SELF-DEALING Part 1: Goldman Scheme Revealed

The problem is not that the mortgages are in default. The problem is that the investment banks are in default of their obligations to investors and homeowners. Until Government and the Courts realize this simple fact, they will never untangle the debris caused by the illusion of a crash. If that day ever comes, more than 80% of our problems will vanish.”

“Legally, the ONLY way these mortgages could be viewed as being delinquent or in default is if we add a SECOND or THIRD party to the transaction each of whom is entitled to FULL payment. Sound impossible? That is exactly how millions of foreclosures have already been done and ratified by courts and judges over whose eyes the wool is so thick they err on the side of “blind” and forget about “justice.”

Editor’s Note: The article below shortens the analysis required to follow what really was going on. In simple terms, Goldman created toxic waste and sold it as gold. Goldman then bet that it was toxic waste, which was no “bet” since they knew for sure. When it turned out to be toxic waste, they collected on the bet. So they collected twice — first when they sold it to investors, and second when they collected on the “insurance.”

The investors were hung out to dry, along with the borrowers. Both lost the full value of their investment (measured in cash and/or property or liability), and both were left with potential greater liability than their investment if they pursued legal relief.

The point now being raised in the media is the realization of what we said 2 years ago — they had to CREATE toxic waste that would not suddenly convert to a performing loan.

Like the Broadway production or the movie, The Producers, if the loans started performing, then the accounting would show that the investment banks had only used a small percentage of the proceeds of sale from mortgage backed bonds to actually fund mortgages.

So, as we point out in the articles coming out today, Goldman and others inserted a provision that we pointed out 2 years ago wherein Goldman would declare the toxicity of the asset, thus forcing the market into a downward spiral. This gave them double the security and peace of mind they needed to know that the market would definitely crash. (It was actually Bear Stearns and Lehman who first invoked this provision).

The significance of this for homeowners is that in order to accomplish the goal of creating toxic loans that could not perform under any circumstances, a chain of securitization had to evolve in which homeowners would be induced to purchase the loan product under the mistaken impression it was a safe investment based upon representations of the “underwriter,” “appraiser” etc. This was a mirror of what was done to the pension funds who bought the pools of loan product under the mistaken impression that it was a safe investment based upon the representations of the underwriter, ratings agency etc.

This means that the securitization chain was created with the deliberate intent to create bad loans that would end up in “default” and in foreclosure. The only two real parties in interest — pension fund and homeowner were the only ones that actually lost money. Some investment banks also lost money if they were not in on the game.

The taxpayers bailed out the only parties who did NOT lose money, which explains the large bonuses while the economy is in “crisis.”

The mortgages and notes of “borrowers” were paid off several times over, as were the investments of the pension funds. The problem is not that the mortgages are in default. The problem is that the investment banks are in default of their obligations to investors and homeowners. Until Government and the Courts realize this simple fact, they will never untangle the debris caused by the illusion of a crash. If that day ever comes, more than 80% of our problems will vanish.

“Legally, the ONLY way these mortgages could be viewed as being delinquent or in default is if we add a SECOND or THIRD party to the transaction each of whom is entitled to FULL payment. Sound impossible? That is exactly how millions of foreclosures have already been done and ratified by courts and judges over whose yes the wool is so thick they err on the side of “blind” and forget about “justice.”

The ONLY way to peel away the layers over the eyes of government and the courts is to attack through discovery, contested factual issues and the requirements of proof.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

“Body Count From Goldman Actions Crosses Into Criminal Territory”

By Thomas Adams, at Paykin Krieg and Adams, LLP, and a former managing director at Ambac and FGIC.

Readers may have noticed Janet Tavakoli’s recent article at Huffington Post on Goldman Sachs and AIG. While much of it covers territory that Yves and I already wrote about previously, Ms. Tavakoli stops short of telling the whole story. While she is very knowledgeable of this market, perhaps she is unaware of the full extent of the wrongdoings Goldman committed by getting themselves paid on the AIG bailout. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury aided and abetted Goldman Sachs in committing financial and ethical crimes at an astounding level.

She notes, accurately, that Goldman used AIG to hedge its bet on CDO’s, either for itself with the Abacus deals, or for its clients, with the Davis Square deal. Had AIG failed, Goldman would have been on the hook for the losses: to execute the CDO with synthetic mortgage bonds, Goldman went “long” the CDS and then turned around and went “short” with AIG, effectively taking the risk of the mortgage bonds defaulting and then transferring it to AIG.

