A two-year investigation into the causes of the financial crisis has culminated in the US Senate publishing a 639 page report damning major financial institutions and regulatory bodies. Citing a wealth of internal documents and private communications ‘Wall Street and The Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse’ details an array of reckless business activities which left the global economy in disarray and poor countries to disaster.
Versão Portuguesa Portuguese Version:
Máfia Económica Global! "Wall Street e a Crise Financeira: Anatomia do Colapso Financeiro" Culpa Bancos, Moodys, Standard Poors, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Supervisão e Desregulação dos Mercados! Relatório Elaborado Pela Comissão de Investigação do Senado dos EUA Desmonta A Conspiração; Acorda e Levanta-te Portugal, Espanha, Itália, Grécia; Os Banqueiros Que Paguem A Crise Que Criaram!
- About Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse Report
- Study Development and Target
- Opinion Of Senator Carl Levin, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman
- Levin-Coburn Report Content
- Major Causes Of the Financial Crisis
- Report findings
- Report Proves What Some Call "Conspiracy Teories"
- High Risk Lending: Case Study of Washington Mutual Bank
- Regulatory Failures: Case Study of the Office of Thrift Supervision
- Inflated Credit Ratings: Case Study of Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s
- Investment Bank Abuses: Case Study of Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank
- Goldman Sachs
- 13,9 Biliões de Dólares Americanos Num Fundo de Apostas Contra Os Clientes
- Goldman Sachs:Strategy: Bet Against Clientes
- Case Of Hudson 1 CDO
- Case Of Timberwolf CDO
- Case Of Abacus CDO
- Deutsche Bank
- PIGS and Craps on a CDO “Ponzi Scheme.” Operation
- CDO Machine
- $8 billion Edge Fund Against $102 Billion RMBS Portfolio
- Conclusão Sobre o Papel dos Bancos Na Crise
- Report recommendations
- Recommendations on high risk lending
- Ensure “Qualified Mortgages” Are Low Risk
- Require Meaningful Risk Retention.
- Safeguard Against High Risk Products
- Require Greater Reserves for Negative Amortization Loans
- Safeguard Bank Investment Portfolios
- Recommendations on regulatory failures
- Complete OTS Dismantling
- Strengthen Enforcement
- Strengthen CAMELS Ratings
- Evaluate Impacts of High Risk Lending
- Recommendations on inflated credit ratings
- Rank Credit Rating Agencies by Accuracy
- Help Investors Hold CRAs Accountable
- Strengthen CRA Operations
- Ensure CRAs Recognize Risk
- Strengthen Disclosure
- Reduce Ratings Reliance
- Recommendations on investment bank abuses
- Review Structured Finance Transactions
- Narrow Proprietary Trading Exceptions
- Design Strong Conflict of Interest Prohibitions
- Study Bank Use of Structured Finance
- Critical Auto-Análisis by a Moodys Director
- Deutsche Bank Total Annual CDO Issuance 2000-2009
- Tabela S&P Evaluates Deutsche Bank Gemstone VII Ratings by Tranche
- A Crise dos EUA Torna-se Global Via Offshore
- Deutsche Bank Cayman Offshore
- Goldman Sachs OffShore
- Report WALL STREET AND THE FINANCIAL CRISIS: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse
- Documentation Suport Report
- Autores Responsáveis
- Extra: The Official Bankster Dictionary
About Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse Report
Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse is a report issued on April 13, 2011 by the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The 639 page report was issued under the chairmanship of Senators Carl Levin and Tom Coburn, and is colloquially known as the Levin-Coburn Report.
Study Development and Target
After conducting “over 150 interviews and depositions, consulting with dozens of government, academic, and private sector experts” found that “the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products, undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street.”
Opinion Of Senator Carl Levin, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman
In an interview, Senator Levin noted that:
“The overwhelming evidence is that those institutions deceived their clients and deceived the public, and they were aided and abetted by deferential regulators and credit ratings agencies who had conflicts of interest.”
