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Apr-20-2010 13:17printcomments

Goldman Sachs: Scapegoat for SEC and U.S. Government Shortcomings

Why now? What is the motive to charge Goldman Sachs with fraud?

Goldman Sachs
Courtesy: London Evening Standard

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Goldman Sachs is one of the oldest and most successful banks on Wall Street, so why two years after the collapse of the financial industry are they now being sought for fraud? This seems a bit curious that the SEC and U.S. government oversight would wait so long to divulge such a strong impact on investors, not to mention the gearing of another round of financial industry breakdown.

The bottom line, many banks made risky decisions during the peak of greed throughout the financial industry, some were winners and some were losers. Goldman Sachs was one of those banks, and have already endured their minute of defamation when they asked for TARP funds, but all has cleared and money has been paid back to the U.S. Government, so why keep probing? It is almost as if the SEC and the U.S. Government do not have anything else better to do, maybe like recovering the $60 billion fraud by Bernard Madoff, which had a greater span of impact on investors.

The position at Goldman Sachs is that investors have always enjoyed great returns and in 140 years of business, for the most part have conducted themselves with the utmost integrity; otherwise they would not be one of the largest and most successful financial firms in the world. Not to mention, Warren Buffett supports Goldman Sachs to the tune of five Billion dollars.

It seems logical to point the finger when the U.S. government and SEC are being called out for their shortcomings. The U.S. Government is so displaced and creating such an enormous hole for American Taxpayers that our children’s generations will still be paying for the last five years. The SEC on the other hand is drilling into areas to cover up their inability to adequately protect investors. This is not about adequate regulations; it is about the ball-dropping of regulators to enforce the directives.

Why now? What is the motive to charge Goldman Sachs with fraud? Many questions, but only plausible-deniability by the U.S. Government; “Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House "absolutely" did not have advance notice that the Securities and Exchange Commission would announce its case on Friday”. (see: White House Denies Meddling in Goldman Sachs Fraud Case - FOX News)

Consider this statement from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and make your own conclusions as to the viability of the position of the White House, as the President of the United States appoints five commissioners to the SEC. (see: SEC Commissioners sec.gov)

Bringing this situation into context, the SEC and U.S. government need to stop needling the big banks and work on solutions to prevent this from occurring again. The damage is done, move on, be accountable for lack of oversight, and focus on building a more effective administration toward regulating the financial industry. This is not about strong-arming the banking sector; it is not about SEC and U.S. government dictatorship in regulations. Considering that several of these banks have been in existence since long before the SEC, as a matter of fact, Goldman Sachs was around for 65 years prior to the creation of the SEC. The fix lies in collaboration between the financial sector, regulators and the U.S. Government.

Stephen Atma is one of those writers who mixes good business sense and technical savvy with his creative side. The result is a level approach to world problems, and Stephen takes a hands on approach. Along with his wife, our African Affairs Correspondent Alysha Atma, Stephen is the kind of person who raises thousands of dollars worth of donations for disaster survivors, and then takes the material there himself to ensure that it goes where it is supposed to go.

Stephen holds an MBA from Marylhurst University where the emphasis brings business concepts in line with cultural awareness. He says through this combination, there is a greater understanding of the importance of cross cultural involvement in business. There are many areas of the global business world that are intriguing, and Stephen sees an expansive world of business opportunities continuing to emerge. You can write to Stephen Atma at: sjatma@comcast.net

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Lawrence Baker May 3, 2010 8:36 am (Pacific time)

