They say any publicity is good publicity, but maybe not if you’re Goldman Sachs. First the bonus outrage, now this.
On Thursday Goldman found itself taking fire again. This time the outcry invoves the bank's role in the Greek debt crisis and whether Goldman acted appropriately.
And the scrutiny has attracted the attention of our central bank.
Before the Senate, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke promised lawmakers he would look into their derivatives arrangements with Greece.
"Obviously, using these instruments in a way that potentially destabilizes a company or a country is counterproductive," Bernanke said. "We'll certainly be evaluating."
Bernanke added the Securities and Exchange Commission was also "interested'' in the issue.
The Fed Chief was reacting to a report in the New York Times that alledged Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms were buying credit-default swaps in which they would profit if Greece reneged on its debt.
“I don’t think Goldman did anything illegal,” explains Sanford Bernstein analyst Brad Hintz on Fast Money, “but lately we’re holding banks to a higher standard.”
They question becomes did they conduct themselves appropriately? Or was the action troubling?
“It’s a gray area,” Hintz tells us. And no matter what the outcome Hintz feels Goldman stands to lose.
"Some big investors will choose to deal with other brokerages rather than say 'I don’t want to have to explain this one, to my board,'" Hintz says. That will results in a "a less buoyant revenue line."
In other words, Goldman will lose business simply because some clients may fear guilt by association.
What do you think? We want to know!
What's the trade?
The price action has been lousy, says Guy Adami. I can't get long unless GS closes above $160. But that's not because of these developments. My trade is based on the recent action in this stock.
> Fed to Examine If Wall Street Is Betting On Default by Greece
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Trader disclosure: On February 25, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (GS), (AGU), (C), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Kaminsky Owns (EPV); Cortes Is Long Canadian Dollar And Short Treasuries Through Put Options Spread; Najarian Owns (BRCD) Calls; Najarian Owns (KO) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (MYL), (MYL) Puts; Najarian Owns (NTAP) Calls; Levy Is Short (AAPL) Call Spread; Jon Najarian Owns (AAPL), Is Short (AAPL) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (BAC), Is Short (BAC) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (C), Is Short (C) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (GS), Is Short (GS) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (JPM), Is Short (JPM) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (PALM), Is Short (PALM) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (RIMM), Is Short (RIMM) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (TJX), Is Short (TJX) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (WFC), Is Short (WFC) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (WMT), Is Short (WMT) Calls; Jon Najarian Is Long (AMSC) Through Options; Jon Najarian Is Long (SII) Through Options; Jon Najarian Is Long (MIL) Through Options; Jon Najarian Is Long (CROX) Through Options; Jon Najarian Is Long (CMC) Through Options; Jon Najarian Is Short (DLTR) Through Options; Jon Najarian Is Short (NFLX) Through Options
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