Criminal Probe Into Goldman Starting? US Prosecutors Subpoena Vampire Squid

Tyler Durden's picture

In yet another confirmation that Goldman's multi-million dollar push to advertise its humanitarian image on various websites has been a colossal failure, the WSJ has just broken news that the firm will shortly be the proud recipient of yet another barrage of legal inquiry in the form of subpoenas relating to its mortgage-related business, only this time not from the SEC but from criminal prosecutors. This stems from Carl Levin's massive 639 page report which referred the firm to the justice department  (and whose findings were summarized best by Matt Taibbi), an escalation which could rekindle not only a civil case against the squid, but also potentially force the new District Attorney to finally lob a couple of criminal indictments here and there, thus guaranteeing that GS stock is about to be pulverized (and cementing those plans to finally MBO the company, as the Fed's balance sheet has largely served its purpose). The WSJ clarifies: "Subpoenas don't necessarily mean criminal charges against Goldman or individuals at the firm are inevitable or even likely. The company turned over hundreds of millions of pages of documents to the Federal Crisis Inquiry Commission, a 10-member panel that examined the causes of the financial crisis. Goldman also gave tens of millions of documents to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations." Yeah, but... ""Any step in the direction of criminal charges would be bad news for Goldman's stock price," said Jeff Harte, an analyst at Sandler O'Neill + Partners LP." And now that Rolling Stone has peeled off the scab once more and made it all too clear that the villain is and has always been GS, Lloyd may find himself on the wrong side of the Q&A session all over again.

From the WSJ:

Goldman has said repeatedly that it simultaneously took "long" and "short" positions on mortgages as part of its normal business. While those bets sometimes resulted in a net short position, meaning Goldman would benefit from turmoil in the housing market, the company usually had a bullish overall bet during the crisis, according to the firm. As a result, Goldman suffered losses when the real-estate bubble burst.

Last month, Goldman said it disagreed with "many of the conclusions of the report," though the company added that it takes "seriously the issues explored by the subcommittee." As part of last year's settlement of civil-fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Goldman admitted making mistakes but denied wrongdoing in its handling of a mortgage-bond deal called Abacus 2007-AC1.

As part of the SEC's probe, which led to a $550 million settlement by Goldman, the company provided the agency with a mountain of trading records, business documents and emails. Goldman didn't admit or deny wrongdoing.

Goldman's latest quarterly report filed with the SEC included a 7,852-word "legal proceedings" section. In 2007's first quarter, which came just before the crisis erupted, the same section was just 406 words long.

Then again, the theater factor in this latest development registers at least a solid 9.5 out of 10:

Mr. Harte speculated that U.S. prosecutors are unlikely to bring criminal charges against Goldman because they probably already have seen much of the information amassed by the SEC during its civil investigation. The SEC has an information-sharing agreement with the Justice Department.

Criminal fraud cases face a higher legal hurdle than civil charges because prosecutors must prove to a jury that the defendant intentionally committed fraud. "Ordinarily, a criminal securities-fraud case based on the same facts would be even more difficult to prove," said Russell Ryan, a partner at law firm King & Spalding who previously was an SEC enforcement lawyer.

Of course there is nothing intentional or deceptive in such statements as:

"The #1 missed opportunity for the mortgage department in 2007 was externalizing profitable shorts from the ABS desk to clients."

or this one:

We began to encourage this squeeze, with plans of getting very short again,”
Deeb Salem, a trader in the structured product group, said in a 2007
self-evaluation excerpted in the report. Swenson, Salem’s supervisor, sent
e-mails in May 2007 urging traders to offer prices that will “cause maximum
” and “have people totally demoralized.” In interviews with the committee,
Salem and Swenson denied attempting a short squeeze, the report said.

or this one:

“We need to go to magnetar and see if we can buy a bunch of cdo protection… Can
tell them we have a protection buyer
, who is looking to get into this trade now
that spreads have tightened back in.”

or thousands more that are about to become part of the public record.

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Pepe's picture

Not guilty for reason of insanity

Cleanclog's picture

Bring on the real story, in front of the American public.  Then JPM, then the government.  Do it!

Pepe's picture

maybe in my next life

rocker's picture

Maybe this will clean the clog. LOL   Just Do It.  Prosecute and I will buy my first bank stock.

Mactheknife's picture

Snnnniiiiiiiiffffffffffff....just love the smell of fried squid in the morning!!!

Troy Ounce's picture


The American public thinks GS is a criminal organisation with big money and is therefore looked upon with awe. Remember this is America where the winner, criminal or not, takes it all and the rest/loser enters into a depression. That's why in America you will never see the same grass-root uprising as in the MENA/EU countries. That's also why a US fascist regime is inevitable as it will fit the American thinking like a glove.

