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The Trial of Goldman Sachs

It is now 2015, and after five years of legal maneuvering, depositions, and motions, the SEC’s case against Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is finally coming to trial. Settlement negotiations have proven fruitless. The stock market is well into another bubble, and the collapse of 2008-2009 is but a distant memory. Everyone is making a fortune, and sees GS as nothing less than a god, having predicted the bull market early. 3X super bull ETF’s are now the rage across every asset class, and account for 50% of trading volume, picking up where the now banned high frequency traders left off. Abby Joseph Cohen, now silver haired and approaching retirement, says that a 20,000 Dow is within reach, and there is still plenty of room for multiple expansion, given the global nature of the boom. The jury is composed of predominantly blue collar public employees, the kind who love taking huge amounts of time off for perform jury duty to escape their monotonous, meaningless jobs. It includes a postal worker, bus driver, gardener, a sanitation worker, a subway driver, a retired school teacher, and an unemployed graduate student who is hoping to get a book deal out of the gig. Their pensions are all heavily invested in equities. Only two of the 13 are college educated, and none have any financial background whatsoever. After 37 days of testimony on financial matters like CDO’s, swaps, due diligence requirements, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and other arcania, the SEC presents the chart below. After brief closing arguments, the jury is then sequestered for deliberations. What will the verdict be? Hint: short dated GS calls are trading at enormous premiums. If you think you know the outcome, you can start betting big money starting from today.