Levin-Coburn Report Content
By the end of their two year investigation, the staff amassed 56 million pages of memos, documents, prospectuses and e-mails. The report, which contains 2,800 footnotes and references thousands of internal documents focused on four major areas of concern regarding the failure of the financial system: high risk mortgage lending, failure of regulators to stop such practices, inflated credit ratings, and abuses of the system by investment banks. The Report also issued several recommendations for future action regarding each of these categories.
Major Causes Of the Financial Crisis
The report focuses on what it states are the four major causes of the financial crisis, and begins by concentrating on the impact made by high risk mortgage lenders, using Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) as an example. Beginning in 2004, WaMu embarked upon a lending strategy emphasising high risk loans. At the same time, the bank was engaged in a host of questionable lending practices including steering borrowers form conventional mortgages toward higher risk products and accepting loan applications without verifying the borrower’s income. The same apened with Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs managing the Edge Funds.
In April 2010, the Subcommittee held four hearings examining four root causes of the financial crisis. Using case studies detailed in thousands of pages of documents released at the hearings, the Subcommittee presented and examined evidence showing how high risk lending by U.S. financial institutions; regulatory failures; inflated credit ratings; and high risk,poor quality financial products designed and sold by some investment banks, contributed to the financial crisis.
The Report found that the four causative aspects of the crisis were all interconnected in facilitating the risky practices that ultimately led to the collapse of the global financial system. Lenders sold and securitized high risk and complex home loans while practicing subpar underwriting, preying on unqualified buyers to maximize profits. The credit rating agencies granted these securities safe investment ratings, which facilitated their sale to investors around the globe. Federal securities regulators failed to execute their duty to ensure safe and sound lending and risk management by lenders and investment banks. Investment banks engineered and promoted complex and poor quality financial products composed of these high risk home loans. They allowed investors to use credit default swaps to bet on the failure of these financial products, and in cases disregarded conflicts of interest by themselves betting against products they marketed and sold to their own clients. The collusion of these four institutions led to the rise of a massive bubble of securities based on high risk home loans. When the unqualified buyers finally defaulted on their mortgages, the entire global financial system incurred massive losses.
Report Proves What Some Call "Conspiracy Teories"
When we read that experts” found that “the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products, undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the payment of credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street.”,we can say that what some call Conspiracy Teories, are in fact conspiracy.
High Risk Lending: Case Study of Washington Mutual Bank
Through a case study of Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu), the Report found that in 2006, WaMu began pursuing high risk loans to pursue higher profits. A year later, these mortgages began to fail, along with the mortgage-backed securities the bank offered. As shareholders lost confidence, stock prices fell and the bank suffered a liquidity crisis. The Office of Thrift Supervision, the chief regulator of WaMu, placed the bank under receivership of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), who then sold the bank to JPMorgan. If the sale had not gone through, the toxic assets held by WaMu would have exhausted the FDIC’s insurance fund completely.
The report found that WaMu sold high risk Option Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (Option ARMs) in bulk, specifically to the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). WaMu often sold these loans to unqualified buyers and would attract buyers with short term “teaser” rates that would skyrocket later on in the term. The Report found that WaMu and other big banks were inclined to make these risky sales because the higher risk loans and mortgage backed securities sold for higher prices on Wall Street. These lenders, however, simply passed the risk on to investors rather than absorbing them themselves.
Regulatory Failures: Case Study of the Office of Thrift Supervision
The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) was cited in the Report as a major culprit in financial collapse, for their “failure to stop the unsafe and unsound practices that led to the demise of Washington Mutual” While OTS identified over 500 deficiencies at WaMu, they did not take any regulatory action against the bank. OTS repeatedly requested corrective action, but the bank never followed through on their promises. The Report also cites the regulatory culture within OTS as an issue that exacerbated the lack of oversight. OTS consistently referred to the banks it oversaw as its “constituents.” They favored asking banks to correct problems rather than enforcing regulation, even though the banks rarely followed through on the agreements.
