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Matt Taibbi's latest strike in his war on "vampire squid" Goldman Sachs (GS): "If the Justice...

Matt Taibbi's latest strike in his war on "vampire squid" Goldman Sachs (GS): "If the Justice Department fails to give the American people a chance to judge this case - if Goldman skates without so much as a trial - it will confirm once and for all the embarrassing truth: that the law in America is subjective, and crime is defined not by what you did, but by who you are."
Comments (82)
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4009) | Send Message
     
    Well, duh.
    11 May 2011, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • User 487974
    , contributor
    Comments (1105) | Send Message
     
    Come on man, of course it will skate. G.S. is the government. Bill Dudley, Hank Paulson Robert Rubin and last but not least, Gary Gensler. Wow! What a freaking coincidence? Yeah Right!
    Jerry
    11 May 2011, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • MarketGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (3983) | Send Message
     
    Jerry,

     

    Whether you meant to or not, you just mentioned all spectrums of Govt. infected by "former" Goldman crooks.
    11 May 2011, 07:02 PM Reply Like
  • al9000
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
     
    Hey Matt - are you advocating mob rule, now? If the Justice Dept. can't find a crime to charge GS with, it may not be because the law is subjective but because they can't find a crime to charge them with.
    11 May 2011, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • MarketGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (3983) | Send Message
     
    sure...they're a regular boy scout troop aren't they.

     

    Get real.
    11 May 2011, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • al9000
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
     
    What chargeable crime, on the books now, did they commit that you can bring them to court with?
    When the Govt finds trading & securities violations they have and will bring charges against them. Boy Scouts won't survive in the business that they're in.
    11 May 2011, 08:02 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10239) | Send Message
     
    How about lying to Congress.
    11 May 2011, 11:49 PM Reply Like
  • al9000
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
     
    When Congress believes that they were lied to under oath, the Govt should ask for clarification and then, if the response is unsatisfactory and the matter has some weight, pursue the matter further.
    12 May 2011, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10239) | Send Message
     
    Al9000. Did you read the article....the matter has already been referred to the Justice Department.
    12 May 2011, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7614) | Send Message
     
    Now when the justice department gets involved with politicians that lie the country will be making progress.
    12 May 2011, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • al9000
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
     
    Wait and see what happens...
    Considering that the Govt invented the sub-prime mortgage and forced back to make them with the Community Reinvestment Act back in the '70s, and then the kept assuring that all was fine with FNMA right until the MBS implosion, I think that the purpose of all these hearings the Govt holds is to divert attention away from their mistakes, give the illusion that they are doing something about the situation, and make themselves look good to the voters. It's what Sen Orrin Hatch called today's Oil hearings: another "dog and pony show"
    12 May 2011, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    Al9000,

     

    That has absolutely NOTHING to do with the case.

     

    Did you even read the article?

     

    Take for example reclassifying junk mortgages as AAA and then telling your own clients they are going to be money makers. When all along you were on the short side knowing that the junk was going to implode.

     

    That has nothing to do with easy money or government housing policy, that is straight up fraud and lying.

     

    If you want to talk about deflection, your apologetic comment is a huge one.

     

    The subcommittee that Levin is on is bi-partisan and Tom Coburn (Republican party) is hardly what I would call "anti-business," look at the guy's stances, and he is onboard with Levin in his investigation.
    12 May 2011, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • al9000
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
     
    No apology will be forthcoming, Lightway.
    Admittedly I did not read the whole article but I did hear Taibbi on radio and watched a few of his guest spots on TV at the time the article was released.
    All he is doing is spewing mostly "populist poppycock".
    The Ratings Agencies assigned the AAA ratings to those repackaged BBB securities [I was very surprised they did this] but it was one of those things that looked good on paper but blew up in everybody's. AAA paper is considered a safe investment, and if a client comes in and asks high grade paper - you sell it to them. This is the fault of the rating agencies to me. You can't tell a client that that the Ratings Agencies are wrong and it's really junk because you have not proof and would be sued by the ratings agencies. And if you took it up with the SEC it will take them years to figure it out.
    If I you spot something that doesn't make sense in a financial report or the product structure and think a security will go down in value - you go short, if you can, for your own account or for your more sophisticated clients - or simply get rid of it. That's the way the street works.
    Markets, and those participating in the markets, look dimly on fraudulent and unfair conditions and will try to correct them over time. They will cooperate with Govt regulators to get rid of the conditions. This is better than Govt obscuring their complicity in the meltdown and coming up with methods that unfairly restrict free markets, put the taxpayers at risk, or gridlock the system.
    12 May 2011, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • ubuy2w
    , contributor
    Comments (72) | Send Message
     
    Sorry but its NOT ok to screw your clients at least thats what my daddy taught me same goes for family and friends. It is my obligation to say to client no Mr. client that AAA rated paper my firm is trying to sell you is a piece of toilet paper but I would not use it for that as I respect my sphincter.
    21 May 2011, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • al9000
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
     
    Your comment assumes that you possess all the knowledge of all the personnel of an entire Rating Agency and have enough time to analyze all the financial data related to the paper - I don't think so!
    21 May 2011, 07:47 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    The ratings agencies were completely clueless when it came to rating MBS, and relied on the financial firms to HELP them rate it.
    21 May 2011, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • al9000
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
     
    Lightway, it's standard procedure for the Rater to work with the Issuer and/or the seller to determine a rating.
    Things go wrong - especially on the Street. There's some kind of financial disaster or scandal every 10 years or so. Face it, if getting something wrong were a crime - we'd all be in jail
    21 May 2011, 09:22 PM Reply Like
  • MarketGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (3983) | Send Message
     
    "Things go wrong - especially on the Street. There's some kind of financial disaster or scandal every 10 years or so. Face it, if getting something wrong were a crime - we'd all be in jail" -al9000

     

    wow al9000, I've seen some lame apologist statements before, but that is downright pathetic.

