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According to the Collins English Dictionary 10th Edition fraud can be defined as: "deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage".[1] In the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is a common purpose of fraud, but there have also been fraudulent "discoveries", e.g. in science, to gain prestige rather than immediate monetary gain
*As defined in Wikipedia

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Goldman Sachs's Man, Corzine

This story is about a former Goldman Sachs CEO (1994-1999), Jon Corzine, who was pushed out of Goldman and who then went on to become a Senator then the Governor of New Jersey. He spent millions running for those offices. After losing a gubernatorial race, he became CEO of MF Global Holdings, a brokerage firm specializing in futures and derivatives.

MF Global has filed for bankruptcy protection but, it appears, Corzine may be receiving a severance package of $9 million. The "maybe" is based on whether or not the missing millions in customers' money can be found.

Too bad that CEOs don't become bankrupt when they bankrupt their companies.

An excerpt from the Reuter's piece by Dan Wilchins and Jed Horowitz (INSIGHT - Did Corzine's risk taking cripple MF Global?) serves to illustrate why it is probably not a good thing to have men from investment banks like Goldman Sachs sliding easily from the financial area to doing government work and back to finance as Corzine has done so handily. We learn a lot about how the government becomes co-opted and corrupted by the people who permeate it. Take for example the passage below:

"To see how quickly MF Global and Corzine have fallen, consider that in August, the firm sold debt with a provision that promised investors a full percentage point hike in interest if its CEO moved into a government role in particular."

Corzine had occasionally been touted in the media as a possible Treasury Secretary in an Obama administration, perhaps replacing current incumbent Timothy Geithner, and following in the footsteps of his former Goldman rival Henry Paulson."

At Goldman, he leveraged a naturally gregarious personality and trading skills to win the coveted role of partner just five years after joining the firm's bond division in 1975. By 1994 he was elevated to be chairman and chief executive."

That same year, Goldman amassed over $2 billion of losses that nearly erased its income from banking and caused an unusually large number of partners to leave." (Reuters)

Lessons can be learned from the trajectory of Corzine's career. The "key man" provision mentioned in the first paragraph quoted above means that "bondholders demanded an extra percentage point of interest if he left for a post in the Obama administration." Two points here: one, no single man alone is indispensable to a company even if he is a Goldman Sachs guy; and, two, perhaps we should no longer be thinking that it is inevitable that a GS guy could move so easily into the government.

In any case, no investment banker should be put in charge of the Treasury of the United States as the investment banker's role is not consonant with the needs of the people of the country.

There is a difference between risk-taking in finance and governing to reduce the risk for the people. Spending millions in order to be elected to government means that one has to be a millionaire in order to run for government office.

Whereas once there was a time when having links to Goldman Sachs would have been a positive reason for voting for Corzine, I think it is rather a negative now that we know how Goldman Sachs works.

Good moral and ethical values are a necessity for working in the government; not so much for working at Goldman Sachs.

You can read the rest of the article here


Anon said...

An INTENSE moment of TRUTH with MAINSTREAM Media

Whitewash said...

No Investigations Harmed by S.E.C.’s Discarding of Documents, Report
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Securities
and Exchange Commission should have kept thousands of documents it destroyed
after preliminary investigations of financial firms over nearly two decades,
according to a government report released Tuesday.

Darcy Flynn, the S.E.C. enforcement lawyer, has claimed that more than 9,000
records related to preliminary investigations were destroyed. Ms. Flynn said
they included inquiries into Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo,
Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers and Mr. Madoff.

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