Criminal Probe Launched Into Goldman Sachs

Tyler Durden's picture

Time for the media circus to go nuts. The AP reports that the Feds have just opened a criminal probe into Goldman: now it is getting interesting. And everyone was thinking that Eric Holder is a toothless puppet (well, that still has to be refuted).

As the AP reports, "The investigation by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan stems from a criminal referral by the Securities and Exchange Commission, a knowledgeable person said Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the inquiry is in a preliminary phase."

Word of the Justice Department action came a day after a group of 62 House lawmakers, including Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., asked Justice to conduct a criminal probe of Goldman. "On the face of the SEC filing, criminal fraud on a historic scale seems to have occurred in this instance," the lawmakers, mostly Democrats, said in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.

SEC spokesman John Nester declined any comment on the matter, as did Yusill Scribner, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

Goldman spokesman Lucas van Praag said, "Given the recent focus on the firm, we're not surprised by the report of an inquiry. We would cooperate fully with any request for information."

The Justice Department move was the latest in a dramatic series of turns in the Goldman saga, which has pitted the culture of Wall Street against angry lawmakers in an election year, in the wake of the financial crisis that plunged the country into the most severe recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Is a long overdue Pecora next?


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Tart's picture

Harry Wanger will think this is bullish.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

It is bullish, everything is it?

pan-the-ist's picture

More bullish news:  Today Sarah Palin will officially be thrown under the Republican bus as her candidate in MN (Tom Emmer) will lose the endorsement for governor.  (Tim Paw may have an ax or two left to grind.)

Even more bullish: Another oil rig will blow up and America will wake up and see that maybe the first one wasn't an accident.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

remember destroying the environment to save it is no crime. greenpeace loves to drive around in polluting ships and boats maned by inheritance babies and off their meds psychotics who fly 1st class around the world saving Gia . .Al Gore understands :by all means necessary.


pan-the-ist's picture

I was putting the blame on someone's sub.  Maybe it is Greenpeace?  Apparently the lock down mechanism on the rig failed (it anchors the oil line to the seabed) this is supposed to stop the black gold from flowing out of the well in the event of pressure loss.  Getting tools 5000 feet down to fix it is another matter completely.

SWRichmond's picture

All of this is supposed to garner opposition to offshore drilling off the east coast by way of giving the envirowhackos something to point at.

pan-the-ist's picture

According to who Matt Drudge?  Why would Obama even suggest drilling off the Atlantic coast?

Unless... wait for it... the USA was vulnerable to oil shortage.  Is there better way to tell us that Atlantic drilling is a big 'fail' in terms of national security then to demonstrate how easy it is to blow up oil rigs IN THE FUCKING GULF RIGHT NEXT DOOR.

But that's just me.  Maybe Greenpeace did it.

Alienated Serf's picture

france sunk all green peace subs years ago

aerojet's picture

Do you have any evidence at all of that oil rig allegation?  I didn't think so.

pan-the-ist's picture

Is it that frightening to you?

Salinger's picture

Actually, when you consider it, elevating this to criminal status is great news as it may be an indication that finally someone is taking on the banksters. I don't hold out much hope that much will come of this but if in fact there is a change in approach by TBTB it is long term very bullish for the broader economy. Who is Harry Wanker?

Duuude's picture


Tethys's picture

Somewhat predictable - the show trials had a positive effect for the administration's image, but that will end once GS settles.  So next comes a 'criminal' case (widely heralded with much publicity, no doubt) which will disappear completely after November elections or appear periodically in the headlines whenever the politicians need a populist boost.

Or perhaps I should believe that gov't is actually going to bite the hand that feeds it?  I think not.


Problem Is's picture


SEC: Opening offer, $33 million fine no admission of guilt...
BofA boiler plate settlement... next case...

Memo to SEC Staff:
"Dump the Goldman files off of your hard drives and start downloading some new tranny porn..."

Adam Neira's picture

Audit all the banks and see where the chips fall. Everyone just might find that some have been better at the financial poker game than others. The chance/skill ratio of the game of poker means that over a period of time the smarter player will win more of the money. Sometimes people who lose their shirt maintain that the cards were stacked. A fair game frustrates the hell out of poor losers. Men can handle being rejected by a women. They can deal with ill-health. They will put up with jokes about their character. But they hate to admit that the other man is smarter than them. Most men would rather go to their deaths than face up to their intellectual and spiritual inadequacies.

Ned Zeppelin's picture

Is a long overdue Pecora next?

Yes. But let's not gang up on Goldman. There is plenty of other germy banks, and federal officials at places like the NY Fed, or who used to be Treasury Secretary, who need the disinfectant that a good dose of sunshine into these hidden crevices could provide. But agree that any notion that the DOJ has suddenly grown a pair needs further proof.

aint no fortunate son's picture

Speaking of former Treasury Secretaries, why has Holder not started an investigation of Paulson's role in the meltdown... his secret meetings with the Goldman BoD in Moscow hotel rooms that he didn't put on his calendar, his "accidentally" lost records of telephone conversations he had with Blankfein during 2008 (anybody know who he worked for in the early '70's? Try the Nixon WH - Ehrlichman to be exact - can you say Rosemary Woods?). This one single man had the motive, means and opportunity to destroy all of Goldman's major competitors ... and look how THAT turned out. I sent a 4 pager to my US Senator, cc'd to Holder, Shapiro and others outlining all the neat little opportunities that Goldman and and Paulson had for pulling off the crime of all time, right up to and including opening up their HFT trading platforms, dark pools/SIGMA X, etal to their hedge fund pals to flood the markets with naked shorts... obviously no one saw any reason to look into any of it.

