Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Carl Levin Will Go After Wall Street in Wake of Goldman Sachs Hearing

5 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
Quick -- who said, "Clearly, the world needs more regulation" at Tuesday's Senate hearing on Goldman Sachs?

That comments came not from a Democrat on the panel, but from Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and he may get what he wants when Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the panel, finishes amending the Wall Street regulation bill that the Senate could begin debating this week.

Following the hearing of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which featured testimony from seven Goldman Sachs executives, Levin said he wants the bill strengthened in several ways in response to that testimony. Levin pointed to repeated refusals from Goldman's leadership to acknowledge any conflict of interest in selling securities to clients, who expect the investments to increase in value, while also taking a short position on behalf of the firm -- meaning Goldman would profit if the securities fell in value.

"Mr. Blankfein and others didn't seem to be troubled by that, they didn't seem to understand that that's a conflict of interest," Levin said after the hearing.

To address the situation, Levin said he will introduce an amendment to the Wall Street reform bill that would prevent similar conflicts like the ones on display during the Goldman testimony, and would significantly restrict proprietary trading that is now widespread on Wall Street.

On conflicts of interest, Levin's amendment will prevent underwriters of asset-backed securities from selling those securities if there is a material conflict with their firm's financial larger interests.

On proprietary trading, Levin's amendment would bar depository banks from trading securities on their own behalf, and would also prohibit banks from investing in or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds. It would also impose capital requirements on systemically critical institutions that aren't banks, like AIG, to rein in the amount of risk they can take.

Levin warned after the hearing that investing had become a "buyer beware" scenario, where consumers cannot trust that the people selling them securities are not also betting on that same security to fail in the future.

"Unless we can shift this back and have some consumer protection and have some conflict of interest language in this bill, it's going to stay right where it's at, with the Goldman Sachs of the world putting the burden on people they sell these securities to. That burden should not be on the consumer, it should be on Goldman Sachs."

Before Levin can amend the bill, however, it must first be debated in the Senate, and Levin blasted Republicans for filibustering the measure as a way of negotiating changes to it before the debate.

"It's not acceptable," he said. "I think the American people want us to make significant reform of the financial industry . We've been burnt by them. For heaven's sake, don't thwart a legislative process totally, which is what they're now doing."
Filed Under: The Capitolist
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly


Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>