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Goldman Sachs vs. S.E.C.

Goldman Sachs chairman and chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. (AP)

The SEC took out the knives Friday, filing a civil suit against Goldman Sachs that alleges the bank knowingly defrauded investors of billions of dollars, and in fact made money on its investors’ losses.

Authorities say the bank gave its seal of approval to investments it knew were rotten. The worst of the toxic assets — the sort that helped bring down the financial system. 

It’s a big charge, and it could have sweeping consequences.

Goldman Sachs, which says the charges are “unfounded,” wasn’t the only investment bank wrapped up in these trades. All of Wall Street was doing it.  

This Hour, On Point: the federal government versus Goldman Sachs.

Guests:

Matt Taibbi, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. You can listen back to our hour with him last year, in which he debated a longtime consultant to Goldman Sachs. You can also read his big, and controversial, piece on Goldman.

Arthur Laby, professor of law at Rutgers School of Law. Before joining the Rutgers faculty, he served nearly ten years on the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gregory Zuckerman, a senior writer and columnist for The Wall Street Journal who has closely followed these insider trading cases. His new book is “The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of how John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History.” You can listen to the On Point segment in which he tells the backstory of what went on with Goldman Sachs and other investment banks.

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