But Ms. Tavakoli fails to note that the collapse of the CDO bonds and the collapse of AIG were a deliberate strategy by Goldman.

To realize on their bet against the housing market, Goldman needed the CDO bonds to collapse in value, which would cause AIG to be downgraded and lead to AIG posting collateral and Goldman getting paid for their bet. I am confident that Goldman Sachs did not reveal to AIG that they were betting on the housing market collapse.

To help hasten the housing market collapse, Goldman ran a huge mortgage lending and issuance program with low quality loans virtually designed to fail, including dozens of deals backed by completely toxic non-prime second lien loans (these loans help pump up the housing bubble and let borrower’s suck the equity out of their homes).

In soliciting AIG’s insurance for the CDOs, Goldman was not disclosing that the transaction was highly speculative. Goldman was offering AAA, or even super AAA bonds. Goldman designed and sold these bonds and purchased a rating from the rating agencies that represented the risk to be AAA. In fact, the bonds did not provide real protection, despite their AAA rating, and when the housing market turned down, the AAA CDO bonds collapsed in value exactly as they were designed to do.

Goldman never wanted these CDOs to succeed – their bet depended on them failing. This is why they used AIG as their insurer – AIG posted collateral, which enabled Goldman to still get paid even when AIG inevitably got downgraded for taking on such toxic deals.

Goldman needed AIG’s insurance to complete this bet and get them off risk for the CDO they created

Hedge fund manager John Paulson and others used the same strategy. Goldman’s bet was risky because they depended on AIG being solvent in order to get paid. Other parties who made similar betters, but relied on the other bond insurers to pay them off ended up getting hurt when the bond insurers got downgraded and the trade did not pay off, as well.

Months before AIG received its bailout, Goldman was well aware of the risk that insurers would pay less the full amount of the CDOs – Goldman was advising FGIC in its restructuring efforts and FGIC negotiated a CDO commutation for ten cents on the dollar. Goldman mitigated the risk of downgrade by dealing exclusively with AIG, which was required to post collateral in the event of a downgrade.

Goldman also misled shareholders and investors by proclaiming that they were not exposed to toxic CDOs because they were hedged with AIG, even as the bond insurers (AIG’s direct competitors in the CDO market), were getting downgraded.

It is bad enough that the creators and sellers of the CDOs, such as Goldman, BlackRock and TCW, have not been held to account for selling worthless bonds while representing them to be of AAA quality. Most of these influential power brokers have succeeded in blaming the victim (investors and insurers who believed their lies about the quality of the bonds) for the financial crisis to distract from their own questionable activities.

Goldman goes quite a few steps further into despicable territory with their other actions and the body count from Goldman’s actions is so enormous that it crosses over into criminal territory, morally and legally, by getting taxpayer money for their predation.

Goldman made a huge bet that the housing market would collapse. They profited, on paper, from the tremendous pain suffered by homeowners, investors and taxpayers across the country, they helped make it worse. Their bet only succeeded because they were able to force the government into bailing out AIG.

In addition, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury, by helping Goldman Sachs to profit from homeowner and investor losses, conceal their misrepresentations to shareholders, destroy insurers by stuffing them with toxic bonds that they marketed as AAA, and escape from the consequences of making a risky bet, committed a grave injustice and, very likely, financial crimes. Since the bailout, they have actively concealed their actions and mislead the public. Goldman, the Fed and the Treasury should be investigated for fraud, securities law violations and misappropriation of taxpayer funds. Based on what I have laid out here, I am confident that they will find ample evidence.

Update 12/23, 1:00 PM: Yves here. Some readers in comments are dismissing this post as mere Goldman bashing, when its behavior was far more pernicious. I was remiss in not adding a critical bit of Tom’s argument, which he provided in a separate post:

While the sub-prime deals and CDOs were obviously going bad, an argument was made by many people at the time that the aggressive mark downs by AIG accelerated the death spiral for the market.

It is pretty clear, here and elsewhere, that Goldman was the one that initiated the mark downs of collateral value. It would be interesting to explore this all the way through. Though not discussed in this article, Goldman shorted subprime through the Abacus deals, and perhaps elsewhere. this gave them an incentive to force mark downs. the intermediation deals described in the article, combined with AIG’s collateral posting, gave them another incentive to be aggressive with mark downs. they were acting like they wanted to grab the money before anyone else could get their hands on it. this would have raised some issues in an AIGFP bankruptcy. (note – Hank Greenberg suggested that this was going on in his October 2008 testimony but there was a chorus of attacks on him for being a crook and unreliable, thanks to his problems with Spitzer.)

