Investments deals involving CDOs have come back to haunt Morgan Stanley. Federal prosecutors apparently are investigating whether the investment bank intentionally misled investors about various synthetic collateralized debt obligations that it helped design and sometimes bet against. The story was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on May 11.
According to the story, Morgan Stanley marketed and sold the CDOs in question to investors and then subsequently placed bets that their value would fall. Among other things, investigators want to know whether the bank disclosed certain facts to investors, as well as its role in the deals themselves.
In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged another investment firm – Goldman Sachs – with fraud in connection to sales of synthetic CDOs.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Goldman Sachs failed to tell investors certain details regarding the financial products, including the fact that a major hedge fund not only selected the securities held by the CDO but also bet against them to fail.
Meanwhile, the probe into Morgan Stanley’s CDO is at a preliminary stage.