sparks repeatedly said he was trying to understand Levin's question.

I think you understand it, I don't think you want to answer it," Levin said. "You're not going to answer the question, that's obvious."

Goldman execs respond in opening statements

11:03 a.m.: Goldman executives are finally getting their chance to speak and are giving their testimony, which defends the firm.

So far, they are repeating the same theme: We were never told by our bosses to specifically go long or short -- as we are charged with doing, i.e., betting against the market. Instead, our bosses, responding to our internal risk assessment managers, were always instructed to balance our portfolios, to make sure were weren't too long or too short.

Former mortgage head Dan Sparks said he was never instructed specifically to go long or short. Sparks left Goldman in 2008 to "spend more time with my family," inevitably.

Former exec Josh Birnbaum -- who thankfully left in 2008 to start his own firm, not to spend time with his family -- said that in 2006 he decided that the housing market was going to deteriorate. Not everyone at Goldman agreed with him, however, and there was "vigorous" internal debate. Still, Birnbaum had the authority on his trading desk to continue accumulating short positions.

That is, until Goldman's risk assessment stepped in and told Birnbaum he was too short and that his desk needed to "get closer to home," which was the Goldman parlance for balancing long and short positions. This testimony explicitly contradicts the SEC charge that Goldman engaged in a concerted and coordinated effort to short the market.

Fabrice Tourre, the 31-year-old Goldman exec who dreamed up the investment vehicle that is at the heart of the SEC charge, has just begun his testimony, which I highlighted earlier. He has a slight French accent.

McCaskill delivers zingers

10:47 a.m.: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) got off a couple of good zingers at the Goldman Sachs executives arrayed before her. She called synthetic CDOs the "la-la land of ledger entries. Not investment in business that has a good idea. It's gambling."

A moment later, she said: "You are the bookie. You are the house. You had less oversight than a pit boss in Las Vegas."

Levin opens assault

10:08 a.m.: Committee chair Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) opened the hearing by saying that Goldman Sachs was an "active player" in creating the sub-prime mortgage machine.

He said that Goldman "repeatedly" put its own interests ahead of the interests of its clients and ordinary Americans.

"Goldman often saw its clients not as customers but as objects of profit," Levin said.

Levin's main thrust so far is that Goldman took short positions in the housing market, or bet that it would go down. At one point, Levin said, Goldman's short positions made up 53 percent of Goldman's investments.

I haven't heard Levin say so far that Goldman did anything illegal.

Follow me on Twitter at @theticker

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

By Frank Ahrens  |  April 27, 2010; 6:18 PM ET
Categories:  Congress , Corporations , The Ticker  | Tags: Carl Levin, Dan Sparks, Fabrice Tourre, Fabulous Fab, Goldman Sachs, Long Beach mortgage, SEC, Subprime lending, United States, United States Senate, United States Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Wall Street, daniel sparks goldman sachs, fabrice tourre emails, josh birnbaum, josh birnbaum goldman sachs, shitty deal  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fabulous Fab's love letters to Goldman Sachs
Next: Markets eventually shrug off Spain downgrade, turn positive

Comments

These guys are common criminals (who pulled off an uncommonly large and destructive crime). I worked for years in law enforcement and I never met a criminal that said he or she did the crime. In fact from the youngest of them the same answer always came, "I didn't do nothing!". In the end it is up to those enforcing the law to not let the criminal get away with crime. We will see how strong our government is during these proceedings. I do not have very high expectations.

Posted by: MickyD1 | April 27, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey - "La-La Land" produces a product - entertainment! What exactly do these guys produce that is of value?

Posted by: shadowmagician | April 27, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Ohhhhhh, the world is so scared of McCaskills zingers. So so scared. I wonder who else was an active player in the subprime lending machine? Who could it be, could it actually be the 535 dopes working in the fancy white building in DC? Nah, they are super smart and come up with totally awesome zingers.

Posted by: permagrin | April 27, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

SEC vs. Goldman Sachs: What does it mean for the economy and the American middle class?

Politically driven or not, the US government couldn’t have picked a worst time to bring accusations against Goldman. Has anyone stopped to think that if in fact we are at the beginning of a recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression, this assault on Goldman will hurt and slow down our economic recovery? What does an assault on Goldman do? It erodes investor confidence and brings down the entire financial sector.

Read the rest of the article at:
http://wp.me/pPdcm-2J

Posted by: orphedivounguy | April 27, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

GS had to compete with GSE and GSE's have one huge advantage. Now the loses keep growing. They can only do so much damage. Hope fooled us several times and she can't do it much longer. What a shipwreck. Call the salvage company. There's lots of salvage and God knows there is need enough for salvation for a good many of them. Keep us Posted.

Posted by: tossnokia | April 27, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"Politically driven or not, the US government couldn’t have picked a worst time to bring accusations against Goldman. Has anyone stopped to think that if in fact we are at the beginning of a recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression, this assault on Goldman will hurt and slow down our economic recovery? What does an assault on Goldman do? It erodes investor confidence and brings down the entire financial sector.Posted by: orphedivounguy"

You know what almost brought down the entire financial sector? Six big banks, of which Goldman was the largest.

I think you have to break up these banks. Obama disagrees; he thinks there's a compromise.

It's the Big Short. They knew what they were doing, and they went ahead and did it anyway.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 27, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

We don't want to end up like Europe, with banks that are simply too big to save. Like Royal Bank of Scotland, with a balance sheet bigger than the entire British economy. Or Ireland, with three banks that double the size of Ireland's resources. Or God forbid, Iceland or Greece...

No, it's time to act. Now.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 27, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

permagrin and orphedivounguy - you two need lives. Real lives!

I for one am reveling in watching this government (at last) begin to regulate and stop the bad people from winning. It started with getting rid of Tom Delay. Unfortunately we couldn't stop Ronald Reagan and his entourage; that was a true tragedy and the beginning of lobbyists taking over our government and rights. But we will win. I always know that we progressives and fair players are winning when the racists and bad guys show their true colors. And just when I thought we lost net neutrality to Comcast I read that it will go to the courts again. We might even end up with some (liberal) Supreme Court justices.

The point is this: ALL liars and thieves who caused our economy (my livelihood) need to punished. We do not need a Goldman Sachs. We do not need AIG. This country makes its living from small businesses. Do your homework. The rest is simply hype. Wall Street could easily be replaced by fair minded executives who are tasked with making the economy work, at a fair salary for them to make. Even if they work for a government run entity.

STOP believing that it's right to gouge every day Americans every day. I see this all the time: Poor people buy the crap that Repupugnant Ones dish out. Why? Because they are told that they will get jobs and have an easier life. I for one can tell you that Goldman Sachs will make absolutely certain that you DON'T. But we can stop them and that's what is happening as I write.

Posted by: Saveus2 | April 27, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

This inquisition reminds me of the Communist Chinese trials of businessmen when the Chinese put them into labor camps and made them humiliate themselves through criticism and self criticism and broke them!

What hypocrisy and waste!