SEC vs. Goldman- 21st Century age of Enlightenment or Tyranny? Will bankers and big oil lead humanity into an enlightened 21st. Century of green energy and humanitarianism or will this be the century of World Totalitarianism of the New World Order? We know that “morality” is a “no” word for bankers, big oil and investors alike; yet they are leading us into the New World Order with their heartless and coldblooded culture of greed by the few. World conquest by tyranny is not new and it certainly is not orderly; it is chaos. Hitler already tried World domination by tyranny in the last century. The nations of Greece, Latvia, and Iceland have already fallen into “order” and Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States of America are scheduled to fall into “order”. The American people do not want to lose our Democracy, Independence and Freedom; yet this World totalitarian agenda emanates from the United States of America and is lead by the Bush/Obama Administration in our name. The World is looking at the American people as their last resort for salvation and praying that the American people will stand up to this evil force and do the right thing. By saving ourselves, we will also save them. We are the only ones who can change the direction of our own country with what freedoms we have left. The SEC vs. Goldman is a test of strength between the American people and the World bankers, indeed, the New World Order. If the American people do not bring the bankers to Justice in our court system; the bankers will be free to dominate the World. The injunctions will lead to the White House and the Bush/Obama Administration which is dominated by Trilateral World bankers. Zbigniew Brzezinski is the designer and architect of the bankers Trilateral Commission and the New World Order; he is also Obama’s top advisor. Geithner, Volker, Greenspan, Summers, Corrigan and Peterson are all of the same banking family of World bankers (America is their host) Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo Federal Reserve, IMF, World Bank etc; their tentacles reach into every economy in the World. The World total economic output in 2009 was 58.07 Trillion and the total World bond market was 82.2 Trillion. The largest market in the World is the Derivatives market at 600 Trillion and is used primarily by the bankers as a weapon of mass destruction of economies to bring them in line with the New World Order. Their modus operande is the same for American citizens as it is for Nations.(pt.1) The banker and oil dominated Trilateral Bush/Obama Administration has purposely driven the United States of America into debt under their expert banking management by the systematic pillaging of our Treasury. Our National debt interest is at 15% about the same as the United Kingdom according to Moody’s bond rating March 15. “the U.S. will be paying about 15 percent of revenue in interest payments, more than the 14 percent limit that would lead to a downgrade to AA, Moody’s said.” http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068andsid=a0a8xAghPS8I In the financial world, loosing your AAA bond rating changes the banking agreement substantially (as every home owner knows) that is when the fine print kicks in and the spiral to the bottom begins. Look at Greece, Latvia, Iceland and now the UK. Germany, France and Spain AAA credit ratings are in danger as reported in the U.K Telegraph on March 15 (referring to Moody’s) “The US rating agency said the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Spain are walking a tightrope-“ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/7450468/Moodys-fears-social-unrest-as-AAA-states-implement-austerity-plans.html To control and accelerate that rush to the bottom of Nations, major banks are frontloading the odds of default of a Nation down on Wall Street in a computer so they can control and manipulate trades with high-frequency trading in derivatives. High-frequency trading is how Goldman Sacks (U.S.A) makes at least 200 million a day in derivatives on Wall Street and accounts for most of the 3.3 billion made in profit last quarter. This one example of Goldman Sachs (U.S.A) operations is but the tip of the arrow head and the shaft is sure to follow. By flying the United States of America economy and government into the ground the New World Order of Trilateral Traitor bankers become winners. Now, who is the terrorist? I hope Americans have empathy for the people of Greece and all the other people of Nations who face “Austerity measures” because their destiny will soon be our own fate. The bankers are brutal; the National financial burden is on the people with forced tax followed with the gutting of social services and privatization of National infrastructure and National Natural Resource for pennies on the dollar. If you can empathize with these people I suggest that you take action and button-hole your representatives in Congress today and tell them to make a stand for the American People against this takeover of our government by Trilateral bankers and the New World Order. Demand that they insist that ALL of the subversive Trilateral members in government to STAND DOWN. Insist that Treason charges be served on all who conspired to overthrow our American Independence, Democracy and Freedom (there are only about 1,500 Traitors). Insist that Free Press, the watch-dog of Democracy, be restored by breaking up the monopolies in the Media. Main Street Capitalism, Competitive Market, and Free Enterprise are America’s tried and true standard and our economy and government can recover from this treachery if we act now by getting back to our roots of industry, manufacturing and technology instead of being smothered by the Multinational Corporate Empire, by proxy, by our government. Our economy needs Fair Trade not (Free (sic) Trade and Free Enterprise and Competitive Market not controlled markets by the multinational corporate monopolies.

Daniel April 27, 2010 12:21 pm (Pacific time)

For those interested c-span3 is doing live coverage of GS and the Senate .

Daniel April 27, 2010 8:22 am (Pacific time)

Stephen I am saying let the case play out , if there is no guilt on GS part it will come out . You seem to be saying the government has not proven their case yet so lets drop it because you do not believe now is the time .Also GS is a great company making them above being charged with any wrong doing . Stephen to be proven innocent or guilty you first have to go to trial .You are saying drop the case because it has not been proven yet before it goes to trial! Are politicans grandstanding on the issue , they sure are but that does not make GS not guilty .Some believe to stop future problems changes have to be made now .If GS is found guilty they are the poster boy for what has to be changed .Lets bring it to light and not cover it up !

