Goldman Sachs turned to the US Federal Reserve’s discount window on multiple occasions following its conversion to a bank holding company at the height of the financial crisis, according to documents released by the central bank.
The documents appeared to contradict public statements by Gary Cohn, Goldman’s president, who said the bank only tapped the window once in the wake of the crisis.
Goldman borrowed $50m on September 23 2008, then returned to the window on October 1, when the bank borrowed $2.5m, and again on October 23, when it received $5m, a review of data from late 2008 shows.
Bloomberg News reported that the bank visited the discount window at least two times between 2009 and 2010.
Goldman argued on Thursday that Mr Cohn only knew about the initial $50m overnight loan, which the bank used at the Fed’s behest to test its systems. When the bank made its return visits to the discount window to conduct further tests, senior executives were not informed, the bank said.
“The amounts involved were de minimis and the testing was routine,” a Goldman spokesman said. “The fact that we tested the system to insure our procedures worked smoothly was made known to senior executives. Routine tests thereafter were considered part of the normal course of business.”
The data were contained in reams of documents the Fed unveiled on Thursday after it was forced by the Supreme Court to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request by Bloomberg and Fox News.