Posted by: Concerned14 | April 27, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

SENATOR LEVIN should retire! He is just GRANDSTANDING and playing to the audience. His and other panels keep referring to "ethical and fiduciary interest to act in the best interest of clients" AND esp. Levin's question regarding selling "crap" products.

EXCUSE ME, senators, in the free market system when dealing with institutions, they have the duty to provide information when asked- no more, no less. THAT IS THE NAME OF THE GAME. Everyone playing in this field know that and they are ALL adults knowing the unspoken rules of the game. IF YOU HIGH-MINDED government officials want to pursue the path of fiduciary and ethical interests of the clients, how about YOUR OWN role in providing mortgages to those who can not afford them? HOW about YOUR INTERESTS TO THE TAXPAYERS to let us know that you forced mortgage private companies to lend and amass these subprime mortgages without any restrictions on private corporations to buy them to sell as products?

PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES SHOULD NOT BE THROWING STONES!!! ALL OF YOU should be kicked out of your offices!

Posted by: american17 | April 27, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"This inquisition reminds me of the Communist Chinese trials of businessmen when the Chinese put them into labor camps"

Really? Seriously? Unless getting jobs in government is comparable to a labor camp, I don't think your metaphor holds more water than a sieve Concerned14.

These guys don't create jobs, only profit for themselves. They've gone from 16% of corporate profits to 41% in the last couple decades. They've done that by gaming the system, and when they lost the house, we covered them. Seems like they should start working for us, not using cheap Fed money to amplify their holdings. I'd like to see an excise tax on all the largest banks. If we're going to tacitly agree to back them, we should share in the loot.

Posted by: parkerco | April 27, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

If you don't have a clue on how these investment markets work, it looks really bad. If you understand how these investment markets work there is nothing to see here, move on. So that means Levin is either ignorant or just a mere grandstanding oaf. I suppose a third option is that he is both.

Posted by: beachbum09 | April 27, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Looks like a crap storm and you are getting covered. Do things right.

Posted by: tossnokia | April 27, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"HOWEVER, big investment firms like Goldman Sachs are NOT investment advisers. They are market-makers: that means they literally create markets for investors who, unlike us, should have a high and clear understanding of financial markets. That's the difference between Goldman Sachs and your friendly investment adviser at your local bank."

And that is the point. If these folks are market makers, they should be providing full disclosure when concocting products for the purpose of shorting the market and they should be forced to discloose when THEY are placing their own bets and/or they should be prevented from doing their own trading.

Posted by: knowscience | April 27, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Looks like this is typical political cover. As long as the politicians keep pointing fingers and grandstanding, they hope no one looks behind the screen and realizes their own culpability here. These firms contribute to both parties for a reason. So now the Senators get to go on TV and act enraged, tomorrow they'll still be taking contributions from them.

Posted by: termiteavenger | April 27, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

God bless Senator Levin!

We are finally taking to task the evil people on Wall Street and elsewhere who continue our demise. Does this remind you of the horrible Bush years when Democrats demanded that the oil industry executives come to Washington to explain their price gouging? Do you remember their cavalier attitude? Do you remember being affected by all the high prices since fuel went up? I do. It has to change and this is the beginning.

american17 and beachbum09 .... you obviously believe that it's always best to do nothing. That's what Republicans did and have always done. Let the "free market" stomp on us. That's a very backward mentality. It encourages duplicity and thieving. Come on, be progressive. Competition makes the market work. But you MUST have rules and laws or it all goes awry and what happens? Umm...a worldwide, very scary recession that takes all our life savings.

You're right, though. All those subprime mortgages going out to people who could never pay for them had to stop. And government is the only body that could have prevented them - by LAW!

Posted by: Saveus2 | April 27, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

This is a show trial. This is what they do in dictatorships to exonerate themselves and blame the citizenry. It's disgusting. These politicians should be tarred and feathered.

Posted by: Rational4 | April 27, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The problem here is that we are trying to get to the MORALITY of finacial matters. There is no morality in purely finacial matters. $ is $, and it has no heart. When it comes to $, leagal and moral ARE mutually exclusive traits.

Posted by: KJR1 | April 27, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"...market MAKER..." is that equivalent to someone starting a corner, whiskey house or back alley crap game? or having a poker game at one's house? if the answer is YES, then how is it that THEY can gamble, but it'd be illegal for me to have a poker game in my house. or back in the '50s, for guys to run a numbers "racket." how's that for that some bulls____y?

Posted by: dcjazzman | April 27, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The activities firms like Goldman engage in have nothing to do with actual business. They are not investment firms, they create no jobs, they contribute nothing to society yet they don't think they should be regulated. If they owned the coal mines they would resist government oversight as well. We all know how scant regulation of the coal mines works out. Cheap energy unless you paid for it with the loss of a loved one.

Posted by: chopin224 | April 27, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

SENATOR LEVIN'S COMMITTEE REVELATIONS ABOUT GOLDMAN SACHS:

CONCLUSION: Wall Street is a FRAUD FACTORY.

REVELATION: The SIX Wall Street BANKSTERS bought the U.S. Government (Congress and the White House), so that the U.S. Government, like the Pornographic Addicted SEC, will not interfere while GOLDMAN SUCKS the life out of innocent Americans' lives.

WALL STREET, ENEMIES OF AMERICA: Those same SIX BANKSTERS are the enemies of this nation's citizens as Senator Levin's Committee is demonstrating.

PERJURIES: Those executives are LYING to Senator Levin's Committee meaning that the good Senator should order the Sgt. at Arms to ARREST each of them for prosecution.

A NOTE TO SENATOR LEVIN: REINSTATE GLASS-STIEGEL! Abolish Gramm-Rudman.

Posted by: gglenc | April 27, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

rational4 wrote "This is a show trial. This is what they do in dictatorships to exonerate themselves and blame the citizenry. It's disgusting. These politicians should be tarred and feathered"

"blame the citizenry" ??? if you mean blame the "citizenry" that cooked up these deals, YES.

if you mean prosecute the elected officials that ignored/blunted/failed to budget regulatory requirements, then YES.

if you mean identify (for the citizenry) those elected officials that are running interference for these "reputable skeezers." YES. which bucket do YOU fit in, Sir?

Posted by: dcjazzman | April 27, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@saveus2: WAY2GO!!! kick butte :)

Posted by: dcjazzman | April 27, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

You shouldn't swear.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | April 27, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

This is getting better and better. First Levin, who couldn't put a coherent thought together (shtty deal! shtty deal! shtty deal!), then Collins, who looked like she needed a nap, now McCaskill sqwauking like a chicken.

These people couldn't balance their own checkbooks, and they're gonna write financial regulations? Hilarious!

Posted by: Jeff08 | April 27, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Levin apparently feels about Goldman the way I do about Levin and his corrupt, incompetent POS buddies. They are all shi_ty in my book.
Lowlife slugs who need to be shoveled out of Congress like the manure they are.

Posted by: LarryG62 | April 27, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@larryG62: the real "Lowlife slugs who need to be shoveled...like the manure they are" are the wh*res who sold the American public on the BS idea of "trusting the markets."

