Irgendwie scheint es bei den Amerikanern schneller zur Sache zu gehen, und oftmals mit einem reichen Geldsegen für die Staatskasse. Aus Deutschland ist nichts Ähnliches bekannt. Und wenn schon in Deutschland Derartiges nicht möglich bzw. nicht auf dem Wege entsprechender Gesetzgebung versucht wird, dann erledigt das auch die SEC und das DOJ und greift deutschen Unternehmen für deren Fehlverhalten kräftig zugunsten des US-Steuerzahlers in die Tasche, siehe den Blogeintrag zu Daimler am 9.April 2010. Klageschrift SEC v Goldman Sachs et al: SEC-Complaint-Against-Goldman-Sachs
According to the SEC press release, although the financial products offered were exotic and complicated, the alleged underlying illegal acts were not. The SEC claims that Tourre and Goldman Sachs simply withheld from investors the fact that the portfolio underlying the product, a synthetic collateralized debt obligation under-pinned by the performance of sub-prime residential mortgage-backed securities, was significantly influenced by a hedge fund whose interests were diametrically opposed to those of the investors.
As SEC Director of the Division of Enforcement, Robert Khuzami said, „The product was new and complex but the deception and conflicts are old and simple.“
Marketing materials for the product, known as ABACUS 2007-AC1, stated that a third-party independent risk management analyst, ACA Management LLC (ACA), was responsible for selecting the portfolio of mortgage-backed securities at the heart of the product. As alleged by the SEC, however, a hedge fund client of Goldman Sachs, Paulson & Co., played a significant role in portfolio selection.
Paulson & Co. also allegedly paid Goldman Sachs to structure a transaction in which the hedge fund took short positions against the same mortgage-backed securities it selected for inclusion in the portfolio underneath the ABACUS 2007-AC1 product Goldman Sachs sold to investors.
The SEC claims that Tourre was principally responsible for the ABACUS marketing materials produced by Goldman Sachs. According to the SEC’s complaint, the independent third party risk analyst (ACA Management) and investors were unaware that Paulson & Co. had bet against the portfolio. The SEC alleges that the hedge fund stood to profit hugely and its interests were completely opposed to those of the investors, who had a long-term equity stake.
According to the complaint, the deal closed on April 26, 2007, and Paulson paid Goldman Sachs approximately $15 million for structuring and marketing ABACUS. By Oct. 24, 2007, 83% of the RMBS in the ABACUS portfolio had been downgraded and 17% was on negative watch. By Jan. 29, 2008, 99% of the portfolio had been downgraded. Investors in ABACUS are alleged to have lost more than $1 billion. The complaint also alleges that Paulson’s profit was $1 billion.
The SEC is charging Goldman Sachs and Tourre with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5, and is seeking an unnamed amount of damages, penalties and disgorgement from Goldman Sachs and Tourre.