Times are given in US EST.
By Alan Rappeport
8:42pm – And nearly 11 hours after the hearings began, that’s a wrap.
8:35pm – The audience appears to be thinning in the meeting room. Mr Levin is giving his closing statement, giving one last run down of how the entire financial crisis ensued, for the record. Mr Blankfein’s face is locked in a squint and he is clutching his water glass. “I happen to be one that believes in a free market, but if it’s going to be free…it’s got to be free of deception. It needs a cop on the beat of Wall Street.” Read more
Refresh this page for the latest updates. Times are given in US EST
By Alan Rappeport
3:13pm – The committee has excused the witnesses after an exhaustive array of questioning. The Goldman witnesses appeared to hold their own, often frustrating the Senators who probed aggressively. There will be a 10 minute recess before David Viniar, CFO, and Craig Broderick, chief risk officer, take the stage. We’ll return for the third panel featuring Lloyd Blankfein.
3:03pm – Mr Levin is returning to the bigger question of conflicts of interest. “For heavens sake, clients should know that when you are selling securities, that you are betting against those securities. I think it is intolerable and it needs to be addressed,” he said. Read more
As I noted in my earlier post, I don’t think the fact that Goldman Sachs was short of the residential mortgage securities market in 2007 (to the degree that it was) was, as the Senate investigations subcommittee seems to think, a scandal.
Politicians and regulators tend to be biased against short sellers, believing that going short is somehow wrong or unpatriotic. But the fact that Goldman protected itself better than other banks such as Lehman Brothers from the downturn was neither illegal nor wrong in itself. Read more
What happens if you cut the pay of senior executives? The general response of large companies is that these employees will leave for a competitor. But is that true?
Kenneth Feinberg, the US government’s “pay czar” who sets senior executive compensation at the remaining companies receiving assistance under its Tarp programme, thinks not. Read more