AEI, Cato, Heritage, Mercatus, and the other broth*ls that assured us that Wall St has our best interests at heart and that the markets would never, ever, fail us.

And the morons dumb enough to fall for such lines of BS.

Posted by: Garak | April 27, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I think that Mark McGwire must have coached these Goldman Sachs guys before this hearing.

Posted by: maggots | April 27, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Stated income loans. Just lie to me! For all of you trying to portray this as Banks being forced to give welfare people Mortgages...You may now wash your face! scam with a capital "S" This is nothing more than that. Some young genius comes up with a quick get rich scheme the execs like it. He runs with it but they got caught. These guy's are too smart to not think Stated income loans were acceptable. Not by any means. Any of you supporting this is a TRAITOR to the American ideal. You're not a Democrat or a Republican but a TRAITOR!

Posted by: minco_007 | April 27, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are the party of Wall Street. Rich, white and disdainfull greedy men that can't see past the bridge of their own noses.

"Uh no Senator - the thought never occured to me that my actions led to a near depression..."

Republicans can never build a big tent as long as they continue fillibustering Wall Street reform. Fat Cat Losers!

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | April 27, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

American17 wrote>>>EXCUSE ME, senators, in the free market system when dealing with institutions, they have the duty to provide information when asked- no more, no less. THAT IS THE NAME OF THE GAME.

Your comment doesn't bode well for a "free market" system. Since they intentionally gave information that was INACCURATE, seems they were more interested in a "willy nilly" market.

Posted by: angie12106 | April 27, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"HOWEVER, big investment firms like Goldman Sachs are NOT investment advisers. They are market-makers: that means they literally create markets for investors who, unlike us, should have a high and clear understanding of financial markets. That's the difference between Goldman Sachs and your friendly investment adviser at your local bank."

This is a good point in Goldman Sach's defense.

However, it is also one of the strongest arguments for tight government regulation and enforced public trading of derivatives and any future financial instruments anyone is devious enough to dream up.

Such private, in-house "markets," whatever their nominal structure, created opportunistically, on the fly, are by nature and by design more opaque to "players" and ripe for abuse than even an illegal poker table, where at least the house take, however hefty, is always clear.

Posted by: washpost29 | April 27, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the political showboating, what do these hearings accomplish? Weren't the Salahis just here a few months ago? Its all bark and no bite. Where is the enforcement end, the punnishment, the accountability associated with these senate hearings?

Posted by: 123cartoon | April 27, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I guess under current Supreme Court reasoning Goldman is a single person. But that one person has multiple personalities that do not always know what the other personalities are up to. Hedging is always done by money managers. Lying not always but sometimes. What I see as a central fact is that Goldman acts as provider, financier, adviser and player ... all at the same time and then they bribe the rating agencies to make nice. The multiple roles was true in the nineties with brokerages. They both handled your stock trade requests and played in the same market, sometimes using your limit order as a cushion for their own play. Like bidding by an auctioneer on their own item in their own auction.

But the biggest factoid of all is that the guilt for our mess is big and broad. This stink lingers on many players. Do not get too focused on one sector, firm or person that you lose the overall picture.

Posted by: LHO39 | April 27, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

SUB-PRIME LOANS (CALLED LIAR LOANS) WERE
PACKAGED BY WALL STREET AND SOLD THE WORLD OVER. THERE WAS NO FRAUD SINCE EVERYONE IN THE BUSINESS KNEW THEY WERE LIAR LOANS. FOLKS LIKE LEVIN AND MCCASKILL ARE SHILLS THEMSELVES FOR THE BIG PLAYERS WHO SANK THE MORTGAGE MARKET, NAMELY, BARNEY FRANK AND DODD WHO PUSHED FREDDIE AND FANNIE TO BUY THE LIAR LOANS AND THEN PROTECTED THEM AGAINST CLOSER REGULATION. THE BIGGEST CULPRITS, OF COURSE, WERE/ARE THE REGULATORS. MOST IMPORTANT WERE THE BOYS AT THE FED, NAMELY, GREENSPOON AND BERTACKY. TACKY, HACKY GUYS WHO LET THE SYSTEM COME CLOSE TO FAILURE. THE NET EFFECT WAS/IS TO IMPOVERISH MILLIONS OF AMERICANS. IF THAT ISN'T A CALL TO ARMS, GO BACK TO SLEEP.

Posted by: DANSHANTEAL1 | April 27, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

My problem with these hearings is that senators who took campaign funds from Goldman Sachs are not being called as witnesses. Did those senators think that money fell from the tree? The monies that the congressmen/women (including Obama)received came from the same ill gotten wealth from Wall Street. If Goldman Sachs was running a scam, the congress was acting as the gatekeeper. The public need to ask the following question of the US Congress? What did you know about the scam? When did you know of the scam? What did you do when it was going on? Sen. Chuck Schumar should be one of the witnesses called to testify. Let us see if Sen. Levin shows some moral courage by calling Schumar, former Gov. Corzine, former Secy. Hank Paulson, Mayor Bloomberg to the witness table. Let us have a real inquiry.

Posted by: philly3 | April 27, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Geitner, Summers, Axelrod, Caldera, Stevens, and more are leaders in current administration and were critical wall street leaders prior to and during the collapse. I doubt McCaskill and Levin have the stones.

Posted by: tridens88 | April 27, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Anybody out there still believe that the free market regulates itself?

Posted by: jlhare1 | April 27, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Standards got loose", eh? I always love the passive voice as a tool for disclaiming all responsibility. Whose standards were loose? And who misbehaved on account of having loose standards?

Posted by: Ygorl | April 27, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

What is the point of these hearings? Are they trying to get to the core issue? Educate themselves to pass legislative reform that ensures the benefits of financial instruments (lower borrowing costs) are balanced with systemic financial sector stability? It appears this is more of a platform for Congress to throw their weight around and rant.

Just a couple years ago, Congress was hailing how more and more people were "living the American Dream of home ownership". You know why? Because they were getting loans through the means they are now ranting about(stated income loans). Were there inquiries as to how this was happening? No, Congress doesn't explore why implausible things occur (large, sudden increases in home ownership and housing prices during a period of stable employment and salaries), they just act like school children - pounding their hands, stomping their feet, and yelling - when things fall apart.

Posted by: BT23 | April 27, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I think what they are saying is right, they are part of the system whoee business is to make money as their prime directive. It doesn't matter if it causes countries to go bankrupt and people into foreclosure and they aren't the only ones taking everyone for a ride. Look at what Enron did or the spiking of gas prices. It is monopolistic vulture capitalism that provides them this power. It is also the big investors of rich elities and big institutions and even charity endowments who expect the top dollar for their dollars, more than all of the little investors combined. If they can drive the Bank of England into the ground or fleece Greece so what, who cares!! It is the military-merchant-missionary machine still taking the planet and all the people in it for everything they are worth. But the time is coming when this model stops working on a finite planet of interdependent relationships and stealing from one side of the plaent to benefit another side turns out to be too one sided to work. Instead we are approaching the time for a sustainable no growth model for everyone to live within the means of our planet this tiny jewel of life, clinging to our only beggoten sun, call Earth. If we don't learn this then perhaps the planet itself will begin bringing us back down to earth.

