Goldman Sachs is shelling out $450,000 to settle with NYSE Euronext and the SEC over allegations that the bank “broke rules governing short sales on U.S. stocks because of a bookkeeping error” — which led to improperly accepting some 385 short-sale orders from customers and failing to close out positions after short sales had failed to settle, among other things that will bore you to tears if you’re not a banker, and probably even if you are. (Briefly: They f’ed up. Spreadsheets were involved.)
Despite paying out nearly half a million to get the SEC off their backs, Goldman has neither admitted to nor denied doing anything wrong:
“This was the result of a manual processing error following the changes in Rule 204T closeout requirements in October 2008,” Goldman Sachs spokesman Ed Canaday said in a statement. “There was no financial impact on our clients. We now have improved, automated processes in place to avoid future errors.”
By the way, these allegations are unrelated to the SEC’s other beef, you know, that one about mortgage fraud? But regardless, $450,000 is but a drop in the bucket when you consider that the I-bank made $3.46 billion in the first quarter of 2010.
All’s well that ends well, eh?