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Welch calls on SEC to recoup taxpayer funds from alleged Goldman Sachs fraud

first_imgUS Representative Peter Welch on Monday called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to expand its investigation into allegedly fraudulent securities sold by Goldman Sachs to determine whether the federal government can recoup bank rescue funds.In a letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, Welch joined Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in asking the SEC to determine whether taxpayer support received by the American International Group (AIG) was transferred to Goldman to cover fraudulent activities.On Friday the SEC filed a civil suit against Goldman alleging the firm misled investors by failing to disclose that one of 25 collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) sold by the firm was designed to fail. Seven similar CDOs were guaranteed by credit default swaps from AIG. Of the $180 billion AIG received in taxpayer assistance, $12.9 billion was transferred to Goldman to settle the bad credit default swaps.In the letter to the SEC, Welch and his colleagues seek to determine whether the investments covered by AIG – and, by extension, taxpayers – were also fraudulent.“The cynicism of Goldman Sachs using taxpayer funds to cover its own fraudulent activities would be breathtaking,” Welch said. “The SEC must turn over every stone to determine the extent of the fraud and recoup taxpayer money.”The letter is copied below:The Honorable Mary SchapiroChairwomanU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission100 F St. NEWashington, DC 20549Dear Chairwoman Schapiro:Thank you for your continued efforts to restore the role of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), “to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.” The SEC announcement of civil securities fraud charges against Goldman Sachs and Fabrice Tourre is welcome news to both investors and the taxpayers who bailed out Wall Street.   The failure of the Bush administration to enforce these laws ultimately undermined the financial markets and contributed to the economic turmoil of the last three years.As you know, the SEC complaint makes disturbing allegations of fraud against Goldman Sachs. The SEC has alleged that Goldman Sachs enticed investors into long positions in a synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO), while unbeknownst to investors the CDO was specifically designed by hedge fund manager John Paulson to generate losses for short positions taken by Paulson and Goldman Sach’s proprietary accounts.  We are grateful that the SEC is seeking a court order for Goldman Sachs “to disgorge all illegal profits that they obtained as a result of their fraudulent misconduct.”  The U.S. taxpayer deserves nothing more.The complaint is based on a single CDO known as ABACUS 2007-AC1. However, the ABACUS 2007-AC1 offering was part of a series of 25 such CDOs, all arranged by Goldman Sachs. It is not beyond the realm of comprehension that the 24 remaining ABACUS transactions included similar materially misleading statements to investors in order to protect Goldman’s internal proprietary bets, or other coveted counterparties like Mr. Paulson.Seven of the ABACUS CDOs were guaranteed by credit default swaps from the American International Group (AIG).  These seven AIG-insured CDOs contributed to billions of dollars in losses at AIG according to the New York Times.Should any of these transactions be found to include fraudulent conduct, any resulting contractual payments from AIG-issued credit default swaps could be viewed as ill-gotten gains. In light of the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s extensive and unprecedented support of the insurance giant and the $12.9 billion in taxpayer dollars that AIG transferred to Goldman Sachs to settle the bad credit default swaps, it is imperative that the SEC pursue the recovery from Goldman Sachs of any fraudulently obtained AIG payments.Accordingly, we request that SEC, with all due haste, pursue investigations into the remaining 24 ABACUS transactions for securities fraud, evaluate the extent of any receipt, by Goldman Sachs, of fraudulently-generated AIG-issued credit default swap payments, and vigorously pursue the recovery of such payments on behalf of the U.S. taxpayer. Finally, should this or any subsequent investigation uncover criminal misconduct, we implore you to refer those matters to the Department of Justice for the appropriate prosecution.Again, we appreciate the enforcement efforts of the SEC, and look forward to monitoring the progression of this landmark case.Sincerely,          Peter DeFazio                    Elijah Cummings                 Peter WelchMember of Congress           Member of Congress           Member of Congress Source: Welch’s office. 4.19.2010# # #last_img read more