Posted by: Wildthing1 | April 27, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

It has been all Gambling from the ground up. First came these variable interest loans on inflated house prices. Lenders were encouraged to make these mortgages because they got a huge piece of the interest rate, and suckered people into believing they can beat the odds and buy an expensive house which will keep doubling in value every ten years. These criminal mortgages were then "packaged" and sold and made into derivative "instruments" which were given high ratings by corrupted rating agencies.

Then they got pension managers to bet on if the value of this garbage would go up or down. (What are pension managers, no matter how "expert" doing bets for? They are supposed to be investing.)

So straight up the line you have gambling. Gambling is rightfully outlawed in most of our country because it has nothing to do with free enterprise. A few people make a lot of money for NOTHING OF VALUE, and others have their hard earned wages wiped out. In this case the casino was being banked by the American tax payers.

At least we know that crooks like Madoff can be put in jail for the rest of their lives, but because dem and repub pols sold their souls for campaign funds to these criminal enterprises they deregulated them to the extent that these crimes against the people of the United States are legal and we are hearing rationalizations that this is necessary for our economy and to stay competitive!!! None of the regulations now before Congress are enough, they sadly will do nothing but perpepetuate our surfdom to these Financail Criminal Fiefdoms. We are being enslaved to immoral master criminals and told these disgusting vermon are our betters.

Posted by: maddymappo | April 27, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Career politicians are not familiar with the concept of shame. So how can Levin "play the shame card?"

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | April 27, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I guess Political Science majors must take a class on being a politician titled HOW TO LIE AND CHEAT IN CONGRESS AND BLAME OTHERS FOR YOU ERRORS WITH A STRAIGHT FACE.

Posted by: frankn1 | April 27, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Senator Levin is a foul-mouthed bully and thug!! What GARBAGE!!! The economy of the US and the World almost was totally destroyed by our Government's actions: the Community Redevelopment Act signed by the imbecilic Jimmy Carter and then the extreme pressure from Democrats starting under Clinton to push housing loans on people who could not afford them. This and easy money policies caused the sub-prime meltdown. Much has been written about the extreme pressure put to bear by HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo to increase home ownership by minorities. How Treasury secretary Robert Rubin prevented Brooksley Born, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, from regulating derivatives such as credit default swaps. How Republicans tried under George Bush to rein in Fannie Mae but were pushed back by Barnie Frank and other contemptible Democrats. How Chris Dodd got a sweetheart housing loan from Countrywide Financial. How much more do you need?!? The Democrats must be defeated at all costs. No quarter must be given.

Posted by: RufusTWashington | April 27, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

So the Gov. sets the rules. Goldman follows them and id10t's like Levin can't figure that out????? Levin is an embarrassment to the US.

Posted by: askgees | April 27, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

You can just see the filth dripping off this French slimeball.

Posted by: blarsen1 | April 27, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

You can just see the filth dripping off this French slimeball.

Posted by: blarsen1 | April 27, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Fabrice Tourre is alone in this. He is just one of the traders who fashioned ABACUS CDOs. As part of risk management, GS execs did know the facts on the ground. The likes of Josh Birnbaum who showed as much arrogance and defiance should be hauled up. I am sure there must be a lot more at Goldman like these on display. This public show is nothing more than a soap opera. The problem lies in recruiting people who have low & subjective understanding of ethics and integrity at these firms.

Posted by: hughes_168 | April 27, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Fabrice Tourre is alone in this. He is just one of the traders who fashioned ABACUS CDOs. As part of risk management, GS execs did know the facts on the ground. The likes of Josh Birnbaum who showed as much arrogance and defiance should be hauled up. I am sure there must be a lot more at Goldman like these on display. This public show is nothing more than a soap opera. The problem lies in recruiting people who have low & subjective understanding of ethics and integrity at these firms.

Posted by: hughes_168 | April 27, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

RufusTWashington--

You're a real laugh. If Jimmy Carter caused the financial meltdown why did it take 33 years to happen??

Watch this and hear your boy Bush prattle on about home ownership. "You don't need a good income to buy a nice house".

Evreyone watch this NOW:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNqQx7sjoS8


.

Posted by: blarsen1 | April 27, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm no fan of Wall Street guys. I think they are useless at best, and outright criminals more likely.

But when you put these smart guys in front of senile, ignorant, self-serving, corrupt bastards like Levin, Barney Frank..... uhhhh.... you understand the reason Washington is absolutely incompetent to regulate ANYTHING, much less Wall Street.

Posted by: tropicalfolk | April 27, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

None of the Senators is asking an obvious question. When Sparks says they have to prudently manage risks or they will not be there to serve clients. But whose risks did they manage? Is it their clients or their shareholders. In most businesses, serving clients is a means to maximize shareholder value. In GS case, it seems that they made deals to protect share price buy taking advantage of their customers. So, the question one should ask is on whose behalf were you managing risks? Did you offer clients the opportunity to hedge their investments in the same manner you did? If you did not, isn't fair for a client to wonder why? Just because something is not per se illegal does not mean it is ethically sound. If it is ethically unsound to the point where it lends to the destruction of world economics, it should be regulated.

Posted by: TJG1 | April 27, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Want me to kick his asss for you?

Posted by: veronihilverius | April 27, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

of course they have no regrets. why should they? they are laughing all the way to the bank.

they have no regrets, and would do it all over again. if we let them.

Posted by: dzung1 | April 27, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Those con-men stole a trillion dollars from US taxpayers, but Republicans want to raise a fuss because Levin dropped the "S-bomb". Sounds like they just want to change the subject of the debate.

Posted by: skeetchamp | April 27, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

so the system fell apart just before the 2008 elections and it was big greedy biz. the poor car companies cant make payrole and its not the unions falt its big greedy biz. our poor nation cant stay healthy and nobody can afford health care and who to blame? big greedy biz. The Americian people are being had and its so obvious, just take a look around! your government is running almost everything!IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? WAKE UP!

Posted by: ziggy4 | April 27, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Imprison them. We do it to petty crooks, why not bigger sentences for bigger crooks? Why do those who steal the most money, hurt the most people, get the least sentences?

If I hit my neighbor, I'll be arrested, but Bush could commit Shock and Awe against an innocent civilian populace, killing hundreds of thousands in his illegal and invented wars, and just walks away, with Secret Service protection? That's Conservative Justice?

Nope. Put them all in a concrete cage, like they did to John Gotti, the other thief, crook, and killer.

