U.S. securities regulators are in preliminary discussions with several major Wall Street banks aimed at reaching settlements to resolve a broad investigation of their sales of mortgage-bond deals that helped unleash the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.
The probe involves complex pools of mortgages and other loans called collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, slices of which were sold to different investors.
Yeah, just like Goldman.
That’s what this is about – the same CDOs that Goldman, if you remember, sold off to investors without disclosing that the way it came to be was due to the request of a hedge fund that wanted to be short the underlying credit.
That is, they sold something to people who were betting on the performance of that thing without disclosing that the purpose of the creation of the security was so another entity could take a position against performance of that same thing.
There was also the issue of whether or not that other hedge fund selected the securities to be included.
But at its core the problem with these securities, and the inherent scam, is that unlike a physical bond where the person who causes it come into creation (the borrowing company) obviously expects to pay there is no such necessary belief in the creation of a CDO.
This makes the intent of the creator a key fact that should always be disclosed.
But it wasn’t.
What should happen here is that the institutions involved should be both indicted and sued. If you can’t get them under the stricter standards of proof, I’ll take a civil judgment even though the people are owed the attempt to prosecute criminally. But the sort of “settlement” that’s being talked about almost-certainly will be another schmooze-fest with no admission of wrong-doing and a token “slap on the wrist” fine.
There is no “Securities and Exchange Commission” intended to protect investors. The purpose of the SEC is clearly to give cover to those institutions that bilk investors.
If you haven’t figured that out by now you need to go talk to God about a refund of whatever you paid for your brain.