Bove Says Sell Goldman, U.S. to 'Bleed' Firm

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Rochdale Securities analyst Richard Bove has downgraded Goldman Sachs ( GS) to "sell" from "neutral," citing a Rolling Stone article and the possibility of a government fine.

Bove also cut the Goldman's price target to $120 from $163.
Dick Bove
Dick Bove

Bove said his opinion was influenced by Matt Taibbi's article in Rolling Stone titled, "The People vs. Goldman Sachs."

"How can the company do nothing about it when it is being accused of these developments?" asked Bove. "This isn't a conspiracy theory. This is backed by an investigation of the Justice Department and clearly the government wants to blame Goldman Sachs for the financial crisis."

Bove added that the downgrade was ultimately the result of article's description of U.S. Justice Department investigations into the firm. He believes that Goldman has not responded to the investigations properly and investors should drop the stock.

"The board of the company has to be reshuffled. The government is not going to get Goldman on a $1 billion settlement and it won't let up on them until they bleed," Bove said in a phone interview. "I don't want to own the stock. I don't think investors should. The company will be trading at book value"

Taibbi is also author of an infamous article on Goldman Sachs titled "The Great American Bubble Machine," published over a year ago and described Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity."

Bove said that if Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein were to be replaced that someone with investment banking and law experience should replace him.

Bove could not recommend any candidates off hand.

--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.

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