Stephen Atma April 26, 2010 11:53 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel, I appreciate that you do not agree and it is your right; Can you confirm that the government is right in their accusations before you demise GS? It is a passive logic that has been build upon by the inadequacies of the regulators. You mention that "GS is accountable for GS", they should be held to their crime if they committed such acts but what happen to innocent until proven guilty? This is not even close to the point of my article, it is about realizing that strategy toward bringing the financial crisis to an end; which cannot be achieved by putting up barriers after every milestone. The public is entitled to know of wrong doing, but not if the quantifiable position is not supported or validated. The position is more than just pointing fingers, it is about knowing how to identify, and facilitate adequate directives that not only maintain the integrity of the financial system, but also realize the appropriate time to take action on companies that are violating protocols surrounding investor’s best interest.

Daniel April 26, 2010 7:21 pm (Pacific time)

Stephen I respectfully do not agree , lets see how it plays out ! Its GS who is accountable for the actions of GS . The SEC is accountable for their actions or lack of when needed ! Looking the other way when a major crime has happened is the wrong answer and sends the wrong message . If GS is so powerful that you worry they may help bring down the economy again , shows change is badly needed .Cheating investors out of billions may seem like small change to you Stephen but not to the burned investors .

Stephen Atma April 25, 2010 11:22 pm (Pacific time)

I extend the position to all that lean either pro or con to my article; to look at the current events, and position of the financial crisis, and decide what is the best approach to move forward. Set aside the discontent, frustration, or any other bias, and decide how we get on path to fulfilling the simplest of needs and wants. I know, its political, but politics does not feed the family. GS was given the ability to make money, SEC and Federal Government had the tools to regulate; where does the accountability land? Is GS, SEC, or government at fault? All subjective, all relevant, but does in no way decipher who is responsible. The end result of this discussion requires the ability to make informed decisions on how to evolve out of this mess, quit reveling in who, what, or when; start finding direction. No one in this crisis is going to admit to the downfall, however, progress at the hand of pettiness can break the system. Slap the hand late in the game will create another wave of discontent, drive the markets down, divert the very effort to bring the economy back in alignment. The financial world is in disarray, if we continue to challenge it, it will fail; it is about picking your battles, and this is the wrong battle.

Keith April 24, 2010 6:37 pm (Pacific time)

“The level of anger and fear is like nothing I can compare in my lifetime. Ridiculing the tea party shenanigans is a serious error. For over 30 years, real incomes have stagnated or declined…The bankers, who are primarily responsible for the crisis, are now reveling in record bonuses while official unemployment is around 10 percent and unemployment in the manufacturing sector is at Depression-era levels. The financial industry preferred Obama to McCain. They expected to be rewarded and they were. Then Obama began to criticize greedy bankers and proposed measures to regulate them. And the punishment for this was very swift: they were going to shift their money to the Republicans. So Obama said bankers are ‘fine guys’ and assured the business world: ‘I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system.’ People see that and are not happy about it. People want some answers. They are hearing answers from only one place: Fox, talk radio, and Sarah Palin.” - Chomsky

Editor: Are you an angry little Republican?  Are you schizo?  You use multiple names in an effort to make people think that your politics have a bigger following than they really do.  Myron?  Plato? Keith? Daisy?  You don't even know who you are, so go bother somebody else, eh?

eddie zawaski April 23, 2010 9:39 am (Pacific time)

Stephen, Early on in your story, you try to establish Goldman Sachs as a paragon of virtue with these lines:" investors have always enjoyed great returns and in 140 years of business, for the most part have conducted themselves with the utmost integrity; otherwise they would not be one of the largest and most successful financial firms in the world. Not to mention, Warren Buffett supports Goldman Sachs to the tune of five Billion dollars." Unfortunately, such testimonials do not establish innocence when someone is accused of a crime. You are simply saying here that GS did some good things in the past. The part about Warren Buffet trusting GS to the tune of five billion is simply an appeal to authority, a good argument only to people who also take their ideas and moral codes from strong authority figures. A good analogy to your argument would be the assertion that OJ was one of the greatest running backs who ever lived and Hertz and other companies paid him a fortune to endorse their products. Neither of these arguments precludes the possibility that GS or OJ may have committed crimes. The really sad part of this whole situation is that while the entire world knows that OJ killed his wife, he was acquitted and while the whole world knows that GS committed massive fraud, they, too, will be acquitted. Suggesting sinister motives on the part of the government regulators bringing the suit doesn't help, either. You are simply trying to throw out the specter of a conspiracy to damage the reputation of the accused. I do, however, agree with you that this government lawsuit is bogus, but for a very different reason. It does not go far enough. Whoever the person was at GS that invented the particular phony bound-to-fail security is certainly guilty of fraud. There are, however, scores of others who bought and sold these securities and encouraged others to do so. All these people made huge profits and have walked away to enjoy their yachts and private islands while the rest of us try to figure out what to do next. The mistake the government is making is not that they sued GS, but that they haven't sued all the other crooks who stole billions. Goldman Sachs is a scapegoat, but not as you suggest. It is one person at GS who is being scapegoated not to make lax government regulators look good, but to take the heat off the criminal conspiracy commonly known as Wall Street.