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Palestine Awareness Week

first_imgAustin Vogel | Daily TrojanOn March 10-March 14, the USC Students for Justice in Palestine are holding Palestine Awareness Week. The week will feature a variety of evening events focusing on and discussing a wide range of topics such as student activism and solidarity. The mock apartheid wall pictured above is displayed at the Von KleinSmid Center courtyard for the duration of the week’s festivities.last_img

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Larson: Badgers’ victory showcased complete team effort, what is needed to reach NCAA final

first_imgHad you walked into LaBahn Arena this weekend and not known that it was the NCAA Quarterfinal game, you would’ve thought Saturday was a typical regular season matchup from the calm atmosphere.The crowd slowly but steadily filled into the arena, and goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens and Rachel Jones were hanging out in the Badgers’ box, talking to the young Badger fans on the other side of the glass.It seemed as if the pressure of the evening had not gotten to the star goaltender, who was content, making faces and small talk with every kid she could see.Wisconsin (35-3-1, 24-3-1 WCHA) found themselves facing Mercyhurst University (19-11-5, 14-3-3 WCHA) that night, an opponent they see about once a year. But Badgers had one thing on their side — the game took place at LaBahn Arena.Desbiens’ cool and calm demeanor stayed in-tact throughout the whole game, in which the junior goaltender blocked each and every one of Mercyhurst’s 22 shots on goal, leading to a 6-0 final score and her 21st shutout of the season.If there is one thing that has been evident, not only of this game, but for this season, it is that Desbiens is a goaltender unlike any other that transcend far beyond her shutout record.Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson has been watching Desbiens make gradual changes in her gameplay, and knows that all of them are what are helping her to succeed as one of, if not the, top goaltender in the NCAA.“We came off Christmas break and came back, and [Desbiens] took her game and focused,” Johnson said. “She stepped up. I think as you’ve watched us play the last six or seven weekends you’ve noticed that her ability to play the puck is a big asset. Her ability and her connection to her defensemen, that’s a big, big plus to have.”But while Desbiens can do so many things, putting points on the board is not one of them, and for that she relies on her teammates to get the job done. Wisconsin saw goals from six different players, proving that no matter who has the puck, they can score.Desbiens, who continues to break her own record for single-season shutouts, was not the only Badger to make a personal record on Saturday. Sophomore Annie Pankowski tallied the 100th point of her career off an assist to Sam Cogan’s opening goal.Saturday’s game showed Wisconsin’s strength as a team, and gave Mercyhurst goaltender Sarah McDonnell one challenging game.The freshman goaltender saw 41 shots on goal and got a rather rough initiation to NCAA play courtesy of the Badgers.As junior Sarah Nurse pointed out, if there is one thing this team likes to do, it is test other goaltenders and their ability to block shots.“We like to get shots on net, and we like to make the goalie earn their saves,” Nurse said.McDonnell certainly had her work cut out for her, considering she saw almost twice as many shots on goal as Desbiens. But to hold up that well against a team of this caliber proves that one day she might be able to give Desbiens a run for her money.Another incredible team feat came from the combined team effort that held Mercyhurst from scoring on four separate power plays. Considering the Lakers scored 26 percent of their goals this season from power plays, the Badgers truly defied statistics to keep points off of the board.In fact, not only did they prevent Mercyhurst from scoring on a power play, but in true Wisconsin fashion, Sydney McKibbon managed to score a shorthanded goal in the second period.With this win, the Badgers now advance to the semi-final round of the Frozen Four tournament, which will take place in New Hampshire. Their opponent, however, is not a newcomer to the schedule like Mercyhurst, it is none other than bitter rival University of Minnesota.The Badgers have met Minnesota in this exact same scenario for the past two years, coming away with losses both times, 5-3 in 2015 and 3-1 in 2014. The Badgers are currently 3-2 against the Gophers this season and will need to be on top of their game to make it 4-2 to end the season.Nurse, who played in both games alongside Desbiens, knows that the team cannot psych themselves out about this game. She believes the team needs to stay focused on what they’ve been doing, and that should help them break the stretch of past outcomes of this game.“As we go into practice this week, we really have to worry about our own game,” Nurse said. “I think we’ve been a successful team all year and if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll have a lot of success next weekend.”last_img read more