The title says it all, but here’s a bit more detail…
Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the largest penalties ever paid by a Wall Street firm, to settle charges of securities fraud linked to mortgage investments.
The S.E.C. filed a lawsuit against Goldman in April, accusing the bank of securities fraud. The settlement came just days before Goldman is scheduled to report its second-quarter earnings.
Under the terms of the deal, Goldman will pay $300 million in fines to the Treasury Department, with the rest serving as restitution to investors in the mortgage-linked security. Goldman will not admit wrongdoing, though it will admit that its marketing materials for the investment “contained incomplete information.”
Haha, yeah, it contained incomplete information. Like, “this investment’s goal is to turn you upside down and watch the money fall out of your pockets and into our hands.”
And here’s more from the S.E.C.’s director of enforcement, Robert Khuzami…
“Half a billion dollars is the largest penalty ever assessed against a financial services firm in the history of the S.E.C.,” Mr. Khuzami said in a statement. “This settlement is a stark lesson to Wall Street firms that no product is too complex, and no investor too sophisticated, to avoid a heavy price if a firm violates the fundamental principles of honest treatment and fair dealing.”
Is it bad that this has me smiling ear to ear?
I mean, with the financial regulations bill being passed today and this decision coming day, there’s obviously a new sheriff in town who’s trying to make sure that what went down in 2008 (and the years leading up to the meltdown) will never happen again.
And yes, businesses are crying foul, but meanwhile they’re sitting on record cash hordes, so their complaints ring pretty hollow to me.
Long story short, Goldman Sachs got what they deserved.