Inflated Credit Ratings: Case Study of Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s
The case study of Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Moody’s) and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (S&P) exposed a combination of inaccurate readings and conflicts of interest within the credit rating agency community. Due to a lack of regulation, agencies were able to place quantity over quality in rating of securities. Credit rating agencies were paid by Wall Street firms for their rating service. If credit rating agencies were to issue anything less than a AAA rating, they could be run out of business by the Wall Street firms they depended on. In the years leading up to the 2008 crisis, Moody’s and S&P rated tens of thousands of U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). They regularly inflated the ratings, giving AAA grade ratings to the majority of RMBS and CDO securities, even though many were based off high risk home loans. In 2006, the high risk home loans began to fail, yet Moody’s and S&P continued, for 6 months, to issue AAA ratings to the same quality securities. After the CDOs and RMBS securities that consisted of these home loans began to incur losses, the rating agencies turned around and quickly began to downgrade the high risk securities. Now saturated with toxic and unmarketable assets, and the RMBS and CDO securities market collapsed. Traditionally, AAA rated securities had less than a 1% probability of default. In 2007, the majority of RMBS and CDO securities with AAA ratings suffered losses. 90% of AAA ratings given to subprime RMBS securities originated in 2006 and 2007 were later downgraded to junk status by credit rating agencies.
Investment Bank Abuses: Case Study of Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank
The Report cites investment banks as a major player in the lead up to the crisis, and uses a case study of two leading participants in the U.S. mortgage market, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. The case study found that from 2004 to 2008, banks focused their efforts heavily on RMBS and CDO securities, complex and high risk financial products that they could bundle and sell to investors who did not necessarily know the composition of the product. Financial institutions issued $2.5 trillion in RMBS and $1.4 trillion in CDO securities. They created large trading desks that dealt strictly in RMBS and CDO securities. More alarmingly, their trading desks began to take out insurance policies against the RMBS and CDO securities, allowing them to wager on the fall in value of their own asset. They acted in many instances as an intermediary between two opposing parties who wished to bet on either side of the future value of a security. This practice led to a blatant conflict of interest in the securities market, as the banks used “net short” positions, in which they wagered on the fall of a security, to profit off the failure of a security they had sold to their own client.
The studies show how the credit default swaps that allowed investors and banks themselves to place bets on either side of the performance of a security further intensified market risk. Finally, they show that the unscrupulous trading techniques at the banks led to “dramatic losses in the case of Deutsche Bank and undisclosed conflicts of interest in the case of Goldman Sachs.”
The case study of Goldman Sachs exemplifies this conflict of interest. They underwrote about $100 billion in RMBS and CDO securities in 2006 and 2007. They saw their securities were defaulting, and instead of warning investors to stay away from those products, they began developing a short position that would allow them to profit off of the inevitable collapse of the mortgage market. They amassed a $13.9 billion net short, and made $3.7 billion in profit in 2007 from the decline of the mortgage market. They sold RMBS and CDO securities to their own clients without notifying them of their conflict, that they had a multi-billion dollar short against that same product. The case study further examines four CDOs sold by Goldman known as Hudson 1, Anderson, Timberwolf, and Abacus 2007-AC1. The study found that Goldman would sometimes take risky assets they held in their inventory and dump them into these CDOs. They knowingly included low-value and poor quality assets in them, and in three of the CDOs, they had taken a short position against the CDO. Goldman sold their own toxic assets to their clients, then proceeded to bet against them, without ever notifying anyone about their conflict of interest.
Case Of Hudson 1 CDOIn the case of Hudson 1, Goldman took a 100% short against the $2 billion CDO, and then sold the CDO to their clients. The security soon lost value, and while their clients lost their investments, Goldman made $1.7 billion.
Case Of Timberwolf CDO
In the Timberwolf CDO, Goldman sold the securities above book value to their clients, then soon dropped the price after the sale, causing their clients to incur quick losses. The Timberwolf security lost 80% of its value within 5 months and is worthless today.
