Hintz, ranked the No. 1 analyst covering brokerage firms in a survey by Institutional Investor last year, said that the Justice Department’s approach to criminal charges against companies has changed since accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP’s business collapsed following a felony charge.
A 2003 Justice Department policy document “stated that prosecutors can reward cooperation by offering a negotiated settlement to a targeted company that can range from immunity from criminal indictment to a deferred prosecution agreement,” Hintz wrote. “Ultimately, the targeted company is treated not as a hardened criminal but as the equivalent of a juvenile offender that can be reformed.”
Goldman Sachs’s potential civil litigation risk related to sales of mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations “is manageable,” Hintz wrote, because the statute of limitations for many of the claims has already passed.
Surprise. Looks like GS will get away with a slap on the wrist, if that.
See also Robert Scheer's Geithner and Goldman, Thick as Thieves