On Friday, we learned that found out that the all time winner in the ‘get away with financial murder’ department, Goldman Sachs has been sued for fraud by the SEC. You may remember that it was those captains of the universe at GS that created the toxic debt instrument, the Collateral Debt Obligation, better known as CDOs, that nearly wiped out the financial institutions. GS has a lot of chutzpah, because not only are they said to have helped to create the toxicity, but they also managed to get billions of dollars in TARP bailout money.
By Joshua Gallu and Christine Harper
April 16 (Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was sued by U.S. regulators for fraud tied to collateralized debt obligations that contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The firm’s shares tumbled as much as 16 percent and financial stocks slumped.
Goldman Sachs created and sold CDOs tied to subprime mortgages in early 2007, as the U.S. housing market faltered, without disclosing that hedge fund Paulson & Co. helped pick the underlying securities and bet against them, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement today. Billionaire John Paulson’s firm earned $1 billion on the trade and wasn’t accused of wrongdoing. The SEC also sued Fabrice Tourre, a Goldman Sachs vice president who helped created the CDOs.
‘ “The product was new and complex but the deception and conflicts are old and simple,” SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami said. “Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio, while telling other investors that the securities were selected by an independent, objective third party.”
“Goldman Sachs became emblematic of public outrage at the banking industry after posting a record $13.4 billion profit in 2009, a year after receiving $10 billion in taxpayer aid during the financial crisis.” More from Bloomberg
Like yours truly, back in 2006 (see Llewellyn’s 2006 Moon Sign Book), Paulson warned investors that the building boom was about to go bust. However, unlike yours truly, Paulson put his money where his mouth was and made a fortune by creating a financial instrument (collateral debt obligation or CDO) of real estate mortgage based securities (RMBS) that he was betting against. At first, he lost money, then in 2007, he hit pay dirt – big time. It is estimated in 2007, alone, Paulson & Co. made $15 billion dollars. This transaction, is said to have netted Paulson close to $4 billion dollars.
So where is the fraud?
Not on John Paulson’s part, he has been absolved off all liability in this situation. We need to roll back the clock to 2007. In a nutshell, John Paulson went to Goldman Sachs (as well as other investment banks) and asked them to ‘create’ (structure) a type of RMBS (special emphasis on the last two letters) that some say was designed to fail. Gary Zuckerman’s book, ‘The Greatest Trade,’ tells us that Paulson shopped around to various banks. Not all of them took the bait. According to Zuckerman, thinking that Paulson would want especially ‘ugly mortgages,’ Bear Stearns turned him down. There has been the analogy raised that this was like benching your best player, while betting on the opposing team. While there might be of questionable ethics to create a CDO to fail and then bet against it, there is hardly anything illegal about that. Investment banks come up with (structure) financial instruments of all types, all the time.
What was the SEC alleges to be fraudulent is that Goldman Sachs, as well as, their Vice President Fabrice Tourre not only created the financial instrument, but also prepared the marketing materials, and sold them directly to customers. In addition, and perhaps worst of all, the SEC alleges that Goldman Sachs did not disclose the risk, specifically that hedge fund, Paulson & Co. had a significant bet (short) against this particular financial instrument.
Will this be the end of Goldman Sachs? Given the heavily restricted resources of the Securities and Exchange Commission and what seems to be the vast resources of Goldman Sachs, I tend to doubt it. However, given the allegations, it might not be a bad time to check out Goldman Sachs initial public offering. Goldman Sachs went public, that is offered shares in their company stock on May 4th 1999. We use 9:30 a.m., New York, because this is the time that the New York Stock Exchange opened.
Looking at the chart, we see that Cancer rises, making the Moon very important in this chart. We see that the Moon is in the gambling sign of Sagittarius, placed in the 6th sector of service. In a sense, what G.S. does is to serve the investment community with a host of financial services. The Moon will represent the company, and all who work there. I have to admit, I was surprised to see a movable sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) rising. The movable signs are so named because they are very changeable. And as such, when we see one of them rise, because of the speed involved, there is a sense of hyper speed up. Companies with movable signs on the rise, see a lot of action, but there is less stability than I would like to see in a company that has this kind of influence on the markets.
The next thing I look for is what planet or luminary has power over the sign rising coming up in the east. In the case of GS, the company and all who work, therein, and because we are talking about an stock, not a corporation (which has different rules) and all who own a piece of it, (stockholders) instead of something stable, to bring balance, instead, we see the fluctuating Moon. Aptly, the Moon is in speculative sign, Sagittarius, in the service sector, indeed that is what Goldman purports to do, serve the banking and investment community. The Moon is in a wonderful relationship with its ruler, Mr. Moneybags, Jupiter. Luck is always important in the realm of big time finance, or else it wouldn’t have gotten this big to begin with. In addition to owning the company, Jupiter has a lot to say about the upper echelon of the company. We might say that Goldman Sachs has friends in high places, as can be clearly seen by Jupiter’s position in the tail end of the 10th house. The revolving door between GS and government is well known. We have several C.E.Os who left GS to become Secretary of the Treasury. Jupiter will represent management.
The deal in question went on April 26, 2007. What is intriguing to me is that it looks like management (the 10th) was very anxious for this deal to proceed. I do not know the particulars, but with Mars, the North Node and Uranus sitting in the house of bigwigs, on that fateful day, while the diminishing Saturn sat in the
As this suit comes about, Jupiter just happens to be cresting at the 10th house of the stock. In traditional astrology, the 10th house is what we pay for things. Since the 10th house is the top of the chart, the noon position, it might suggest that the stock price is peaking. It is interesting to note that the deal itself, went down on April 26 2007. If we look at the transiting planets on that day, it looks like management might have been a bit too anxious for push this deal through with anxious Mars, and Uranus all right up at the top on that day. In addition, the planet of bear markets and diminishing returns, Saturn was not only in their money house (2nd) but also square their money ruler… It looks, at least from an astrological point of view that Goldman Sachs was ‘hot to trot’ for this deal. We have to wonder what kind of other deals GS had made back in 2007. Were they anxious about some other trades, or where they just greedy or was this just business as usual? We will probably never know. What we do know is that in 2007, Goldman was trading upwards of $250, but in March had dropped quite a bit, and what we also know is that Goldman dropped 13% on Friday. There are now probes taking place in both Great Britain and Germany. Don’t forget that Goldman is a huge player in China.
To be continued…..
Friday’s child is said to be giving… perhaps Bernie thought he was?
As per request, here is my rectification of Bernard Madoff. I believe using western and eastern methods that he was born at 6:30 a.m., Bronx, NY. This gives him a 18 Taurus rising. It is interesting that 18 Taurus places his rising sign in the Lunar mansion, Barani, which is said to be an empty cup. Certainly, for those who invested with him, his cup only appeared to runneth over. Again, this is a rectification, so therefore, it is subject to change if some intrepid astro-sleuth has any friends in birth records in Albany, who can get a birth certificate, please let me know.