     

    You pose the statement like it was some, "oh gee, whoops, we made a mistake", type incident.

     

    This was years of collaborative and manipulative greed, with a huge helping of arrogance, hubris and kleptocracy.

     

    Amazing how good people everyday "get something wrong" and go to jail, yet the one's who destroyed Trillions in middle class wealth and American economic stability get a monetary "fine"...and even that's paid for by the crooked organizations they work for.
    21 May 2011, 11:31 PM Reply Like
  • al9000
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
     
    MarketGuy, my statements were not apologetic they were statements of fact. Since the Sixties, at least, there was a major financial crisis of one form or another every 10 years or so and they’ve been resolved with those guilty of crimes punished. It takes years to figure out who did what, if any crimes or abuses of the law were committed within the complexities in the laws and regulatory environment, and even longer to determine what checks can be placed into our free market system to prevent a reoccurrence the situation.

     

    I suggest that you reexamine your dystopian views of “years of collaborative and manipulative greed, with a huge helping of arrogance, hubris and kleptocracy” to determine what really happened and what’s only in your mind
    22 May 2011, 07:51 PM Reply Like
  • Ken Hasner
    , contributor
    Comments (427) | Send Message
     
    "and crime is defined not by what you did, but by who you are.""

     

    He's dead wrong here. It's never been about who you are, it always been about how much you have and how much you're willing to share with the Feds.
    11 May 2011, 06:43 PM Reply Like
  • djn21
    , contributor
    Comments (77) | Send Message
     
    Did GS run a thumb-clicking hit squad through this entire chain? Only a couple of commenters supporting Goldman, yet most comments that come down against Goldman or the Fed investigators are overwhelmingly thumbs down. Just an observation.

     

    The thumbs would indicate that the majority thinks either a) Goldman is highly ethical (and, apparently, earning trading profits every single day quarter after quarter is indeed statistically possible - no problem), or b) corruption does not exist in our law enforcement / judicial arenas. Couldn't happen here. No way.

     

    Ever read the Gulag Archipelago? Don't think it could happen here? Give it time... we're on the evolutionary path for own crony capitalist version of it, imho.
    11 May 2011, 10:38 PM Reply Like
  • AnchorMan
    , contributor
    Comments (115) | Send Message
     
    I noticed that too. it seems very odd all the thumbs down. It also seems very clear that most people posting here did not even click on the link to read the Taibbi article, which is quite long and detailed. Someone questioning what he has done for America? He has done way more than GS ever did or will do by exposing this crap. I just hope people wake up before its too late! (Im predicting 3 thumbs up, 18 thumbs down on my comment!)
    11 May 2011, 11:20 PM Reply Like
  • MarketGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (3983) | Send Message
     
    djn21, AnchorMan and All,

     

    The "thumbs down" loading your witnessing is from one user who has multiple accounts. The fact you mention it's "multiple people with a set view/opinion", is EXACTLY what this troll wants you to think.

     

    Does it seem odd to you that ALL the negative thumbs came in during a 15 minute period last night?

     

    This has been occurring on many threads since January and Seeking Alpha was supposed to have a fix for it by now. This is important to know for people who rely on Seeking Alpha's "rating system" to choose "followers"

     

    The entire Seeking Alpha rating system has been corrupted now for almost half a year. Ironically it mimics real life markets and their "ratings systems" where only a select few control and skew the perceived reality of a system . Kind of humorous when put into that perspective.
    12 May 2011, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10239) | Send Message
     
    It's another evidence of a conspiracy that no one wants to believe. They do exist, whether it one person involved or more than one.
    12 May 2011, 08:44 AM Reply Like
  • djn21
    , contributor
    Comments (77) | Send Message
     
    That's hilarious MarketGuy, and a most plausible explanation for the clearly fraudulent thumb situation. There would absolutely be more articulated comments in line with the thumbs if that were an accurate reflection of popular opinion. Do you have any idea(s) who?

     

    I worked late last night and checked this chain around 2 am. My comment was something like +7, -3. And now this morning it's +7, -14. Not that it matters... but it's pretty funny. Thanks for the info. What a bit of hilarity that someone would be compelled / incentivized / tasked to go through all that nuissance to simply forge a false impression. I guess at $8/hour for the thumb lackey, it'd be less than 2 seconds' worth of trading profit for GS... a small PR investment, if you will.
    12 May 2011, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • Econdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (2944) | Send Message
     
    it's a Thumbspiracy

     

    I believe SA has the FBI on the trail

     

    E
    12 May 2011, 10:02 PM Reply Like
  • MarketGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (3983) | Send Message
     
    Everyone, meet (e)condoc.

     

    Troll trap sprung...too easy.
    12 May 2011, 10:23 PM Reply Like
  • Econdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (2944) | Send Message
     
    Thumbgate - it's a worry.

     

    Everyone this is MG - he is a Top 100 SA Commenter and deserves all the respect that entails.

     

    MG - I feel for you I really do. You are Top 100 Commenter. I know this is on your resume along with your elementary school record

     

    We need to get to the bottom of this terrible conspiracy. The integrity of the thumb rating system is at risk. It is corrupted.

     

    After all - none of us would know how to determine nonsense if not for the thumbs. We are lost without it.

     

    What an abject and pitiable fool you are. I feel sorry for you.

     

    Negative thumbs from the SA crowd are the best contraindicator. Period.

