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Goldman role in Greek crisis probed

Alan Rappeport, Tom Braithwaite and David Oakley
Financial Times [1]
Friday, February 26th, 2010

The US central bank is looking into Goldman Sachs’s role in arranging contentious derivatives trades for Greece, which helped the country to massage its public finances, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, revealed on Thursday.

“We are looking into a number of questions relating to Goldman Sachs and other companies and their derivatives arrangements with Greece,” Mr Bernanke said, apparently referring to Greek currency transactions structured by Goldman.

Testifying before Congress, Mr Bernanke also responded to concerns that instability in markets for Greek debt and other securities has been heightened by trading in other derivatives, known as credit default swaps, which compensate investors in case of default.

Mr Bernanke said default swaps are “properly used as hedging instruments” and that “using these instruments in a way that intentionally destabilises a company or a country is counterproductive”.

Full article here [1]