Did Goldman Sachs executive lie to government panel?

Gary D. Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission last summer that the company took overnight loans from the Federal Reserve just once - and that was at the Fed's request.

But Bloomberg News reported today that Goldman actually borrowed money through the Fed's discount window at least five times, starting in September 2008, when the financial crisis took hold with a vengeance.

Bloomberg said data from the Fed showed that Goldman Sachs Bank USA, one of the company's subsidiaries, took overnight loans on Sept. 23, Oct. 1 and Oct. 23 of 2008, and on Sept. 9, 2009 and Jan. 11 of last year.

The largest amount of money that the Goldman unit borrowed was $50 million; the smallest was $1 million. Both are relative minor sums relative to those that other financial companies received from the Fed to help them maintain liquidity during the crisis.

Cohn testified at a Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission hearing last June. According to Bloomberg, Cohn responded to a question about Goldman's use of the Fed's overnight lending program by saying "we used it one night at the request of the Fed to make sure our systems were linked with their systems, and it was for a de minimis amount of money.''

Bloomberg said Peter J. Wallison, a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commmission, followed up by asking, "You never had to use it after that?"

Cohn's response was "No, and as I said, we used it on the Fed's request."

ZeroHedge.com, a financial blog, wondered Thursday whether Cohn would be summoned back to Washington to explain why he lied under oath, or would face any other consequences for his inaccurate testimony.


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