Attitude_Check's picture

You clearly don't understand America or Americans that well.  We are lazy, and self-centered, but also very rebellious, when we realize someone is taking advantage of us.

Freddie's picture

This is just O's 2012 campaign contribution season getting started early.  Donate as much as you can or get indicted.   We will still indicted and if you do not give tens of millions - we will convict.    It is just a shakedown.  Nothing will happen.

Manthong's picture

So what't the big deal?

They can send a few scumbags to jail and fine GS a few hundred million, but they can't unwind and fix the system, can they?

Drag Racer's picture

hey, its not personal, just bidness...

PaddyFields's picture

This is unfair. Why should Goldman Sachs be harassed in this manner having paid $994,795 in campaign contributions to El Presidente? It's down right anti-america

Freddie's picture

2012 elections are coming and Goldman needs to get their donations in early.  More than a few people on ZH voted for the POS in 2008 and they still support him.

quasimodo's picture

Well woopie fucking doo. Another non story where somebody gets a slap on.......correction, nothing will happen

Quixotic_Not's picture

Not gonna happen...

Biggest supporter of Wall St. Fraud in US Senate?

Chuckie "Cheese" Schumer!

Chuckie Cheese's right-hand man and legal confidant?

Preet Bharara!

Expect more dog & pony shows, with a few seemingly high-ranking scapegoats thrown in...

The heir apparent to the slimeball, glory hound politeering in the NYC-DC cesspool ain't gonna do nuthin' to mess-up his shot at Gracie Mansion!

The banksters downtown are in like skinflints...

Maybe a 1-2% kickback from the looters, no admission of guilt -or- wrongdoing ever!

SilverIsKing's picture

This article must be TD's joke of the day. Holder bringing criminal charges against GS? Lloyd will have his job. Hilarious stuff TD. Really funny.

Hephasteus's picture

If you say that kind of shit. You best not acquit.

gwar5's picture

It'll be a whitewash. This is just to get the villagers to put the pitchforks away and to pretend there is still integrity and stability in our necronomy.

I'll believe it when Blankenfein's monster is arrested and frog marched into the cooler for sending the chambermaid screaming out of a hotel room with her knickers up around her ears. 


Sean7k's picture

"We're doing God's work" is the 21st century equivalent of "let them eat cake". The only difference is that the people then had the guts to do something about it.

note: yes, I realize Marie Antoinette may not have actually said that. 

lizzy36's picture

It was Geithner's idea NOT to push for prosecution. Of course because as head of the FRBNY leading up to an during the financial crisis, he massively failed at his job.

From the FCIC report:

Then NY Fed President, now Treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner failed to “clamp down on excesses by Citigroup in the lead-up to the crisis;” Further, a month before Lehman’s collapse, Geithner was still in the dark about Lehman’s derivative exposure;

But I believe that as Unemployment is still 9% (2.7 years after the crisis) and millions still losing their houses, Obama now realizes that perp walks are a necessary part of attempting to instill credibility back to the financial system. Moreover, from a perception standpoint, they are necessary as an offset to the notion that the "system has reverted back to what it was" as evidenced by the millions being paid out in bonuses by the bailed out TBTF banks, once again.


Cleanclog's picture

Perp walks ARE necessary . . .  and Geithner and FRBNY f---ed up but aren't the actual prob.  The oligarchy or corporateocracy that today rule us are the ones that are doing this.   Not an accident, not sudden, this is a long time plan executed.  


Problem Is's picture

Timmay's daddy Peter hired Obummer's mommy Stanley years ago at the CIA front Ford Foundation...

Jeethner has the chit and Wanker Timmay ain't going anywhere...

Problem Is's picture

" a month before Lehman’s collapse, Geithner was still in the dark about Lehman’s derivative exposure"

Hey, give Timmay Jeethner a break...

He was busy doing his taxes that month...

laughing_swordfish's picture

You know, I think this could turn out well after all.

I predict the Feds will "settle" for another 500M in fines/judgments in exchange for the Lying To Congress charges (the only ones that could stick) being dropped.

But they may not be out of the woods yet. The Attorney General of the State of New York has also subpoenaed Goldman, because much of what they are accused of (especially with the MBS mess) violates state securities law as well.

And where did all this take place? Guess.

Lloyd may escape the Feds, but not New York state. And since the new NY AG has been publicly critical of both Cuomo and Schumer for protecting Fraud Street, the real show may be just about to begin.

