Fraud Fine Is Chump Change for Goldman

$500M penalty amounts to just 2 weeks of profits

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 16, 2010 1:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – The SEC is boasting that the $550 million settlement it agreed to with Goldman Sachs is the "largest-ever penalty paid by a Wall Street firm." That may be true, but that doesn't mean it's actually going to chasten Goldman. Top put things in perspective, Pro Publica notes that the fine is...

  • ... less than Goldman gave away to small businesses as a PR move in November.
  • ... less than one-tenth of the value Goldman stock gained yesterday on news of a settlement.

  • ... about 2 weeks' worth of profit for the company, based on the first quarter of 2010.
  • ... a sum Goldman could pay immediately, hundreds of times over, given its $162 billion in excess liquidity.
But, to be fair, it's also...

  • ... eight times what Lloyd Blankfein makes in a year, and ...
  • ... significantly more than Goldman made on the deal the SEC sued over, though the firm had dozens of similar deals not included in the lawsuit.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein testifies before the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on Wall Street investment banks and the financial crisis on Capitol Hill, April 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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