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Guest Post: Lloyd Blankfein's Days Are Numbered As Chairman Of Goldman Sachs

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charlie Gasparino

Lloyd Blankfein's Days Are Numbered as Chairman of Goldman Sachs

It's a testament to the odd world in which we live that when a Wall
Street firm pays a $550 million fine by conceding negligence in how it
dealt with clients, its stock surges, adding billions of dollars in
market value for the firm's shareholders.

But that's what's happening to Goldman Sachs, as it reached its long
awaited settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over how
it sold a basket of mortgage related debt to investors in 2007.

Back when the SEC brought the case, the conventional wisdom on Wall
Street and the financial media was that Goldman didn't have to settle --
the case was weak and Goldman is, after all, Goldman.

As I wrote on these pages back then, Goldman would have to settle
because: (a) the SEC dug up some real questionable activity; and (b) no
Wall Street firm, not even one with the ties to government that Goldman
possesses can go to war with its primary regulator.

Now that Goldman has indeed settled, the news is being spun, again
mostly by the financial media, that the deal with the SEC was a victory
for Goldman's CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who survived the investigation
largely unscathed, paying a measly $550 million to the government
(equivalent to a few days trading gains at Goldman) and without having
to give up any power, such as relinquishing his role as chairman of the
board, as senior executives both inside Goldman and at competing firms
believed would be part of any settlement.

Well, if history is any guide, Blankfein may not go tomorrow, or even
next month, but sometime in 2011, Blankfein will at the very least no
longer be chairman of Goldman, and may also be forced out of the firm

If you don't believe me ask former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill. Like
Blankfein, Weill (at least on paper) was a good CEO from an operational
standpoint. Following the creation of Citigroup in 1998, shares of the
big bank soared. The bank was what's known as a Wall Street darling for
its strong earnings and a surging stock price, and Weill was regarded as
the King of Wall Street, having engineered the largest financial deal
ever when he merged his company, the Travelers Group brokerage,
insurance and investment banking empire, with commercial banking
powerhouse Citicorp.

At the height of his power, Weill suddenly popped up on the radar
screen of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Before Spitzer got
involved with hookers and became a TV host, he was the sheriff of Wall
Street, looking to right wrongs from the last great scandal, the
internet bubble where firms sold worthless dotcom and tech stocks to
unsuspecting investors. Emails he uncovered showed that Weill at least
did something stupid, if not fraudulent: He pressured an analyst, Jack
Grubman, to inflate his stock rating on telecom giant AT&T, which
was an investment banking client (Weill also sat on AT&T's board,
while AT&T CEO Michael Armstrong sat on Citi's board)

Grubman wrote in an email that as a favor for upgrading the stock,
Weill got his kids in an exclusive pre-school. The scandal, was
described by the Wall Street Journal, as a "kid pro quo."

Weill continued to deny wrongdoing and was never charged. Citigroup,
however, was charged with fraud and ended up paying a $400 fine to
settle the matter, but Weill appeared to have retained his control of
the bank. The initial reaction in the press and among his peers in the
financial business was that Weill had won, by having the bank pay a
relatively small fine, and his status as CEO and the King of Wall Street

Not quite. A few months later, Citigroup announced that Weill was
stepping down as CEO, handing that job to Chuck Prince, who basically
negotiated the settlement package. Citigroup maintained that the two
moves were unrelated. But people in Spitzer's office told me they really
weren't: While negotiating the settlement, Citigroup's board made it
clear to investigators that Weill's days were numbered at the top of the
firm that he founded. Spitzer was merely affording Weill a graceful
exit in an effort to end the case.

Full disclosure: I have no knowledge that Goldman's board has tacitly
agreed to pull a Weill on Blankfein and has plans for him to step
aside, but the circumstances involving the two men are so remarkably
similar. While Blankfein wasn't directly involved in the questionable
trade that landed Goldman in trouble, he is responsible for remaking
Goldman into predatory trading culture that has caught the attention of
regulators, Congressional committees (recall Sen. Carl Levin badgering
Goldman traders for selling "shitty" investments to their clients) and
hurt Goldman's once stellar reputation, as Weill's actions hurt

Some would say that's where the comparisons end; Citigroup deals with
the general public that buys stocks through its brokerage unit (Smith
Barney) and makes deposits in its branch banking offices. Goldman deals
with large sophisticated investors who couldn't care less how Darwinian
the company behaves.

