Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Goldman boss denies betting on housing collapse

By Raw Story

Sen. Levin accuses firm of 'trying to sell a shitty deal' to investors

Goldman Sachs denied reaping vast profits from the collapse of the US housing market as its top executive and a star trader faced a grilling Tuesday in Congress over the 2008 financial meltdown.

In angry exchanges before a Senate investigative committee, the storied Wall Street firm was accused of unbridled greed in a crisis that forced thousands of Americans from their homes.

Democratic Senator Carl Levin, the panel's chairman, assailed Goldman as representative of Wall Street's greed, linking them to a raging political fight over the most sweeping financial reforms in a generation.

Accusing Goldman of "trying to sell a shitty deal" to investors, Levin fumed that "as we speak, lobbyists fill the halls of Congress hoping to weaken or kill reforms that would end these abuses.

Newsweek's Michael Hirsh blogs,

Daniel Sparks, the former head of Goldman's mortgage department, repeatedly declined to utter the simple statement that he had acted in the clients' best interests, as did two other Goldman witnesses including Tourre (who took the opportunity to deny all the SEC charges against him). "You knew it was a s--tty deal," Levin told Sparks, repeating again and again a word seldom heard on the record from high public officials. "How much of that s--tty deal did you sell to your clients?"

Sparks refused to say. When Collins asked him whether he felt an obligation to "act in the best interest of your clients," Sparks couldn't answer that directly either. "I had a duty to act in a very straightforward way and very open way with my clients," he responded, prompting gasps of incredulity in the room.

In reporting the exchange, the conservative trash blog Drudge Report linked to a Breitbart video, using an all-caps banner: "DEM POTTY MOUTH: USE S-BOMB 11X IN PUBLIC HEARING."

This video is from C-SPAN 3, broadcast April 27, 2010.

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