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Ex-Goldman Sachs Employee Spared Jail Over New York Fed Leaks

A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. associate who admitted to illegally obtaining confidential documents from a friend at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was handed a fine on Tuesday but spared a prison sentence. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan had sought up to a year in prison for Rohit Bansal, who they said used the documents to further his career and shared some with other Goldman Sachs employees to help on bank client work. U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein called Bansal’s motivations “significantly disturbing,” and said Bansal was aware the documents he obtained from Jason Gross, the New York Fed employee, were confidential. But he said Bansal’s conviction, coupled with the loss of a career, had sent a “powerful message” to others who might engage in similar conduct, and sentenced him to a $5,000 fine and two years of probation with 300 hours of community service. Bansal, 30, said he was “profoundly sorry” for his actions, which resulted in him pleading guilty in November to a misdemeanor charge of theft of government property and being permanently barred from the banking industry. “During my short time at Goldman Sachs, I truly lost sight of what was right,” he said. The case highlighted the so-called revolving door on Wall Street, in which regulators take jobs at the banks they formerly oversaw. The charges were announced after Goldman Sachs agreed in October to a $50 million settlement with the New York State Department of Financial Services for failing to supervise Bansal. According to prosecutors and New York regulators, Bansal obtained numerous documents from Gross, whom he formerly supervised at the New...

Banks Eye More Cost Cuts Amid Global Growth Concerns

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other U.S. banks are looking at ways to slash expenses further this year as market turmoil, declining oil prices and concerns about Germany’s Deutsche Bank AG have sent the sector’s shares down sharply. “We can absolutely do a lot more on the cost side if we have to, especially now, when you have to deliver a return,” Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said on Tuesday at the Credit Suisse financial services forum in Miami. “We take a particular and energetic look at continued cost cuts when revenues are stalled,” he said. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” U.S. Bancorp CFO Kathy Rogers echoed Blankfein’s comments at a separate panel, saying her bank would keep cutting costs this year. She cited a smaller chance that interest rates would rise, which would have indicated a stronger economy and more revenue for the bank. BB&T Corp. CEO Kelly King said the bank has rejected broad-based layoffs so far and remains focused on managing expenses in a way that will not hurt business in the long-term. “Cutting expenses with a butcher’s knife and a bad attitude is not going to produce good results,” he said. As executives were speaking at the conference, Deutsche Bank shares hit a record low, following their 9.5 percent plunge on Monday. Although the bank has said it has sufficient reserves, investors have worried that it will not be able to repay some bonds that are coming due. The bonds, called AT1 securities, convert into equity in times of market stress. Deutsche Bank’s woes reflect broader concerns about the health and profitability of euro zone...