And Then We Came to the End: Financial Regulation Passes, Go
On the same day that the U.S. Senate finally passed the financial regulation overhaul bill (after months of arguing, debating and fighting over a clause called Volcker), Goldman Sachs finally settled its (far from) civil suit with the SEC (after a highly-anticipated and heated hearing on Capitol Hill, a French dude named Fab Fab made outlandish comments about a French dude named Fab Fab, and CEO Lloyd Blankfein hit the PR pavement hard to let Main Street know that he and the rest of the guys and gals at Goldman Sachs are not money-thirsty, bottom-line dwelling vampire squids wrapped around the face of humanity).
In the Senate vote, three Republicans hopped party lines, so, if you're keeping score at home, the final tally was 60 yeas and 39 neas. Meanwhile, Goldman agreed to pay the SEC $550 million, and though it said neither yea nor nay about whether it misled investors when selling its now infamous synthetic CDO (it is customary practice in proceedings such as these to not admit or deny wrongdoing), the bank did admit that the CDO's marketing materials "contained incomplete information."
As expected, following the Senate vote, Democrats hailed the bill and Republicans called it useless garbage. Meanwhile, following Goldman's settlement announcement, the bank's shares shot up 4 percent. Also interesting from the Goldman settlement is this: Fab Fab is not yet in the clear, and Goldman, more or less, agreed to help the SEC in its suit against him (remember: the suit named Goldman as well as Fabrice).
More on these two pieces of news tomorrow. For now, I will leave you with this quote by Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, from Nevada, following the passing of the financial regulation bill:
"When you go to anyof the great casinos across Nevada and put your chips on the table,you’re gambling with your own money. You win, you win.And if you lose, you lose. But Wall Street rigged the game. They putour money on the table. When they won, they won big. The jackpots theytook home were in the billions. But when they lost — and boy, did theylose big — they came crying to the taxpayers for help."
I don't yet know what the connection is between these two events occurring just hours apart, but I'm certain there is one.