Skip to main content

Goldman Sachs scott-free for involvement in GFC

It obviously pays to be well-connected and the year of a presidential election to boot.    Notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing and Goldmann Sachs having been instrumental in causing the GFC - with all the ripple effects of that still reverberating still now - no charges of any description are be levied against the Wall St. behemoth.

"In a case that exemplifies the degree to which Wall Street's largest financial firms have been shielded from meaningful prosecution for their role in the financial crisis of 2008, the Justice Department late on Thursday announced that no charges would be brought against Goldman Sachs for its role in fueling the sub-prime mortgage debacle.

Goldman Sachs -- which Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi once famously described as 'a giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity' -- will not face prosecution for selling bundled 'mortgage-backed securities' to clients while simultaneously describing them as "crap" in internal communications.

As Bloomberg recounts, "The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations concluded in April 2011 that Goldman Sachs had peddled mortgage- related securities to its clients while failing to disclose that the firm had bet that those instruments would lose value. The investigation pinned much of the blame for the credit crisis on Wall Street banks that earned billions of dollars by enticing clients to buy the risky bonds."

"Without... accountability, the unending parade of megabanks scandals will inevitably continue." -- Neil Barofsky

The proliferation of securitized sub-prime mortgages -- and the manner in which such products were pushed on unknowing consumers -- are widely credited with triggering the collapse of the housing market and sending the financial credit markets into a tailspin in the summer and fall of 2008.

"The department and investigative agencies ultimately concluded that the burden of proof to bring a criminal case could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time," the Justice Department said in a statement late on Thursday.

Neil Barofsky, a former watchdog for the U.S. government's financial system bailout in 2008, told Reuters that the announcement was a stark reminder that no individual or institution had been held meaningfully accountable for their role in the financial crisis.

"Without such accountability, the unending parade of megabanks scandals will inevitably continue," said Barofsky, who has been an outspoken critic of the government's response to the financial crisis."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…