That used to be true, but no more. Goldman's image has been battered,
not as bad as say a company like BP, but not far behind. And image does
count these days given the scrutiny and oversight placed on Wall Street
and the banks following the financial collapse-induced bailouts.

Now that financial reform has been passed, Goldman will have to cut
back on some of that aggressive trading that powered its earnings and
was Blankfein's forte. That means it will have to devote more and more
resources to developing its client business and relationships,
convincing blue chip companies that it is the right firm to handle
delicate negotiations involving mergers, acquisitions, and other
corporate financing assignments.

More and more, these clients do care about image (ask yourself why
has so many top companies embraced the useless but politically correct
"green agenda"). In fact some have already jettisoned Goldman as
scrutiny of the firm grew over the past year.

Who is the right guy to change Goldman's image to fit the new
paradigm it faces? It's not Lloyd Blankfein and that's why he won't


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Fri, 07/16/2010 - 21:56 | 474832 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

wasn't citigroup's fine bigger than $400?  like a million times?

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:37 | 474898 MountainHawk
MountainHawk's picture

I was wondering about that myself. I was like damn I could even afford to pay that.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 07:35 | 475185 zhandax
zhandax's picture

They qualify for gubmint accounting.

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 21:57 | 474836 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

400$ ? I think he meant to write 400M. Or not ?

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 23:19 | 474940 RoRoTrader
RoRoTrader's picture

Cheeky, even I am NOT that fucking stupid and I get a pass on the math question.......$400? Well, allright, maybe, but I have moments out of the blue.......and I was run over by a car at 5 and survived it to learn oil trading from scratch........beat that fuckers.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 01:27 | 475054 Steak
Steak's picture

i've been hit by several cars...and chopped my finger off and had a dog bite me in the face and been electrocuted...beat THAT 

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 07:12 | 475176 RoRoTrader
RoRoTrader's picture

there are exceptions

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 23:39 | 474970 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

Cheeky: $650M paid by Drexel..highest fine ever paid by gangsta!

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:02 | 474844 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

 Bove was right yesterday. I guess a blind squirrel can find an acorn now and then.

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:07 | 474854 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

Oy, look who is here; my favorite AG. How are ya Spitz. 

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:14 | 474862 VK
VK's picture

I bet the Dark Lloyd will get a hefty payoff when he leaves, maybe he becomes the new treas. Sec. I mean doing God's work requires good money. Something the catholic church knows well and has perfected.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 11:12 | 475294 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Lloyd to replace Geithner...You have to be a proven crook to get into gov.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 12:00 | 475318 Rainman
Rainman's picture

.... a proven " under-the-radar " crook is preferred, thus disqualifying Lloyd. 

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:15 | 474864 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Goldman Parachutes?

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:16 | 474866 digalert
digalert's picture

Well now that the hokum SEC and Goldy have sealed a deal, it's time to wrap up the criminal investigation and issue indictments...

<cue Jeopardy music>

...there is a criminal investigation, isn't there?

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:56 | 474923 Implicit simplicit
Implicit simplicit's picture

The precedent has been set for many more lawsuits by the 1000's of others who purchased CDOs from gladman sucks.

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 23:02 | 474929 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

" criminal investigation..."

Fabulous Fuckin' Fab
One count of jay walking...

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:24 | 474877 demsco
demsco's picture

I thought Charlie said this place was Zero Intelligence, why are we reading an article from him on here? No offense, I like him more since he left CNBC, but he is still, well, Gasparino.

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 23:27 | 474959 RoRoTrader
RoRoTrader's picture

the rat is sniffing for its next hole.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 01:30 | 475056 Steak
Steak's picture

its bizarre...even Drury and Hobbs have gone from total heroes to drivel pushers in very short order

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:25 | 474878 GlassHammer
GlassHammer's picture

God help us if he find his way to a government job.


Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:42 | 474903 VK
VK's picture

Hello! Where have you been? God helps him remember, he is after all doing god's work. That does logically imply that god hates us all.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 14:44 | 475411 God
God's picture

Oh yes he will be helped. With an aggressive case of colorectal cancer. The DNA has been spliced, polyps have been planted.

God does not appreciate a shill.