     

    E
    13 May 2011, 02:56 AM Reply Like
  • Econdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (2944) | Send Message
     
    Using Peter Griffin voice...

     

    I heard from SA that they have Top Men on the case...Top Men

     

    stand-by

     

    E
    13 May 2011, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • enigmaman
    , contributor
    Comments (2686) | Send Message
     
    "that the law in America is subjective, and crime is defined not by what you did, but by who you are."

     

    And your point is What?
    11 May 2011, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10239) | Send Message
     
    Simple solution. Every legitimate company in this country and every individual who has anything to do with Goldman should sever their relationship. No one should use them for financial advice, IPO's, M&A transaction, etc. Just stop doing business with them.

     

    That being said...the incestuous relationship between the financial community and the politicians has got to stop.
    11 May 2011, 07:02 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10239) | Send Message
     
    Hey...you're right....I guess a lot of Goldman employees read SA.
    11 May 2011, 11:51 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
     
    Matt Taibbi is jealous of Goldman Sachs.
    Matt:

     

    Goldman makes the money because these guys worked very hard in their life. While growing up you were sleeping until noon time while those guys woke up early and did their studies. Those guys went to good colleges and worked hard. Those guys got good jobs and worked hard. So do not get jealous because they deserver the money and you do not.
    11 May 2011, 07:12 PM Reply Like
  • new slang
    , contributor
    Comments (163) | Send Message
     
    I can't tell if you're serious or not... in the event you are, just because they worked very hard at scamming the American people does not mean they're deserving
    11 May 2011, 07:31 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
     
    GS did not scam anybody. What they do is trading. What Matt did anything for American? He went to Russia and spent his life over there. He came back because of his health problem. Now somehow he is expert on GS.
    11 May 2011, 08:14 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5139) | Send Message
     
    Mr. Gupta was contacted in an unethical way and discussed matter privy to only Goldman Board members. He was cited with "violating confidentiality" by Mr. Blankenship. At no point under oath did Mr. Blankenship apologize to the shareholders of GS. At no point did he ensure that this would never happen again.

     

    This doesn't have anything to do with smart employees who worked hard to get hired by Goldman. It has to do with activities which the average investor has no clue about and how the stock market can be affected. Galleon made significant profits during this period. How much was as a direct result of what was contained in the conversations with Mr. Gupta? How much did GS profit from the connection with Galleon?

     

    Hard work? Smart investors? You miss the point of the case. What transpired was against the law. The law should apply to GS the same way it applies to the average investor. A Board member spoke "off the record" and profits were made illegally. Thankfully this action was prosecuted.
    11 May 2011, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
     
    Why he should apologize? He did not do anything wrong. Making money for your company during the down market that is smart. I wish I was smart like one of them. You guys are blaming somebody else for your mistake.
    11 May 2011, 08:24 PM Reply Like
  • DoubleTomato
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    Trading? They made a profit trading every day last year. Do you really think that this is statistically possible? Are you telling me that their trading software is so good that it can predict whether a coin comes up head or tails correctly every day 100 times a day for a year? Are you saying that they are GODs and can actually see the future?
    11 May 2011, 08:45 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5139) | Send Message
     
    A member of his Board committed, among other things, a "violation of confidentiality". Mr.Blankenship could have taken the high road and ensured shareholders that Board members should/would be held accountable for their actions. Mr. Gupta was appointed to the position, he violated company policy, and should, at the very least, be removed from the appointed position. How long before Federal charges are filed against Mr. Gupta?

     

    It is not about making money during a down market. It is about a Board member talking about confidential matters and enabling Galleon to profit from the information. It is not about Goldman making money. The law was broken, a man was convicted, and Goldman's name is all over this. Are you following the same case I am?
    11 May 2011, 09:14 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10239) | Send Message
     
    Yea....talk to the Norwegians about their purchase of MBS securities theoretically rated AAA. You'll get a "cold" response.
    11 May 2011, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    I read the article which is the first time I read Rolling Stone in 30 years. I thought Rolling Stone came with a bong?

     

    Once you cut through all the hysterics and general anti bank, Wall Street and and anyone who made any money his beef is with a deal that John Paulson and ACA entered into which GS was the intermediary. This was the custom investment in which a lot of bad mortgages were dumped into an investment vehicle and Paulson went short and ACA went long. Paulson made a lot of money and ACA lost. Matt does not indicate if he would have a problem with this investment if Paulson would have lost and ACA would have won. He just believes GS setup a bad investment and should not have done it or something.

     

    Of course Matt does not know if ACA had offsetting positions elsewhere against this long position but so what pass the bong. Paulson's people and ACA's people met face to face to discuss the deal which is called Due Diligence and Matt would know nothing about but which is an opportunity for each party to ask the other party questions so they know what they are buying. If ACA sent the B team then that was their business decision.

     

    Matt thinks that GS lied about something because they made several statements about it which built one upon the other but at worse that is similair to our ever evolving description of the Bin Laden killing. Stuff happens and it is not easy to describe on the spur of the moment who did what. For example GS's second statement about the deal was that they lost money on it. Matt had a problem with that statement.

     

    In summary Matt is just looking to get press by mentioning GS and money and a lot of outrage. Hard to figure the outrage when this was a deal between two large companies who have tons of resources to take care of themselves.

