The Senate investigation into Goldman Sachs unveils undeniable evidence about the risks of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and how Wall Street’s repackaging of the products produced not only billions of dollars in losses for investors, but also fueled a financial tsunami across the globe.
A May 2 story in the Wall Street Journal details the multiplier effect of what happened when Wall Street banks replicated certain toxic bonds into numerous securities, or CDOs. The article highlights one $38 million mortgage-related bond that was created in June 2006 and ended up in more than 30 debt pools. According to the article, that one bond ultimately caused “$280 million in losses to investors by the time the bond’s principal was wiped out in 2008.”
Goldman Sachs has spent the past week responding to questions and accusations from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on whether the firm and several employees helped inflate the housing bubble and then profited when the market collapsed.
On April 16, Goldman Sachs was named in civil fraud lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC accused Goldman of creating and selling a mortgage investment that was secretly intended to fail. The SEC’s lawsuit also names Goldman Vice President Fabrice Tourre, who helped create and sell the investment at the center of the SEC’s fraud allegations.