Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $5.1 billion to settle state and federal probes into its sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the deal on Monday.
Eric Schneiderman: “This settlement will help thousands of families with principal forgiveness to obtain write-downs of their mortgage debts so they can avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. It will help to finance multi-family affordable housing projects. It will fund land banks and local code enforcement efforts and is really another major step in the fight for justice for the families and communities that were devastated when a combination of reckless deregulation and abusive practices by a relatively small number of financial firms brought the American economy to its knees in 2008.”
But the deal includes a generous package of tax credits and other incentives that could see Goldman pay far less than the total announced. Any money Goldman spends on consumer relief under the deal is tax-deductible, meaning U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill. The advocacy group Better Markets called the settlement “more of the same non-punishment, non-accountability ritual that will do nothing to stop the Wall Street crime spree.”