Goldman Sachs Group Inc. paid off at face value some junior-ranking slices of two collateralized debt obligations at the potential expense of more-senior classes that now are likely to default.

The moves are unusual in that the senior-most creditors are typically the first in line to get paid. But Fitch Inc. said last week that Goldman had applied its "sole discretion" to ignore the standard payment priority and use cash in reserve accounts for the Abacus 2006-13 and Abacus 2006-17 CDOs to retire lower-ranked notes.

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