Senate Berates 'Unethical' Goldman

As Code Pink protesters yell 'these guys are crooks'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 27, 2010 10:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – Goldman Sachs took its lumps on Capitol Hill today, with the Senate investigations subcommittee berating it for taking positions against the securities it was selling. After a brief protest from Code Pink, chairman Carl Levin began the hearing by saying Goldman had treated its customers "not as valuable customers but as objects for its own profit.” Susan Collins followed up: “Clearly, this system must be reformed,” she said, “so that Wall Street banks do not act as unscrupulous operators who seek to profit from the public's misfortune.”

“I don't know if Goldman has done anything illegal,” John McCain said, but “there's no doubt their behavior was unethical, and the American people will render a judgment.” Dan Sparks, the former head of Goldman's mortgage unit, responded to the barrage by saying he was just managing risks, and often couldn't even tell if the firm was long or short on the market. You can follow the action on the New York Times' liveblog.

Fabrice Tourre, executive director, Goldman Sachs Structured Products Group Trading, right, prepares to testify on Capitol Hill, April 27, 2010, before the Senate Investigations subcommittee.
Fabrice Tourre, executive director, Goldman Sachs Structured Products Group Trading, right, prepares to testify on Capitol Hill, April 27, 2010, before the Senate Investigations subcommittee.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Senate Investigations subcommittee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. holds a document entitled The Subprime Meltdown, as he briefs reporters on Capitol Hill ahead of the Goldman Sachs hearings.
Senate Investigations subcommittee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. holds a document entitled "The Subprime Meltdown", as he briefs reporters on Capitol Hill ahead of the Goldman Sachs hearings.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Protestors hold up a photos of Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 27, 2010, during a Senate Investigations subcommittee hearing.
Protestors hold up a photos of Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 27, 2010, during a Senate Investigations subcommittee hearing.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Fabrice Tourre, executive director, Goldman Sachs Structured Products Group Trading, prepares to testify on Capitol Hill Tuesday, before the Senate Investigations subcommittee.
Fabrice Tourre, executive director, Goldman Sachs Structured Products Group Trading, prepares to testify on Capitol Hill Tuesday, before the Senate Investigations subcommittee.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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