Felix Salmon

Time for contrition from Rubin and Goldman

Robert Rubin ought to be feeling a bit uncomfortable this morning, in the wake of public comments from two men he is very closely associated with. First, there’s Bill Clinton:

Counterparties

Wherein Pimco wheels out a robot named “Neel Kashkari” which unfortunately fails the Turing Test — Pimco

SEC started investigating Abacus in 2008

Talk about Goldman not disclosing material information. I’m not talking about Abacus here, I’m talking about the fact that Goldman knew as far back as last September that the SEC was on the warpath with respect to Abacus, and gave no hint to shareholders that there might be legal trouble afoot.

Siwoti Sunday: Blodget’s bizarre Goldman apologia

After covering the Martha Stewart trial for Slate, Henry Blodget delivered his verdict: both Stewart and her broker, Peter Bacanovic, were not guilty on all counts. But at least he disclosed that he was prejudiced and that he “wouldn’t mind seeing the government get egg on its face”:

How ACA was misled

Steve Waldman has the single best explanation of what was going on in the Abacus deal and why Goldman is so culpable. He makes a lot of really good points, and it’s well worth reading the whole thing. But it’s especially worth pointing to this bit:

Open questions about the Abacus deal

There are a few questions I’d love to see answered about Goldman’s Abacus deal:

Counterparties

Bond Girl on Goldman Sachs — Self-Evident

I think my BNN hit today went quite well, but they didn’t understand my distinction between cash and synthetic CDOs — BNN

Parsing the new Goldman statement

Good news! Goldman has just released a much longer statement on the Abacus affair. It’s worth delving into:

Goldman’s reputation in tatters

It’s not easy to parse a one-sentence statement, but Goldman’s declaration that “the SEC’s charges are completely unfounded in law and fact and we will vigorously contest them and defend the firm and its reputation” seems ill-advised to me, mainly because it’s so obviously untrue. It might be hard to successfully prosecute Goldman — they have a lot of very expensive lawyers, and securities law is murky at the best of times. But there’s enough in the way of smoking guns in the SEC’s complaint that it’s ridiculous to say that it’s “completely unfounded in fact”.