Goldman Sachs Fighting Back on Senate Report

The firm contends a report on its role in the housing collapse relies on "sloppy math"

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Last week, Goldman Sachs was subpoenaed by the Manhattan District Attorney's office in connection with the firm's role in the credit crisis. Financial analysts, as noted at the time, didn't view the investigation as inevitably or even very likely to produce criminal charges. Still, Goldman's lawyers are taking it seriously: they're planning an offensive to discredit the 639-page Senate subcommittee report at the heart of the proceedings.

To produce a counter-narrative, Goldman Sachs may release documents on its website that claim the Senate's report is based on "sloppy math and incomplete analysis," according to The Wall Street Journal, which was able to view some of the said documents. Sach's executives, relay the newspaper, have been "increasingly frustrated" that the report has become the focal point of the inquiry into the firm's mortgage securities operations. And the firm is now pushing the notion that the report "drastically" overstates their bets against the housing market in 2007.

Here's an example of one of the Senate subcommittee's findings that Goldman has deemed "wildly innacurate" via the Journal's sources:

[O]ne of the most dramatic documents released by the panel is a chart showing the size of Goldman's overall long or short bets on the housing market. While those bets varied from day to day, the Senate subcommittee said Goldman had net short positions of $10.6 billion on Feb. 26, 2007, and $13.9 billion on June 25, 2007. The June 25 position was the company's biggest bet against the housing market, according to the Senate subcommittee. Goldman now plans to contend that both figures are wildly inaccurate, claiming Senate investigators overlooked or ignored bullish mortgage trades held by the securities firm, these people said.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.