Lloyd will live out his last days fulfilling his mitzvah. He will make aliyah.

Lloyd will leave you not long after Mr. iFad. Neither will be joining me.

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:51 | 474918 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

well i'm thinking that barry is a one-termer. he's even hinted at it. plus i don't think he likes the job. he can make a ton on a book deal and giving motivational speeches. next in line is hillary and lloyd will be glad to help her. i would expect him to be her treasury secretary. would anyone be surprised at this scenario?


Fri, 07/16/2010 - 23:11 | 474941 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

He certainly has the requisite ethics.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 01:23 | 475051 laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

+ 1000

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 23:12 | 474943 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Norman Hsu.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 10:38 | 475275 Amish Hacker
Amish Hacker's picture

The important part of that scenario is that Mr. Blankfein would be required to sell off his Goldman assets prior to his coronation---we wouldn't want to create any future conflicts of interest, don't you know. And since it would be patently unfair to punish him with capital gains taxes on the asset sales we forced him to make, he would be granted a one-time exemption from the IRS. Voila! Gazillions of profits safely cashed out tax free.

After a year or so of working for the government (can't you just see the MSM stories about how this patriotic American is taking the mother of all pay cuts in order to serve his country?), Lloyd could go back to doing God's work in the private sector. Or just lying on a beach somewhere.

If Lloyd has any questions about how the process works, I'm sure Hank Paulson can explain it to him

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:43 | 474906 David Fiderer
David Fiderer's picture

While Sandy Weill relinquished the CEO position, he remained Chairman of the sprawling financial conglomerate until 2006.   That's not exactly being forced out.  Plus, he was in his 70s and the scope of Citigroup's operations were such that it made sense to separate the CEO and Chairman functions.

The testimony of Goldman's CFO before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission indicates that Goldman is not about to concede that any of its standard practices were unethical. 

The comparison seems strained.


Fri, 07/16/2010 - 22:47 | 474911 Nikki
Nikki's picture

DOJ is too busy to investigate Wall Street. Nothing to see there anyway.. How about that Lebron fellas move to Miami ?.

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 23:08 | 474937 Misean
Misean's picture

Yeah, I intinctively believe the opposite of what The Gasbag says.  And Weasel semi-retired to the board at 70 something, so I dunno about this whole analogy.

Given how dirty ol' Loyd is, I'm sure all he has to do is hint that he might look at the skeleton key to the closet and his adversaries will pull out the knee pads.

Not gonna happen.

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 23:38 | 474967 zaknick
zaknick's picture

Jesse said:


Despite the rumours and rationales spread by hedge funds and trading desks like this commentary here, this was obviously a bear raid tied to today's stock options expiration. No profit motivated professional trader dumps positions like this and sells against themselves unless the motive is to drive down the price and run the stops, clearing out the weak hands and taking profits from short positions in related trades. Now that 'sales by the IMF' has gotten tired through repetition it looks like 'liquidation by John Paulson' (JP) is the new bear trade precious metals boogeyman. More likely "JP" is in reality "JPM."


Very interesting. That moron CB_ZH been running his mouth about being bearish on gold for months ... I didn't see him utter a peep in the last few weeks about this supposed stance of his and I've been reading every article and comments (especially the ones on gold) here for months. Why not mention the options expiry tomorrow?


Cause you folks are shorting too, eh?  about 1/4 way down on the page.

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 23:59 | 474991 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

Dude, first of all; go fuck yourself. You have been here for 3 months; in which I was mostly absent from ZH and/or wrote mainly, well not mainly, only about credit and derivatives. Log on to ZH chat and ask the folks there what were my thoughts on gold. Go on, do it. The last time I officially mentioned Gold was when I wrote the LBMA LPMCL article in May and in which I discussed the exchange and clearing mechanics not Gold trading or future Gold trends per se.

I know about price movements before Op-Ex for years now, and that is neither anything new nor anything hidden from the average trader. Just because I abstain from entering among a bunch of Idiots who either talk their book or can only cite me currency collapses as their arguments doesn't mean I am/was quiet about Gold. Its just that I dont have any wish nor urge to participate in discussions where anyone who doesn't adapt to the message echoed by the Gold Bug echo chamber gets junked or called a troll. 

