28 Apr 2010

Bankers accused of profiting from global crisis

12:04 pm on 28 April 2010

Senior executives of United States investment bank Goldman Sachs have been grilled at a Senate committee about deals they did as the US housing market was about to collapse.

Members of the Senate panel have accuse the Wall Street bank of both contributing to and profiting from the crisis which threatened the world's economy.

But Goldman executives defended their actions and denied any wrongdoing.

Chief executive Lloyd Blankfein said clients had wanted an investment that would give them exposure to the housing market, but that unfortunately the housing market "went south very quickly", so people lost money.

Mr Blankfein denies his investment bank bet against its own clients in the US property market.

Fabrice Tourre, 31, is the sole Goldman employee accused in the lawsuit of marketing an investment designed to lose value.

He used the Senate hearing to defend himself, saying he "categorically denied" the accusations and promising to defend himself in court, the ABC reports.

Tourre is also the trader who called himself "the Fabulous Fab" in an email boasting he would be one of the last people standing amid all the complex, exotic trades he had created.

The committee's chairman, Senator Carl Levin, spoke of the reckless greed that infected Wall Street's financial community and said Goldman executives had caused widespread harm to their fellow citizens.