Goldman Sachs COO Says Investment Firm Shorted 1% of CDOs Mortgage Bonds But Didn’t Bet Against Clients

According to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Operating Operator and President Gary Cohn, the investment firm adamant that the bank did not bet against its own clients. He says that Goldman Sachs purchased protection against a decline in just 1% of mortgage-backed securities it underwrote since late 2006. Former clients, regulators, and members of Congress are accusing Goldman Sachs of designing mortgage-backed securities that would fail and then betting on their failure to purchase credit-default swaps, which pay out when a default occurs.

Cohn testified last month before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. He says that in the wake of the serious allegations, the investment firm has examined the $47 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and $14.5 billion in collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that the firm underwrote since firm executives began to feel the need to treat the subprime mortgage market with caution in December 2006. He claims that by the end of June 2007, Goldman Sachs held $2.4 billion of bonds from CDOs and $2.4 billion of bonds from RMBS trusts. The investment bank had protection for approximately 1% of the total underwritten. Nearly 60% of the derivatives and bonds in the CDOs were from other institutions.

The hearing was called to probe the relationship between Goldman and American International Group Inc (AIG). The investment bank had purchased CDO protection from the insurer. Billions of dollars in federal funds had allowed AIG to stay in business even though it was facing bankruptcy and a number of the insurer’s counterparties, including Goldman, are believed to have benefited. Cohn has argued that all market participants benefited from the government’s assistance.

Related Web Resources:
Goldman Sachs Shorted 1% of its Mortgage Bonds, CDOs, Cohn Says, Business Week, June 30, 2010
Goldman’s Cohn: Firm Didn’t Drive Down Mortgage-Asset Marks,, June 30, 2010
Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

If you suffered financial losses from credit-default swaps, mortgage backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and you believe broker misconduct was involved, contact our stockbroker fraud law firm immediately.