All top executives at Goldman Sachs have Tuesday made their testimonies before the Senate members of the U.S. Congress – including CEO Lloyd Blankfein. They all did their best to defend themselves against the legislation brought against them. Here’s the full transcripts of all the prepared statements, and video recordings of the U.S politicians questioning of the Goldman-leaders.
“What you perceive, your observations, feelings, interpretations, are all your truth. Your truth is important. Yet it is not The Truth.”
The CEO of Goldman Sachs testily defended his company’s ethics and business practices during the nation’s financial crisis on Tuesday, saying customers who bought securities from the Wall Street giant came looking for risk “and that’s what they got.”
“Unfortunately, the housing market went south very quickly,” Lloyd Blankfein told skeptical senators on an investigatory panel. “So people lost money in it.”
He was the final witness in a daylong hearing on Goldman Sachs’ behavior, which resulted in a government civil fraud charge earlier this month.
Five present and two former Goldman officials held their ground in hours of contentious testimony, unflinchingly defending their conduct and denying that the Wall Street investment bank helped cause the near-meltdown of the nation’s financial system.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the panel’s chairman cited a “fundamental conflict” in Goldman’s selling securities and then betting against the same securities — and not telling the buyers.
“They’re buying something from you, and you are betting against it. And you want people to trust you. I wouldn’t trust you,” Levin told Blankfein.
Blankfein denied such a conflict. “We do hundreds of thousands, if not millions of transactions a day, as a market maker,” Blankfein said, noting that behind every transaction there was a buyer and a seller, creating both winners and losers.
The following Goldman executives was called in on the carpet before the Senate in today’s hearing:
LLOYD C. BLANKFEIN
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
DANIEL L. SPARKS
Former Partner, Head of Mortgages Department
JOSHUA S. BIRNBAUM
Former Managing Director, Structured Products Group Trading
MICHAEL J. SWENSON
Managing Director, Structured Products Group Trading
FABRICE P. TOURRE
Executive Director, Structured Products Group Trading
DAVID A. VINIAR
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
CRAIG W. BRODERICK
Chief Risk Officer
The senators asking questions was: Carl Levin Chairman (D-MI), Thomas R. Carper (D-DE), Mark L. Pryor (D-AR), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Coburn Ranking Member (R-OK), Susan M. Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), John Ensign (R-NV).
“I’ve Been Targeted”
Embattled Goldman Sachs Executive Director Fabrice Tourre who was sued by the SEC for fraud told the Senate subcommittee today that he will defend himself in court against the suit.
I deny — categorically — the SECs allegation, Tourre said at a hearing of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. I will defend myself in court against this false claim, he said, adding that a deal at the center of the suit was not designed to fail.
Tourre, 31, and six other current and former Goldman Sachs employees will testify before lawmakers about the firms mortgage-securities business in the years leading up to the economic collapse of 2009.
Inside Goldman Sachs
Here’s the morning report from ABC News, featuring clips from Lloyd Blankfein’s testimony:
The Essential Background Material:
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