Elliot Blair Smith
April 26, 2010

Just past midnight on May 3, 2005, Standard & Poor’s analyst Chui Ng e-mailed co-workers to broker a solution to demands by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bankers that he said violated two or more of the ratings company’s internal guidelines.

Goldman Sachs was adding $200 million in debt at the “last minute” to a $1.5 billion bond pool called Adirondack Ltd., Ng wrote. That meant the New York investment bank would originate 13 percent of the pool itself, two-and-a-half times the 5 percent limit set by S&P.

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Goldman Sachs also balked at Ng’s request to pay in advance for an insurance policy known as a credit default swap, which was being used to create the additional debt obligation.

The e-mails from Ng, who negotiated a compromise on Goldman Sachs’s requests, provide a rare window into the back-and-forth between the bank and a rating company assessing the risks in a financial product linked to subprime mortgages. The exchange was among 581 pages of private communications released last week by Senate investigators.

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