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. Dave

    What are we, ten years old? The man was reading an e-mail aloud. It would have been sillier if he'd censored the word.

    The headline made me think somebody'd lost their temper or something. Quoting from a letter isn't even news.

    April 27, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Honestly

    Levin used the same curse word in this Goldman-Saks email, for the purpose of getting the truth out of Mr. Sparks.

    To people who still don't understand why brokers and "investment banks" kept creating these securities that we now call "toxic assets", the reason is clear: BECAUSE THEY MADE MONEY DOING IT.

    Too bad if the American economy is destroyed in the process. All that matters on Wall Street is million dollar bonuses!

    WE LET THIS HAPPEN when the American people elected Republicans into office. "Too bad if the American economy is destroyed" is the Republican theory of government.

    April 27, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. Padraig

    My question is – since Obama has been in office the CEO of Goldman Sachs has visited the White House to meet with the fealess one approximately 7 times. They look very happy, pictures taken show both smiling.

    So my question is what is the big deal? The fearless one seems to be very happy with Thomas Montag.

    April 27, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. graham Wolfe

    Are we adults or children? swearing is bad for adults? can we stop being the joke of the rest of the world and stop trying to 'not say bad words' when its ok to show killing in prime time tv

    April 27, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. ek

    Why not have all the senators/congress persons who took loans at a favorable rate for themselves. Maybe we should have them and their families at trial too.

    April 27, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. hypocrites

    If thats the worst or best our good elective representatives are being highlight for, then were in trouble.

    Grow a backbone, stand up to these 'well suited bullies' and for a change remind them they are not cartoon caricatures frolicking around in celebrity land waiting for awe and tongue drooling admiration from the public.

    They played with people's money, pensions and future with a 'devil may care and I've got mine attitude'.

    This is rape and dismemberment of one's finances by the white collar crowd whose elitism's gives them the illusion they own the world.

    Cuff and throw their dirty, stinking backsides in the slammer with the most vicious of crinimals.

    April 27, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Yes CNN it getting carried away with the headlines. Levin was quoting GS language...intellectually dishonest headline there.

    April 27, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Jack

    Like most East Coast elites educated (I use the term loosely) at Ivy League schools they lack a sufficient grasp of the English language to provide a civilized discussion of the situation. All you have to do is read the articles and posts on such sites as Huffington, MoveOn, etc..

    April 27, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. olivia

    Senator Levin has a sewer mouth just like the GS rep who wrote the memo. Repeating the "S" word 12 times is not right. Two wrongs do not make it right. Vice President Biden used the "F" word. Rep. yelling out "baby killer." Sarah Palin "death panels" Some politicans' behavior are inflamed with hostility, division, hatred, lies, and profanity. Seems like America is going down the sewer.

    April 27, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Daniel-2

    Every Senator should learn to control their temper.If they don't they'll start to sound like a bunch of Tea Partiers and we don't want that!

    April 27, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. jenn

    Oh no! Bad words! If only CNN had been as concerned with the lies coming out of politicians' mouths in the run-up to the Iraq War.....

    God save us from a lazy media that relies on silly non-stories like this one instead of doing actual work to gather facts and report on things that matter. This is like the lame manufactured controversies that get hyped on "reality" tv shows. Problem is, there are many actual controversies involved here that we need to know about....they may be less People Magazine-worthy than Levin's shocking, yes, *shocking* potty mouth (lol), but they are more important.

    April 27, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Dan

    Congress is grilling G-S for the bad deal they promised people and did not deliver since they knew how bad they are.
    Sorry guys: same applies to politicians: They never told us how bad deal it will be voting for them, and they promised a lot but never deliver... same tactics, same exploitations... why did not you told people you will do things against the majority will, congress?

    April 27, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. MikeH

    Like the guy already said CNN, Senator Levin is QUOTING e-mails, he's being ACCURATE in his reporting, Senator Levin IS NOT CURSING. CNN could learn a thing or two about ACCURACY IN REPORTING from Carl Levin.

    Notice all the pro-Wall Street trolls posting here?

    Wall Street is putting up a lot of money to defeat this bill. A lot of these posters are paid to post anti-Obama, pro-Republican, pro-Wall Street. In China they're called "The Invisible Army".

    The paid trolls are easy to spot by their use of lies, non-sensical talking points, etc.

    Concerned or just plain conservative posters point out some of the Democratic hypocrisy, or at least ask questions, like why aren't some of Obama's cabinat (Geithner) being questioned.

