0

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

0

It’s official: Indonesia halts live animal imports from China until virus ‘subsides’

first_img“The restriction is only temporary until the coronavirus epidemic subsides,” he said. Among those animals banned from imports are horses, donkeys, mules and hinnies, pigs, sheep, goats, oxen, buffaloes and other types of bovines. Reptiles, including snakes and turtles, are also on the contraband list.For poultry, the government has banned imports of chickens of the Gallus domesticus species, ducks and geese, turkeys and guinea fowls. Primates, whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions are also banned. The temporary ban also outlaws animals in traveling circus, traveling menageries, traveling theaters and amusement park animals.  Importers are obliged to send back the animals or exterminate them if they arrive at Indonesian ports after the regulation takes effect, Agus said, adding that the cost for the procedure would be incurred by the importers.Read also: Indonesia to ‘stand together with China’ in battle against COVID-19, Jokowi tells XiThose who fail to take responsibility for sending back the animals or exterminating them within the span of 10 days will receive sanctions, according to the regulation. The ministerial regulation is drafted in accordance with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which stipulates that each WTO member country may apply its own technical regulations for the welfare of consumers. Jakarta asserted last week that only live animals were subject to the import ban, while other goods shipped in from China would continue as usual. Beijing has previously expressed concerns over the import ban, with Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian saying on Feb. 4 that there had yet to be any evidence suggesting the coronavirus could spread via imported goods. He was also worried it could affect trade relations between the two countries. Secretary to the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister Susiwijono Moegiarso said the import ban would not disrupt the economy significantly as it was unlikely to affect Indonesia’s trade balance with China.“Last year, the import [of live animals from China] amounted only to an estimated US$231,000 out of the total $170 million [of trade],” she said on Wednesday as quoted by tempo.co.Susiwijono said the ban was necessary to protect citizens at home from the virus outbreak as live animals were said to be able to act as carriers of the virus — which is believed to have originated from a market selling wild animals in the Chinese city of Wuhan. As of Friday, the death toll from the coronavirus had surpassed 1,300 globally with more than 64,000 confirmed cases worldwide, Reuters reported. Indonesia has recorded no confirmed cases of coronavirus so far. (ydp)Topics : Indonesia has officially halted imports of live animals from China as the Trade Ministry issued a regulation stipulating the temporary ban, another in a series of government efforts to prevent the coronavirus from spreading to the country.Trade Ministerial Regulation No. 10/2020 stipulates a temporary import ban on at least 53 animals, ranging from reptiles and mammals to poultry, which has been in force since Feb. 7.“In response to the outbreak […] the Indonesian government has banned the import of live animals originating from China or transiting in China into Indonesia’s territory,” Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said in a statement on Thursday as quoted by Antara.last_img read more

0

Women of Troy have quick turnaround for Friday game

first_imgKyleen Hengelhaupt | Daily TrojanStanding tall · Junior outside hitter Niki Withers had 13 kills in USC’s loss on Wednesday. The Women of Troy face Washington on Friday.After a tough loss to UCLA on Wednesday, the Women of Troy (8-4) look for redemption in Friday’s game against Washington (10-1). The Trojans lost to the Bruins in four sets, ending their 8-match winning streak. This weekend, they look to defeat Washington and continue working on their team communication. Though Wednesday’s match was a letdown for Trojan fans, various players stepped up to help the team. For example, junior middle blocker Jordan Dunn recorded six kills and put up four blocks against the Bruins. Junior outside hitter Niki Withers had 13 kills, while sophomore libero Victoria Garrick had a career high 24 digs during the game. The Trojans believe that they can bounce back for Friday’s game. “My focus has to be all the good things we did tonight and how much better we improved in some things,” head coach Mick Haley said. “This gave us a really good look at where we can improve to get better.”Friday will be a quick turnaround for the Trojans, especially since no one likes losing to the Bruins. However, Washington will be a good game for the Trojans to work on correcting their mistakes. Because the games are so close together, Haley said they won’t be able to get much better or improve too much in the one day they have between games. “We have to gut this Friday match out,” Haley said. “We are not going to get better or improve, but we certainly are gonna have some experiences from this that are gonna help us a little bit.”For Friday, both Haley and junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley believe there are little things they can tweak to improve their game. The team primarily needs to emphasize communication and ball control in order to be successful this weekend. Haley said that because the team is so young, there are still small errors that they make which can be fixed with concentration and experience.“We have to focus on strategies and correcting some leaks in our reception patterns, working on whose ball is whose,” Haley said. “We have to emphasize ball control. We must have lost 5 or 7 points on just not handling the ball well. That is something we can correct with concentration and passing.”Meyer-Whalley echoed this sentiment, saying that when the ball is on their side of the court, the team needs to work on both controlling the ball and bettering the ball. She also explained that there must be a rhythm between the setters and the hitters, and once that comes, the team will be hitting a lot more balls. They have to work on trusting each other as well. “We can’t start a match with ease, you have to go in fighting,” Meyer-Whalley said. “Our body language has to be that we are ready to fight from the beginning. We have to build some momentum, because it takes momentum away from the other team.” The Women of Troy will face the University of Washington Friday night at 7 p.m. at Galen Center.last_img read more