Goldman Said To Be In Settlement Talks

The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to unnamed 'people familiar with the situation', Goldman Sachs and US regulator The Securities and Exchange Commission have started talks in the last few days with a view to trying to reach a settlement regarding those civil fraud charges. At the moment, however, the two parties are thought be be fairly far apart.

In the meantime, Fox Business News' Charlie Gasparino reports that many legal experts, 'and even people inside Goldman', expect that a settlement could come anywhere between $1bn and $5bn.

And Hedgeanalyst.com reports that UBS analyst Dean Ungar has downgraded Goldman, saying that an 'adverse outcome to the criminal investigation' isn't yet priced into the stock. Ungar sees downside risk of around 26% (with the firm trading at tangible book value at around $111), but upside potential of up to 35% if the firm's legal problems are resolved.

Bloomberg reports that the California Public Employees Retirement System, the largest US public pension fund. has voted for a shareholder proposal to split the roles of Goldman chairman and CEO.

Finally, The New York Times has reported that AIG, mostly owned by the US government, is said to be close to replacing Goldman as its main corporate advisor, turning to Citi and Bank of America instead.

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