Media reports say that Goldman Sachs (GS) is in talks to pay between $2-$3 billion to settle the federal government’s investigation into the sale of mortgage bonds in the run up to the housing and financial crisis.
Bloomberg has the story.
The investment bank could reach a deal with the U.S. Justice Department within weeks, the person said, asking not to be identified because the negotiations aren’t public.
The accord is part of a broader push by the government to hold more Wall Street firms to account for the 2008 crisis after authorities pressed the three biggest U.S. banks — JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. — to pay a total of more than $35 billion in cash and consumer relief. Morgan Stanley said in February it agreed to pay $2.6 billion to end probes into its creation and sale of mortgage-backed securities. The firm has yet to complete the deal.
Banks and investors around the world suffered billions of dollars in losses as subprime home loans bundled into mortgage-backed securities defaulted, causing the bonds to plummet in value.
Goldman Sachs, like most other big banks, previously disclosed the U.S. inquiries and said it’s cooperating to resolve them. The firm said in February it got a letter from a U.S. Attorney in California, part of a national task force, warning that investigators had found it violated federal law in connection with sales of mortgage-backed securities. The bank said it was given an opportunity to respond.