NEW YORK, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc's purchase of a $6.2 billion portfolio of subprime bonds on Wednesday illustrates the difficulty regulators may have in stopping banks from making bets with their own money.
Goldman purchased the portfolio from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is selling mortgage securities acquired in 2008 through the bailout of American International Group Inc .
Goldman held the bulk of the portfolio overnight before moving to sell the bonds en masse, according to bond-trading data and people familiar with the situation. While there was strong demand from Goldman clients, by doing so the Wall Street bank took the risk of events in Europe roiling markets and the value of those assets falling in a short period of time.
Rival banks and mortgage investors said Goldman profited when it sold the bonds at a higher price than what it paid, but it is not clear how much overall profit Goldman will make from this deal.
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