April 20, 2024

DealBook: Goldman Said to Receive Subpoena Over Financial Crisis

Goldman Sachs has received a subpoena from the office of the Manhattan district attorney, which is investigating the investment bank’s role in the financial crisis, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The inquiry stems from a 650-page Senate report from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that indicated Goldman had misled clients and Congress about its practices related to mortgage-linked securities.

Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, who headed up the Congressional inquiry, had sent his findings to the Justice Department to figure out whether executives broke the law. The agency said it was reviewing the report.

The subpoena come two weeks after lawyers for Goldman Sachs met with the attorney general of New York’s office for an “exploratory” meeting about the Senate report, the people said.

“We don’t comment on specific regulatory or legal issues, but subpoenas are a normal part of the information request process and, of course, when we receive them we cooperate fully,” said a Goldman representative.

The investment bank has not been accused of any wrongdoing. A subpoena is a request for information.

Bloomberg News earlier reported on the issuance of the subpoena.

The subpoena is the latest blow to Goldman, which since the financial crisis has faced criticism that it shorted the mortgage market before it collapsed, making billions of dollars at the expense of its clients.

In early April, the Senate subcommittee published a scathing report, which took specific aim at Goldman. It notably highlighted testimony by the institution’s chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, who denied the firm was making large bets against residential mortgages while selling securities based on home loans.

Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.Charles Dharapak/Associated PressThe Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

“We didn’t have a massive short against the housing market,” Mr. Blankfein testified at a Congressional hearing in 2010. It was a sentiment echoed in various public statements that year.

The Senate committee took a different view. The Congressional report noted the phrase “net short” appeared more than 3,400 times in Goldman documents related to the mortgage market.

It also quoted a letter from Goldman to the Securities and Exchange Commission, in which the firm said “we maintained a net short sub-prime position and therefore stood to benefit from declining prices in the mortgage market.”

Shares of Goldman slipped more than 2 percent on Thursday. The stock, which closed on Wednesday at $136.17, was trading above $170 in January.

Correction: Lawyers for Goldman Sachs met with the attorney general of New York’s office, not the Manhattan district attorney.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=744f2e6110fead87d37daf1560d26e25

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