Case Of Abacus CDOIn the case of the Abacus CDO, Goldman did not take a short position, but allowed Paulson & Co. Inc., a hedge fund with relations to former Treasury Secretary and Goldman executive Henry Paulson, to select the assets included in the CDO. Goldman marketed and sold the security to their clients, never disclosing the role of Paulson & Co. Inc. in the asset selection process or the fact that the CDO was designed to lose value in the first place. Today, the Abacus securities are worthless, while the Paulson hedge fund made about $3 billion.
The Deutsche case study Report focuses on the bank’s top CDO trader,
PIGS and Craps on a CDO “Ponzi Scheme.” Operation
Greg Lippmann. He warned colleagues that the RMBS and CDO securities were “crap” and “pigs” and could make money taking shorts against them. He predicted the securities would lose value and called the financial industry’s CDO operation as a “ponzi scheme.”
CDO MachineDeutsche Bank took out a $5 billion short position against the RMBS market from 2005 to 2007, earning a profit of $1.5 billion. The case studies of these two investment firms also show that even as mortgage delinquencies increased in 2008, the banks continued to heavily market CDOs and RMBS securities to their clients. The banks knew that if they were to stop their “CDO machine” that was churning out record profits and record executive bonuses, the firms would have to cut back on their excesses and close their CDO desks.
$8 billion Edge Fund Against $102 Billion RMBS Portfolio
Deutsche Bank’s RMBS Group in New York, for example, built up a $102 billion portfolio of RMBS and CDO securities, while the portfolio at an affiliated hedge fund (usualy used to bet agains the product), Winchester Capital, exceeded $8 billion.
Banks Role in The Economic Crisis
The Report found that the investment banks were “the driving force” behind the risk-laden CDO and RMBS market’s expansion in the U.S. financial system, and the banks were a major cause of the crisis itself.
Recommendations on high risk lending
Ensure “Qualified Mortgages” Are Low Risk
Federal regulators should use their regulatory authority to ensure that all mortgages deemed to be “qualified residential mortgages” have a low risk of delinquency or default.
Require Meaningful Risk RetentionFederal regulators should issue a strong risk retention requirement under Section 941 by requiring the retention of not less than a 5% credit risk in each, or a representative sample of, an asset backed securitization’s tranches, and by barring a hedging offset for a reasonable but limited period of time.
Safeguard Against High Risk Products
Federal banking regulators should safeguard taxpayer dollars by requiring banks with high risk structured finance products, including complex products with little or no reliable performance data, to meet conservative loss reserve, liquidity, and capital requirements.
Require Greater Reserves for Negative Amortization Loans
Federal banking regulators should use their regulatory authority to require banks issuing negatively amortizing loans that allow borrowers to defer payments of interest and principal, to maintain more conservative loss, liquidity, and capital reserves.
Safeguard Bank Investment Portfolios
Federal banking regulators should use the Section 620 banking activities study to identify high risk structured finance products and impose a reasonable limit on the amount of such high risk products that can be included in a bank’s investment portfolio.
Recommendations on regulatory failures
Complete OTS Dismantling
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) should complete the dismantling of the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), despite attempts by some OTS officials to preserve the agency’s identity and influence within the OCC.
Federal banking regulators should conduct a review of their major financial institutions to identify those with ongoing, serious deficiencies, and review their enforcement approach to those institutions to eliminate any policy of deference to bank management, inflated CAMELS ratings, or use of short term profits to excuse high risk activities.
Strengthen CAMELS Ratings
Federal banking regulators should undertake a comprehensive review of the CAMELS ratings system to produce ratings that signal whether an institution is expected operate in a safe and sound manner over a specified period of time, asset quality ratings that reflect embedded risks rather than short term profits, management ratings that reflect any ongoing failure to correct identified deficiencies, and composite ratings that discourage systemic risks.
