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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cuomo Puts Fidelity and Goldman Under the Microscope

by: Armie Margaret Lee

The Wednesday edition of the Wall Street Journal's Fund Track column provides an update of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's auction-rate securities probe. Cuomo's office is looking into whether Fidelity's ties with Goldman Sachs may have given the Boston Behemoth an incentive to sell the securities to individual investors, reports Jennifer Levitz. Citing an unidentified source, Levitz writes that the attorney general began pursuing that angle after finding out that most of the auction-rate securities sold by Fidelity were underwritten by Goldman.

The attorney general's office is said to be investigating whether Fidelity may have sold the securities because it was getting other services from Goldman.

Fidelity spokeswoman Anne Crowley told Levitz that there's no incentive for Fidelity to promote auction-rate securities. Crowley also said 600 Fidelity accounts held such securities. Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the investigation.

Earlier this month, word came that Cuomo has included Fidelity in his widening ARS investigation (see The MFWire, August 18, 2008.) 

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