27th
Apr
2010

Goldman Gets Raked Over the Coals

Posted by Admin

If you watched the Daily Show or Colbert Report tonight, or any of the Late Night shows, you saw a handful of US Senators berating some bankers. Executives at Goldman Sachs Group had to sit through a hell of a tongue lashing on Tuesday. Worse yet, it was broadcast for all to see and covered by virtually every news show during the day and night. The Senators were essentially looking for an admittance from the banking company that they had acted incorrectly…

During a full day of grilling executives on the investment bank’s high-risk mortgage business, members of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations prodded and provoked.

But they couldn’t persuade current or former Goldman executives to say that their business was irresponsible or that it helped push the country into recession.

“I heard nothing today that makes me think anything went wrong,” said Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein when asked about transactions that raised hackles among senators.

“Regret to me means something you feel you did wrong—I don’t have that,” said Daniel Sparks, former head of Goldman’s mortgage department.

“Which actions do you think I took that I’m not taking responsibility for?” Joshua Birnbaum, a former Goldman managing director, shot back at one senator.

I’d expect Goldman Sachs executives to get quite a bit more grilling over the next couple of weeks, even if it doesn’t come from Senators anymore, but from the media or their banking competitors.