Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs GS 1.38% has agreed to a list of “facts” in addition to paying $5.1 billion to settle a lawsuit related to its handling of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the 2007 financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.
It’s a definite improvement on the DoJ settlements of a few years ago when Wall Street firms were able to get away with saying they “neither admit or deny the charges.” But it’s unlikely to quell critics that say the government hasn’t done enough to punish bankers in the wake of the financial crisis. Just like in past settlements, no individual bankers have been charged with wrong doing.
From 2005 to 2007, Goldman issued and underwrote many mortgages and securities that had been backed by residential loans borrowed by consumers with shoddy credit ratings. That helped tip the economy into recession after the housing bubble burst in 2007, leading to a tsunami of foreclosures and delinquencies. That caused billions of dollars in losses for investors. The settlement mentioned mortgage loans that had been originated by Countrywide, Fremont, and others. Countrywide was bought by Bank of America is early 2008. Fremont is no longer in business.
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