Posted by: gkam | April 27, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

To the Goldman guys it is only about what is legal and what is illegal. The picture of the arrogant trader tells the whole picture. So? What are you going to do about it? What you says is, I say isn't. Market makers always play both sides of the bet. They are financial bookies and it's not illegal. You can always short a stock so what is the difference? When everybody was buying internet stocks some people were shorting the same stocks, often the same analysts talking up the stocks. It is obnoxious, arrgant, and painful, but it is not illegal, except in the case of analysts, and that is only sometimes.
However, Obama is right, it should be regulated as it was under the Glass Steigel Act pre 1999 separating commerical and investment banking. Did it cause the collapse of the banking system? I believe it did.

Posted by: RobtAlan | April 27, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

To the Goldman guys it is only about what is legal and what is illegal. The picture of the arrogant trader tells the whole picture. So? What are you going to do about it? What you says is, I say isn't. Market makers always play both sides of the bet. They are financial bookies and it's not illegal. You can always short a stock so what is the difference? When everybody was buying internet stocks some people were shorting the same stocks, often the same analysts talking up the stocks. It is obnoxious, arrgant, and painful, but it is not illegal, except in the case of analysts, and that is only sometimes.
However, Obama is right, it should be regulated as it was under the Glass Steigel Act pre 1999 separating commerical and investment banking. Did it cause the collapse of the banking system? I believe it did.

Posted by: RobtAlan | April 27, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the point of this blog. I thought Mr. Ahrens was trying to provide information and insight -- i.e., news -- about what is going on during the hearings. Instead, he is using this blog as a platform to defend Goldman's actions. Mr. Ahrens is far from an unbiased observer here -- he acting like a member of Goldman's legal team. The Washington Post should be ashamed for allowing this piece of demagoguery, masquerading as journalism, to ever see the light of day. Doesn't Goldman already have enough syncophants standing in line to defend its every act of thievery? This is disgusting.

Posted by: jerkhoff | April 27, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

As a market maker, you can't take your client's money and tell him your making him a good long term investment when you're looking at a approaching trainwreck and selling your own position short. It's called ethics and apparently ethics are shoved aside at Goldman Sachs.


.

Posted by: blarsen1 | April 27, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

its all a joke...reminds me of the hearings they had with the oil men...complete waste of time...it'll not amount to a hill of beans...

Posted by: corebanks1940 | April 27, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

They way to powerful for this government...They'll tell the government what to do...not visa versa...

Posted by: corebanks1940 | April 27, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Frank Ahrens you say: "In point of fact, that was the job of these Goldman executives. They had large investor clients who wanted to bet that the housing market would decline in 2006 and 2007. It was their money and their right to invest it how they wanted. Goldman created the investment vehicle for these clients and protected itself by shorting the housing market as well. Again, nothing illegal here." But is it moral? How did these investors get "their money" to invest? Wall Street is about creating deals which have winners, at the expense of losers. But at what expense to individuals like myself who just work to pay a mortgage and a car note. We are affected by those deals.

Posted by: SpaceCity | April 27, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Levin is coming across as an arrogant ignorant. And Goldman Sachs stock rises as the overall market crashes.

And we're going to fund his retirement!

Posted by: JoeTH | April 27, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I applaud the committee and Sen. Carl Levin's tough interrogation of Goldman Sachs' top brass, yet Levin and the investigation committee are up against a formative opponent. Already, Sachs is showing their claws and talons. In the coming days/weeks, it will be interesting to watch Sachs's clever defensive maneuvers play out. Undoubtedly their tactics will be as 'creative' as the bogus finance products Goldman Sachs and other houses packaged and then sold to unsuspecting clients.

Posted by: maiziejames1 | April 27, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Saveus2 wrote:

I for one am reveling in watching this government (at last) begin to regulate and stop the bad people from winning.
===================

Do you know what that sounds like? Liberals like to say that conservatives are prone to conspiracy and paranoia . . .

News Flash to the Left: Not everyone that succeeds is a crook unless you're in politics.

All this vitriol against people of wealth - class warfare - envy - hate mongering

I know not all liberals are "haters" but the sniping gets tiring.

Just once I would love to hear a liberal say, "Isn't it great how that successful company provides jobs for people and wealth to the private sector."

Guess what? If all the corporations fail we all fail.

Posted by: reddog62 | April 27, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Saveus2 wrote:

I for one am reveling in watching this government (at last) begin to regulate and stop the bad people from winning.
===================

Do you know what that sounds like? Liberals like to say that conservatives are prone to conspiracy and paranoia . . .

News Flash to the Left: Not everyone that succeeds is a crook unless you're in politics.

All this vitriol against people of wealth - class warfare - envy - hate mongering

I know not all liberals are "haters" but the sniping gets tiring.

Just once I would love to hear a liberal say, "Isn't it great how that successful company provides jobs for people and wealth to the private sector."

Guess what? If all the corporations fail we all fail.

Posted by: reddog62 | April 27, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Amazing that C-Span didn’t broadcast this part of the hearings:

Goldman Chairman Lloyd Blankfein replied to a Senator’s question by:

Senator, I thank you for your astute question, but allow me to remind you and your colleagues that Goldman Sachs gave million of dollars to your party and that more specifically we gave hundred of thousands of dollar to yourself and your re-election campaign. My question (and my shareholders’ question) is simply: “What are we getting for that” or “Are we now entitled for a refund”?

Posted by: jmljep | April 27, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

To GarrisonLiberty,

Me thinks you have the party wrong, the #2 contributor to Obama campaign is none other than Goldman Sachs, # 6 is Citi, # 7 JP and #12 UBS. It seems the dems are now the fat cat wall street types.

Should read:Democrats are the party of Wall Street. Rich, white and disdainfull greedy men that can't see past the bridge of their own noses.

Posted by: Rugman1 | April 27, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

If I was a Goldman shareholder; and they are making money for me. I don't really care what a sound bite - granurtdstanding congressman have to say. The difference between capitalism and socialism is that anybody on Main Street can buy Goldman stocks. I understand Goldman's greed; at least I can take advantage of it (so can anybody else); I can understand the dysfunction of Washington, but it can only hurt me. I don't know why it's a crime to be able to foresee things and be able to make a profit from it.

Posted by: nolngeraseasontixhder | April 27, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Goldman is not the problem. If anybody is to blame, it is the Federal Reserve for allowing No-Doc Loans. And the Congress
for allowing ARM loans to even exist.

ALL LOANS FOR HOUSES SHOULD BE 15/yr or 30/yr, period. You buy a home to live in, not to invest in. HOMES ARE NOT INVESTMENTS..

PS: Mortgages should not be RESOLD. The Originator of a home loan should hold that loan for the length of the loan. Reselling a loan allows originators to shed risk to an unsuspecting buyer who might have that loan rolled into a CDO. Smoke and mirrors begins at origination.

Posted by: AlbyVA | April 27, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Question: Who owned the mortages in the synthetic CDO that was being sold? Goldman,IKB, Paulson ACA?