     

    Next to this was a Britney Spears article. Go figure.
    11 May 2011, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (714) | Send Message
     
    You may have read the article, but you don't seem to have comprehended it. The gist of the article is not the Abacus deal you refer to, but to other deals like Hudson and Timberwolf and the pattern of behavior that they represent; and his reporting on the senate subcomittee hearings (Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse) goes much further than mentioning GS and money and outrage.
    11 May 2011, 07:44 PM Reply Like
  • tigersam
    , contributor
    Comments (1711) | Send Message
     
    99% read Briteney Spears's article.
    11 May 2011, 09:03 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Reading his articles is an exercise in digging through the outrage, some f-bombs, calling people names and NO evidence of anything that he has found to support his claims. He mainly just rehashes congressional testimony, other articles and his view on it. I am sure Rolling Stone does not have much of a budget to actually do any investigative reporting.

     

    I don't care if GS is guilty or not but somebody needs to show up with some hard evidence and not outrage that GS shorted the market. And there are plenty of people in WDC that would like to hang them for something so if they had a solid case it would be impossible to keep it under wraps for long.

     

    The housing market was a screaming short just like US Treasuries are today. So now if people make money on shorting UST's are we going to get all up in arms? Everyone should short UST's it might be the most sure thing on Wall Street over the next several years.

     

    And all firms should be going long and short at the same time if they have any brains at all. They should be constantly managing their risk to acceptable levels. They hold offsetting positions because they are not always sure which way the market is going. Placing a big bet like GS did is a risk they took that the housing market could not go up any further. They were not the only party that believed that but they invested on that thesis. Other firms like Bear, Lehman and Merrill Lynch were in way too deep on the long side with no coverage. That was stupidity and that will kill any company.

     

    All the parties involved in these trades were companies. They all had billions of dollars and resources at their disposal to buy the best advice in the world and hire the right people. If they did not then that was a business decision.
    11 May 2011, 11:19 PM Reply Like
  • AnchorMan
    , contributor
    Comments (115) | Send Message
     
    jpau, good point. you've heard of selective listening, what we have here is selective reading. And the comment about Taibbi just looking to get press, really? If Im a writer looking to get press, I dont write a really long article about GS, I write about kim kardashian and lindsey lohan, thats what most of the people in our country care about.
    11 May 2011, 11:25 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    "Other firms like Bear, Lehman and Merrill Lynch were in way too deep on the long side with no [Secretary of the Treasury who also just happened to be the ex-CEO bailout ] coverage."

     

    Fixed

     

    Goldman was bailed out several times by the US government (you know those of us who actually PAY taxes) and personally by Warren Buffett. So don't give us a line of crap about them managing their risk better than other firms.
    12 May 2011, 12:34 AM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Lightway

     

    Other firms survived too like Morgan Stanley and JPMC has a very large investment bank. They had nobody at the Treasury that was a former employee.

     

    Warren Buffett is not a charity. He made an investment in GS knowing that it was solid and he turned down other WS firms.
    12 May 2011, 02:09 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    Read Warren Buffett's comments regarding the transaction. Yes it was a good investment for him, however, he puts it in almost patriotic duty terms, speaking about how Berkshire was able to provide liquidity into the system in a time of crisis. It may not have been outright charity, but a hint of it was certainly implied in the context.

     

    Also look at the terms he was given, nobody could have pulled those kind of terms unless they were taking on a tremendous amount of risk. On top of that he put his personal name and reputation on the line.

     

    The point of all this is that Goldman had tremendous help to weather the crisis, when they claimed they didn't need it. We all know that is a load of crap.

     

    They say one thing and do something else completely.

     

    Like telling Congress, under oath, that you are just hedging your bets, when in reality you are dumping a huge amount of money into the bet, not as a hedge, but as a lopsided core conviction position, and often times against your own clients ("suckers.")
    12 May 2011, 04:18 AM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Lightway

     

    First Warren likes the spotlight and is not above shining his own buttons on the reason why he invested. The truth is he turned down several other WS firms and banks before GS came to him so if he was so patriotic he would have helped one of the them. He picked out the strongest player to invest in and asked for really rich terms because the market allowed it as everyone was raising capital. That is not help that is a business deal.

     

    Nobody has any idea of GS's books at that time to understand their positions and offsetting hedges and also what they promised their clients they would buy in the future. If they doubled down on a position long or short that is a risk decision that could work or backfire and they could get the timing wrong. But it was very apparent that the housing market was overheated and headed for a fall and Case Shiller was banging that drum and not many people were listening.

     

    I know that some of the WS firms that failed did not know their net positions and therefore their risk because they were manually adding up scraps of paper from different departments on their investments. Their mentality was to be long and everything would be fine. They did not know their liquidity risk or much of anything. They are out of business now.

     

    All of these players are businesses and the outrage is that they were not well run to handle any downturn. As an example Jimmy Cayne of Bear was playing bridge while the company was melting down.
    12 May 2011, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    You can call Warren's deal whatever you want, but the bottom line is that it was a bailout, coupled with the numerous bailouts the governments piled onto them on top of that. Goldman Sachs would have not been able to survive on their own.

     

    As far as knowing Goldman's books, their short side bets against mortgages are clearly documented as being lopsided, they are not obfuscated under a pile of counterbalanced bets, and are not just a simple hedge on the other side as you claim.

     

    On top of that, they reclassified junk mortgages as AAA and then sold them to their own clients as being rock solid, then took the short side of the bet. That is outright fraud.

     

    Hedging a bet is one thing, but using fraud to enable the bet is another completely.

     

    You don't have a problem with that? That's not hedging, that's an outright scam. It's on the same lines as setting up a shell company and making up revenues, then pump and dumping it.
    12 May 2011, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Lightway:

     

    This may be lost on you in your crusade to get GS but Warren has a fidicuary responsibility to his shareholders. That is not his money he is investing and he does not have the legal right to do bailouts. That was an investment and he made a ton of money on it and bragged about it. But why deal in facts when hype is much better?

