Posts Tagged ‘settlement’

The SEC Charges New Jersey With Fraud… Oh, and Nothing Happens as a Result

The SEC Charges New Jersey With Fraud… Oh, and Nothing Happens as a Result

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

OK now I have officially had enough with this settlement bullsh*t. The state of New Jersey is allowed to lie about pension funding and defraud investors, and isn’t even levied a penalty? That’s not a slap on the wrist, it’s a slap in all of our faces.

Basically all it means for NJ is that they can’t sell these crap bonds anymore. Way to regulate, you lazy, toothless **cks. Now what about the idiots who invested in this crap? Throw them on the pile with the rest of New Jersey’s creditors?

The NYT has the story:

The Securities and Exchange Commission accused the State of New Jersey of securities fraud on Wednesday for telling the bond markets that it was properly funding state workers’ pensions when it was not, The New York Times’s Mary Williams Walsh reports.

As a result, the S.E.C. said in a cease-and-desist order, investors bought more than $26 billion worth of New Jersey’s bonds, without understanding the severity of the state’s financial troubles. New Jersey, the S.E.C. said, has agreed to accept the order, without admitting or denying the finding. The agency did not impose a financial penalty.

Wednesday’s action was the first time the federal agency has accused a state with violating securities laws. The S.E.C.’s powers of enforcement against the states are tightly limited by states’-rights concerns and constitutional law, and it has standing to get involved only when there is a clear-cut case of fraud.

“The State of New Jersey didn’t give its municipal investors a fair shake, withholding and misrepresenting pertinent information about its financial situation,” Robert Khuzami, director of the S.E.C.’s division of enforcement, said in a statement. The cease-and-desist order named only the State of New Jersey, and not the financial institutions that helped it issue the bonds. Its largest bond underwriters during the period in question include Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital.

Well who cares, even if they did name banks by name it’s not like they’d actually DO anything about it, right? Maybe they priced in a few million extra when they last settled with EACH of those banks for financial misdeeds.  

I don’t feel sorry for the investors, actually, since this is what…
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Goldman Sachs Settlement with SEC Ignores Company’s Duty to Provide Timely Disclosures to Shareholders about Investigation Leading up to Litigation

Sam Antar makes a good point here.  Looking out for shareholders was not the objective of the lawsuit brought by the SEC against Goldman Sachs. Whether it would have, should have, or could have been considered is another matter, and apparently not going to be addressed.  What we have here (and seemingly everywhere within our financial system) is not a real operation of law, but more of a political sideshow.  - Ilene 

Goldman Sachs Settlement with SEC Ignores Company’s Duty to Provide Timely Disclosures to Shareholders about Investigation Leading up to Litigation

Courtesy of Sam Antar of White Collar Fraud 

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s settlement of a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) over a certain subprime mortgage product sold to investors misses a key issue concerning the company’s duty to provide timely and transparent disclosures to its own shareholders about government subpoenas, investigations, and pending enforcement actions against the firm. In this particular case, Goldman did not make timely disclosures about the regulator’s investigation and pending lawsuit against the firm, right under the SEC investigator’s noses.

Goldman Sachs chooses to keep shareholders in the dark about SEC investigation and pending enforcement action

During the summer of 2008, the SEC started investigating Goldman’s marketing of a certain subprime mortgage product, known as ABACUS CDO, to investors who lost over $1 billion from that transaction.
At that time, Goldman Sachs knew that the SEC was investigating its failure to disclose material information to investors in violation of SEC Rule 10b-5 in connection with that transaction. However, Goldman Sachs did not disclose the SEC’s investigation in its financial reports.

In July 2009, the SEC sent Goldman Sachs a Wells notice informing Goldman of its intention to file a lawsuit against the company. Still, Goldman Sachs chose not to disclose the SEC’s pending enforcement action in its financial reports.

On Friday, April 16, 2010, the SEC filed a surprise lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and Executive Director Fabrice Tourre alleging securities fraud in connected with the company’s marketing of the ABACUS CDO to investors. That day, Goldman Sachs shares plummeted from $183.31 per share to $160.30 per share or about 13%, wiping out about $12 billion of shareholder wealth.

Clearly, investors deemed the surprise news of the SEC complaint against the company as material information, unlike the management team running Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs settles SEC charges

Yesterday, Goldman Sachs settled SEC charges…
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GOLDMAN WINS AGAIN! Settles With SEC For Chump-Change $550 Million

GOLDMAN WINS AGAIN! Settles With SEC For Chump-Change $550 Million

Courtesy of Courtney Comstock at Clusterstock 

lloyd-blankfein.jpgCONFIRMED: Goldman will settle for $550 million.

This looks like a huge win for Goldman.

Although Goldman will admit it included misleading information in Abacus materials, the investment bank will NOT admit to any major wrongdoing.

And — the figure is smaller than initial reports that were around $1 billion. So it comes off looking like it’s better for Goldman than the SEC.  $550 million is still a big chunk of change though — the biggest settlement against a Wall Street firm in the history of the SEC.

Did We Call It On April 16? >

Did The SEC Blow It? >

What’s The Real Cost To Goldman? >

Is Lloyd Set To Stay? >

Was It Goldman Or BP That Saved The Close? >

Check Out: The Winners And Losers From Goldman Sachs Fraud Case Settlement >


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Will Goldman Try to Get Off on a Technicality?

This makes sense. The "intent" element of fraud is very hard to prove, but negligence or failure to disclose what should have been disclosed doesn’t require proof of fraudulent intent, it just requires a lack of disclose – a much easier case.- Ilene 

Will Goldman Try to Get Off on a Technicality?

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

John Carney seems to think so (via CNBC):

The SEC accused Goldman with violating Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act. Both are anti-fraud provisions. Like most anti-fraud statutes, Section 10(b) requires the government to prove a fraudulent intent. The first subsection of Section 17(a) also requires proof of fraudulent intent. But the second and third subsections of 17(a) do not require any proof of intent to defraud. This makes accusations based on the second and third subsections much easier to prove—and perhaps easier for Goldman to stomach.

In fact, subsection 17(a)(2) does not even employ any form of the word “fraud” or “deceit.” It makes the sale of a security or a derivative unlawful if a material omission renders the sale merely “misleading.”

The SEC’s claim against Goldman based on this subsection is its strongest and easiest to prove.

Goldman might accept a settlement if the civil charges requiring fraudulent intent or claiming a scheme that operated as fraud were dropped, a source said. That would leave open the charge of merely negligently “misleading” the investors in the Abacus deal. A source close to the matter indicated that this would be far more palatable to the company since it does not explicitly implicate Goldman in fraud.

But if it’s outright fraud Goldman won’t try to weasel out with a settlement? Suuuure, I buy that. Wouldn’t want to taint their pristine, almost divine reputation now would we? 

****

Unions Lead March Against Big Banks In Chicago

See also John Carney’s article:

Goldman Sachs Spies A Way Out Of Fraud Claims

The two sides are still far apart. Goldman Sachs is unwilling to enter into the typical Wall Street settlement—paying a fine and agreeing not to commit further violations, while neither admitting nor denying the accusations—because it insists on denying that it intentionally committed fraud, sources familiar with the matter say. The SEC has accused Goldman of fraud under both the Securities Act of 1933 and Exchange Act of 1934 and is unwilling


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Here Comes ANOTHER JUDGE!

Good to see, hints of justice within the normal functioning of government.

Here Comes ANOTHER JUDGE! (BAC) 

justice systemCourtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker


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