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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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Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:12 | 1294424 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture


Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:17 | 1294435 Pepe
Pepe's picture

Not guilty for reason of insanity

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:18 | 1294437 Cleanclog
Cleanclog's picture

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

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:21 | 1294446 Pepe
Pepe's picture

maybe in my next life

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:25 | 1294470 rocker
rocker's picture

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

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 00:13 | 1294581 Mactheknife
Mactheknife's picture

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

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 00:43 | 1294634 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

...Pass the marinara.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 09:15 | 1295087 Troy Ounce
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.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 10:28 | 1295291 Attitude_Check
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.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:47 | 1295619 Freddie
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.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:18 | 1294445 Manthong
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?

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:32 | 1294477 Drag Racer
Drag Racer's picture

hey, its not personal, just bidness...

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:20 | 1294451 PaddyFields
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

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:42 | 1295595 Freddie
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.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:26 | 1294465 quasimodo
quasimodo's picture

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

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:27 | 1294468 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture


Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:31 | 1294469 Quixotic_Not
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!

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:30 | 1294474 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Thank God!

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:30 | 1294479 SilverIsKing
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.

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:35 | 1294493 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

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

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:43 | 1294520 gwar5
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. 


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 04:39 | 1294826 reload
reload's picture

whitewash yes.

But first, shareholders may dispose of stock alowing Goldman to buy at bargain prices and take itself private again. Job done.

The list of crimes against taxpayers these people have concieved and executed is just mindboggling. They should be stripped of their licenses to carry on looting but they will not be. They are known as the vampire sqid for good reason.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 04:44 | 1294830 reload
reload's picture

whitewash yes.

But first, shareholders may dispose of stock alowing Goldman to buy at bargain prices and take itself private again. Job done.

The list of crimes against taxpayers these people have concieved and executed is just mindboggling. They should be stripped of their licenses to carry on looting, but they will not be. They are known as the vampire sqid for good reason.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 07:37 | 1294922 Sean7k
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. 

Thu, 05/19/2011 - 23:51 | 1294533 lizzy36
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.


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 00:10 | 1294580 Cleanclog
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.  


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 01:00 | 1294656 M.B. Drapier
M.B. Drapier's picture

But what about the Obama/Geithner special relationship? It it over?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 05:38 | 1294852 Problem Is
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...

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 05:34 | 1294850 Problem Is
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...

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 00:13 | 1294576 laughing_swordfish
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.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 08:24 | 1294982 harlanaladd
harlanaladd's picture

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

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 00:12 | 1294585 jomama
jomama's picture


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 00:57 | 1294650 Dr. Porkchop
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.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 01:05 | 1294669 Careless Whisper
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)


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 02:11 | 1294740 Josh Randall
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

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:53 | 1295925 I am a Man I am...
I am a Man I am Forty's picture

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

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 02:00 | 1294736 tip e. canoe
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?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 02:37 | 1294771 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

This sucker is going down?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 02:49 | 1294785 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Fool me once shame on you.

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

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 10:35 | 1295323 Attitude_Check
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.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 02:33 | 1294770 topcallingtroll
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

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 02:41 | 1294775 ebworthen
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.


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 03:42 | 1294806 MarketFox
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.....



Fri, 05/20/2011 - 04:41 | 1294831 silberblick
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:

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 09:38 | 1295129 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

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

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 05:25 | 1294847 Problem Is
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...

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 06:07 | 1294862 aeiou260199038
aeiou260199038's picture

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

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 07:05 | 1294891 El Hosel
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.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 07:06 | 1294895 farmer1
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.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 07:19 | 1294906 Freewheelin Franklin
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.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 10:43 | 1295337 Attitude_Check
Attitude_Check's picture

Minsky did

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 07:29 | 1294912 Pretorian
Pretorian's picture
How Does Goldman Sachs Make Its Profits? (Part 1)

How Does Goldman Sachs Make Its Profits (Part 2)

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 07:54 | 1294941 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

While I like fried calamari, most likely this squid will just quietly rot.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 07:57 | 1294947 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

I'm with the "Nothing will happen" crowd. We have been down this road before, MANY times. I gave up hoping for some semblance of sanity/justice/honesty/integrity/etc in the American financial services/government/military industrial complex a loooong time ago. The definition of fascism and its template is the USSA - A syncopated death dance of greed, murder, and subjugation to benefit a few.


Look at these Nazis:

JPM goes hunting for gold in Afghanistan with its own private army (The US military).

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 07:59 | 1294952 anony
anony's picture

(((((sports guy chest bump )))).

