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Bove on Goldman Sachs’ top 5 scandals

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The recent Goldman scandal involving accusations of pushing aluminum costs higher is the latest in a string of scandals. Banking analyst Dick Bove says there's more to this than meets the eye.

Goldman Sachs has been called everything from one of “the most hated companies in America” to “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”.

But just when you thought Goldman’s public image couldn’t get any worse, the New York Times released a story yesterday saying the company is costing consumers billions of dollars in extra aluminum costs. And, on top of that, there’s the public spectacle of Fabrice Tourre, a former mid-level Goldman trader on trial for his (small) part in the mortgage-backed securities collapse in the last decade.

But, according to noted bank analyst Dick Bove, Vice President of Equity Research at Rafferty Capital, it’s not just about Goldman. Instead, it’s a regulatory crackdown. Last week, JPMorgan Chase settled with the US government to the tune of $500 million after being accused of manipulating the energy markets. Meanwhile, Barclays was also charged with energy markets manipulation and ordered to pay $470 million by the feds, though the bank is challenging the government.

What’s next for Goldman and other banks? Watch the rest of Bove’s interview in the video above to hear his shocking take on what the government is really up to and what is should do.

Top Five Worst Goldman Sachs Scandals
5. Paying to play

Goldman VP Neil Morrison was charged by the SEC with having a hand in then-state treasurer Timothy Cahill’s independent bid for governor while trying to get bond business for Goldman Sachs. Morrison had previously worked for Cahill at the treasury. Ultimately, Morrison was fined $100,000 and barred from securities trading for five years.

4. The Muppet Show

When Goldman trader Greg Smith resigned, he took to print, accusing his former employer of losing its old culture. He said it was now full of “morally bankrupt” people who called clients “muppets” behind their backs.

3. Goldman’s Greek games
The Archimedes Screw was invented by the Greek mathematician to transfer water out of low-levels of water and into ditches. In the last decade, Goldman Sachs’ version transferred high levels of Greek debt to further dates, sinking the country into a huge financial ditch while trying to dodge EU budget oversight.

2. The fabulous financial fiasco

Goldman sold a lot of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) such as mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) before the housing market collapse. One group of “synthetic CDOs” was sold to investors. What Goldman didn’t mention was the John Paulson’s fund had a role in picking the composition of those CDOs at a time it was shorting them. Goldman paid $550 million to settle charges related to it. Meanwhile, former Goldman mid-level trader Fabrice “Fabulous Fab” Tourre is currently on trial for his role in the case. Oh, and Paulson made over $1 billion during the housing market collapse.

1. Getting taxpayer money through AIG

When insurance giant AIG nearly went bust, one of the reasons it was bailed out by the US government was it was too big to fail. What was going to make them fail? All the credit default swaps (CDSs) sold to Goldman Sachs in case a counterparty’s credit declined. So, guess who got billions of dollars in the taxpayers’ bailout of AIG? Yep, Goldman Sachs.

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