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.”
Just a few minutes after the Senate failed for a third time in as many days to reach the 60-votes needed to approve a cloture motion on the financial reform bill (failing 56-42), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rose to his feet and asked the chamber’s presiding officer: “Mr President, I now ask unanimous consent the motion to proceed to S 3217 be agreed to”.
After the president officer asked for objections, and heard none, he replied “Without objection, it is so ordered”, according to the Congressional Record, Reuters columnist John Kemp writes.
Full convergence of US and international accounting standards appears to be some way off, and while International Accounting Standards Board member Philippe Danjou is still aiming to achieve Plan A – meeting the G20 deadline of full convergence by mid-2011 – a compromise Plan B is clearly being prepared, John Manley writes.
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.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled another vote on financial reform later today, the fourth such vote in three days, as he tries to grind down opposition from Senate Republicans, writes Reuters columnist John Kemp.
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.)
Goldman Sachs has “a lot to answer for,” Sen. Carl Levin said ahead of a hearing that will focus on the role investment banks played in the financial crisis. Lawmakers have been pressing for more information ever since the SEC accused Goldman of fraud for its role in underwriting a controversial subprime security. Thomson Reuters’ WG&L Accounting & Compliance Alert looks at the issues. Click here for more details.
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.