TODAY   |  April 26, 2010

Goldman exec touted 'serious profit' in e-mail

As some families were losing the value of their homes, some financial honchos were making “serious money.” A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs, however, says the they have found no evidence of wrongdoing. NBC’s Lisa Myers reports.

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>>> the hot seat this week to answer questions about how they do business and some surprising new e-mails. lisa myers is in washington with the latest on this story. lisa, good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, ann . goldman sachs now is fighting the government on two fronts, s.e.c., which charged the company with fraud and now a senate subcommittee. e-mails in which goldman executives seemed to cheer as the housing market collapsed. with its reputation on the line, wall street 's most powerful and most profitable firm is trying to explain away damaging e-mails. it's the fall of 2007 , the housing market is collapsing and investors are suffering big losses. yet a goldman executive seems pleased. sounds like we'll make some serious money , he wrote. that, as some families were losing value in their homes or even losing their homes entirely.

>> to watch them lose everything and cheer, you wonder why the american people are furious at wall street , that e-mail alone may explain it all.

>> reporter: in another e-mail that fall, goldman ceo says they made money on the housing market , then lost more than they made.

>> not going to win any popularity contest when over a period that ordinary americans' pension, houses were collapsing in value, they were making significant money off of it.

>> reporter: however, a spokesman for goldman says the firm actually lost $1.2 billion on residential mortgage investments over 2007 and 2008 . and goldman put out 70 pages of documents itself, arguing that the firm didn't really know which way the housing market was going and consistently tried to hedge its bets. goldman also released e-mails of the young trader charged with fraud by the s.e.c., fabrice tourre. in one, tourre compared the product to frankenstein turning against his own inventor. in another, he quotes a goldman exec as saying the subprime business is totally dead and the poor little subprime borrowers will not last so long. a goldman spokesman said obviously the content of the e-mail sincere highly embarrassing, but we've found no evidence of wrongdoing.

>> we've got to end, once and for all, the casino atmosphere of wall street .

>> reporter: tomorrow, as you said, ann , seven current and former goldman executives testify in front of a senate subcommittee. it's reflective of how concerned gold mman is about public perception. ann ?

>> lisa myers this morning, reporting. thanks, lisa.