|A world-class criminal who will never spend a day in jail.|
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs.
(Photo by Financial Times)
By Ben McLannahan
Goldman Sachs has has reached a $5.1bn settlement with the US government and other agencies for mis-selling mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis, in a move that will wipe out most of its profits for the fourth quarter.
On Thursday afternoon Goldman said that it would pay a $2.4bn civil monetary penalty to the Department of Justice, and make $875m in cash payments to various other agencies. The bank said it would also provide a total of $1.8bn in relief for distressed borrowers and underwater homeowners, financing for affordable housing, and support for other programmes to boost the housing sector.
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that the bank was “pleased to have reached an agreement in principle to resolve these matters.”
The Wall Street bank had been among several charged with mis-selling by the DoJ, and is the last to settle.
The first, in November 2013, was JPMorgan Chase, whose $13bn bill reflected huge liabilities assumed through the crisis-era acquisitions of Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns. Citigroup then paid $7bn to resolve its case in the summer of 2014, followed by Bank of America, which paid a heavy $17bn to settle claims pumped up by the acquisitions of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch. Last February Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $2.6bn to draw a line under claims against it.