By LOUISE STORY and GRETCHEN MORGENSON
Published: April 16, 2010
Goldman Sachs, which emerged relatively unscathed from the financial crisis, was accused of securities fraud in a civil suit filed Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which claims the bank created and sold a mortgage investment that was secretly devised to fail.
The move marks the first time that regulators have taken action against a Wall Street deal that helped investors capitalize on the collapse of the housing market. Goldman itself profited by betting against the very mortgage investments that it sold to its customers.
The suit also named Fabrice Tourre, a vice president at Goldman who helped create and sell the investment.
The instrument in the S.E.C. case, called Abacus 2007-AC1, was one of 25 deals that Goldman created so the bank and select clients could bet against the housing market. Those deals, which were the subject of an article in The New York Times in December, initially protected Goldman from losses when the mortgage market disintegrated and later yielded profits for the bank.
As the Abacus deals plunged in value, Goldman and certain hedge funds made money on their negative bets, while the Goldman clients who bought the $10.9 billion in investments lost billions of dollars.
According to the complaint, Goldman created Abacus 2007-AC1 in February 2007, at the request of John A. Paulson, a prominent hedge fund manager who earned an estimated $3.7 billion in 2007 by correctly wagering that the housing bubble would burst.
Goldman let Mr. Paulson select mortgage bonds that he wanted to bet against — the ones he believed were most likely to lose value — and packaged those bonds into Abacus 2007-AC1, according to the S.E.C. complaint. Goldman then sold the Abacus deal to investors like foreign banks, pension funds, insurance companies and other hedge funds. more here »
No kidding, this is exactly what everyone’s known all along, that Goldman Sachs (GS), and their insider clients, have been profiting by betting against the very debt products they help to package and sell.
Is the U.S. Government really getting serious about going after these guys? NO WAY. There are always token fall guys and this is all theatre and show.
Think about the timing of this. It comes just as I have been talking about a “triggering event” that will take the blame for turning the markets. This suite was reported AFTER the open on OPTIONS EXPIRATION day. Why now? My suspicious mind says that it was timed to allow the options sellers and contract speculators to walk away and to instill maximum damage on the retail buyers of the ALL TIME RECORD number of option call buyers who were in the market just yesterday.
Markets almost always turn on such sentiment extremes, but I know that Goldman controls the government and absolutely is in control of the S.E.C. too! It’s almost a joke to me that they would turn the markets by allowing the S.E.C. to bring suit against themselves. And I’m willing to bet the majority of people will believe there’s no way they would do that. Want to bet?
Watch future events unfold, I can almost guarantee that there will be fines that are later mitigated, that a few people may take a fall, but nothing real or meaningful will come of it other than an opportunity to profit on the short side after running the market up to bubble extremes. It’s a nice game to play when you control all the pieces on the board. Meanwhile the people of the world are simply played as fools and pawns. How’s that feel, were you long the market?
How many times before people learn that what’s most important is not WHAT backs your money, but WHO is in control. America gets what it deserves, karma’s a bitch and it seems to be going around.
Media ecstatic of late? Do you enjoy record setting roller coaster rides with your investments and your markets? Think 60% market dives and 70% + recoveries are normal and healthy? There’s no doubt more games are coming, it’s not normal and it’s not healthy. It’s Enron times a million.