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商业 - 金融

高盛或因信息披露再次面临监管机构起诉

Stephen Gandel 2012年03月01日

高盛称,美国证券交易委员会正在调查该公司在一宗13亿美元次级抵押贷款债券交易中的信息披露问题。是不是听起来有些似曾相识。

    吸血鬼乌贼的触角可能再遭痛击,甚至更糟。

    周二,高盛(Goldman Sachs)公告称,美国证券交易委员会(Securities and Exchange Commission,简称SEC)正在考虑对其提起诉讼,指控它在2006年底的一宗次级抵押贷款债券交易中存在不当行为。高盛称,指控将涉及其作为13亿美元按揭抵押债券发行承销商的信息披露问题。高盛在周二晚间提交的10-K中披露了这项调查。

    高盛称,公司上周五收到SEC发来的韦尔斯通知(Wells notice),得知可能受到指控。SEC通过韦尔斯通知,告知个人或公司它正计划对其提起指控,让被调查对象有机会申诉为何不应提起诉讼。高盛在10-K中表示,“本公司将提交意见陈述,希望能与SEC的官员们对话,打消他们的担忧。”关于是否有高盛员工也收到了韦尔斯通知,高盛发言人拒绝发表评论。过去SEC起诉银行时一向不会点名,指出具体的个人,因此招致很多批评。

    若被提起诉讼,这将是高盛第二次因为在金融危机鼎盛时期承销抵押贷款债券而被SEC瞄上。2010年年中,SEC指控高盛未能告知投资者,一项名为Abacus的次级按揭证券产品所包括的债券已被对冲基金经理约翰•保尔森选定,并计划进行反向下注。高盛为此支付了5.50亿美元罚金,最终与SEC达成了和解。

    2006年,高盛承销了129亿美元的次级抵押贷款债券。目前尚不清楚SEC的最新指控涉及哪些债券。2007年,《财富》杂志(FORTUNE)曾发表了一篇报道,详细分析了2006年高盛承销的一宗4,940亿美元抵押贷款债券交易,但是这笔交易令投资者蒙受了巨大损失。

    富国银行(Wells Fargo)周二也公告获得了SEC的一张韦尔斯通知,涉及一宗次级抵押贷款债券的信息披露问题。据报道,SEC正在对华尔街银行和公司发动新一轮的指控,重点是它们在次级抵押贷款繁荣期尾声的相关活动。

    译者:早稻米

   The Vampire Squid may get its tentacles slapped again or worse.

    Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering filing charges against the bank for its role in a late 2006 subprime mortgage bond. The firm said the charges would relate to the disclosures Goldman made as underwriter of an offering of $1.3 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities. Goldman disclosed the investigation in its 10-K, which it filed late Tuesday.

    The firm said it was told of the impending charges by the SEC in a Wells notice last Friday. A Wells notice is the SEC's method of telling an individual or firm that it plans to bring charges and gives the subject a chance to argue why the charges shouldn't be filed. In its 10-K, Goldman said, "The firm will be making a submission to, and intends to engage in a dialogue with, the SEC staff seeking to address their concerns." A Goldman spokesman declined to comment on whether any individuals at the firm had received Wells notices as well. In the past the SEC has been criticized for bringing charges against banks without naming specific individuals.

    If it is charged, this would be the second time Goldman comes in the crosshairs of the SEC for its role in underwriting mortgage bonds at the height of the financial crisis. In mid-2010, the SEC sued Goldman for failing to tell investors that bonds included in a subprime mortgage security called Abacus had been selected by hedge fund manager John Paulson, who planned to bet against the offering. Goldman paid $550 million to settle the charges with the SEC.

    Goldman underwrote $12.9 billion worth of subprime mortgage bonds in 2006. It's not clear what bonds the new SEC charges relate to. In 2007, FORTUNE wrote a story dissecting one $494 billion mortgage bond Goldman underwrote in 2006 in which investors had suffered heavy losses.

    Wells Fargo also disclosed on Tuesday that it too had received an SEC Wells notice related to disclosures it made related to a subprime mortgage bond. The SEC reportedly is in the process of bringing a new round of charges against banks and Wall Street firms for their mortgage related activities at the end of the subprime mortgage boom.

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