2010年5月1日土曜日

GS 詐欺容疑で捜査開始

米検察は、GSを詐欺容疑で捜査開始するようだ。
 GSが金融商品を不正販売したとされる問題で、米連邦検察局が、GSと
同社社員の行為が米連邦法の証券詐欺に当たるかどうか捜査を始めたことが
分かった。
検察局の捜査は予備段階にあり、SECの提訴とは別の証拠に基づいていると
いう。

GS元社員は、米財務長官や世界銀行総裁等に抜擢されるくらい優秀との評判。
しかし、実際の業務が明らかになれば、金を巻き上げ、その金を賭博につぎ
こみ、儲けた金を高金利で国に貸し、損した分は国にせびるようだ。
多くの同業者からは、通常業務と擁護される。
金融関係者の優秀さは、いかに多くの人をだますかと言うことによるようだ。
金持ちなら、見かけを変えた詐欺であれば捕まらないのか。

GS 倫理の破綻か


Fabrice Tourre & Co. deny all as Goldman Sachs grilled for fraud RT


Clinton's Take on Immigration, Goldman Sachs CBS


Make Wall Street Pay


Showdown in the Heartland - Bank of America Time to Put the People First

---米検察もゴールドマン捜査 証券詐欺の疑い、米紙報道---
2010.4.30 12:12
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/finance/100430/fnc1004301212014-n1.htm

 米紙ウォールストリート・ジャーナル(電子版)は29日、米検察当局が証券詐欺の疑いで住宅ローンに関連する金融大手ゴールドマン・サックスの取引について捜査に入ったと伝えた。
 検察当局は、証券取引委員会(SEC)が重要な情報を開示せずに金融商品を販売、投資家を欺いたとしてゴールドマンを訴えた内容に関心を持ち、事実関係を照会している。捜査は初期段階にあり、同社幹部の刑事責任追及に発展するかどうか、まだ不明という。
 同社はSECの訴えに「全く根拠がない」としている。
 一方、29日付の米大衆紙ニューヨーク・ポストは関係者の話として、金融商品の販売をめぐって不正があったとしてSECから訴えられたゴールドマンがSECと早期の和解を検討していると報じた。企業イメージがさらに傷つくのを避けるためとみられる。(共同)


---金融商品不正販売問題、ゴールドマンを捜査---
2010年4月30日12時09分 読売新聞
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/atmoney/news/20100430-OYT1T00534.htm

 【ニューヨーク=小谷野太郎】米金融大手ゴールドマン・サックス(GS)が金融商品を不正販売したとされる問題で、米連邦検察局が、GSと同社社員の行為が米連邦法の証券詐欺に当たるかどうか捜査を始めたことが29日、分かった。
 米ウォール・ストリート・ジャーナル紙(電子版)が報じた。米証券取引委員会(SEC)が民事提訴した問題は、刑事事件に発展する可能性も出てきた。
 検察局の捜査は予備段階にあり、SECの提訴とは別の証拠に基づいているという。


---「混乱の責任をとれ」 ウォール街で数千人デモ---
2010.4.30 11:48
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/finance/100430/fnc1004301149012-n1.htm

 「金融機関は混乱の責任をとれ」「特別税を払うべきだ」。米労働総同盟産別会議(AFL・CIO)は29日、全国から数千人を動員し、金融大手が集まるニューヨークのウォール街でデモを行った。
 参加者はプラカードなどを掲げ、高額な報酬目当てに世界を「100年に一度の不況」に引きずり込んだ“強欲な”金融機関を糾弾。米証券取引委員会(SEC)に訴えられた金融大手ゴールドマン・サックスなどをやり玉に挙げて気勢を上げた。(共同)


---ゴールドマン、SECと早期の和解模索か 米紙報道---
2010.4.30 10:27
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/finance/100430/fnc1004301028009-n1.htm

 29日付の米大衆紙ニューヨーク・ポストは関係者の話として、金融商品の販売をめぐって不正があったとして米証券取引委員会(SEC)から訴えられた米金融大手ゴールドマン・サックスがSECと早期の和解を検討していると報じた。
 ブランクファイン会長兼最高経営責任者(CEO)ら同社幹部が米議会で10時間以上にわたって集中砲火を浴びるなど企業イメージは大きく傷ついた。今後もSECの追及が続くことは確実で、「法的な戦い」より和解した方が得策との判断に傾いているとみられる。
 SECは16日、重要な情報を開示せずに金融商品を販売、投資家を欺いたとしてゴールドマンを訴えた。同社は「全く根拠がない」と徹底抗戦する方針を示していた。(共同)


