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Goldman committee to review firm’s conflicts

Goldman committee to review firm’s conflicts
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First Published: Sat, May 15 2010. 02 05 PM IST
Updated: Sat, May 15 2010. 02 05 PM IST
New York: Goldman Sachs Group Inc said it is setting up an internal committee to look at how the company deals with potential conflicts of interest and how it can better disclose what it does.
The biggest US investment bank said the committee will be headed by Gerald Corrigan, chairman of Goldman Sachs Bank USA, and Michael Evans, a vice chairman of the company.
Goldman also named more than a dozen employees to the committee, which includes Arthur Levitt, a former chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission and a current advisor to the company.
Goldman said last week at its annual meeting that it was setting up such a committee. On Friday, the bank said the committee would look at areas, including conflicts, disclosure, client relationships, structured products, and education and ethics.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission sued Goldman last month for civil fraud, accusing the bank of failing to disclose key information to investors in repackaged mortgage debt. The Department of Justice has launched a criminal probe into the bank and other Wall Street firms are being examined, too.
Since the SEC announced its probe, the company’s shares have fallen more than 20%. Goldman Sachs initially said the SEC’s charges were without merit and broadly disagreed with any charge that its behavior was improper.
But after hours of questioning at a Senate subcommittee hearing in late April, Blankfein said: “Everything that’s been the subject of criticism will be tightened up.”
Goldman is winding down one of its proprietary trading desks, a source familiar with the matter said earlier on Friday, in what may be an effort to reduce the risk it takes in structured finance. Goldman declined to comment.
The desk trades collateralized loan obligations, or repackaged corporate loans, and is being merged with a desk that trades these instruments for clients, the source said.
Goldman is buying the North American natural gas marketing operations of Nexen Inc, Nexen said earlier on Friday for an undisclosed sum. Goldman is the biggest commodities player among Wall Street banks.
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First Published: Sat, May 15 2010. 02 05 PM IST