I can see it now ...Lloyd remanded to either Sing Sing or Attica (REAL pound-me-in-the-ass institutions) and maybe if he's lucky, he'll get DSK, the "rutting chimpanzee" as a cellie.

harlanaladd's picture

"Now, Lloyd, squeal like [a] PIIGs"

Dr. Porkchop's picture

Ahh, but the squid has many appendages, many of which control all the right mouths. Failing that, the squid will unleash the kraken.

Careless Whisper's picture

Ever notice how you come across someone once in a while that you shouldn't have fucked with? That's me. (Senator Levin aka Clint Eastwood)


Josh Randall's picture

Verrrry optomistic - hate to be jaded but it's been so many defeats for common man, and wins for The SQUID and their coederie of nayerdowells.

However - a Goldman Sux patty wagon loading, combined with a non-QE3 event and a Debt ceiling standing pat would be a great start

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

i think they may have pissed off the wrong guy finally, i really do

tip e. canoe's picture

you mean like those fraudclosure investigations?

or that investigation of Joe Cassano?

fool me once, shame on you,

fool me thrice, wait, what was it that Dubya said?

Hephasteus's picture

Fool me once shame on you.

Fool me twice......... can't get fooled again.

Attitude_Check's picture

True that.  But the power is slowly shifting.  The folks who think they have been on the inside, will find out they were always on the outside shortly.  They are no longer useful to the folks actually on the inside.

topcallingtroll's picture

Without Matt and the Tylers the enquiry wouldnt have gotten this far.

Thank you.

Please post more articles on the squid's dealings so you can simplify this enough for a prosecutor and judge to understand

ebworthen's picture


I wonder what the name of the "new" firm will be when all the rats and cockroaches leave this one so they can burn it in effigy?

"Paulson Mozillo"?

"Frank Dodd"?

"Dimon Bernanke?

"Dewey Cheat'em & How"?

Rome needs to burn, but if they can kill the squid it's at least a symbolic start.


MarketFox's picture

By the way TD.....


How much money exchanges hands every month from GS paying Bloomberg.....


It seems like this could be a cumulative very stealthy number.....


You know.....for I mean protective public press.....



silberblick's picture

Click below to watch YouTube's Harisebon7777777 short videos. He should be commended for his work on measuring the radiation levels in Tokyo. The device he uses costs about $1000, which I am sure he has paid out of his own pocket to provide us with the truth of what is really going on in Japan.

It is eerie to watch his videos. Typically, his hand is shown holding a geiger counter in some public place with people walking all around him as if there was nothing of importance going on; while all along, the geiger counter in his hand reveals what is really happening. Harisebon is documenting the slow irradiation of the Japanese archipelago. A visual unfolding of a tragedy.

While watching these videos. it is hard not to wonder how many of the folks one sees walking down the street will come down with cancer in 10, 20 or 30 years. In fact, the videographer's life itself is in peril. Poignant.

Go to Harisebon's YouTube channel and give him a shout-out. He deserves it.

Next, click below to read about the Orwellian steps taken by the Japanese government to hide from the foreign press (and its citizens) what is really going on in Fukushima:

sleepingbeauty's picture

What is he measuring that is .18?? What are the units??

Problem Is's picture

Has Eric "Empty Suit" Holder Shown Up To Work Yet???
Holder couldn't catch a Bernie Madoff if Bernie walked into Holder's office and turned himself in...

Let alone a snivelling, Morey Amsterdam sounding Lloyd  Blank-dick-fein...

They'll have to roll Holder's corpse out of the deep freeze for this one like they rolled out the corpse of Bin Laden to kill him again...

aeiou260199038's picture

It also includes additional modern day batterie solutions linked to health care...

El Hosel's picture

    "the truth of what is really going on in Japan"

     Yeah,   the radiation went away just like the Oil in the GMO.... The plankton ate it.

farmer1's picture

This is just to get the villagers to put the pitchforks away.  We who know and understand how the common people are being fleeced have a great obligation to educate and make sure the message gets out.

Derivatives (& swaps) pull forward future earnings into current periods. Both companies have independent valuations so both sides to an agreement can claim profits in the early years. The whole things is Enron, LTCM, ad nausea. Wouldn't be surprised if that's what really brought down Madoff and wouldn't be surprised if Buffett gets caught with his pants down too when the tide goes out.

Freewheelin Franklin's picture

The Austrians say, too much cheap, easy money leads to mal-investments, which cause the boom/bust cycle. However, I don't recall reading anywhere that massive amounts cheap, easy money over an extended period of time leads to widespread fraud, corruption and system failure. I guess the Austrians figured that was too fucking obvious to mention.

Pretorian's picture
How Does Goldman Sachs Make Its Profits? (Part 1)

How Does Goldman Sachs Make Its Profits (Part 2)