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Levin Optimistic That DoJ Will Act on Goldman Disclosures

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The Financial Times interviewed Senator Carl Levin, whose report contained a great deal of information pointing to what at a minimum can be called bad faith dealing by Goldman. Matt Taibbi has argued in his characteristic forceful manner that Goldman execs clearly perjured themselves in their testimony.

Keep your champagne corked. The DoJ has been missing in action for so long I can’t imagine that they will actually put in an appearance, particularly on Goldman, but I’d be delighted to be proven wrong.

From the FT:

Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate investigative subcommittee, said there was “real hope” law enforcement authorities would act on his panel’s report accusing Goldman Sachs of misleading investors and Congress…

Eric Holder, attorney-general, said this month the justice department was looking at the report “that deals with Goldman”.

The possibility of more legal and regulatory issues at the bank has weighed on its stock in recent weeks. Dick Bove, analyst at Rochdale Securities, wrote last week that “pressure on the justice department to bring a criminal lawsuit against Goldman [appeared to be] building to a high pitch”….

The senator was confident officials were taking it seriously. “There’s real hope here that there’s going to be a good scrub by a number of law enforcement entities, so I am not pessimistic about this.”

Given that the Administration has been in “public be damned” mode from the outset, I doubt that “pressure” weight much into their calculus. Levin pointedly took no sides on the Taibbi perjury issue, but said that fines alone were insufficient, that the banks needed to admit they were guilty. Of course, that is precisely what they do not want to do, since that would pave the way for private litigation.

Not surprisingly, Goldman is still keeping up its “doing God’s work” PR:

Goldman said: “While we disagree with Senator Levin’s statements, including with respect to the transactions, we take seriously the issues explored by the subcommittee.”

The bank added it was committed to “enhance standards for the review, approval and suitability of complex instruments” and would ”continue our work on behalf of our clients across the US and beyond in helping them grow their businesses, create jobs and help strengthen economic recovery”.

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11 comments

  1. Hail to GS

    One way to immunize GS from further prosecution is to prosecute all the likely people in such a way as to surely lose. Then double jeopardy prevents them from being reprosecuted later.

    1. Zach Pruckowski

      There are some issues with that:

      1) There are a lot of potential prosecutable issues, and prosecuting based on one doesn’t preclude prosecutions based on other issues later.
      2) Double jeopardy isn’t complete – there are ways to pursue the same incident under different laws in different jurisdictions.
      3) You’re talking the chance that 12 angry jurors just say “I don’t understand all of this, but Fuck Wall Street” and vote guilty.
      4) A trial involves very nasty negative PR, almost by definition (you’ve got to arrest the guys, for starters).
      5) Unless you’re literally going to have the prosecution rest without presenting any witnesses or evidence, a fake trial still involves at least some discovery, and stuff released in discovery can be used to build civil cases.

      1. Internality

        It’s nice to see lawyers volunteering to help advise Goldman Sachs on how to commit financial crime without consequences.

  2. ScottS

    …and would ”continue our work on behalf of our clients across the US and beyond in helping them grow their businesses, create jobs and help strengthen economic recovery”.

    Who is stupid enough to continue to do business with Goldman Sachs?

  3. attempter

    Who’s this Eric Holder? “Attorney general”, you say?

    Why would a powerful senator be blathering about his “real hopes”? If he wants it done, he has the power to try to force it to be done.

    And propaganda about “pressure”; it looks like everyone’s agreed on pretending the banksters are really going to the wall this time, so all you peasants just sit tight, or if you really need to do something, keep writing those elected representatives (and keep voting in their kangaroo elections). If nothing else, you’ll bolster their already-high hopes.

    They all have high hopes, all right, but perhaps not the same ones they want us to think they have.

    1. craazyman

      you sound cynical. :)

      I’m thinking of a-way-out-of-the-money put on the Giant Squid. Maybe with a 50 strike for January 2012, which should be enough time to give the Pilot Wave a chance for a pole reversal. It could flip. It really could. You can feel the instability building and i think a Sun shot could about tip it.

      So trade could pay off at 50 to 1 or more, and if I put $10,000 down that’s half a million. not bad. but I need more. so maybe $30000 to make 1.5 mill. that sounds better. That should do for the Ascension but there’s always a chance the PW may not flip ’till after expiration if it takes the Sun a while to fully load. & It’s hard to get rich overnight making directional bets. So the smart guys don’t even try. easier to make a market for two fools and collect a toll. ha ha. all the grim faces in business casual doing the work of the Lardy. who needs a cathedral when you’ve got trees and creeks? but they never learn.

      I’m thinking it might be worth consulting with kevinearick on this one. He seems to understand these things.

  4. ep3

    Ya know, this whole mess is bad for Levin. He and our (Michigan) other Senator, Debbie Stabenow, are noticeably absent from any of these “gangs” or special meetings that most other Senators attend where the President does their bidding. They are from old money; what’s left of the Detroit auto industry and all the businesses that grew up around it. Both have finance as their #5 contributor. And now that Detroit and the auto industry are on life support, the Grand Rapids money is taking control of Michigan politics (Devos, Prince, Amway, Governor Snyder). And General Obama would gladly accept a more “business friendly” (heavy finance campaign money) Senator versus a continued labor friendly, bank hostile Senator from the economic abyss that is Michigan. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that these guys are horrible Senators (actually compared to the millions other Senators are able to get for their states, I would consider them bad). They are just financed by yesterday’s elite from a state nobody cares about. Even Derek Jeter is hard pressed to admit he’s from Michigan. The funny thing is, Michigan is more like the free market (except the unions, but the unions are a natural result of the market doing it’s thing) than most other states. We get less back from the gov’t than we pay in. When businesses go under, nobody cares (i know the auto bailouts. i am talking besides them. the bailouts were done to make people mad at the unions). And when businesses leave, nobody cares. We have had Republican control of the legislature for over 20 years. Businesses no longer pay state taxes (other than unemployment). As Detroit has fell into the economic hell, all the white people moved to the other side of the state and blamed “the niggers” (sorry but that’s the attitude) for their own mess.
    So I guess I am trying to say, nobody in the connected elite cares about what Levin says or does. In fact, he’s throwing himself off a cliff by opening his mouth on such issues.

  5. nonclassical

    ..that’s a cliff worthy of going off…Levin is one of the few who take his position seriously…as did Feingold, who refused all (C)orporate (C)ampaign (C)ontributions=”NO Cx3″,
    a political party we could all endorse-getting to the REAL problem..

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