Ok, let's say that the 550mil essentially repaid back everyone... that's forgetting the capacity of banks to loan out ten times the amount that they are holding. So, they got to work with 5 billion dollars because of this fraudulent documenting practices.You have to consider who this case came out tilted against. You say the $550 mil was chump change, so does that mean goldman came out on top, avoiding charges of outright fraud? Or maybe the fine was big enough, and the fact that goldman had to admit that its inaccuracies and failure to disclosure meant material losses, and the SEC won the case.
Also, it's neglecting the fact that these are equally CRIMINAL charges, that should have seen the CEO's facing jailtime.
And they profited of their crime. It's ok, they are 'too big to fail' so they can do what they want.Personally, I think since the SEC came out on top, making goldman admit the inaccuracies were material and making them repay in full. However, that does not change my opinion that the case against goldman was weak, look at my analogy. I think what goldman did was wrong, was not the best practice, but would have made little difference in the end for the parties involved.