Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo Receive Wells Notices From SEC Relating to Subprime MBS Offerings

Source: woodleywonderworks
Here we go again... The SEC sent Wells notices to Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo over subprime MBS offerings. How long did lawsuits last after the Savings and Loan crisis in the early 1990s? Here's an interesting article from February 2008: "Study: Subprime Mortgage Lawsuits Outpacing Savings & Loan Crisis" (Insurance Journal).

From Goldman's 10K (page 203):

"The firm has also received, and continues to receive, requests for information and/or subpoenas from federal, state and local regulators and law enforcement authorities, relating to the mortgage-related securitization process, subprime mortgages, CDOs, synthetic mortgage-related products, particular transactions involving these products, and servicing and foreclosure activities, and is cooperating with these regulators and other authorities. See also “Financial Crisis-Related Matters” below.

On February 24, 2012, the firm received a “Wells” notice from the staff of the SEC with respect to the disclosures contained in the offering documents used in connection with a late 2006 offering of approximately $1.3 billion of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities underwritten by GS&Co. The firm will be making a submission to, and intends to engage in a dialogue with, the SEC staff seeking to address their concerns.

The firm expects to be the subject of additional putative shareholder derivative actions, purported class actions, rescission and “put back” claims and other litigation, additional investor and shareholder demands, and additional regulatory and other investigations and actions with respect to mortgage-related offerings, loan sales, CDOs, and servicing and foreclosure activities. See Note 18 for further information regarding mortgage-related contingencies."


From Wells Fargo's 2011 Annual Report (page 182):

Government agencies continue investigations or examinations of other mortgage related practices of Wells Fargo. The investigations relate to two main topics, (1) whether Wells Fargo may have violated fair lending or other laws and regulations relating to mortgage origination practices; and (2) whether Wells Fargo properly disclosed in offering documents for its residential mortgage-backed securities the facts and risks associated with those securities. Wells Fargo has received a Wells notice from SEC staff relating to Wells Fargo’s disclosures in mortgage-backed securities offering documents. Wells Fargo continues to provide information requested by the various agencies in connection with certain investigations.

In other news,

"Federal criminal authorities are investigating whether a top Goldman Sachs Group Inc. manager passed inside information about technology stocks to the firm's hedge-fund clients." (WSJ)

"Chicago-based CME Group Inc. has received two subpoenas from authorities investigating the collapse of futures-broker MF Global Holdings Ltd., according to a company filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission." (Los Angeles Times)

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