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Remember: Most Scams Are Legal

Wall Street's Goldman Sachs vows to fight recent fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In short, Goldman put together a portfolio of mortgages. A hedge fund that intended to bet that portfolio would drop in value allegedly helped select the doggy (as it turned out) mortgages that went into the pot. The best comment I have seen was in James B. Stewart's column in yesterday's (April 21) Wall Street Journal, page C-2. Stewart points out that Goldman has not disputed that it allowed its client, the hedge fund, to play a role in the selection of the portfolio that it intended to bet against, and Goldman failed to disclose this to those who bought the package. Goldman "had, in effect, let the fox into the henhouse," writes Stewart. "I'm not so concerned about whether the...deal passes legal muster. To me, it fails the higher standards of honesty and professionalism," says Stewart. Amen to that. Over the years, Wall Street has rigged the legal system so that scams can squeak through the legal test. But what about ethics? You won't find it on Wall Street.

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Wall Street's Goldman Sachs vows to fight recent fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In short, Goldman put together a portfolio of mortgages. A hedge fund that intended to bet that portfolio would drop in value allegedly helped select the doggy (as it turned out) mortgages that went into the pot. The best comment I have seen was in James B. Stewart's column in yesterday's (April 21) Wall Street Journal, page C-2. Stewart points out that Goldman has not disputed that it allowed its client, the hedge fund, to play a role in the selection of the portfolio that it intended to bet against, and Goldman failed to disclose this to those who bought the package. Goldman "had, in effect, let the fox into the henhouse," writes Stewart. "I'm not so concerned about whether the...deal passes legal muster. To me, it fails the higher standards of honesty and professionalism," says Stewart. Amen to that. Over the years, Wall Street has rigged the legal system so that scams can squeak through the legal test. But what about ethics? You won't find it on Wall Street.

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