Every major market participant knows and agrees with the thesis Gold is being suppressed in price for decades now; and everyone adapts their trading to that fact by default. But this is not about manipulation; but about correlation between monetary supply indicators and behavior of commodities when there is deflation/liquidity crunch. Plues TA [which I dont use. Ever] agrees with most gold traders who are not stupid/blinded by dogmas. 

So before you open your mouth next time and try to insult me; back up your shit or get the fuck out. 


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 00:38 | 475025 TonyV
TonyV's picture

Wow, it sounds like he really touched a nerve man.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 02:27 | 475108 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

What ? Is that the best you got ? Idiots like you drove off most of the good commentators from ZH, and congratulations, there is, as of now, one less. It has been nice, and I can not express my gratitude enough to Tyler, Marla and other [sane and rational] participants of this site, but that was it from me. Enjoy the "Gold to 1M; currency collapse within a week; buy guns and ammo" echo chamber. 

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 08:25 | 475189 zhandax
zhandax's picture

I try to ignore douchebags, but I will make an exception and be the first to junk this one.


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 10:07 | 475252 Steak
Steak's picture

Excessively self righteous...punctuation nazi (on the internet of all places) hominem attacking style...unfunny

i would have just said shithead but your comments were screaming out for a more descriptive, long-form breakdown.

and lastly...even IF cheeky was short gold (which one can only say IF since he doesn't advocate any trading position in his comments in this thread) finance, EVERYONE talks their book...the vast majority of readers here get that and don't resent someone when they do just that.

Chill out, read the articles, comment on ideas with your own ideas.  who might find you have something interesting to say.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 07:16 | 475177 Paper CRUSHer
Paper CRUSHer's picture




Sat, 07/17/2010 - 10:01 | 475256 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Don't let the inverse Bravos get to you CB. Many of us gold bulls know now is not the time to buy pm's, know we are in a massive deflationary environment where cash will be king, etc.I for one, have enjoyed , for the past several days, your responses to my fellow brethren!

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 10:40 | 475278 I am a Man I am...
I am a Man I am Forty's picture

Cut it out CB, douche bags come with the territory.  Most people that read ZH don't even post.  I've been here a long time, don't post that much, but always enjoy reading your stuff.  So have a cocktail and carry on man!!

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 13:33 | 475372 Amish Hacker
Amish Hacker's picture

Don't let the idiots drive off another good commentator from ZH, Cheeky. No one else here has your not-one-step-back irreverence for authority, your technical market savvy, or your hilarious blue-streak vocabulary. The trolls will never understand that ZH is about building community, because sharing is the last thing on their mind. Never give up.


"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

                                                                          Oscar Wilde

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 08:31 | 475203 DavidC
DavidC's picture


Grow up.

How long have you been posting on ZH?

CB's semicolons were not erroneously placed.


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 08:55 | 475221 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

Friends, no worries Zatfag will go the way of Master

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 17:31 | 475513 bbbilly1326
bbbilly1326's picture

the casual homophobia allowed here is why I contribute no more money to ZH, though I read it every day.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 09:37 | 475242 Nictrades
Nictrades's picture

Reading this nonsense reminds me why I hardly ever comment despite being a reader since this was a funny little place on blogspot.

I am not sure exactly how long CB has been predicting a correction for gold but its definately a couple of months.

If you people were really interested in buying and holding some gold you would view this correction as a great buying opportunity to get in at a good price.  You people remind me of the guys who used to call in to Cramer complaining short-sellers shorted "your stock".  Markets go down when prices get to high to attract new buyers and when prices get to a point to attract new buyers they go up again.  Buy dips not rips.




Sat, 07/17/2010 - 10:05 | 475260 Steak
Steak's picture

i understand your difference of opinion here but surely you have read other ZH contributors who are gold bulls and advocate the strategy you outline above.  i for one have heard all sides of the gold debate enough times that i'm inclined each time to just skip right to the point where we concede only time will tell who is right.  at least then you can tell who is peddling dogma and who is trying to think critically about the issue.

comment more nictrades.  since you've been reading so long you're in a better position than most to write takedowns of ideas with which you disagree.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 11:10 | 475291 wowser22
wowser22's picture

Hey Cheeky:

ILLEGITIMUS NON CARBORUNDUM. "Don't let the bastards grind you down”


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 18:54 | 475557 Votewithabullet
Votewithabullet's picture

He's gone.The difference of opinion killed cheeky bastard.

