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Judge Bill Clinton's SEC dissent: There's real doubt that Goldman Sachs violated any laws

Contrary to a Senate subcommittee's questioning and the Securities and Exchange Commission, former President Bill Clinton is not so sure that Goldman Sachs violated any laws in its financial dealings with clients during the recent financial chaos.

Oh, WTH, you say, it's just another ex-president blowing off his mouth with a solicited opinion about an ongoing federal legal matter.

Well, the members of that exclusive Oval Office alumni club are usually so circumspect about current news, that such a statement in and of itself is news.

But perhaps more important, it's one Democratic president undercutting the argument for the kinds of financial reforms that the next Democratic president, Barack Obama, is arguing are a necessary step to fix the nation's economy the way he's decided it should be fixed.

Hillary, would you please call your husband and.....

Listen for yourself and hand down your own opinion:

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Video courtesy of C-SPAN

Comments () | Archives (2)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I agree that Goldman Sachs likely did not break any legal rules in spreading risk throughout the economy. The most horrifying aspect about what happened is its legality. In other words, investors and laborers alike should be sickened by the fact that the law allows for such amoral, irresponsible, and ultimately deadly actions. As far as the law is concerned, Goldman Sachs did nothing wrong, however, any individual realizes that knowingly spreading financial risk after making a poor investment clearly violates moral and ethical values.

Goldman Sachs is nothing more than a used car salesman.

Clinton's out of politics and doesn't need to pander to anyone. He can call it like he sees it. The SEC commissioners launched this lawsuit on a 3-2 vote. They went out on a limb, and unless they've got an ace up their sleeves, they're going to have a very difficult time proving that these trades were illegal. And the SEC is going head to head against a very angry Goldman Sachs and Goldman's brilliant lawyers.

The SEC claims that politics didn't influence its decision to bring this lawsuit. That claim is easy to make and difficult to believe. The SEC hasn't been doing so hot lately. They should be looking for a win instead of betting the farm against Goldman, so the question to ask is what would motivate three SEC commissioners to take such a risk?


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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