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Goldman Sachs Says It Didn’t Mislead Investors; Profit Jumps

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Christine Harper
April 20, 2010

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., facing a fraud lawsuit from U.S. regulators, reported net income almost doubled in the first quarter and said it didn’t mislead investors.

“This all seems to be at root about whether someone intentionally misled someone, and that’s not something we would approve of or sanction,” Goldman Sachs Co-General Counsel Greg Palm told analysts on a conference call today. He spoke after the firm said earnings jumped 91 percent to $3.46 billion, or $5.59 a share, surpassing analysts’ estimates.

Goldman Sachs, led by Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, finds itself fending off regulatory claims while cementing its position as the most profitable investment bank in Wall Street history. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused the firm of failing to tell investors in a 2007 collateralized debt obligation that hedge fund Paulson & Co., which planned to bet against the CDO, helped select the underlying assets.

Goldman Sachs had “no incentive” for the deal to fail, and lost more than $100 million on the transaction, Palm said. The firm was “somewhat surprised” when the SEC filed its suit on April 16, as “no one had told us in advance,” he said.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 10:58 am

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