California House Democrats demand investigation into Goldman Sachs’ relationship with Silicon Valley Bank

A group of California House Democrats, led by Rep. Adam Schiff, have called for an investigation into the relationship between Goldman Sachs and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The lawmakers sent a letter to the heads of the Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, expressing “concerns over the role of Goldman Sachs Group in advising SVB and the purchase of its bond portfolio.” The letter cites a New York Times report that Goldman could earn up to $100m from its purchase of $21.4bn in debt from SVB in the bank’s final days, as part of an unsuccessful effort to strengthen its balance sheet.

The letter also highlights Goldman’s involvement in raising funds through the sale of SVB stocks, which analysts suggest may have contributed to a run on SBV assets. The lawmakers question whether Goldman Sachs acted independently as an advisor for SVB or whether it took advantage of its position to benefit from the bank’s eventual failure.

This is not the first time Goldman Sachs has been accused of questionable ethical behavior. In 2008, the financial services firm was fined $550m for misleading investors during the subprime mortgage crisis. More recently, in 2020, it was fined $2.9bn over its role in the 1MDB corruption scandal.

It is important to note that SVB is a significant player in the global financial industry, providing funding and services to startups and investors in the technology sector. Its clients include some of the world’s largest tech companies, including Uber, Airbnb, and Tesla. The bank’s collapse could have far-reaching consequences, impacting not only its clients but also the broader economy.

The lawmakers’ call for an investigation into the relationship between Goldman Sachs and SVB is not only a matter of justice but also reflects concerns over the integrity of the financial system. It is crucial that financial institutions operate fairly and ethically to ensure a healthy economy and to maintain public trust in the financial sector. Any actions that undermine this trust, whether by financial institutions or government regulators, must be investigated and dealt with accordingly.

Goldman Sachs has denied any wrongdoing in relation to its role in SVB’s collapse. In a statement, the bank said it “acted appropriately and fulfilled its disclosures and obligations under the law.” The statement also noted that the bank’s involvement in the SVB debt transaction was “entirely consistent with industry practice and norms” and that it had no control over the market reaction to the sale of SVB shares.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that SVB’s collapse has had a significant impact on the tech industry and could have far-reaching consequences. The bank’s role in the technology sector, as well as its relationships with major players in Silicon Valley, make its collapse an issue of great concern to both lawmakers and businesses alike.

Furthermore, the collapse of SVB raises questions about the broader financial system, particularly in relation to the role of investment banks and their relationships with other financial institutions. It is important that these issues are thoroughly investigated to ensure systemic failures are detected and addressed.

In conclusion, the call for an investigation into the relationship between Goldman Sachs and SVB raises important questions about the integrity of the financial system. The collapse of SVB highlights the potential consequences of unethical behavior by financial institutions and the need for proper oversight to ensure that market players are acting in the best interests of their clients and the broader economy. We urge regulators to take this matter seriously and to ensure that any wrongdoing is identified and dealt with accordingly. The future of the financial system, and the trust of the public, depends on it.


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