Poll Results: 64% Think Goldman Execs Will Face Indictments

The verdict is in, dear readers: Y’all do expect criminal charges to come down in the Justice Department’s investigation of Wall Street.

The only question is how severe it will be.

Goldman Sachs, whose CEO Lloyd Blankfein hired criminal defense attorney Reid Weingarten this week, actually fared worse than the Street as a whole in our survey. Roughly three-fifths of you expect at least some indictments at the bank as a result of the industry’s behavior leading up to the financial crisis.

In all, nearly 64% of voters think Goldman Sachs execs will face indictments. Nearly 41% believe at least a few Goldman exec will face charges, while about 23% were more optimistic and think many Goldy execs will get in trouble. However, 36.4% of voters believe Goldman will get off scot free (no execs will face charges).

For Wall Street as a whole, the overall split was 55%-45% in favor of indictments. Roughly 44% think some Wall Street execs will get hit with charges, while a small minority, 11.1%, believe that many execs are likely to face charges. Still, another 44% think no Wall Street execs will face indictments.

The big picture? You think only a few executives will be charged, but a smaller group expects many indictments.

On the sentiment scale, however, we saw another split. As one commenter put it,

Hope they do file charges…

But another saw politics at work in the investigation:

Alinsky playbook–personalize and demonize, to distract people from policy and regulator incompetence.

That reference, BTW, appears to be to community activist Saul Alinsky, author of “Rules for Radicals.”

And for what it’s worth, this result is significantly darker than when we asked a similar question in June. At that time, 65% of you predicted no criminal charges would be filed against Goldman.

Steve Bills is a senior editor at Buyouts Magazine. Any opinions expressed here are entirely his own. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Bills. Follow Buyouts tweets @Buyouts. For information on how to subscribe, contact Greg Winterton at greg.winterton@thomsonreuters.com.