Ahead Of Big Hearing, Michigan Senator Confirms Attack On Goldman Is Wildly Political

carl levin

Starting today at 10:00, Goldman Sachs (GS) will get the full-body treatment in front of the US Senate.

It should make for some fascinating TV, and obviously we’ll be covering it obsessively. Our preview is here.

In the meantime, Michigan Senator Carl Levin (D) has dribbled out yet more emails, including one in which then Goldman exec Thomas Montag called a CDO deal “shitty.”

In his mind they’re probably pretty damning, but of course they’re cherry-picked, and as we learned over the weekend with the dueling email dumps, it’s not hard to make a firm look bad when you cherry pick emails.

Meanwhile, if there’s one thing that’s being accomplished here it’s to, as Felix Salmon notes, completely confuse what Goldman’s being charged with. The SEC’s complaint is narrow: That it misled CDO customers on a few specific points. But Levin is turning this into a Ben Stein-style story — one that’s about making bets that were somehow contra its customers — which may be untoward, and which may damage the firm reputationally — but has nothing to do with the charges at hand.

Anyway, the Levin emails are useful insomuch as they confirm that today’s hearings should be a total free for all, with politicians trying to make stick whatever they can.

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