Also, was the price of these mortgages already discounted to represent the risk and yield expected? Did they carry a higher interest rate because they were riskier? jbooth

Posted by: jbooth | April 27, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be a lot of bloggers that still think sub-prime mortgages collapsed the market. The total default of all mortgages from 2008 to 2010 is less than 1% of the outstanding mortgages. The secret to collapsing the market is creating derivative transactions that extended that tiny risk across the entire mortgage market. This was accomplished, not by Fannie and Freddie, if you have been paying attention, but by Private mortgage securities and associated derivative contracts that spread the exposure of a $2.3 trillion mortgage market (with 100 billion in subprime) to a $600 trillion derivative market.

That is why the financial reform is so critical. With these same bogus securities they will be able to repeat the performance – this time it will be sovereign debt. We will have a small failure cascading through the market. Like today, for instance with Greece. And some of the idiots in congress think the reform is too tough?

Posted by: NewThoughts | April 27, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Levin's whole sh*ity deal grandstanding is too silly. The whole point of the transaction at issue is that GS is competing against the seller, in a battle of wits, over who is making the best bet. This is not a situation where GS is selling cars and is hiding information about defects. The buyers are not small banks or retirees--these are hedge funds with billions of money in the market. No doubt, the hedge fund managers were making the same cracks about GS---that GS made a sh*tty deal in their sale---otherwise they wouldn't have done the deal. The fact that GS was insuring their position by shorting the security is of no consequence either, becuase the buyer was likely doing the opposite. In fact, GS had no way to know how good the deal was for the buyer without knowing the buyer's other positions. So this whole discussion of whether it was wrong for GS to make that particular deal is absurd.

The issue is, as it has been, how to contain systemic risk generated from these transactions.

The Ibanks and their major counterparties have had too much macroeconomic power and no public accountability and need stricter rules, but Congress is showing that they don't even understand the business. Which creates grave doubt that they can craft reform legislation that the bankers won't immediately bypass with new products and strategies.

Posted by: wharwood | April 27, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Goldman Sachs does have a point that they didn't cause the financial crisis. But consider that no one ever took credit for the invention of prostitution either, but over the centuries many sleazy characters have profited handsomely from it and sane societies have always tried to control it or at least provide some regulation to protect society at large from its many ill effects.

The writer here gives Goldman a point for their stock rising through the hearings, obviously he still doesn't "get it". Who are the market makers moving this stock?

Posted by: slim2 | April 27, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing more than the Dems slapping together a show for the masses in order to garner support from the masses for their uni-partisan financial "reform" bill.
If it hasn't ocurred to you, you should be asking "why now?".

Posted by: primegrop | April 27, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

TJG1, that question was answered. Sparks told the Committee that GS is not an investment advisor to its clients. Which is true. And, logically, it is absurd to think that Peleton Partners, with hundreds of millions in positions or more, was looking for advice, especially from the people selling them these securities. GS answers to its shareholders, and aims to give their clients good service. Good service does not mean managing their risks, it means getting their deals done in a timely fashion with correct paper work.

Posted by: wharwood | April 27, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

This hearing just shows (1) how little the members of this committee know about the world of finance and (2) how politically motivated our Senators are.

This is a very complex subject and Congress wants a simple answer. I'm absolutely amazed that our Senators, particularly Carl Levin, know and care so little about the financial system. And they also don't want to acknowledge that Congress also is as culpable as anyone else.

This November we need to vote in a new set of losers to represent us.


Posted by: MrBethesda | April 27, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

GOLDMAN: 2 CONGRESS: 0

Levin keeps repeating the same question hoping that with repetition will come clarity. What he does NOT seem to understand nor comprehend is the nature of GS business. What Blankfein should have said is that the buyer or seller from GS comes to them for the product that they want to sell or buy, having done the due diligence and KNOWING EXACTLY what they want from this deal, irrespective of what GS will do after the fact or with that knowledge. In other words, the buyer or seller from GS does NOT NEED THAT information. BUT GS takes a position later based on their own interest to hedge the risk or to make money from that transaction. THAT IS WHAT THEY DO AND OTHER BANKS DO!

The important lesson to learn from this whole circus is this:

CALLING ALL CEOs - this is your wake up call to tell ALL you employees to be careful about what they write in their e-mails!!!

Posted by: american17 | April 27, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I think a number of people have cause and effect mixed up. In my view the financial success of opaque sub-prime mortgage backed derivatives CREATED a demand for still more mortgages, which demand was obligingly met or supported by declining standards in mortgages by Countrywide, Fannie, etc etc, weakened criteria by the ratings agencies, and the all-too-familiar complicity and oversight by a host of other players. And we were off to the races until this opaque Ponzi scheme led to failure and widespread distrust in credit markets.

Posted by: steveandjanereed1 | April 27, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Nothing but a dog and pony show. Obama and a few if his stall are in bed with Goldman Sachs.

Posted by: 45upnorth | April 27, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Crooks lecturing and questioning crooks. Too bad Charlie Rangel didn't get a chance to ask a few questions.

Posted by: richard36 | April 27, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Fabrice Tourré showed he is not the fox of the WaPo picture.

Posted by: rivenq | April 27, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

So let's quit shorting products at our customers' expense. Can we write legislation for that? Can we also write legislation that doesn't allow financial institutions, that know exactly what the bets are because they see them on their monitors, to enrich themselves at their customers' expense?

Aw, that's no fun!

Posted by: Kelly14 | April 27, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post to the defense of crooks in Wall Street! How instructive, the shares of Goldman go up while the whole markets slide down over 200 points. The headkline here wil have you believe that the whole country has come to the rescue of Goldman, the poor victim doing god's work, in a massive buy move. These masters of deceit are likely buying their owns shares to keep the farce going. The axis of corruption at work!

Posted by: likovid | April 27, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Fabrice Tourré showed he is not the fox of the WaPo picture.

Posted by: rivenq | April 27, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse



I watched a portion of this inquisition.

Senator Levin was reading from notes, obviously prepared by his staff, and could not - or was not prepared, I should say - introduce the proper follow-up question.

It reminded me of when Senator Strom Thurmond was gently edging into senality and came to committee meetings with one thing to say - and could not deviate from his prepared remarks. Senator Levin should look at some of the old tapes of Thurmond to see a picture of himself.

It causes me great concern about the adequacy of our United States Senate.

.

Posted by: adjjones | April 27, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Goldman top exec are the real terrorits, they should be in GITMO have them all raped while their wives and kids are watching. HANG the MFs

Posted by: simonbm | April 27, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

[i]We don't want to end up like Europe, with banks that are simply too big to save. Like Royal Bank of Scotland, with a balance sheet bigger than the entire British economy. Or Ireland, with three banks that double the size of Ireland's resources. Or God forbid, Iceland or Greece...
No, it's time to act. Now.[/i]

Amen to that. I wouldn't seeing some handcuffs as well.

Posted by: jdarby21 | April 27, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

We don't want to end up like Europe, with banks that are simply too big to save. Like Royal Bank of Scotland, with a balance sheet bigger than the entire British economy. Or Ireland, with three banks that double the size of Ireland's resources. Or God forbid, Iceland or Greece...
No, it's time to act. Now."

-------------------

Amen to that, this is a last chance thing. I wouldn't seeing some handcuffs as well.

