Business News

Goldman Case Likely to Unleash Torrent of Lawsuits


Government lawyers are facing many potential pitfalls as they attempt to prove the civil fraud charges against Goldman Sachs.

Experts say the Securities and Exchange Commission will need to lay out a complex set of facts based on what appears to be hazy evidence. SEC lawyers must prove that Goldman misled investors in some mortgage investments that failed.

The charges filed Friday are expected to unleash a torrent of other litigation, including suits from Goldman clients and shareholders and investigations by foreign governments.

Meanwhile, a newspaper is reporting the German government may consider taking legal action in a case in which Goldman Sachs is accused of defrauding investors.

The U.S. government alleges Goldman Sachs sold mortgage investments without telling buyers they were crafted with input from a client who was betting on them failing.

Buyers included German bank IKB -- an early financial crisis victim that was rescued by the state-owned KfW development bank among others.

On Saturday, Welt am Sonntag newspaper quoted Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, UIrich Wilhelm, as saying German regulator BaFin will ask the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for information. He says, "after a careful evaluation of the documents, we will examine legal steps."