---ゴールドマン公聴会 「金融危機で利益」に怒り---
2010年4月30日 読売新聞
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/atmoney/mnews/20100430-OYT8T00558.htm

規制改革法案に影響も
 米議会上院常任調査小委員会は27日、ウォール街(米金融街)の象徴、ゴールドマン・サックス(GS)の経営陣を呼び、金融危機で利益を上げた投資銀行のあり方を問う公聴会を開いた。
 複雑で高リスクの商品を顧客に売りながら、自らはその商品の値下がりで利益を得る取引を重ねたことに、議員から厳しい批判が相次いだ。名門投資銀行への怒りは、山場を迎えた金融監督・規制改革法案の行方にも影響を与えている。(ワシントン 岡田章裕、ニューヨーク 小谷野太郎)
 「あなたたちがやっているのはギャンブル以外の何物でもない」「道義に反していたのは明白だ」。午前10時の開始から約11時間にわたった公聴会では、与野党を問わず、議員らが怒りを爆発させた。
 GSは、2008年秋に金融危機が起きる前の06年暮れから、低所得者向け住宅融資(サブプライムローン)が焦げ付く危険性を察知し、07年には相場の下落で利益が上がる空売りに自己資金を集中投下していた。一方で、顧客には、複雑でリスクの大きいサブプライム関連の証券化商品を販売していた。

 ロイド・ブランクファイン最高経営責任者(CEO)らGS側は、空売り投資が、リスク管理の強化だったとして、「相場の下落を誘導して危機を拡大させたわけではない」と強調した。米金融界では、GSの手法には問題がないという意見も多い。

 しかし、そうした専門家の声は圧倒的な国民の怒りにかき消されようとしている。米金融規制法案に強硬に抵抗していた共和党議員らが歩み寄る形で、同法案は上院本会議の審議入りを決める動議までこぎ着けている。イリノイ大のラリー・リブスタイン教授は、「市場には詐欺的なことがたくさんあるという印象を政権が植え付けようという意図が感じられる」と指摘する。
 米国の金融規制が強まれば、米国に進出している日本の金融機関にも無縁ではなく、世界的な規制強化に拍車をかける可能性もある。

GS、米経済の象徴
 GSは、米国の繁栄を支えた自動車大手ゼネラル・モーターズ(GM)が輝きを失い、製造業から金融へと米国の競争力の源が移る中で、新たな米国経済の象徴と言われる。高額報酬とブランド力で「米国で最も優秀な人材が集まる企業」(アナリスト)の一つだ。
 ヘンリー・ポールソン氏や、ロバート・ルービン氏ら歴代の財務長官など政権の要職に次々と人材を輩出しているほか、世界銀行のゼーリック総裁も同社出身だ。


---Goldman Scrutinized by U.S. Prosecutors Examining SEC Case---
April 30, 2010, 12:06 AM EDT
By Justin Blum and David Glovin
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-30/goldman-scrutinized-by-u-s-prosecutors-examining-sec-case.html

April 30 (Bloomberg) -- Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating transactions by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., accused of misleading investors by U.S. securities regulators, to determine whether to pursue a criminal fraud case, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The federal review, which lawyers say is common in such a high-profile case, is being done by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said the people, who weren’t authorized to comment and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Goldman Sachs on April 16 alleging fraud tied to collateralized debt obligations that contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The burden of proof in a criminal case would be higher than in the SEC’s civil case. Criminal allegations have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Based on public reports about the SEC matter, a criminal case may be difficult, said Douglas R. Jensen, an attorney with Park & Jensen LLP in New York. The case appears “highly complex” and Goldman Sachs would be able to make multiple arguments in its defense, he said in an interview.

“In order to proceed criminally in a case, you need to have very clear evidence of lying, cheating and stealing,” said Jensen, a former deputy chief of the criminal division of the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York who served on that office’s securities fraud task force.

‘Higher Profile’ Cases

The U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District “pretty consistently” reviews SEC cases that are “higher profile” such as those involving large dollar amounts or policy issues, he said. The reviews may begin before the SEC files a lawsuit.

Yusill Scribner, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, declined to comment.

Lucas van Praag, a spokesman for New York-based Goldman Sachs, said the company would “fully cooperate with any requests for information.”

“Given the recent focus on the firm, we’re not surprised by the report of an inquiry,” he said.

Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein said in an interview with CBS News this week: “It is my belief that nothing unethical and nothing illegal has happened, but I will tell you if I discovered something like this, or any senior person at Goldman Sachs discovered illegal or unethical behavior, we would eliminate that from the firm.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation hasn’t opened a criminal investigation, said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity and wasn’t authorized to comment publicly on the matter. The Postal Inspection Service, which also could investigate such cases, doesn’t have any open probes into Goldman, said Tom Boyle, a spokesman for the agency in New York.

Own Investigators

Two former prosecutors for the U.S. attorney’s office in New York, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said prosecutors have their own investigators who may be examining the case before determining whether to involve the FBI or postal inspectors. The SEC may have provided documents and other information to prosecutors gathered as part of its investigation, allowing them to assess whether a criminal case could be made, they said.

The Justice Department sometimes brings criminal charges at the same time the SEC files suit. In other instances, criminal charges come later.

The SEC sued financier R. Allen Stanford and his firm in February 2009 on claims he ran a Ponzi scheme. Stanford was indicted on criminal charges later that year. The SEC accused WorldCom Inc. of fraud in 2002. Two senior WorldCom executives were arrested on criminal charges later that year.

SEC Suit

Goldman Sachs created and sold CDOs linked to subprime mortgages in early 2007, as the U.S. housing market faltered, without disclosing that hedge fund Paulson & Co. helped pick the underlying securities and bet against the vehicles, according to the SEC’s lawsuit.

At an April 27 congressional hearing, Goldman Sachs executives were questioned by U.S. lawmakers who compared the bank’s mortgage bankers to bookies. Company officials said they did nothing wrong.

“The SEC and the courts will resolve the legal question of whether Goldman’s actions broke the law,” said Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, at the hearing. “The question for us is one of ethics and policy.”

Levin, whose panel is investigating Goldman Sachs, told reporters after the hearing that it was too soon to say whether he would refer any of the committee’s findings to the Justice Department or SEC.

No Obligation

Blankfein told Levin’s panel that market-makers have no obligation to tell clients about their own position in a security. Blankfein said the nature of the principal business often puts the firm on the opposite side of customers.

Sixty-one House Democrats and one House Republican, led by Representative Marcy Kaptur, an Ohio Democrat, sent a letter to the Justice Department on April 23 asking Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Goldman Sachs, if the Justice Department wasn’t already. The department will review the letter, Alisa Finelli, a spokeswoman, said in an April 27 e-mail.

Billionaire John Paulson’s firm earned $1 billion on the trade and wasn’t accused of wrongdoing. The SEC also sued Fabrice Tourre, a Goldman Sachs vice president who helped create the CDOs, known as Abacus.

Goldman Sachs posted a record $13.4 billion profit in 2009, a year after receiving $10 billion in taxpayer aid during the financial crisis. It repaid the funds in June. The company has been criticized by lawmakers and pundits for its pay practices and its role in helping Greece mask the size of its debts. The company called the SEC’s claims “unfounded.”

--With assistance from Joshua Gallu and Lorraine Woellert in Washington and Karen Freifeld and Christine Harper in New York. Editors: Mark McQuillan, Jim Kirk.


---Criminal Probe Looks Into Goldman Trading ---
APRIL 30, 2010, 5:14 A.M. ET
By SUSAN PULLIAM And EVAN PEREZ
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703572504575214652998348876.html

Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. or its employees committed securities fraud in connection with its mortgage trading, people familiar with the probe say.

The investigation from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office, which is at a preliminary stage, stemmed from a referral from the Securities and Exchange Commission, these people say. The SEC recently filed civil securities-fraud charges against the big Wall Street firm and a trader in its mortgage group. Goldman and the trader say they have done nothing wrong and are fighting the civil charges.

Prosecutors haven't determined whether they will bring charges in the case, say the people familiar with the matter. Many criminal investigations are launched that never result in any charges.

The criminal probe raises the stakes for Goldman, Wall Street's most powerful firm. The investigation is centered on different evidence than the SEC's civil case, the people say. It couldn't be determined which Goldman deals are being scrutinized in the criminal investigation.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment. Goldman declined to comment.

Goldman shares fell 2.6% in after-hours trading to $156.08 after The Wall Street Journal reported the news of the investigation. At the 4 p.m. market closing, Goldman shares were up 2.1%.

The development comes amid public calls for more Wall Street accountability for the industry's role in the financial crisis. Though there are multiple ongoing criminal and civil investigations, no Wall Street executives connected with the meltdown have been convicted of criminal charges. During congressional hearings this week into Goldman's role in the crisis, legislators grilled Goldman executives for nearly 11 hours.

