Data shows Goldman Sachs lapped up emergency loans

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N, viewed as one of the stronger banks during the financial crisis, was actually one of the heavier users of emergency lending from the Federal Reserve bank, data released on Wednesday showed.

The U.S. bank tapped the overnight lending facility a total of 85 times for $589 billion from September through November 2008, the data show. On one occasion in mid-October, the bank borrowed about $24 billion in overnight credit across two of its units.

Despite that extensive government support, Goldman Sachs’ Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said multiple times they did not need help during the financial crisis.

“Our liquidity was huge,” Blankfein told the Wall Street Journal in an October 2009 interview discussing the crisis.

The CEO said he did not think the bank would have failed.

Goldman used the facility more often than the second-largest U.S. bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N, which used it just three times, once in September and twice in October 2008.

But Goldman Sachs used the primary dealer credit facility less frequently than its closest peer, Morgan Stanley MS.N, which took 212 loans between September 2008 and March 2009.

Goldman Sachs reported a profit of $2 billion in 2008 and $12 billion in 2009.

“In late 2008, many of the U.S. funding markets were clearly broken. The Federal Reserve took essential steps to fix these markets and its actions were very successful,” said a spokesman for the bank.