Financial Regulatory Forum

US Congress Looks for New Ways to Tax Financial Services

During a congressional hearing, lawmakers searched for ways to use the tax code to dampen short-term speculation in the financial markets and close the budget deficit. To fix the problem, they suggested changes in tax structures, including discounted capital gains tax for long-term investors, transaction tax, bank tax, and financial speculation tax, Thomson Reuters WG&L Accounting & Compliance Alert reports.

(more…)

Goldman Sachs’ soul search – sincere or strategy?

   By Steve Eder and Rachelle Younglai
   NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) – Contrary to popular belief, Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> has a soul – and it is even spending time searching it.
   In the closing hours of Goldman’s marathon showdown with a Senate panel in Washington on Tuesday, Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein shared that the Wall Street giant is in the midst of an internal cleansing in which a top executive is leading a business practices committee and “going over everything.” (more…)

What are the odds on a three-legged horse?

Senators quizzing Goldman Sachs executives yesterday seemed at least as concerned about the wider ethical issues of investment banking as they did about the actual charges that the SEC has laid against Goldman, writes John Manley. (more…)

Goldman Sachs: Shareholder Revolt Spreads Where the SEC Has Yet to Tread

Where the SEC goes, plaintiffs’ lawyers are sure to follow. But in the case of Goldman Sachs, they’ve charged ahead straight into the C-suite, alleging far broader levels of misdeed than the SEC’s limited charges surrounding an individual transaction, writes Erik Krusch of Thomson Reuters Westlaw Business Currents. (Click here for further details.)  (more…)

Fabulous lessons from Fab

By John Manley

Three years ago, Goldman Sachs bond trader Fabrice Tourre, emailed his girlfriend Marine. Amid the amour and tendresse, “Fabulous Fab” expressed his misgivings about his job: he was conflicted about selling financial instruments that he thought were destined to fail.

Though Fab tried to rationalise his role as a small cog helping the huge engine of the capital markets operate more efficiently, he didn’t appear entirely convinced that this cleared him of any ethical responsibility.

“Anyway, not feeling too guilty about this,” Fab wrote to Marine in January 2007. “The real purpose of my job is to make capital markets more efficient and ultimately provide the U.S. consumer with more efficient ways to leverage and finance himself, so there is a humble, noble and ethical reason for my job ;) amazing how good I am in convincing myself !!!”

ANALYSIS-Central banks’ police job may cloud monetary tasks

  By Krista Hughes and Mark Felsenthal
   FRANKFURT/WASHINGTON, April 26 (Reuters) – Major central banks are taking on a new role of finance police in the wake of the global financial crisis but they could find their hands more tied as a result. (more…)

SEC summary for U.S. senator on senior staff porn use at work

Did senior staffers of the U.S.  Securities and Exchange Commission watch porn on their government computers while the financial system burned? Here is a link to an SEC inspector general’s summary report, via the Washington Post, which was prepared for Republican Sen. Charles Grassely of Iowa.

(more…)

U.S. Senate panel releases documents on credit raters’ role in Abacus, financial crisis

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a trove of internal messages and other exhibits from its look at the role credit-rating agencies played in the financial crisis, including several related to the Goldman Sachs Abacus trades at the heart of SEC fraud charges against the bank .  Reuters links to full file of exhibits.

(more…)

Will Goldman Complaint Repair the Damage from Madoff Fiasco?

Some former government prosecutors are cheering the SEC’s case against Goldman Sachs. Some even called it a watershed event that might rehabilitate the SEC’s image, which has been tarnished in the fallout from the financial crisis and the failure to catch financial fraudsters like Bernard Madoff. Now all the SEC has to do is win its trial against Goldman, which is vowing to fight the charges, reports WG&L, from Thomson Reuters tax and accounting specialists. (more…)

Goldman CEO attacks SEC fraud charges – FT

    NEW YORK, April 21 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein attacked U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fraud charges against the bank in phone calls to clients, the Financial Times said on Wednesday. (more…)

  •