Heated exchange as CEO of investment bank testifies, protest

Heated exchange as CEO of investment bank testifies, protest

by Alannah

(28 Apr 2010)
TRUE DATE CREATED = 28-04-2010
1. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein being sworn in for testimony at a Capitol Hill hearing, push in to Senator Carl Levin
2. Wide shot of Senate panel
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO:
“The people who were coming to us for risk in the housing market wanted to have a security that gave them exposure to the housing market, and that”s what they got. The unfortunate thing, and it”s unfortunate but it doesn”t, is that the housing market went south very quickly after some of these securities, not all of them because some of them were done early, but they went. And so people lost money in it, but the security itself delivered the specific exposure that the client wanted to have.”
4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Senator Carl Levin, Subcommittee Chairman of Homeland Security Committee:
“You don”t believe it”s relevant to a customer of yours that you are selling a security to that you are betting against that same security. You just don”t think it”s relevant and needs to be disclosed. Is that the bottom line?”
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO:
“Yes, and the people who are selling it in our firm wouldn”t even know what the firm”s position is.”
6. Blankfein sitting before Senate panel
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Senator Carl Levin, Subcommittee Chairman of Homeland Security Committee:
“You are taking a position against the very security that you are selling and you are not troubled?”
Blankfein: “Senator, again.”
Levin: “And you want people to believe to trust you?”
Blankfein: “Senator I think people do trust us.”
Levin: “Why, I wouldn”t trust you. If you came to me and wanted to sell me securities and you didn”t tell me that you have a bet against that same security, you don”t think that affects my thinking?”
8. Wide shot of protesters in prison uniforms with Goldman officials” names around their necks
9. SOUNDBITE: (English) Senator Claire McCaksill, Homeland Security Committee: ++starts on pan of witnesses++
“We have spent a lot of time going through all these documents, and let me just explain in very simple terms what synthetic CDOs are. They are instruments that are created so that people can bet on them. It”s the la-la-land of ledger entries. It”s not investment in a business that has a good idea. It”s not assisting local governments and building infrastructure. It”s gambling, pure and simple, raw gambling.”
10. Witnesses seated at table
11. SOUNDBITE: (English) Michael Swenson, Managing Director, Structured Products Group Trading, Goldman Sachs:
“We did not cause the financial crisis, specifically to the mortgage desk, which is what I”m here to speak about. You have two panels in subsequent meetings to speak about that, about the Goldman Sachs and our businesses. We, I do no think that we did anything wrong.”
12. Mid shot of clerk taking notes
STORYLINE:
Defending his company under blistering criticism, the CEO of Goldman Sachs testily told sceptical US senators on Tuesday that customers who bought securities from the Wall Street giant in the run-up to a national financial crisis came looking for risk.
Lloyd Blankfein and other Goldman executives were lambasted by lawmakers for “unbridled greed” in an often-electric daylong showdown between Wall Street and Congress – with expletives frequently undeleted.
Unrepentant, five present and two past Goldman officials unflinchingly stood by their conduct before a Senate investigatory panel and denied helping to cause the financial near-meltdown that turned into the worst recession since the Great Depression.
“Unfortunately, the housing market went south very quickly,” Blankfein told sceptical senators. “So people lost money in it.”

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