The deal the between Goldman and the SEC is done. And as with any settlement the question we want answered is, “who came out on top?”
And the winner is … everybody and nobody. The general consensus is that neither Goldman nor the SEC comes away from the deal with dominating victory, but then neither leaves after a staggering defeat either.
Both parties can come away from the settlement with their heads held high and can be happy with the result. The deal consists of a payout of a very manageable $550 million by Goldman, but the over half a billion dollar payout is still very large in terms of SEC standards.
The SEC comes out looking pretty good by recovering over half of the losses on the ABACUS deal, while Goldman saves face by admitting to negligence but steering clear of an admission of fraud. This was probably the biggest victory for Goldman in the deal as a fraud admission would have dealt a much larger blow in the civil lawsuit arena.
It really is a rather good deal for both sides and will serve as template for the SEC dealing with similar matters in the future.