Tuesday, April 27, 2010

After listening to Goldman's opening statements at the Senate investigations subcommittee

I think that they certainly operated within the bounds of the law, and that they disclosed what they needed to disclose.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Might need to move to Australia, eventually.

UPDATE: Here's what Jon Faust has to say:
What is striking is that caveat emptor arises as a legal principle mainly because of the tangle the courts would get into if they tried to enforce a more ambitious standard of right and wrong.

Chief Justice Marshall’s logic surely applies with even greater force to modern deals between investment banks and sophisticated qualified investors, both of which will be simultaneously working on many deals, each involving sensitive proprietary information.

Caveat emptor makes good sense as a practical limitation on what courts might reasonably be expected to sort out.

So should shareholders of Goldman Sachs be concerned? About the suit, I don’t know. More generally, perhaps so.

As I reminded my undergraduates the other day, caveat emptor is a legal principle, not a business plan.

UPDATE: I feel badly for Goldman, even though they are the Yankees of investment banking (and I'm a Red Sox fan). I feel like their players are on the hot seat because they were throwing changeups, and now Congress is unhappy with changeups because they are deceptive.

UPDATE: Bethany McLean says:
... the transaction at the heart of the S.E.C.’s complaint is a microcosm of the entire credit crisis. That is, there are no good guys here. It’s dishonest and ultimately dangerous to pretend that Goldman is the only bad actor. And the worst actor of all is the one leading the charge against Goldman: our government. Each of the supposed victims here was, at best, a willing accomplice.

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