Goldman chief says US charges are political: report
Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein has attacked US fraud charges against his investment bank as politically motivated in calls to important clients, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
"He feels that the government is out to kill them, that they are under attack and the whole thing is totally political," one person who received a call told the business daily, adding that he said the action "hurts America".
Blankfein left clients, including private equity executives, with the impression that he was eager to fight the charges laid by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in court, the FT reported.
The civil suit filed by the SEC on Friday accused Goldman of "defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts" about a financial product based on subprime mortgage-backed securities.
The bank denies any wrongdoing.
US President Barack Obama denied "categorically" on Wednesday that the White House had prior knowledge of the charges, which came at a pivotal point in his drive to pass reforms of risky business practices in the US finance industry.
© 2010 AFP