But since it's all a giant shell game anyway, and it's likely that the other Wall Street firms are using the exact same practices, why are the stock prices dropping? It's almost as if investors need to believe this was an aberration, and they're clutching the idea like a security blanket. Bad Goldman Sachs!
And here's the real problem: Without factual information and accurate risk assessment, capitalism is a game completely rigged in favor of the insiders. If enough people wake up and stop investing, well, that's a whole other catastrophe:
The Justice Department's criminal investigation into Goldman Sachs goes beyond the financial transactions targeted by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the civil fraud suit brought against the firm last month, law enforcement sources said Friday.
The Justice Department probe began weeks ago and is essentially on a parallel track with the SEC investigation, the sources said. While prosecutors and investigators are focusing on some of the same mortgage-related transactions as the SEC, the sources said, the Justice Department has cast a wider net.
Investors pounded Goldman Sachs shares on Friday as it became increasingly clear that the Wall Street bank's problems are continuing to grow. After initial news media reports about the criminal investigation, investors sent Goldman shares down 9.4 percent, or $15.04, to $145.20.
It was another brutal day for a firm that survived the worst of the financial wreckage of the past two years. Since the SEC filed its suit April 16, Goldman's shares have lost 20 percent of their value, costing investors $20.6 billion in market value.