     

    Debating GS survival when the government forced investments into all the large FI's to stabilize the system does not connect cause and effect. And if your arguement was they made a ton of money on shorting mortgages then why did they need the bailout?

     

    I have never seen anyone raise their hand and state that they really knew GS's books in 2008 which would have to include all publicly traded securities and non traded deriviative contracts and committments made. People certainly can guess but that means nothing. It would take a very reputable accounting firm with understanding of all their contracts to make sense of their books.

     

    And what does it matter if they take one side of the trade or both? That is not fraud that is managing risk and exposure. Banks do it all the time and are doing it today. The reason we have so many banks and firms out of business is because they only took one side of the trade and then went and played Bridge.

     

    And while you are throwing around "fraud" you need to know that it requires proving knowledge and intent. You don't know what you are talking about when you use that term. That is not a subjective term but rather something that requires proof.

     

    Point of process GS never rated any securities that is the job of the rating agencies. How they arrived at their ratings is up for debate.

     

    The parties that should have the biggest complaint should be whomever bought the securities if they felt they were screwed rather than the Fed Government. They should be suing as they have a right to sue. And the FG did not charge John Paulson which indicates that they may not have found criminal activity and he was intimately involved in one of the transactions.

     

    Again I don't care if GS is guilty or innocent of wrong doing but we are cutting down a lot of trees to hyperventilate about GS while the evidence is scarce. But it does sell a lot of magazines and gives anyone with outrage a chance to blow off steam and get some attention.
    12 May 2011, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    You can tell me all you want about "fiduciary responsibility," but look at what he said the day after the deal went down. Look at how he was pretty much advocating/demanding that the government, "do the right thing," by offering the bailout. Look at the terms he got, 10% guaranteed dividend on preferred stock, and warrants that pretty much guaranteed a huge profit. Look at what he said in retrospect about how his company was a provider of liquidity in time of crisis.

     

    He knew exactly what putting his name on the line meant to the entire financial system. People don't buy Berkshire Hathaway, they buy Warren Buffett.

     

    Goldman Sachs gave him terms only someone scared and in a heap of trouble would offer.

     

    Did Buffett do a great deal? Duh, yes of course he did. But him putting his name and his money on the line at those terms shows that Goldman needed the backup very badly. Some would even claim that his deal was the final catalyst to push the government bailout through.

     

    You talk about how taking both sides of the trade, that banks do it all the time. Well that's NOT what happened here. Goldman marketed investments, again to ITS OWN CLIENTS as being low risk, when they knew they were complete junk, and then took the other side of the trade. They were looking for suckers, and found them in their own clients, who naively took the trade, thinking they were paying for good investment guidance.

     

    You say the evidence is scarce, but obviously Sen. Levin thinks differently. Look at the internal emails of how the junk mortgage investments were being pushed on the firm's OWN CLIENTS.

     

    This is not coming from Matt Taibbi, he is just repeating the conclusions of the Senate subcommittee, which spent two years investigating the issue.

     

    Look at how this idiot Sparks gets chewed out for talking about how he offered Timberwolf (the mark/suckers in this case) the famously "shitty deal."

     

    news.firedoglake.com/2.../

     

    Look at how Timberwolf HAS sued them:

     

    www.businessweek.com/n...

     

    Look at the evidence in the Senate report that refutes the apologist claim that this was a simple hedge:

     

    "Joshua S. Birnbaum, who ran a unit called the ABX Trading Desk, said in an October 2007 internal presentation that a short position established by the structured product group after the collapse of two Bear Stearns hedge funds was “not a hedge” against CDOs and residential mortgage-backed securities, or RMBS, owned by the firm, the report said."

     

    www.businessweek.com/n...

     

    You are right about one thing. Why should Senator Levin be the one to bring this issue to justice? That should have been the SEC. However, the laws were changed starting in the mid-90s to allow firms like Goldman (who were lobbying for these changes) to pretty much self-regulate themselves.

     

    We can see the terrible outcome of that thinking.
    12 May 2011, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Lightway

     

    I know I can tell you all I want about "fiduciary responsibility" and other facts but you will continue on your road of GS bashing and repeating populist junk from periodicals and other content providers. Repeating all that stuff does not make it any more true than the day it was first written.

     

    Warren Buffet is the same guy who testified on Cap Hill on June 2nd that nobody could have seen this housing crunch coming and therefore the rating agencies should not be held responsible because they did not see it either. While at the same time Warren held a big position in Moodys as large as 20% of the company at one time. Warren takes care of Warren which he should do so take the halo off his head and realize he is a calculated business man whose words are spun to position himself in the best possible light.

     

    GS' clients are companies that have a ton of resources. They can buy and sell what they want and do business with who they like. Commercial companies should always be looking out for their best interests and that is assumed.

     

    Carl Levin is from a failed state with failed industries and he is playing the populist card as long as he can because all he has in his rear view mirror is carnage. He needs to find someone to blame for his voters back in Michigan so he can stay in power and he is not in it for the truth but rather the votes.

     

    Again if the wronged parties want to sue GS they should not be waiting for the SEC or anyone else they should sic their corporate lawyers on them and go to town. Timberwolf is suing because they have no choice as they went broke. They are looking for recovery from anyone. But notice they also placed side bets that were longs on the housing market. They were idiots. And it is so rich that they were a hedge fund. A lot of sympathy they will get.

     

    I hear a lot of crickets which means most companies placed bets that they look back on and say they were stupid just like everyone else.

     

    Somebody needs to prove something and by the way you cannot use consumer laws in these types of commercial transactions.
    12 May 2011, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    Who says I put a halo on Warren's head? I have been pretty disgusted with the whole Sokol affair and also his Moody's apologizing, so trust me I am no fan of his aww shucks routine.