    April 27, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Richard Larson

    For shame! The senator using a word that possibly 90% of all adults and teenagers use on any given day. This is orders of magnitude less remarkable than using much more objectionable obscenities that some of our leaders have been heard using.

    The biggest problem isn't the use of scatological terminology in a hearing, it is the false piety of those who object to what the senator said, when they use that, and much worse in their offices or private conversations.

    April 27, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Hugo

    Obama-1 million in campaign contributions...Goldman Sachs
    Mortgage derivatives-an Alan Greenspan and friends invention under the Clinton Administration, first and continued cause for the meltdown.
    GOP... still with their head up their arses...
    Dems... hijacked by progressive liberals...
    Goldman Sachs-Investment bankers doing what investment bankers do.

    Spinbots-It is always a moral issue or environmental issue with an underpinning of racial divide for their platform. Sheep are easily led, Lions are hard to tame!

    Anyone see any good job openings?

    April 27, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Floridafish

    Jon in Madison, it's spelled "Fannie Mae" with an e, and they're NOT the reason we had problems. I got my mortage through them, as many others have, with little to no problems. Unless you want us to believe they had control of the Trillions of dollars that disappeared from 2004-2008. Good luck with that, and if you're gonna bash a group, at least know how to spell their name.

    Levin is just telling the truth and people are upset that they, and others that they supported, are being exposed in public as crooks. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

    April 27, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Tim in NC

    I think the use of that word in this context is the WEAKEST term one can appropriately use to describe the sort of dealings that brought about this crisis.

    It should raise eyebrows that no one else used that word (or any stronger words) to describe what subprime-mortgage backed securities, the credit default swaps, and the short bets against Goldman's own investments actually were.

    April 27, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  18. Common Sense

    I hope Sen. Levin also decides to drag in all the thousands of dirtball Dick, Tom & Harrys around the country that overstated their income and lied on mortgage applications and then decided to stop paying their mortgages. Its always somebody else fault and I'm just the victim, the new American way.

    April 27, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. brian

    Jon in Madison. So good to see you so misinformed. Fannie Mae did not cause the financial mess, 15% of the bad loans is all they had. The real culprits are Goldman, Bear Stearns, AIG et. al. They provided the insurance cover for these bogus transactions. When a company knowingly sells bad deals and then also hedges bets against those deals you cannot in good conscience defend them. Oh, but by all means go after Fannie/Freddie for trying to give loans to the poor brown and blacks. Maybe Phoenix might suit you better than Madison.

    April 27, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    To Jon In Madison and everyone else asking about what is going to be done about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

    These organizations will be addressed and overhauled in separate legislation that will be coming up in the near future.

    In the meantime, Wall Street needs strict reform now, to ensure the American taxpayers don't get stuck again cleaning up after the gambling addicts such as the Goldman Sachs executives.

    April 27, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Thomas

    Jon from Madison....are you for real?

    "Typical socialist manner. Find someone you can demonize, rally your supporters and even a few non-supporters with flamboyant rhetoric..."

    You must be confused, Jon, because your words above is the standard blue-print for every republican/"convservative".

    "Find someone you can demonize"...gays, immigrants, anyone who supports reproductive choice, health care reform, etc...

    "Rally your supporters"....and call them Tea Parties!

    "...with flamboyant rhetoric"...these are the folks who are "defending marriage" from "activist judges" and are fighting to "stop the slaughter of unborn children" and who have in the last, oh year or so, taken to very derisively disregarding any idea they disagree with as "socialist".

    April 27, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. DoktorMo

    Wasn't it most accurate to use the very word that was quoted from the document than for the Chairman to try to figure out which synonym would give the same particular meaning to the written expression. What is wrong by quoting accurately from a document in a legal hearing? Why should the reader of a word be be criticized in any way? ..Maurice.

    April 27, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. Annette

    Lies and more lies. Liars and Thieves. More Lies,more Thieves this will never stop.

    April 27, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. ChadS

    This is considered "news" ? I wish the media would report the news and facts... not stupidity like this.

    April 27, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Tim in NC

    Jon in Madison,

    Wow, you just described the entire Tea Party Play book!!

    And if you are so anti-socialist, why don't you stop using any and all public-funded programs (ie water and sanitation)... after all if it isn't coming from a private entity making a buck, then its just plain socialist.

    Fannie and Freddie may have made the subprime mortgages (per congressional mandates dating back to the Clinton days), but it was Goldman and their ilk that packaged them and sold them, then bet against them and make a billions.

    April 27, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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