The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday charged Goldman Sachs & Co. (GS 160.70, -23.57, -12.79%) and one of its vice presidents for defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts about a financial product related to subprime mortgages. The SEC alleges that Goldman Sachs structured and marketed a collateralized debt obligation that hinged on the performance of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities. However, it failed to disclose the role that a major hedge fund, Paulson & Co., played in the portfolio selection process as well as the fact that the hedge fund had taken a short position against the CDO. "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," said Robert Khuzami, director of the division of enforcement, in a statement.So they let a short-seller dictate what they put in a CDO, so as to cash in when the thing tanked.
And they wonder why people now think of Goldman Sachs as a particularly gooey type of pond scum.