April 27th, 2010
12:21 PM ET
4 years ago

Levin swears repeatedly at Goldman hearing

(CNN) – Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, Democratic chairman of the Senate subcommittee on Permanent Investigations, did not censor himself Tuesday as he repeatedly quoted from an e-mail in which a Goldman Sach's executive referred to a mortgage deal as "shi**y."

Thomas Montag, Goldman's former head of sales and trading, described a series of mortgage-backed investments the investment bank was selling to clients as "one shi**y deal" in the email to colleagues.

Levin repeatedly quoted the curse word - close to a dozen times - when questioning Daniel Sparks, former head of Goldman's mortgage department, who allegedly urged his group to make the deals. Levin's line of questioning was carried live by CNBC.

The committee is examining Goldman's role in the financial crisis last year and allegations it sold mortgage-backed securities to clients that the firm later bet against.


Filed under: Carl Levin • Goldman Sachs • Popular Posts
soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. Mike T

    Carl Levin told them like it is!!, he is a stand up Senator!!

    April 27, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Independant Jane in Nevada

    GOOD FOR YOU, SENATOR LEVIN!!!!!!!

    Of course we prefer some decorum in our capitol buildings, but Senator Levin was 100% right in shoving Goldman's crass and greedy ways right back in their faces.

    Now, let's see some real financial reform. Regulate derivatives in a more complete manner, ensure there is an industry-funded insurance fund to protect the public against behemoth firms gone wild...

    April 27, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. BKrause

    Lessons from Cheney endure.

    April 27, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Charlie

    All stocks and financial investments are gambles. Nothing different than being in Vegas. Time to grow up folks and deal with it. there are no guarantees in life.

    April 27, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    From some of this commentors, I can see that the issues is still not clear to most. Yes, Freddie and Fannie should have not be issuing certain types of loans, mortgage brokers should not have been lying to get people approved, people who could not afford then should not have been buying at the level they did, BUT NONE OF THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS.

    No one made Goldman INVENT these investment products for their customers that amounted to betting whether or not someone would pay their mortgage. That investment did not help the homeowner or the mortgage holder, it was set up to benefit risked-taking investors. So when the taxpayer bailed out these type institutions– the money went to payoff these bets held by foreign banks.
    Does that sound like solid-asset backed investing or just plan gambing?

    April 27, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Curt in Grand Rapids

    Congress questioning an entity on its business practices = the blind leading the blind...

    April 27, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Fed Up!

    Yes, but when all is said and done and these senators are done blustering ... nothing will change.

    The Republicans got their orders from their Wall Street bosses and will block any meaningful reforms.

    April 27, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Sally

    Oh, my goodness, my ears will never be the same! A senator using such a word! How dare he describe the antics of Wall Street in such a way... Wall Street being such a bastion of fidelity and impeccable morals!

    April 27, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Jon, MI

    Heh. That's our Carl.

    April 27, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. ja

    the senator was reading what was before him

    April 27, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Russell

    Why should this story raise eyebrows...

    we have a Vice-President willingly using such language during bill-signings.

    April 27, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. ZedATL

    I don't know what the front page is talking about. My brow is not raised.

    Every week there are a dozen things that "raise brows." It's getting a little tired.

    April 27, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. SY

    You're kidding, right? I would never call that "swearing." He could have said a lot worse, and I still wouldn't be upset. He was hardly dropping the F-bomb.

    April 27, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Mark

    Senator Levin is a LOOSER. I live in Michigan and can't think of anything good he has ever done for my state....

    April 27, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. garysb007

    You expect a Dem to say this, its only news if a repub gets to that level.

    April 27, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Future expat

    @ Jon In Madison

    "Typical socialist manner. "

    "why don't they attack Fannie May? THey are the ones who got us in to this mess."

    This post made me think of two GOP documents that have recently been in the news. The first one is the RNC fundraising document that encourages scaring voters through fear of "impending socialism" The second is the Frank Luntz memo from which McConnell got his "perpetual bailout" talking point. This memo states that conservatives tend to blame Fannie and Freddy for the collapse, and provides instructions as to how to best exploit this.

    The GOP base is being shamelessly exploited by Republicans, they know they are being shamelessly exploited by Republicans, yet they don't care.

    A lost cause.

    April 27, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Enough

    Democrats are a bunch of hypocrites.........too bad they don't grill their own tax evading bunch just as hard. Too bad they accepted money from these very people they are grilling.

    Now if a Republican had said what this old fool says they would be demanding an apology. Really sick and tired of the hypocrital Democrats.

    CNN where is the coverage from the out of control Illegals protesting Arizona trying to enforce the law of the land.

    April 27, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Uncle Sam

    He's a Democrat its OK. If he were a Republican there would be ethics charges and sanctions.

    April 27, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Marie (Portland, Oregon)

    Don't look now folks. This is business as usual for Wall Street types. Greed is rampant in America and big business is making billions on the backs of the working class in this country. Reality has come home to roost and its a beotch.

    April 27, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Ray E. (Georgia)

    What was that word again Levin? It takes one to know one. I truly don't know who is to blame here but I suspect the Buck will be passed again. Many blame Wall Street for the Housing Meltdown instead of putting the blame where it belongs, people that thought they could get something fo nothing.

    The big Social Ajenda that has been coming down the Pike for the last hundred years? is not working too well is it? There will be a whitewash of where the real culprit is and blame on the nearest scapegoat. In this case Goldman-Sachs.

    April 27, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Independant Jane in Nevada

    Jon in Madison and Others Ignorant of the Complex Financial Dealings that led to the financial crisis:

    Yes, lending was too loose and Fannie & Freddie were managed in a reckless manner. It's a total oversimplification to suggest that loose lending practices created this financial disaster.

    A true understanding of trading activity, finance strategy, and derivatives gives a realistic picture of how this crisis originated.
    We had major financial firms operating with unheard-of debt to equity ratios, we had derivatives created on 90:1 odds with virtually no ability for the investor to properly value their investment (and thus, the associated risk), and an enormous portion of the financial system held value-less investment instruments but had no ability to measure their rate of decline (or value, for that matter).

    The ignorant over-simplification of this financial crisis is dangerous and irresponsible. We are a country with the most inventive and creative financial industry in the world. It has propelled our nation to the global leadership position we enjoy. However, to pretend that we can allow our corporations and institutions to regulate themselves is particularly foolish, given recent proof of their self-governance.

    April 27, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Larry

    I didn't know people were stupid enough to use language like that in a business email.

    I hope the SEC investigation into Goldman Sachs results in criminal indictments.

    Hank Paulson, Bush's Secretary of the Treasury, former Goldman Sachs CEO.....this could go all the way to the Bush White House.

    April 27, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    And McCain used the F word.

    So?

    Personally, I like the S word. It's very descriptive and gets to the point of the emotion very quickly.

    April 27, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Drew

    These Goldman Sachs guys weren't practicing free market capitalism; they were practicing the abuse of capitalism made possible by the elimination of limits and regulations meant to prevent such abuses. Anybody that confuses one with the other, and thinks the Wild West is much like a visit to the Lourve, except with guns, isn't too bright, Jon in Madison. As far as finding someone to demonize so you can rally supporters, sounds like the Tea Party strategy, doesn't it?

    April 27, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Jim Brodie

    Stop it with the misleading headlines, CNN. The story is much bigger than a Senator quoting a crudely written email from one of GS's lying sachs.

    April 27, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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