Goldman Sachs Settles With SECS

Goldman Sachs has reached a $550 million settlement with the SEC over fraud charges. Everybody wins, kind of! Goldman's stock has shot up, and the SEC is excited to have achieved something for once.

This resolves that much-discussed civil suit the SEC filed against Goldman Sachs, the supposedly all-powerful kings of wealth, back in April, over allegations that it misled investors by pooling together a package of completely shitty mortgages, passing the deal off as solid, and then betting against it like the dickens. It wasn't just a "junk" lawsuit for political purposes — there was some merit to the charges, even if "everyone else was doing it too" — but it wasn't clear that the SEC could actually beat Goldman Sachs in court, either, because Goldman is terrifying.

Goldman's stock is doing pretty well this afternoon, cocky bastards...

And the SEC is so, so happy that it doesn't have to work on this anymore and can go back to porn-surfing all day. Look at 'em, bragging like hotshots:

GOLDMAN SACHS TO PAY RECORD $550 MILLION TO SETTLE SEC CHARGES RELATED TO SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CDO

Firm Acknowledges CDO Marketing Materials Were Incomplete and Should Have Revealed Paulson's Role

Washington, D.C., July 15, 2010 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Goldman, Sachs & Co. will pay $550 million and reform its business practices to settle SEC charges that Goldman misled investors in a subprime mortgage product just as the U.S. housing market was starting to collapse.

In agreeing to the SEC's largest-ever penalty paid by a Wall Street firm, Goldman also acknowledged that its marketing materials for the subprime product contained incomplete information.

[...]

Congratulations, SEC. If only $550 million were anything more than a rounding error for either Goldman or the federal government's balance sheets, we'd be right there celebrating with them.

Update: The SEC is dropping the charges against Goldman but not separate ones against vice president Fabrice "Fabulous Fab" Tourre. It looks like part of the deal was for Goldman offer the SEC its full support in the continuing investigation of Tourre. Taking one for the team! Ouch.

[Image of Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein via Getty]