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Friday, as news of the allegations of fraud at Goldman Sachs spread, I got a call from someone who works in the insurance business.
"Check out the former head of ACA" he said referring to the now-defunct and formerly down-graded bond insurer who asked the-not-so-omniscient hedge fund manager John Paulson to choose which securities to put into the CDO, Abacus, that Goldman Sachs subsequently sold to two big clients, the German bank IKB and the Royal Bank of Scotland -- without disclosing that Paulson would be shorting his own hand-picked stocks on the other side of the trade.
Now the SEC's complaint states that ACA had no idea that Paulson was shorting the stocks he'd been asked to select, yet my deepthroat was not so convinced.
My source told me to check out who the head of ACA was married to. "I think you'll find it's a senior woman at Goldman Sachs," he said.
Well, yep, it is.
Alan S. Rosenman took over ACA Capital as president and CEO in 2004 - because -- wait for it -- his predecessor Michael Satz had "personal income tax issues" -- (how murky is this story going to get you must be asking?)
According to a Business Week article dated April 3 by David Henry and Matthew Goldstein, Rosenman "immediately began to push ACA into CDO insurance, an area his predecessor, Satz, had only begun to explore."
Rosenman's wife, or at least partner -- they are listed as sharing a house together for which they paid $6.1 million in 2005 in New York -- is Frances "Fran" R. Bermanzohn, who is managing director and deputy general counsel at ... Goldman Sachs.
I called Mr. Rosenman who gave me the illuminating statement: "I am not offering any comment at this time."
I asked him, did he ever disclose their relationship to buyers of Abacus? Did she? And Could ACA really therefore not have known about Paulson's activities?