Posted by: jdarby21 | April 27, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Levin and others came off as grandstanding wind-bags trying to grab some publicity for themselves with their self-righteous indignation.

Posted by: pgr88 | April 27, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

orphedyounguy: A recovery will happen when consumer confidence goes up, and people spend. Right now, there is nooooooo confidence; because when you look at this slups face you can see he is bored by the united states government and citizens. Until the consumer is convinced he can't dangle them again, the recovery won't happen. If you don't fix it, it will stay broken, I wouldn't buy anything in this economy; neither would my neighbor. But, if you want to, go ahead. He looks like he is just waiting for another sucker.

Posted by: linda_521 | April 27, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Just Whom is making the $Bonus'$ here? - The CEO's, or certain members of CONGRESS Whom are Blocking Disclosure & Transparency at the $tooo-big Investment $BANKS? - Yes, it is good to question Goldman Sach$,-- but how about the even $Bigger Players?- The Super Large DERIVATIVE PUSHERS,-- like:- JP-Morgan-Chase-Bank; Bank-of-America; CITIbank; Wachovia; HSBC; Wells-Fargo; Bank-of-New-York; State-St-Bank&Trust; PNC-Bank; SunTrust-Banks; etc etc ?! -- Why only Pick-On the Goldman-Sacksters? -- Something very Seriously WRONG here!! - And it goes WAY-BACK, involving of all -- CONGRESS!!! -- Congress was warned 15 YEARS AGO about this $Derivative / $Sub-Prime-Mortgage "CRAP"!! -- Where, when it comes to Hearings & Prosecutions,- are the past BUSH Players? -- Hank-Paulson, Allen-Greenspan, etc?? - And many in the SENATE whom were and are in Bed with these $BANKsters!!

Posted by: jward52 | April 27, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Learned two things from watching some of the hearing. First is that these senators are wholly ignorant re what Goldman does. Second is the arrogance of those that are spending us into oblivion are pretending to be the stalwarts of fiscall responsiblity.

Posted by: sgilligan1 | April 27, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Someone compared these hearings to a chinese show trial before the business execs get sent off to the labor camp.Personally I wish that was what the executives of GS were facing.

The problem is that investment banks are no longer about raising capitol so a new company can begin but creating transactions so they can earn a fee.

The "betting" part of Wall Street needs to be brought to an end. this market needs to be strictly regulated and what these guys were doing needs to be a crime with jail at the other end.

Posted by: marctrain1 | April 27, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Sound and fury, signifying nothing. I've seen these types of hearings for years and nothing is ever done. No charges will be made, no jail time, etc. It's free camera time for the politicians.

Posted by: boleson02 | April 27, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

simonbm: 6:46

I'm sure you know nothing about the issue of finance yet you make such a disgusting comment about the GS exec's. Quit drinking the Kool Aid and start thinking for yourself! This is nothing but a dog and pony show.

Posted by: CarolinaMike | April 27, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Not a very nice way to treat one of Obama's biggest campaign contributors!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | April 27, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Goldman Sachs logic:
Here is how a market works when you want to get out of a position and you are the size of Goldman Sachs. Let’s say you or your client has 10 billion in Greek bonds. If you sell them today you will take a big loss because they have declined in value. But you will also trigger a downgrade in the credit rating. That will cause a drop in the overall market so you place sell orders on Wall Street in advance of the sale of your bonds. You sell bonds, credit rating drops, stock prices tumble, and you buy back the stock at a huge profit. Only Greece is damaged. If for some reason, the credit is not down graded (this time) you just buy the bonds back and try it again tomorrow. You see, if you have enough money to make a market move, you are in control of that market!

What is the beauty of all of this? You can argue that you didn’t make any money! You sold the bonds at a loss and covered that loss on short stock sales! All you were doing is trading!

“He who can stop a thing controls that thing.” - Paul Atreides

Posted by: NewThoughts | April 27, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the political showboating, what do these hearings accomplish? Weren't the Salahis just here a few months ago? Its all bark and no bite. Where is the enforcement end, the punnishment, the accountability associated with these senate hearings?

Posted by: 123cartoon | April 27, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse
--------------------------------------

Good point. I've noticed this for years, these senate hearings are almost next to useless. Nothing substantive ever comes of it. The only senate hearings like these that somewhat useful are those pertaining to judical nominees since the senate will actually be voting on such people. Will the senate vote for or against Goldman Sachs in this context? No, nothing will come of it - it's just an exercise in grandstanding. Seriously, what's the best thing that could come out of these hearing? 1 or 2 more votes in favour of financial reform?

I say give these hearings some sort of teeth (judgment or enforcement powers) or just don't bother with them.

Posted by: cjpotter19 | April 27, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Barney Frank, et al, caused many billions of losses by US, the taxpayers, with the stupidity of Fannie and Freddie. Let's put THEM on trial. Talk about subprime loans!

And you know what? We had NO CHOICE but to invest in that stinker. I want my money back!

Posted by: primegrop | April 27, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The New York Times' blog on this was much better, more informative, less opinionated and certainly less soliticious of Goldman-Sachs. Just the facts, sir.

Posted by: trurhman | April 27, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

levin is a scrotum, congress is making a show to avoid the spotlight illuminating their incompetence..........

Posted by: goziner | April 27, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

LEVIN IS SENILE - HE SHOULD RESIGN before he is removed for senility!

OMB, how can he accuse GS for taking taxpayer's money from AIG when THEY, these same Obama buffoons decided to save AIG! Like GS Blankfein said, if they did not get the money from AIG, they would have received the money due them from a private insurance company, thus proving that AIG COULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO FAIL!!!

Levin just keeps on shooting from his mouth and shooting his own foot in the process - someone help him!!!

Posted by: american17 | April 27, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

LEVIN IS SENILE - HE SHOULD RESIGN before he is removed for senility!

OMB, how can he accuse GS for taking taxpayer's money from AIG when THEY, these same Obama buffoons decided to save AIG! Like GS Blankfein said, if they did not get the money from AIG, they would have received the money due them from a private insurance company, thus proving that AIG COULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO FAIL!!!

Levin just keeps on shooting from his mouth and shooting his own foot in the process - someone help him!!!

Posted by: american17 | April 27, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

levin is a board certified fool.

this is NOT an attack on goldman-sachs

this is the obama regime's attack on free enterprise

and

freedom

obama regime--tyranny

Posted by: praetorian-guard | April 27, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Did Blankfien say " I am doing God's work?'
Is someone going to ask what he meant by that statement?.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | April 27, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

What do these pompous asses know about investment banking? Not much and it shows. They love these hearings to pontificate and berate American citizens. They never accept responsibility for their part in the mortgage meltdown. When will Barney Frank and Chris Dodd be on the witness stand? Carl Levin made me ill today trying to get these gentlemen to admit to some wrong doing. Ask Barney and Chris the same question, you stinking hypocrite.

Posted by: Jackets | April 27, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Anytime Congress takes an intelligence test...........why do they do that to themselves? That's entertainment!