Evaluate Impacts of High Risk Lending
The Financial Stability Oversight Council should undertake a study to identify high risk lending practices at financial institutions, and evaluate the nature and significance of the impacts that these practices may have on U.S. financial systems as a whole.
Recommendations on inflated credit ratings
Rank Credit Rating Agencies by Accuracy
The SEC should use its regulatory authority to rank the Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations in terms of performance, in particular the accuracy of their ratings.
Help Investors Hold CRAs Accountable
The SEC should use its regulatory authority to facilitate the ability of investors to hold credit rating agencies accountable in civil lawsuits for inflated credit ratings, when a credit rating agency knowingly or recklessly fails to conduct a reasonable investigation of the rated security.14
Strengthen CRA Operations
The SEC should use its inspection, examination, and regulatory authority to ensure credit rating agencies institute internal controls, credit rating methodologies, and employee conflict of interest safeguards that advance rating accuracy.
Ensure CRAs Recognize Risk
The SEC should use its inspection, examination, and regulatory authority to ensure credit rating agencies assign higher risk to financial instruments whose performance cannot be reliably predicted due to their novelty or complexity, or that rely on assets from parties with a record for issuing poor quality assets.
The SEC should exercise its authority under the new Section 78o-7(s) of Title 15 to ensure that the credit rating agencies complete the required new ratings forms by the end of the year and that the new forms provide comprehensible, consistent, and useful ratings information to investors, including by testing the proposed forms with actual investors.
Reduce Ratings Reliance
Federal regulators should reduce the federal government’s reliance on privately issued credit ratings.
Recommendations on investment bank abuses
Review Structured Finance Transactions
Federal regulators should review the RMBS, CDO, CDS, and ABX activities described in this Report to identify any violations of law and to examine ways to strengthen existing regulatory prohibitions against abusive practices involving structured finance products.
Narrow Proprietary Trading Exceptions
To ensure a meaningful ban on proprietary trading under Section 619, any exceptions to that ban, such as for marketmaking or risk-mitigating hedging activities, should be strictly limited in the implementing regulations to activities that serve clients or reduce risk.
Design Strong Conflict of Interest Prohibitions
Regulators implementing the conflict of interest prohibitions in Sections 619 and 621 should consider the types of conflicts of interest in the Goldman Sachs case study, as identified in Chapter VI(C)(6) of this Report.
Study Bank Use of Structured Finance
Regulators conducting the banking activities study under Section 620 should consider the role of federally insured banks in designing, marketing, and investing in structured finance products with risks that cannot be reliably measured and naked credit default swaps or synthetic financial instruments.
Moody’s managing director critical self analysis
Looking back after the first shock of the crisis, one Moody’s managing director offered this critical self analysis:
“Why didn’t we envision that credit would tighten after being loose, and housing prices would fall after rising, after all most economic events are cyclical and bubbles inevitably burst. Combined, these errors make us look either incompetent at credit analysis, or like we sold our soul to the devil for revenue, or a little bit of both.””
|Deutsche Bank Total Annual CDO Issuance 2000-2009|
|Year||Total CDO Issuance ($ in billions)|
|Gemstone VII Ratings by Tranche|
|Tranche||Initial Rating: Date||1st Downgrade: |
|2nd Downgrade: Date||3rd Downgrade: Date|
|Class A-1a||AAA: March 15, 2007||A+: Feb. 5, 2008||BB+: July 11, 2008||CC: August 19, 2009|
|AAA: March 15, 2007||B-: Feb. 5, 2008||CC: July 11, 2008||n/a|
|Class A-2||AAA: March 15, 2007||AA-: Nov. 21, 2007||CCC-: Feb. 5, 2008||CC: July 11, 2008|
|Class B||AA: March 15, 2007||BBB: Nov. 21, 2007||CC: Feb. 5, 2008||n/a|
|Class C||A: March 15, 2007||B-: Nov. 21, 2007||CC: Feb. 5, 2008||n/a|
|Class D||BBB: March 15, 2007||CCC Nov. 21, 2007||CC: Feb. 5, 2008||n/a|
|Class E||BB+: March 15, 2007||CCC: Nov. 21, 2007||CC: Feb. 5, 2008||n/a|
The Crisis Goes Global on OffshoreWhen we read this report and look to the financial crisis timeline, then we can say that when the prosecuter starts the investigations, the banksters spread the American Toxics and the crisis globaly:
First Iceland, people reject it, then Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Chipre, and a lot more to come until people do the same as Iceland.
