Merkley: SEC Charges Against Goldman Sachs Show Need for Tough Wall Street Accountability

Washington, D.C
. – Today the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) charged Goldman Sachs with defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts about certain financial products.  

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement:

“It has been clear since the moment Wall Street collapsed in 2008 that major financial firms were playing fast and loose with risky bets on substandard financial products.  This is why financial reform of Wall Street is essential.  But even now, with the Senate about to debate reform, many on Wall Street say we should just let things continue as they did – let Wall Street police itself.

“The allegations against Goldman Sachs make it clear how dangerous that view is.  Over and over, we saw financial firms engage in these types of opaque, self-serving backroom deals that enriched a few but wrecked our economy.  The Wall Street meltdown was not just a case of the foxes guarding the henhouse; instead, the foxes designed and built the henhouse, took out insurance on the henhouse, and lit it on fire.  We need to end the double-dealing and conflicts of interest that put the short-term profits of the largest Wall Street firms ahead of the long-term prosperity of Main Street America.

“It is absolutely clear that the Senate needs to begin debate and pass legislation to reform Wall Street.  This bill should be amended to include the conflict of interest measures that Senator Carl Levin and I have introduced.  These measures would ensure that institutions do not have a financial interest in packaging products that harm their customers.”