Sat, 05/21/2011 - 00:33 | 1297590 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

from the cnn article:

"A lot of powerful people, including the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, are counting on him to demonstrate that the country is safe for foreign investors. Hannam has chafed at times under the pressure from the Pentagon, and the cold-eyed realist in him wonders whether unrealistic expectations are being placed on this business venture."

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 08:01 | 1294951 anony
anony's picture

Theater of the absurd, ACT II.

Nothing but jawboning, some loud drama, and in the end, a slap on the wrist. Or bigger bonuses.  You read it here first.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 08:12 | 1294966 augie
augie's picture

where is Ned Land when you need him.


theres a man who you can trust. Hey, he swears by his tattoo!

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 08:21 | 1294976 P-K4
P-K4's picture

/sarcasm on/


It's all part of the new reality series called "Huffy, the Taxpayer Slayer" where dinosaur politicians don make up and sit on their hands while pretending to defend taxpayers. The winners are the best whiners who appear to be ruthless while conducting backroom negotiations to enrich their retirement plans. Shows sponsors are Wall Street Benevolence Gang of 500 and the Solidarity 5000.


/sarcasm off?


Fri, 05/20/2011 - 08:26 | 1294988 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

Where's the bread for this circus?

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 08:45 | 1295018 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

wouldn't be nice to see an "Italian Mafia court jail" setting with all the major players in that cage..while the case is tried??

paulson wrapped in an old blanket in a corner sucking his thumb..Cris Cox with pee stained pants, to dream what might be and smile..

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 09:28 | 1295117 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture

Squid can now go back to being private shop (shorting GS themselves for a deep discount in the meantime)... $75-$100 take out IMHO.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 09:33 | 1295125 FreeNewEnergy
FreeNewEnergy's picture

Being a risk-taking sort at times, but generally having watched from the sidelines (in equities; I'm long silver) for the past 4 years, I am inclined to take the other side of what is the popular take on this one.

Senator Levin has absolutely nothing to lose by referring this to Justice and now pushing it forward. He will be quietly, behind the scenes, ramrodding this up Wall Street's behind. And let's not forget that NY AG Schneiderman is also pumping up the volume on BAC, MS and GS, so, the race is on and it gets vry political in the AG circle.

Scheiderman has apparently split from the 50 AG "deal" that is making the rounds and going it alone, though that also will encourage other state AGs to toughen their stance with the banks.

There will be some escapees - JPM and WFC, notably - but the dominoes seem to be lining up quite nicely and sooner or later somebody's going to want immunity, probably at the point at which Goldman or BofA execs decide upon a fall guy.

When one breaks ranks, we'll start hearing the old, "everybody was doing it" and, as we all know from childhood, just because it's a popular thing, that doesn't make it right.

Obama's inherent populism will propel these investigations onto the front page and the public will keep the heat turned up. When one considers that this will be - for the pols and banksters - a massive moving of the deck chairs on the USS Titanic, the thought that some major players could be missing by the middle of next year becomes a possible reality.

Line 'em up and let the squealing begin. I'm going long justice here.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 10:32 | 1295308 I did it by Occident
I did it by Occident's picture

Have to agree.  Also heading into the next election cycle so GS or some other BAC, etc will be the sacrificial lambs on the alter of re-election.  It doesn't matter that they gave campaign contributions in the past.  It's a case of "what have you done for me lately?" kind of thing. 

And do you think any pol wants to accept their contributions now?  Accepting contributions especially from GS would prove to be somewhat counter-productive to most candidates re-election bids. 

Thus GS and others will be lined up for the slaughter as the public wants some red meat.  It doesn't matter if they are guilty or not, they a good ol' fashioned execution.  Obama is having troubles in many other areas, so how to get those poll numbers up?.......

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:08 | 1295466 anony
anony's picture

I'll take that bet.

If you want Justice, you must wait till you get to heaven.

What we have is a system of laws, willy-nilly things, opinions, really, masquerading as as Justice.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 12:45 | 1295877 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

All this means nothing until the big four is brought to justice: breaking up of their size and influence in policy, economics, and markets + throwing these scumsuckers on wall st in jail and making an example out of these souless criminals.

Fri, 05/20/2011 - 23:28 | 1297439 Sirreal
Sirreal's picture

RE: Goldman Sacks crime wave. This criminal investigation  should be called: Invest Gate.  Also consider that it is suggested that our constitution was and is suspended and furthermore our enemy in the Revolutionary War, England retained to this date total control over America.  Should we not clear things up by waging a second Revolutionary War against England?  How about calling for Congress to ratify our Original Constitution so we may currently and in the future, be ruled without the question of the " Law of the land" being out of force? Of course the FED would be dead if we had our Constitution in full force and the phony debt would be eliminated. Good times would be back.

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