Christine Harper, Michael Moore and Bob Ivry have been quite busy today. After poring through the lifetime legacy project of their late colleague Mark Pittman, the trio may have just made a discovery that in a non-banana republic could be enough to at least force a special hearing into whether Goldman COO Gary Cohn committed perjury while testifying to the FCIC on June 30. The culprit: Goldman's (ab)use of the discount window not once, not twice, but five times. Well everyone else was doing it, especially Goldman's insolvent peers like JPM, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, Wachovia, UBS, Credit Suisse and, well, everyone else. So what's wrong with that? Here's what: "Goldman Sachs President and Chief Operating Officer Gary D. Cohn told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission June 30 that “we used it one night at the request of the Fed to make sure our systems were linked with their systems, and it was for a de minimis amount of money.” Peter J. Wallison, a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, then asked, “you never had to use it after that?” “No, and as I said, we used it on the Fed’s request,” Cohn replied. Alas, that is a lie. And last time we checked, lying to Congress under oath is not quite the right the way to conduct God's work (and yes, a perfectly innocuous "I don't recall" ala David Sokol from his CNBC interview would have sufficed). Alas no: Goldman just had to demonstrate how very immune from the legal process it is, by "risking" its credibility and reputation with the assumption that it is either never wrong, or, like Warren Buffett, that it can never be caught doing wrong. Well, it just was.
More from Bloomberg:
“During the crisis, we tested our systems, including accessing the discount window; the amounts involved were de minimis, and the testing was routine,” Michael DuVally, a spokesman for New York-based Goldman Sachs, said today in an e- mailed statement. “The fact that we tested the system to insure our procedures worked smoothly was made known to senior executives. Routine tests thereafter were considered part of the normal course of business.”
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley (MS) were the largest and second-largest U.S. securities firms until Sept. 21, 2008, when they both won the Federal Reserve’s approval to convert to bank holding companies. The conversion took place about a week after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which was then the fourth-biggest securities firm, filed the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Congress assigned the FCIC to determine the causes of the financial crisis. The panel released a report in January, along with a 545-page book.
We are confident that the corrupt "representatives" (of Wall Street interests) in Congress will get right on sending out a subpoena to Cohn asking him to explain why he lied under oath. Then again, since this act was nowhere near as criminal as Meredith Whitney telling the sad truth about America's insolvency to the broader population, we feel our confidence waning... waning...