Deutsche Bank Cayman Island Offshore
To issue the CDO securities, Deutsche Bank established an offshore corporation in the Cayman Islands called Gemstone CDO VII, Ltd.1357 To administer the corporation, Deutsche Bank appointed its Cayman Island affiliate, Deutsche Bank Cayman, which is a licensed trust company.1358 As administrator, Deutsche Bank Cayman provided Gemstone 7 with the administrative services needed to operate the CDO securitization, including but not limited to, providing office facilities and secretarial staff, maintaining the books and records required by Cayman law, naming at least two Cayman directors, and acting as the Share Registrar for Gemstone shares.
HBK’s Long Investment in Gemstone. HBK routinely purchased the equity tranche,1360 also known as the residual interest, in all of its Gemstone deals, including Gemstone7.1361 HBK told investors in its sales presentation that “HBK has retained 100% of the equity from CDO transactions resulting in strong alignment of interests between HBK and investors.”1362 According to Kevin Jenks, HBK’s collateral manager, HBK had a “buy and hold” approach to all of its Gemstone CDOs.1363 HBK also told the Subcommittee that it participated in Gemstone 7 with “the objective of obtaining long exposure to the CDO’s collateral, on a leveraged basis, through ownership of the Residual interest.”
HBK deals were known for containing above average concentrations of BB or lower rated assets, but HBK prided itself on its ability to run in-depth analysis and accurate stress tests on assets it selected for its CDOs.1365 HBK expected to receive a 15% return on its investment in the equity tranche.1366 In its investor presentation, HBK stated: “The firm strives to provide superior risk-adjusted rates of return with relatively low volatility and relatively low correlation to most major market indices.”1367 HBK’s presentation also claimed that, as of January 2007, it had only three downgrades in its asset backed security portfolio, and that its upgrade to downgrade ratio was 23 to 3.1368 Investor M&T Bank, who later purchased Gemstone 7 securities, told the Subcommittee that it had relied on HBK’s assertions when choosing what it thought was an investment with “minimal risk.”
Goldman Sachs OffShore
In addition, Goldman typically established a domestic and an offshore corporation to act as the nominal owners of the securitization’s incoming cash, assets, and collateral securities; to serve as the actual issuers of the securities; and to perform certain administrative services. Goldman also established arrangements for the servicing of any underlying mortgages. In some CDOs, Goldman or its affiliate provided additional services as well, acting in such roles as the collateral securities selection agent, the collateral put provider, or the liquidation agent charged with selling impaired assets. Goldman also used its global sales force to market its securities to investors around the world, typically selling Goldman-issued CDO securities through a private placement and RMBS securities through a public offering.
In late 2006, when subprime residential mortgages began to incur higher than expected rates of delinquency, fraud, and default, and its inventory of mortgage related assets began to lose value, Goldman took a number of actions. It sold the mortgage related assets in its inventory; returned poor quality loans to the lenders from which they were purchased and demanded repayment; limited new RMBS securitizations; sold or securitized the assets in its RMBS warehouse accounts; limited new CDO securitizations to transactions already in the pipeline; and sold assets from discontinued CDOs.
Throughout this process, Goldman made a concerted effort to sell securities from the CDO and RMBS securitizations it had originated, even when those securities included or referenced poor quality assets and began losing value. Many of the CDO and RMBS securities that Goldman sold to its clients incurred substantial losses. The widespread losses caused by CDO and RMBS securities originated by investment banks are a key cause of the financial crisis that affected the global financial system in 2007 and 2008.