Daniel April 23, 2010 7:07 am (Pacific time)

Bill I do agree with you about the IQ loss from TV news but make that 2 points for fox !

Daniel April 23, 2010 7:01 am (Pacific time)

Bill who is Brit Hume , one of the talking heads that fills your brain ? It sure sounds like it .Must be one of your gods .I hope your search for clarity comes true !

Daniel April 23, 2010 6:56 am (Pacific time)

Bill I READ on the internet the CNN story that had the same info you posted . I have not watched tv in over 10 years but I do read their postings on the internet .I see you have all the names of the talking head down tho . Bill so you think its a smoking gun that the head of the largest bank in the country would meet with the President during a major economic downturn ? Do you have a transcript of the meeting or are you just pointing fingers and blowing smoke ? Goldman workers gave their money to Obama because they knew 4 more years of Bush style leadership would be the rune of the nation . Bill the 1 million from GS workers is just 1/750 of the money Obama collected ! WOW it must be the smoking gun .

Bill Griffith April 22, 2010 6:20 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel what is CNN? I assume that is where you get your news as per your, though incorrect, assessment of where I get my news. As it is Daniel, I get my news from a constant growing number of sources, including Salem-News, as I continually search for clarity. Frankly this GS situation is just a symptom of the criminal element we have in DC, and there is no reform on the table, it's all political, just like the Stimulus Bill was, and all the other garbage coming out of congress. So what do you think of Brit Hume? Old style journalist in that concepts such as honesty, ethics and integrity are his guiding light. Too bad he's on FOX, but then maybe he sees that as the best place to have his views presented without censorship? I heard that it was scientifically proven that you will lose one IQ point everyday you listen to some of these other cable outfits. Maybe that's why you are experiencing this confusion about the above articles' general thesis?

Daniel April 22, 2010 3:40 pm (Pacific time)

Bill glad to see you agree GS has been doing the dirty deals thru a number of political leaders . The investigation I was speaking of was the current one not the one under Clinton . Its good to see you saw CNN today to get your news ! GS put their pocket change money into the Obama election because they knew a winner , and it was not Mccain .I did not say GS was not intellegent , just evil in some of their dealings .

Bill Griffith April 22, 2010 10:53 am (Pacific time)

Daniel the below may give you some better insight than you obviously think you have. By the way investigations of GS predate both Clinton and Bush, but then some like to concentrate their misinformation. "WASHINGTON — While Goldman Sachs' lawyers negotiated with the Securities and Exchange Commission over potentially explosive civil fraud charges, Goldman's chief executive visited the White House at least four times. White House logs show that Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein traveled to Washington for at least two events with President Barack Obama, whose 2008 presidential campaign received $994,795 in donations from Goldman's political action committee, its employees and their relatives. He also met twice with Obama's top economic adviser, Larry Summers. Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/04/21/92637/goldmans-connections-to-white.html#ixzz0lqv6dlWr

Daniel April 22, 2010 6:46 am (Pacific time)

Roger , Stephen is saying leave GS alone they are a great company , Ersun is saying put them in jail for all their evil dealings but you agree with both ? I did quite well in the market by not listening to the pump and dump talking TV heads and reading and researching myself . Some people read , others need talking heads to tell them what to do . The same with news , I read from a number of national and international sources , others get their very limited and slanted information from watching television .Stephen the SEC investigation of the CRIMES of GS started in the BUSH years they did not just start this last month .

Roger April 21, 2010 6:41 pm (Pacific time)

Stephen your spot on with your article and other posted comments. I had my broker warn me about some paper GS was selling and glad I took his advice. Unfortunately many did not heed the warnings out there (though they were too late for many) and got hurt. We need an actual criminal prosecution as Ersun alluded to, and if guilt is found the sentencing should be similar to bank robbery, i.e. , hard time. By the way I listen to the Fox Business Network and they have many different points of view. It is usually those who have never invested, or have had little business experience that knock some network they probably have never tuned into, and couple that with a dearth of investment experience, other than maybe buying produce. Anyway good job.

