Bloomberg writers, Clea Benson and Phil Mattingly, have admirably profiled Levin and Coburn in the following piece. They report that Levin says he wants the report to lead to "Justice," "Accountability," and "Reform."
To my mind Justice would be done when Goldman Sachs faces criminal charges and a jury of American citizens to answer for their role in the financial crisis.
Accountability would be reached when Goldman Sachs finally is persuaded not to push against the rules in order to make as much money as possible. A little apology for siphoning all the money into their own coffers would be nice too.
Reform would be evident when the laws of the land break up the TBTF banks, including Goldman Sachs; when the laws require transparency in all financial transactions, including derivatives; and when the citizens of the US are protected from predatory practices of the banks.
Wall Street Probe Illustrates Clout of Levin's Senate Investigative Panel
By Clea Benson and Phil Mattingly - Bloomberg
When U.S. Senator Carl Levin declared that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) “clearly misled their clients and misled the Congress,” few analysts predicted his allegations would still be reverberating two months later.
The firm’s shares have fallen 16 percent in New York trading since April 13, when Levin’s investigative panel released an exhaustive report on the roots of the 2008 economic meltdown. The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are examining the findings. The Manhattan District Attorney last week joined in with a subpoena to Goldman Sachs.
The bank stuck to muted criticism of the Levin report until yesterday, when people briefed on Goldman Sachs’s strategy said the firm was considering preparing its own document to refute the Senate report’s contention it held a “big short” against the housing market while marketing mortgage-backed securities.
The impact of the two-year inquiry is only the latest illustration of the clout of Levin and his Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The Michigan Democrat, who’s headed the panel on and off for a total of six years since 2001, has helped fuel legislative and court action with his focus on issues including sham accounting at Enron Corp., credit-card rules, money-laundering and tax shelters for the wealthy
The subcommittee is “not just overturning some rocks,” Levin, 76, said during a recent interview in his Washington office. “Success is when we lead to reforms or lead to justice and accountability.”
On Levin’s terms, the panel has succeeded, whether or not regulators and law-enforcement agencies move against Goldman Sachs or others named in the report. At hearings in 2010, Levin deployed e-mails and documents obtained by his investigators as he grilled Goldman Sachs’s leaders, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein. The publicity helped get the Dodd-Frank bill through the Senate, Levin said.
Goldman Sachs is taking on a panel whose structure and history contribute to a record of successful investigations that may be unparalleled among congressional committees. The staff and Levin take pride in being meticulous. As a permanent fixture in a chamber whose members only have to run for office every six years, the panel has the resources and the appetite for spending months or years issuing subpoenas, interviewing witnesses and poring over documents.
The work of the subcommittee also stands out in a town where investigations and white papers often dissolve into partisan strife. By a tradition unique in Congress, the minority party’s staff is involved throughout the inquiry. Members from both parties tend to stick together when presenting conclusions.
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