So here we have the pattern:

1. Goldman creates or sells $23 billion (or more) of CDOs and stuffs them into AIG.

2. Goldman proclaims to the world they have no exposure to CDOs and warns that banks and insurers with CDO exposure will get downgraded.

3. Goldman initiates the mark downs of CDOs with AIG and others, accelerating the market’s downward spiral.

4. Huge mark to market losses lead insurer and bank credit to freeze, short term markets to lock up, ABCP to collapse.

5. AIG posts as much collateral as it has to Goldman, who has more aggressively marked down the exposure.

6. Bond insurers are downgraded, banks begin commutations with them.

7. AIG fails, Fed steps in, Goldman gets bailed out at par.

13 Responses

  1. Thomas J. Adams is a man who is fair with his affidavits concerning notes, mortgages, securitizations, PSA, and proper assignments of mortgages and notes. His affidavit in the Horace v. Lasalle was a monumental confession of truth. Truth we have been waiting for those in the know would come forward and disclose. There were millions of mortgages and notes foreclosed upon illegally. Mr. Adams now shows us why. If there are in judges left in America who are honest, please rule like the judge in the Horace v. Lasalle case. Please help restore trust in our court system Please stop using robo-methods just to clear dockets. And please stop using the rule books developed by the banks. Please!

  2. I have been compelled to fight pro se in a case because the lawyer was a complete idiot and would not even file a response! There’s so much great information at this website, but the links in the starting point is very confusing. Can anybody respond to this post with some kind of direction on how to get through the information so that I may use it in a more efficient manner?

  3. My heart & wishes goes out to all that share here @ livinglies & to those who HAVE LOST their homes in this turmoil, this time of the season is especially difficult with such a loss.
    My better half & significant other who is more in-tune than I with the “grand scheme of things” suggests that I am in this fight
    [ not singularly for only our home ] quite possibly for the very reason “I will Fight tooth & Nail & never surrender” the support , results to help effect change & inspire everyone else in this situation .
    yes… i am ANGRY & wishing you all a merry xmas…
    Oh yea …my wishes to the banksters…FUCK YOU!

  4. Merry Christmas to all at Living Lies! You guys are the best!

  5. Merry x’mas to all of you (livinglies.wordpress.com), Brad, Neil, staff members, to all the independent contibutors and fellow readers of this site. May all of us be successfull in our quests and may we find the truthand knowledge that we are seeking. PEACE TO ALL.

  6. It is all about fairness, and justice. Regardless of the race or religion of the “Vikings” perpetrators of this scam that has let the wealth and security of America be stolen by a select few, should be prosecuted.

    I hope the new year will be better, and the rulings that have come from the courts this year is the best Christmas present the hard pressed homeowners of this country could get.

    Thank you Niel and Brad
    Merry Christmas and a happy new year,

  7. Erroneous and off topic? Who cares? Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

  8. Jesus was a Hebrew Mr. Mike H. Merry Christmas

  9. How about “american” vikings It is the American Politicians and judges that let them get away with this.

    Lets leave your Neo Nazi tendencies out of it Mr Mike H

    is that H. for Hitler? or Himmler?.

  10. Very clever! Goldman won the “death gamble” by
    government intervention. This gives true understanding to the Norman French term “mort” “gage”.
    Goldman should add to its name “plunders”.,ie
    Goldman, Sacks, & Plunders, like the 11th century
    Vikings from Normandy when they “sacked and plundered England by force of arms. These modern
    day “Hebrew” Vikings did it with the “pen” rather than
    the “sword”.

  11. The new Golden Rule of America; “Screw unto others before they screw unto you”.

    Steve
    99Libra@gmail.com

  12. Wow! just went back to site to copy & paste article and it has been removed from what I can tell. You see “above” where: the Article is written by: Gretchen Morgenson and Louise..from the NEW YORK TIMES..so I assume you could go there to read it.

    Damn are these Banks so Powerful that they can remove an article from Yahoo 5 minutes after it is posted? Yup! appears that way!

  13. These headline just came out on: Yahoo finance website.
    Maybe finally..Mainstream Media has caught on!

    Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won
    by Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story
    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    provided by
    The New York Times

    Go to http://www.yahoofinance.com to view 2 part article.

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