Stephen Atma April 21, 2010 2:40 pm (Pacific time)

Let me first preface, there seems to be a misconception on the Russian Times vs. Fox news source; there is nothing conveyed that discredits Russian Times in my communications. Second, I did not use Fox News as a source other than to pull a quote regarding the position of the White House on the GS fraud, and their use of deflection on knowing what is occurring. We all have our personal opinions on many of the matters that lead to the banking industry fallout, but we are past that, trying to recover from its wake and prevent another round from occurring. I do not think that a financial giant like GS would purposely create an investment vehicle with full intention to defraud investors. However, I do believe that after the MBS instruments were in play they did change positions and hedged against the position, and as a result should have consulted clients toward that end. One of my article’s purposes is to purport that the SEC and U.S. Government should have handled this earlier in the process, to avoid creating another hole in the financial markets and divesting from a further potential impact on the industry. My article also discusses that the SEC and U.S. Government are pulling the shroud back over the financial markets starting with GS in an attempt to overshadow their investigative shortcomings from the heart of this crisis.

Anonymous April 21, 2010 1:34 pm (Pacific time)

Well, it looks as tho GS is using their highly successful tactic of "find a fall guy"... Fire him, slip him a hundred mil under the table to go away, the politicians look better, GS got rid of the bad stuff, voila! Back to business as usual. I told ya.. Dog.. and.. pony..show... Problem is, most will be fooled, yet again.

Ersun Warncke April 21, 2010 11:12 am (Pacific time)

The prosecution of Goldman Sachs here amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist. The idea that GS does not deserve prosecution on a much larger scale is a bit hard to support. Let's not forget that it was GS thieves who engineered the "bailout" in the first place. This prosecution brings to light evidence that GS was active in engineering the crisis that led to the bailout, by purposefully creating financial instruments designed to fail, so that they could bet against them. There never should have been any bailout. Every one of these bankrupt corporations should have been liquidated, gutted, and all of their internal records should have been exposed. A minor prosecution that will put some of their crimes on the record for posterity is not nearly enough.

Anonymous April 21, 2010 10:21 am (Pacific time)

I would say that russia today (rt.com) is more reliable in regards to U.S. news than any mainstream newsmedia here in the U.S. The SEC,Government,Goldman Sachs, and mainstream media are all one entity basically. (research Jeckyll Island 1910, and Fed Res Act of 1913). This current situation is a dog and pony show. Nobody from GS will go to jail, maybe small fines, and lawsuits will be thrown out. Watch and see. The smaller banks they are investigating? THe overall plan is to reduce the amount of small banks, their plan is in full force.

Daniel April 21, 2010 6:58 am (Pacific time)

Stephan the sec investigation of Goldman was started under Bush . The Washington Post , Chicago Suntimes , Huffington post and The San Jose Mercury , a few of many ,have an opposing view to your story and the FOX news view .

Daniel April 21, 2010 5:49 am (Pacific time)

Yes Stephan the Russian Times has a much higher standard than Fox , such as the story with the Tim King interview a few weeks ago .I can also point out a number of American sources if you like .

Stephen Atma April 20, 2010 8:50 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel, Thank you for your candor and input, I do agree no one deserves a free pass, but the premise of the story is more about the rekindle of an old flame that could ultimately cause another financial industry fallout. As a result, you can view in the news that the SEC is now investigating the accounting of 14 more banks. The point is why was there not diligence and investigation completed at the height of this crisis? Further, why is the SEC focusing on the actions at the expense of a long-standing presence on Wall Street. The investigations were incomplete, as a result the regulators and policy makers did not do there job!!! Daniel, an observation regarding your statement that you "do not give FOX News much credit in the truth department", so, are you saying that the story in the Russian Times holds more value and insight regarding Goldman Sach's actions?

Daniel April 20, 2010 7:08 pm (Pacific time)

I also do not give FOX news much credit in the truth department as your sourse .

Daniel April 20, 2010 7:06 pm (Pacific time)

The Russian Times is running a story about how truly EVIL Goldman really is as are a number of left leaning journals . This story sounds too much like a gloss over and free pass for Goldman .

Anonymous April 20, 2010 6:53 pm (Pacific time)

Goldman Sachs is a subsidiary of the Rothchilds banks

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