Obama and Goldman Sachs: backgrounder

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WASHINGTON–The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Goldman Sachs and one of its vice presidents for allegedly misstating and omitting key facts about a financal instrument called a collateralized debt obligation.

Here’s what I wrote on Oct. 8, 2008 about a 2007 private dinner then Sen. Barack Obama had with Goldman Sachs executives with Tom Brokaw:

WASHINGTON–On May 3, 2007, Barack Obama attended an event at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan that was not on his public schedule and is only now surfacing–a private dinner for Goldman Sachs traders with a discussion on issues moderated for the Wall Street firm by NBC’s Tom Brokaw.

Brokaw is the moderator of Tuesday’s second presidential debate between Obama and John McCain at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

The dinner was not a fund-raiser for Obama, then in the early stages of his Democratic primary campaign launched February, 2007. Brokaw interviewed Obama for about 45 minutes on mostly international issues. Brokaw received an honorarium, donated to charity. The Obama campaign called the event a “moderated conversation” when I inquired on Monday.

Brokaw’s appearance was arranged through Goldman Sachs–not the Obama campaign. It was the only session Brokaw did for Goldman. Brokaw’s honorarium was given to a charity.

The employees of Goldman Sachs collectively would go on to become the top contributors to the Obama campaign.

For Goldman Sachs and Obama complete post, click here.

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