Duuude's picture

Excellent. Scan the letter and send it to ZH. The Hankster is the Smoking Gun.

The Alarmist's picture

It's called professional courtesy ... I'll leave it to you to determine which profession the two share, but I don't think Paulson is a lawyer.

Marvin_M's picture

Hear, hear!  It is the system that is corrupt and broken.  Goldman is merely its poster child.  I too would love to believe that this signals a new era which can channel a Ferdinand Pecora to fully expose the disease that is Wall Street.  The Pecora commission was a no holds barred take down of a system that was rotten.  It succeeded largely due to the steadfast support of a new president in 1932, FDR.  If one reads this history it is eerily similar to the events and environment we have today.

After the findings of the Pecora Commission became public, the government took draconinan steps to cleanse the financial system of unethical and immoral practices; and to prevent it from ever again growing and mastisizing again.  But the cancer did return, ironically and perversely assisted by an even more corrupt crony government.  The question that we wait to be answered is: can the corrupt institution that is the US Government heal and redeam itself to the point where true moral authority over the financial system be re-established.  Will the President find the moral and righteous courage to lead and stand fast in this effort.

We will see...

Popo's picture

Agreed. And that's all coming.  Wachovia and Wells should be shitting themselves right about now.  Perp walks are coming.  And lots of guys in those banks just started to sweat.


The question is:  Is it finally a good day for SKF?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"On the face of the SEC filing, criminal fraud on a historic scale seems to have occurred in this instance," the lawmakers, mostly Democrats, said in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder."

Understatement of the century. And if you take down GS, you better take them all down.

Sqworl's picture

Me thinks that this is dessert to the Kabuki theater failure!!!!..the sheeple have seen behind the curtain?...:-)

brooklynlou's picture

Take them down? 'They' represent 60% of GDP. More likely an attempt to strong arm them for more taxes and political donations.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I was talking about the 9 super banks and by "take down" I meant break up into smaller pieces while prosecuting. What did you mean by "they represent 60% of GDP"?

A_MacLaren's picture

Breaking up the mega-banks has legislative backing in another way:
H.R. 5159:
To provide for a safe, accountable, fair, and efficient banking system, and for other purposes
S. 3241:
Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Efficient Banking Act of 2010

Any CONgress Critter that will not co-sponsor can/should/will be tarred as favoring/supporting To Big To Fail banks. 

We The People need to rally support for these bills, in the way that We told CONgress not to give Hanky-Panky Paulson his first bazooka.


Sabremesh's picture

Inevitable, and Goldman know what the eventual outcome will be. An organization which starts paying staff quarterly bonuses knows it is running on borrowed time. 

Silvarouvres's picture

Very interesting. Did they really shift from yearly to quarterly bonuses?

exportbank's picture

Steve Wynn would love all this free advertising for his casino's.  

Mercury's picture

They're throwing up a smoke cloud.  Something else is going on which they don't want to get attention.  Don't fall for it.

Rick64's picture

Gathering support for their nonreform financial legislation.

Duuude's picture

Yeah, the fuching SEC settling with GS.

TK's picture

It's occured to me that's all this is as well.. Their not really in the wrong with what they are being questioned about. I can't verify that this is true, but I was told they got paid out by AIG (how the f*** was that possible!?) There are surely more interesting things to investigate where Goldman may have actually done something wrong, instead of selling a sophisticated investor a product that failed.  I really do not see anything they have done wrong so far and they've a public slap on the wrist, making all that money - NAUGHTY! Are we just placating jealous emotions at the moment?

primefool's picture

The stock market does not care about geopolitical events, natural disasters, oil price, gold price, gdp release, unemployment, inflation. It is back to being on autopilot like it was during 2003-2007.

But - But - There is ONE thing the stock market deeply cares about - the health of Wall Street firms. Note the market was completely bullet-proof until Bear Stearns and then it gave up about 40 years of gains after Lehman. ( Not a typo : SPX 666 puts it back to 1968 in inflation adjusted terms).

Mercury's picture

...and speaking of geopolitical events we may be about to reprise 1968.

ZH's advance team of Soixante-huiters have just deployed to Europe...

primefool's picture

Yeah  areprise of 1968 , but without Sgt. Peppers, The Doors etc. Not much fun!

duo's picture

And BHO's administration as morally bankrupt as Nixon's!

Troy Ounce's picture

Better News Than Expected

Sudden Debt's picture

I actually think now is the time to short GS as history show that charges sometimes bring them to a BK.

Look at Drexel Burnham Lambert in the 80's who went into BK because of the charges and also the charges against against Arthur Andersen that brought him down, even after he was cleared of charges.

Cursive's picture

There are many who are too cynical to believe it could happen to GS.  Well, it could happen to GS.  Most if not all of the power players will survive for another day, but GS the vehicle is looking shaky right now.

FEDbuster's picture

The slimy squid will be hard to catch like a greased hog, but it can be done. 

It is interesting to watch the dogs bite the hand that feeds, that usually doesn't end well for the dogs.

primefool's picture

Any speculations on the time gap between the easing of Greece fears and the onset of Spain fears? I am thinking days not weeks.

primefool's picture

Greece, Portugal and Ireland problems are already kinda discounted. Spain and UK are not yet discounted. Goodbye PIGS, hello SUK

anynonmous's picture


Will Lloyd Blankfein depart as CEO of Goldman Sachs?
Lloyd Blankfein to depart as CEO of Goldman Sachs before midnight ET 31 Dec 2010

primefool's picture

To be followed by US. So SUK will be followed by USSUK

ambrosiac's picture




There.  Fixed it for you.