Posted by: rusty3 | April 27, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Tourre, he as has pair, I love it when people spit in the face of these sanctimonious hypocrites called congress

Posted by: goziner | April 27, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Our politicians have cost the taxpayer a lot more money than this GS thing. You talk about irresponsibility. These thieves and liars have bankrupted SSecurity, Medicare/Cade and they want us to pay more taxes to bail their sorry butts out of this dilema. Will they stop spending? NO! Vote these scumbags out.

Posted by: Jackets | April 27, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Blankfein and his minions just don't seem to get that there's a difference between right and wrong. As I recall, that's a characteristic of a sociopath.

Here's a question: Why do shareholders tolerate criminals like these in positions of power?

Posted by: jlhare1 | April 27, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Blankfein is drawing a distinction between market-making and underwriting. The fact is that GS wasn't making a market when it created the ABACUS 2007-ACI transaction. It was underwriting. It had duties, and it didn't carry them out.

You say Blankfein is talking past Levin as if speaking some other language. That is wrong. This is someone who has facts in his pocket facing a guy who studied the techniques of Frank Luntz. Levin is talking to the fact-oriented section of the population. Blankfein thinks if he just says his magic words often enough, he will convince the rubes. Judging by many of the comments here, Blankfein is right.

Posted by: masaccio1 | April 27, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Blankfein..Mr.Obama's sleep-over guest in the White House? Gag me.

Posted by: mftill | April 27, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Does Goldman charge to give it's best expert financial advice? Yes. Did they give their best expert advice notifying the buyers of Paulson's input and their own heavy short position against these types of investments? No. They did not provide the service they were paid for let alone they aided and abetted Paulson in bilking buyers.

Posted by: jameschirico | April 27, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Senator Levin one of GM's go-to-guys in the government's bail out of GM in return for GM stock? I understand that the taxpayers will be taking a bath on their "investment" in GM. Where does Senator Levin get off complaining about Goldman Sachs after he was a party to the gang-rape of the American taxpayers, sticking them with stock in a bankrupt company?

Posted by: publicola | April 27, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

With some trepidation, I'll post my take.

The thing Washington doesn't understand about Wall Street is that it is absolutely out of bounds to ask a counterparty of your trade how they are positioned.

If Goldman called me and offered me bonds and I asked "who's the seller?," the trader would probably hang up on me. If I as a client asked Goldman for an offer in credit default swaps, Goldman isn't going to ask me if I own the bonds, am hedging another position, or just taking a view. It isn't any of their business. As a matter of fact, if Goldman calls up selling bonds and volunteers information about how they are positioned in the issue, I will probably assume they are lying to me and I will want nothing to do with what they are selling.

To me, if Goldman lied to the client about how the securities were selected, then they are in the wrong. The security selection methodology will be disclosed in the documentation. Cut and Dried. Just my gut feeling, but if Goldman lied in the docs, they would settle with the SEC because all the SEC wants is the $15 million fee and typically you can settle with the SEC without admitting guilt. If the SEC goes after Goldman and wins, then the SEC makes the case for all the civil litigants that follow. I can't imagine Goldman is going to take on a billion dollars worth of potential liability to save $15 million.

If the issue is that Goldman didn't disclose to the buyer who was the seller and what their view of the issue was, then Goldman didn't do anything wrong because they don't owe the client that information. And it follows, that this is just a political dog and pony show right out of Alinsky's playbook.

Posted by: sold2u | April 27, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

"Blankfein tried a half-dozen times to explain to Levin: That's. Just. What. Investment. Banks. Do."

No, the emails show that they themselves didn't think it normal behaviour at the time, and nor did many of their clients.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/26/AR2010042603572_2.html?sid=ST2010042105389

'An e-mail from an unnamed Goldman employee to Daniel Sparks, head of the mortgage unit, says there is a "real bad feeling across European sales about some of the trades we did with clients. The damage this has done to our franchise is very significant."'

Posted by: kenonwenu | April 27, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

In comparision to Regan's Trickle Down Theory from the rich to poor about a Lowly 1 out of 10 on both claims.

Anybody out there still believe that the free market regulates itself?

Posted by: jlhare1 | April 27, 2010 2:20 PM

Posted by: T23Guy | April 27, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

When considering Regans's "Trickle Down Theory" of wealth from the rich to the poor, probally a 1 on a scale of 1-10 on both lines of bull

Anybody out there still believe that the free market regulates itself?

Posted by: jlhare1 | April 27, 2010 2:20 PM

Posted by: T23Guy | April 27, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

It's all Greek to me. There are only so many ways to combine things and there are crystals and crystallography is the physics of tomorrow today. You can build solids out of a sheet of strong paper. It is a fascinating game. We know the rules of the game since we make them up ourselves. We don't make up the rules of physics, so that chapter never ends. Then again there are messy break ups and it's case closed.

Posted by: tossnokia | April 28, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the break down. Nature does not make cuts at random. No playing dice with the universe. Keep out of mathematical traps and keep the kids out of them. Buy more crystal. You can pass it on for generations. Have a good day traders.

Posted by: tossnokia | April 28, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

BLANKFEIN, FABRICIO, AND ALL HEDGE FUNDERS AND WALL STREET GAMBLERS SHOULD BE ASHAMED!

Are you kidding! These Financial Casino owners are AMORAL. They do not see the far-reaching catastrphic consequences of their unethical, unregulated criminal actions. They've defrauded a nation, and now according to the Wall Street journal, they have conspired (February 8th at Park Avenue fillet mignon dinner party attended by Goldman Sachs, Greenlite, Soros Funders et al) to bring down a sovereign European nation, GREECE, to prop up a failing, almost bankrupt dollar.

There was no better Divine Justice this side of heaven than seeing Ms Brooksley Born grill Greenspan and Rubin during the FINACIAL CRISIS INQUIRY Commission's proceedins!

BROOKSLEY BORN is the former Chair of CFTC, and old friend of Hillary Clinton, who was unceremoniously forced to resign in 1998 by Greenspan, Rubin, Timmy and Larry because she dared assert her authority and warned that Derivatives be REGULATED! Watch the phenomenal PBS documentary "The Warning" and be angered and shocked!

Born was told by Greenspan:

"So, there's fraud in the markets! Markets can take care of this themselves. We don't need regulation over derivatives or anything else!" And then the attack on Born

Now, 20 years later, he acknowledges that he "was wrong in my ideology". Yah, and the Reagan-Thatcher ideology shared by his beloved Ayn Rand (who worshipped a child molester and rapist in the 20s!) is as bankrupt as the Treasury!

Shame is something decidedly not in the lexicon of these "respectable" gambling vultures that prey on taxpayers' hard-earned moneys.

The Wall Street gamblers should be not only ashamed, but incarcerated and their assets confiscated by Taxpayers Associations and the Treasury! Shame on them is not enough!

Posted by: MSakel | April 28, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I just had a minor miracle followed by a setback. I ended up getting the sparks flying again. Stop loss measures are now in place. I'll keep plugging away.

Posted by: tossnokia | April 29, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company