     

    The fact of the matter remains, it doesn't matter what YOU or I think about him, whether you like it or not, alot of people DO. He carries a tremendous amount of clout and perceived benevolence.

     

    By the way, Levin is just spearheading the committee, it is being made up of a bipartisan team and for them to take drastic action like referring it over to Justice and the SEC, had to have majority support within the committee or it would have just died there.

     

    Do you also think Bloomberg and Business Week are populist as well? I've seen you try and dismiss the original article because of the author and the magazine it appeared in, but the same information also appeared in both the above magazines, and was just really a recounting of the conclusion of which the subcommittee came up with in their report.

     

    Let's look at the other major supporter of this, Tom Coburn (Republican, by the way).

     

    Does this guy really sound Populist to you????

     

    "American politician, medical doctor, and ordained Southern Baptist deacon. In the Senate, he is known as "Dr. No" for his tendency to place holds on and vote against popular bills he views as unconstitutional. Coburn was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 as part of the Republican Revolution. Coburn is a fiscal and social conservative, known for his opposition to deficit spending and pork barrel projects, and for his leadership in the pro-life movement. He supports term limits, gun rights, and the death penalty[2] and opposes gay marriage."

     

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
    12 May 2011, 10:24 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Lightway:

     

    You referenced Warren as bolstering your position and when I call him out as being less than honest then you dump him and move to other people listen to him.

     

    So fine now we deal with 2 more stalwarts of honesty and fairness and they are both congressmen. All of these people have some facet of their personality that is no doubt attractive but they all share one genetic trait and that is they are selfish so when push comes to shove they throw other people under the bus. Coburn has no problem dumping on GS as he is representing OK and that is as far away in figurative terms as you can get from Wall Street. No skin off his back and only upside for Tommy. Coburn is also waffling now on taxes and he has his own inconsistencies popping up. Baptist Deacon or not when you live in corruption like WDC it eventually chips away at your character.

     

    Carl Levin is in the same boat and he has a ton of people hurting back in MI and he needs to find somebody to blame and he does not want it to be Carl. Nobody is more vilified than GS so let's use them.

     

    Ironically the committee made a referral to the DOJ and the SEC to probe GS which is a pretty tame statement. They did not say they had found anything criminal except they don't like Blankfein's statements and thought he was not telling the truth in testimony. And of course they don't like GS shorting anything including assets their clients might have held and making a lot of money but that is not illegal as banks are doing it today at this very minute.

     

    So in summary let's get this straight. GS apparently brought civilization to an end and all they want to pursue is perjury? If GS is responsible for all this damage then perjury is a minute detail that is tacked onto the back of the case.

     

    That is pathetic. If GS did all people claim then charge them and put up the evidence and call out the laws the broke. If not then quit distracting people from the real problems like our budget deficit and what to do about Fannie and Freddie those two boat anchors and maybe start working on the unemployment problem.

     

    People need jobs much worse than wild revenge on anyone then can find. You cannot pay your bills with emotion.
    13 May 2011, 12:15 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    My original point regarding Warren Buffett is as follows:

     

    He was a big part of the BAILOUT of Goldman Sachs, on top of the government bailouts, AIG backdoor bailouts, Fed Discount window access bailouts, bank charter bailouts, and Secretary of Tresury just happens to be the ex-CEO MORAL HAZARD bailout of all freakin bailouts.

     

    Buffett helped bailed out Goldman Sachs, got a damn good deal befitting of a company in a desperate situation:

     

    1) His financial backing is one bailout
    2) His name and reputation is another
    3) His lobbying for the subsequent bailout is a third

     

    Really the only thing you can come up with is to try and discredit the messengers, and you have failed pretty badly at that. I'm not sure there is anyone I could come up with that you would approve of, you'd find something to discredit them with. You try to reach to find some political or moral issue to discredit the message with, but you can't.

     

    You can't refute the message because the message speaks for itself.

     

    They ripped off their own clients, they lied before the Senate, and they LIED to the American people.
    13 May 2011, 12:28 AM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Lightway

     

    You don't know the difference between a bailout and an investment which tells me you don't know much about anything related to investments.

     

    You also don't know anything about the law as you are throwing around charges without being in the position to know anything other than what you read which has not seen the light of day in court. But why bother with the law and process?

     

    Change your name to darkway and just stick with being outraged. It is much easier than thinking and you don't have to prove anything.
    13 May 2011, 08:59 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    The US government made investments into banks and those were also bailouts, they are not mutually exclusive.

     

    And you don't need to be a legal expert to know what perjury is. Doing it before the US Senate and thinking you are going to get away with it would be almost comical if it weren't for the damage behind it.

     

    Finally, thanks for the personal attack at the end, at least you are consistent with falling back on trying to discredit the messenger. I'll stick with holding people accountable for doing stupid immoral things, especially when it hurts alot of other people, and especially when I have to pay for it.

     

    I am still baffled why you would go out of your way to defend these clowns. Maybe you have connection with the firm or work there, I don't know. Maybe holding them accountable for their actions also threatens your belief system. If they're doing something wrong then maybe you are too. Maybe ripping people off is just business as usual in your world. It's the sucker's fault for not knowing the trade was rigged against him. Greater fool theory right?
    13 May 2011, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Darkway:

     

    Here is a professional attack. You don't know what you are talking about. I understand the frustration and outrage and all the other emotions but those emotions do not generate facts. Facts are based on evidence that is held up to the light of day and can sustain challenges by the defense of the parties charged. The popular press deals in a one-sided conversation because it sells. They are not interested in a two sided conversation as it does not press the buttons of their loyal readers and get them to buy their content or watch their programs. Often the parties that are taking all the blasts in the press cannot respond because it only encourages more trash talking and twisting of their words. Anyways a balanced discussion does not sell papers or time on TV and the press in the US is big business and journalists often desire to write books and make a lot of side money and do interviews and become personalities bigger than the news.