The SEC and Justice Department often coordinate their actions on investigations. The probe underscores heightened efforts by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office in prosecuting white-collar and Wall Street crime. It is in the midst of pursuing the largest insider-trading case in a generation, charging 21 individuals and negotiating 11 guilty pleas in that matter.

But the Goldman probe presents a significant challenge for the government. Prosecutors in the Brooklyn office of the U.S. Attorney last year lost a high-profile fraud case against two former Bear Stearns Cos. executives, in the first major criminal case linked to the financial meltdown.

Prosecutors had accused the Bear Stearns employees of lying to investors in 2007 about the health of two funds that eventually collapsed. The case centered on what the government viewed as incriminating emails indicating the traders knew the mortgage market would fall but didn't disclose that view to investors.

To bring any criminal charges in the Goldman matter, prosecutors would need to believe they had gathered evidence that showed that the firm or its employees knowingly committed fraud in their mortgage business. Proving such intent to break the law typically is the toughest hurdle for prosecutors to clear.

Another stumbling block: Such financial cases can be highly complex. Few outside of Wall Street understand arcane products such as collateralized debt obligations, the pools of mortgage-related holdings at the heart of the SEC civil case against Goldman.

On April 16, the SEC charged Goldman and an employee, Fabrice Tourre, with securities fraud in a civil suit relating to a mortgage transaction, known as Abacus 2007-AC1, a deal the government said was designed to fail. The SEC alleged that Goldman duped its clients by failing to disclose that hedge fund Paulson & Co. not only helped select the mortgages included in the deal but also bet against the transaction. Both Goldman and Mr. Tourre have denied wrongdoing.

Even the SEC's case, which is subject to a lesser standard of proof than a criminal case, is viewed as a challenge for regulators. The SEC's commissioners were split 3-2 along party lines on whether the agency should bring a case.

In battling the SEC charges, Goldman says its investors were sophisticated and knew the underlying securities they were buying. Goldman says it wasn't required to disclose who provided input into the deal or the views of its clients in the transaction.

The congressional hearing involved numerous other mortgage deals Goldman arranged in 2006 and 2007. Lawmakers criticized Goldman and its executives for allegedly stacking the deck against clients during the market meltdown in 2007.

Some of the emails released by regulators, lawmakers and Goldman suggest a callous attitude among Goldman employees toward the risks involved in some of the Goldman mortgage deals, including one in which a Goldman employee referred to a mortgage transaction the firm sold to investors as a "sh-y" deal.

Over the years, the government has been reluctant to criminally charge financial firms with wrongdoing because the charge itself can cause a business to implode. Some investing clients can't or won't trade with a firm facing such a taint.

Indeed, in the more than two-century history of the U.S. financial markets, no major financial firm has survived criminal charges. Securities firms E.F. Hutton & Co. and Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. crumbled after being indicted in the 1980s. In 2002 Arthur Andersen LLP went bankrupt after it was convicted of obstruction of justice for its role in covering up an investigation into Enron Corp. The conviction was later overturned by the Supreme Court.

In recent years, some financial firms have agreed to "deferred prosecutions," in which they agree to a probationary period for which they won't commit any future wrongdoing.

That's what Prudential Securities Inc. famously did in 1994 when that securities firm faced criminal charges that it misled investors about the risks and rewards of limited-partnership investments. Prudential agreed to a three-year deferred prosecution, as well as fines and restitution, to end a criminal securities-fraud investigation.
-Susanne Craig contributed to this article.


---米上院でコールドマン公聴会 10時間以上追及、激しい応酬も---
2010年4月28日 11時04分
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/2010042801000217.html

 【ワシントン共同】米上院の調査小委員会は27日、金融大手ゴールドマン・サックス首脳に対する公聴会を10時間以上にわたり継続、同社の顧客軽視で貪欲な経営姿勢を「不道徳」と厳しく批判した。同社のブランクファイン会長兼最高経営責任者(CEO)は詐欺との主張に反論、激しい応酬が続いた。
 マケイン上院議員は「(ゴールドマンが)不法行為をしたかどうか知らないが、内部資料からみれば不道徳なのは疑いがない。裁判所だけでなく米国民も判断を下すことになるだろう」と同社の業務運営を批判した。
 一方、ブランクファイン氏は、問題が指摘された空売りに関して「リスク管理の一環」と反論。重要情報を伝えず顧客を欺いたとの批判は当たらないと一貫して潔白との主張を展開した。
 ただ米国民のウォール街への嫌悪感は根強く、会場周辺では囚人のような白黒のしま模様の衣服を着て「刑務所へ行け」などと抗議する人の姿も目立った。

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