When one reviews the list of Wall St. investment banks hammered with large fines and penalties following the toxic mortgage “investigation” one cannot help but notice a glaring omission:
It’s not like there wasn’t evidence of their wrongdoing:
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) misled clients and Congress about the firm’s bets on securities tied to the housing market, the chairman of the U.S. Senate panel that investigated the causes of the financial crisis said.
Senator Carl Levin, releasing the findings of a two-year inquiry yesterday, said he wants the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission to examine whether Goldman Sachs violated the law by misleading clients who bought the complex securities known as collateralized debt obligations without knowing the firm would benefit if they fell in value.
The Michigan Democrat also said federal prosecutors should review whether to bring perjury charges against Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and other current and former employees who testified in Congress last year. Levin said they denied under oath that Goldman Sachs took a financial position against the mortgage market solely for its own profit, statements the senator said were untrue.
“In my judgment, Goldman clearly misled their clients and they misled the Congress,” Levin said at a press briefing yesterday where he and Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, discussed the 640-page report from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Doing his best Jesse Jackson imitation, Eric Holder has shaken down some of the largest banks on Wall St.
What followed were a handful of eye-popping, multibillion-dollar (mostly) civil settlements with many of the country’s biggest banks. In August, Bank of America (BAC) agreed to pay $16.65 billion to the DOJ and other agencies over the bank’s role selling toxic mortgages prior to the financial crisis. In July, Citigroup (C) agreed to pay $7 billion, and last November, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) agreed to pay $13 billion to resolve their own mortgage fraud investigations. In total, the Justice Department says it has extracted almost $37 billion from banks in mortgage settlements. The DOJ did force two foreign banks, BNP Paribas (BNP) and Credit Suisse (CS), to plead guilty to criminal charges of violating U.S. sanctions and helping Americans avoid taxes, respectively. They also paid enormous fines.
But somehow Goldman Sachs was exonerated.
There has been some conjecture as to how that happened:
•”Democrats are silent on the $994,795 in Goldman Sachs campaign cash that Obama bagged.”
•”Goldman Sachs partner Gary Gensler is Obama’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission head.”
•”Goldman Sachs kept White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on a $3,000 monthly retainer while he worked as Clinton’s chief fundraiser”
•”Former Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson serves under Geithner as his top deputy and overseer of TARP bailout”
•”While Goldman Sachs’ lawyers negotiated with the Securities and Exchange Commission over potentially explosive civil fraud charges, Goldman’s chief executive visited the White House at least four times.”
This has been so egregious that even Matt Taibi over at Rolling Stone suggested that Eric Holder had no balls:
Last year I spent a lot of time and energy jabbering and gesticulating in public about what seemed to me the most obviously prosecutable offenses detailed in the report – the seemingly blatant perjury before congress of Lloyd Blankfein and other Goldman executives, and the almost comically long list of frauds committed by the company in its desperate effort to unload its crappy “cats and dogs” mortgage-backed inventory.
In the notorious Hudson transaction, for instance, Goldman claimed, in writing, that it was fully “aligned” with the interests of its client, Morgan Stanley, because it owned a $6 million slice of the deal. What Goldman left out is that it had a $2 billion short position against the same deal.
If that isn’t fraud, Mr. Holder, just what exactly is fraud?
Of course it is, but we’ll soon see why that happened.
Carmen Segarra, late of the NY Fed, is said to soon release tapes demonstrating the “look the other way” treatment the Fed accorded Goldman Sachs:
Wall Street is about to be rocked by secretly recorded audio tapes that purport to show a too-cozy relationship between the New York Federal Reserve Bank and the financial institutions it is supposed to regulate.
The 45 hours of tapes, made by Carmen Segarra, a former NY Fed worker, capture former co-workers, whose job was to keep banks like Goldman Sachs in line, instead deferring to the banks, being unwilling to take action and being extremely passive, according to public radio’s “This American Life,” and ProPublica which obtained the tapes and is scheduled to air a program about the matter Friday night.
So let’s see just how bad this all really is. Eric Holder sought to convict corporations as he would convict people but he never had any intention of prosecuting the actual people involved in the toxic mortgage disaster. In fact, here’s a list of the CEO’s convicted by Holder:
1. No one.
3. Wall Street’s lawyers are amazing.
4. Etc. Etc.
All Holder wanted was the money and still it gets worse. Those who perpetrated the fraud are still and will remain free. The money for the fines was taken not from them, but from the investors. The investors paid for the misdeeds of the banks with their money, unfortunately without their approval. Obama and Holder were never interested in accountability, least of all where Goldman Sachs was concerned. To this day Obama champions Goldman. And where does all the money Holder has shaken down from the banks go? No one knows and he ain’t talking.