     

    You reflect all the same one-sided charges and hype and are not interested in anything that challenges your point of view or tells you that you don't have facts or evidence. You claim you are "holding people accountable for doing stupid immoral things" so who appointed you? You really are acting as the judge and jury and are slobbering at the mouth to get out the hangman's noose. And you are not the messenger like you claim you are just a mouthpiece for junk journalism, outrage and ignorant populism.

     

    Claiming fraud and perjury are charges not facts and those charges must be proven in a legal court. I don't care if GS is guilty or innocent of any charges as that is not my concern. But I do care that people use their heads and not be driven by their emotions and shallow press reporting. People cannot focus when their emotions are riled. We must understand what people did and hear how they explain it so we know if there is serious criminal behavior or not. Anyone charged in this country is entitled to a defense if the charges ever get to court which is the decision of a legal officer not the editor of Mother Jones or The Rolling Stone. Murderers in our country get more consideration at this point then does someone on Wall Street who is pilloried in the press.

     

    I have the feeling that "defending these clowns" might be easier in court than most people think and is going to be really frustrating for people like you because you have read too much trash designed to push your buttons. You have bought the books and read the articles and that to you is evidence. Really you have responded quite well to the people who want to sell you books and articles. They have your money and you have no balance.

     

    Have you ever heard a lawyer say to the jury "please look at New York Times article dated May 10th and you can see there that GS is guilty of fraud so therefore you must convict?" Do you think a DA can convict GS of anything under consumer laws when the parties to the transactions were companies?

     

    This morning Matt T was on CNN and he claimed that Morgan Stanley was ripped off by GS and when it was pointed out that MS is a company and should take care of themselves he scrambled around and tried to tie this action back to the bailout and indirectly tax payers. Well every company has consumers directly or indirectly so that would be claiming every company is really striking deals with consumers which is never going to fly.

     

    I prefer to defend the law not GS or shallow journalists. If real evidence is brought to criminal court and sustains challenges then GS brought it on themselves. We need to be a country of laws and that needs to be protected as much as possible or we will break down into anarchy as nobody will trust they are getting fair treatment. A Colt 45 was called a Peace Maker back in the day because that is what people believed was how justice was accomplished. We trash our laws and we will be moving back to that same environment.

     

    You should write less and go take a class or two in law and a couple in finance/economics because you are in over your head. Although that never stops anyone in this country.
    13 May 2011, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    I don't know why you wasted an hour writing that.

     

    You keep setting up these strawman arguments that these conclusions are originating FROM myself, the press, and specifically Taibbi. All they are doing is just summarizing the material that is in the full Congressional subcommittee report. A report that took 2 years to investigate, document, and dispense a conclusion. A report that was created by a bi-partisan commission.

     

    This same summary that has been recounted by Taibbi can be found also from places like Bloomberg and BusinessWeek (hardly anti-business or anti-Goldman Sachs publications).

     

    And yes, when the same evidence is presented before Treasury, the SEC, and in court, I'm sure they will come to the correct conclusions ;-)

     

    What exactly is your personal stake in all this, by the way?
    13 May 2011, 08:28 PM Reply Like
  • TomasViewPoint
    , contributor
    Comments (4845) | Send Message
     
    Lightway

     

    Consider that your bailout from all the blather you repeat as you are in over your head in garbage. But it is really not about you it is about all the people like you that just repeat the same garbage over and over and obscure the law, due process and ultimately don't know what is true.

     

    If you believe in the congressional report then call it out by page number. Read the source documents and consider who wrote them if you want to understand something.

     

    That bailout took 15 minutes of my time. I believe you will not take it to heart and do some real homework for once.

     

    Take some classes.
    13 May 2011, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    Did you even read the original article you are quick to dismiss?

     

    Kinda hypocritical to ask someone to do a deep dive level of diligence without doing the same thing yourself?

     

    By the way if you want to get the summary, you can read it from multiple anti-business sources such Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Bloomberg, Reuters, and the New York Times:

     

    www.ritholtz.com/blog/.../

     

    Thanks again for another personal attack. Did you do your diligence and investigate my actual curriculum vitae before you made any of those assumptions?

     

    That's all you can fall back on, even though the facts are pretty clear, it doesn't matter to you because you can dismiss anyone associated with delivering the message. Pretty good copout for you, because for you it has a 100% success rate in your mind.

     

    Now, I want you to come up with reasons I should not trust any of the above sources and what their motive is in just rehashing the report, since it's predictable you fall back on your trump card will try and dismiss them each for being deplorable individuals or organizations.

     

    Sorry bud but you're on the losing side (not sure why you picked that side to begin with), and are behind the curve. I'd get off the boat now instead of sinking with it.

     

    Still not sure what your personal stake in all this is and why you find me so threatening.

     

    I think you protest too much, sortof of like dudes supporting laws against certain social behaviors but then pulling a wide stance at the airport.
    13 May 2011, 10:18 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3141) | Send Message
     
    I'd say he's a day late and a dollar short. $'s determine how much justice you either get or feel.

     

    Just like $'s now determine who wins and loses in our crony capitalism economic system. Give enough to the politicians and you'll get yours.

