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How Goldman Sachs managed to swim against the tide as rivals forged ahead with collateralized debt obligations is a tale of the willingness to act and think independently, reports Tom Steinert-Threlkeld. The firm used computer models of its own creation and built sophisticated databases to follow the money at risk and the organizations behind the entities they did business with. It invested in the human capital to analyze the data, communicate the risks, and act accordingly. And when applying extreme scenarios to analyze risks that might face its investments in housing related securities, Goldman showed a willingness to step back and reassess its position, before willing buyers recognized the change.
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