     

    More and more when I hear that the whole system could collapse if we don't raise the debt ceiling, I seriously contemplate whether in the long run we would be much, much better off having that happen.
    11 May 2011, 08:42 PM Reply Like
  • coddy0
    , contributor
    Comments (1182) | Send Message
     
    Is there a piece of evidence behind that line

     

    "From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression -- and they're about to do it again"

     

    If not, it sounds like noise coming from a beer bar
    11 May 2011, 08:45 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    coddy0,

     

    I suggest reading "Money and Power, How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World" by William Cohan, where he fully documents Goldman's manipulation over the past 100 years.

     

    Really, taking information from your clients and passing it on to the rest of the organization so you can trade against them?

     

    Cohan's tone is more calm and formal and those of you who are quick to dismiss and author just because his works appeared in Rolling Stone, cannot dismiss Cohan for the same reasons.

     

    This guy worked on Wall Street for 17 years, and was also a director at JP Morgan. He also won the 2007 FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award.
    12 May 2011, 12:44 AM Reply Like
  • coddy0
    , contributor
    Comments (1182) | Send Message
     
    Money and Power
    ======================
    Ordered on Amazon

     

    Thanks

     

    Coddy0
    13 May 2011, 12:35 AM Reply Like
  • coddy0
    , contributor
    Comments (1182) | Send Message
     
    Lightway

     

    I am reading now William D. Cohan’s "Money and Power:
    Excellently written book
    I am reading chapter 4 now (yearly 1950) and I am in love with many characters of this saga

     

    Sidney Weinberg of cause is the best

     

    "Before he was ten, Weinberg sold the evening papers at the Hamilton Avenue terminal
    ""I'll take it Weinberg said immediately and thus begun his three-dollar-a-week job as the assistant to Jarvis, Goldman's janitor. The first task assigned to him at the firm was to polish a brass spitton"

     

    Then he served his country during XXI and XXII and he served business and political leaders and he served Goldman & Sachs

     

    ======================...
    now goggle Matt Taibbi and talk about toilet paper like expert
    21 May 2011, 09:51 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4009) | Send Message
     
    Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin.
    - Josiah Stamp
    11 May 2011, 10:10 PM Reply Like
  • EMS
    , contributor
    Comments (563) | Send Message
     
    GS = bad. Period.
    11 May 2011, 10:13 PM Reply Like
  • brian@databaseknowledge.com
    , contributor
    Comments (15) | Send Message
     
    There’s no way to stop the GS machine. The world is their field and the rest of us pay mandatory subscription fees to be the pawns.

     

    All that was mentioned is old news and cap and trade was put on hold for bigger and better takes.

     

    Why didn’t the article mention how GS will profit from the global debt crisis, the government debt balloon and collapse of the dollar? This is question. And what will GS do with their pent-up cash?

     

    I wish I had a job at GS.
    11 May 2011, 10:19 PM Reply Like
  • Ricard
    , contributor
    Comments (3829) | Send Message
     
    "it will confirm once and for all the embarrassing truth: that the law in America is subjective, and crime is defined not by what you did, but by who you are."

     

    Saw this the other day:

     

    www.youtube.com/watch?...
    11 May 2011, 11:04 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7614) | Send Message
     
    Get over it folks. For every seller there is a buyer. If the buyer was or is stupid don't blame the seller. Especially in the case of GS the buyers were supposedly rich experienced Wall Street pros just like the seller.
    11 May 2011, 11:05 PM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10239) | Send Message
     
    I guess you are in favor a abolishing the SEC. There are no reasons for quiet periods or for financial disclosures. If you wanna buy a stock, better hire your own audit firm to check them out. Certainly no reason to create a prospectus to sell your IPO. And no problem with blue sky laws, etc. Just make sure you know who you are dealing with.
    12 May 2011, 12:00 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    Hey wyostocks,

     

    Would you have a problem if the buyers were your own clients?
    12 May 2011, 12:51 AM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7614) | Send Message
     
    If the buyers were my clients, they wouldn't be buyers.
    12 May 2011, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • MarketGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (3983) | Send Message
     
    What if the "buyers" are the American taxpayer (via, Fed and Treasury), and, they had no say in the purchase or the price paid?

     

    This is NOT a hypothetical question of course.
    12 May 2011, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • Calpha Male
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
     
    There is a very high proportion of intellectual cowards incapable of critical thought floating in this forum. How on earth could anyone with an IQ over room temperature endorse Goldman's actions? Taibbi lays it bare and so many herein just can't grasp it. No wonder Goldman and their ilk gets away with it; Americans have been rendered braindead by corporate media.
    11 May 2011, 11:13 PM Reply Like
  • warrenrial
    , contributor
    Comments (558) | Send Message
     
    Time to clean out the White House.
    11 May 2011, 11:28 PM Reply Like
  • Poormansgold
    , contributor
    Comments (35) | Send Message
     
    that the law in America is subjective, and crime is defined not by what you did, but by who you are."

     

    Is this news to anyone????????
    12 May 2011, 08:39 AM Reply Like
  • tenax
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    the rich get rich, the poor get poorer, the middle class gets eliminated and as per plan, we are put deeper into dept to be beholden to massive corporations. all those conspiracy theorists we thought were nuts? turns out they may have been the sane ones after all
    12 May 2011, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • tenax
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    I work for a large publicly held company in canada. i can tell you that as an insider, there's some bad crap that goes on in this company..on the other hand, it's one of canada's most successful dividend producing companies. it's shareholders love it for what it produces for them. as long as people don't care how they make money by way of the company's shares they purchase, but care only that they make the money,this stuff like GS has done will continue on.
    12 May 2011, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • EMS
    , contributor
    Comments (563) | Send Message
     
    Given all the thumbs down on this link, I'm thinking that there are many GS-affiliated Seeking Alpha readers. That's Cool.
    15 May 2011, 08:24 PM Reply Like
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