Fri, 07/16/2010 - 23:37 | 474969 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

Boy and it didn't take Mr. Market long to take a dive either, did it?  And to think "no one seems to make the connection" tho everyone knows why.  Once in the dirt bag corner, always in the dirtbag corner those Goldmans.  And to think they can't even talk about their profane disrespecrability but instead mouth platitudes to "Judea" and talk about how "our negro finally did his job."  I love it!  Needless to say you won't see this set grabin' "Mr. Sunshine" and high talin' to Tel Aviv to support the cause!  Oh, yeah--and if any of you clowns think this is a victory I have a, ahem "Town" to sell you right now.  I hear it's REAL cheap--just ignore all that chit-chat about "gettin' cheaper every minute."

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 00:08 | 474998 Fix It Again Timmy
Sat, 07/17/2010 - 00:14 | 475005 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

I'm going to add The Hartford and Met Life to my list of world's dumbest investors. Squid meat (like calpers) is all they are. Heh.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 00:17 | 475008 Red Neck Repugnicant
Red Neck Repugnicant's picture

Does Gasparino still marinate himself in Drakkar Noir?

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 08:15 | 475198 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

You would know that being your his lil bitch!

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 11:11 | 475289 Red Neck Repugnicant
Red Neck Repugnicant's picture

@ Sqwori

I'm not sure who you are.

If you're a chimpanzee, your proficiency with a keyboard and your interest in the internet is amazing!  The trainer standing behind you deserves accolades!  Are you at Lincoln Park Zoo?  I heard those chimpanzees are making some important breakthroughs. You deserve a banana cream pie, you hairy little ape.

If you're under the age of 8 and currently enrolled in an inter-city elementary school, I'd like to be the first to applaud your interest in ZeroHedge.  You may want to cut back on watching the hip-hop videos, but welcome to ZH nonetheless.

If you're over the age of 8, then your lame post was neither clever nor witty.  In fact, it reflects some degree of arrested mental development.  Currently, there are lots of government programs for people with learning disabilities, and you most assuredly would qualify for one.  Simply go to your local high school, find a guidance counselor and ask them to point you in the right direction.  

Try not to stick your finger up your own ass during these interviews.  While life in the trees most certainly doesn't preclude such behavior, life in civilized society really frowns on it.

My warmest regards..




Sat, 07/17/2010 - 12:15 | 475323 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

Responded like a true sqworl muncher!!...I forgot to mention your red neck eau de toilet

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 14:25 | 475398 Hulk
Sat, 07/17/2010 - 21:04 | 475630 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Redneck scent?

What does that smell like?





Sat, 07/17/2010 - 00:21 | 475011 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Two douche bags from the same side of town. Nice comparison.


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 00:31 | 475019 moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

nice interview with Elizabeth Warren...she talks about commercial real estate and local/regional banks precarious situation starting at 11:46

Like this: "The longer you pretend, the longer it takes to get the market back to where supply and demand match each other, the longer it takes to get the right price back on commercial real estate, attract in the businesses, get the rents back in the right place, and get this economy back up and moving. Everyone would like the world to be always in bubble times but that doesn't happen, what we have to do to have a secure financial system, and frankly an economy that functions well, we've got to be right back down where supply meets demand...that means that are there are a lot of losses in commercial real estate....that just have to be acknowledged..."


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 01:38 | 475062 Steak
Steak's picture

good find, thanks for posting that quote

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 10:27 | 475270 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Amen.  The real estate mess is holding up family formation and expansion/creation of small business, all so a few idiots can pretend their boxes made of ticky tacky are worth millions.  What a waste and completely unamerican.  Seems more French.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 14:10 | 475391 Cpl Hicks
Cpl Hicks's picture

I like the part where Warren says- "when we get these products (credit card agreements and mortgages) to a level where where the consumer can read them then the consumer is responsible for reading them".

Doesn't that give you hope for the future?

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 00:33 | 475022 drshock18
drshock18's picture

I pray to Lloyd Blankfein.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 00:41 | 475027 Misean
Misean's picture


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 22:59 | 475722 drshock18
drshock18's picture



Think of someone saying it in the air of the George Carlin joke "I pray to Joe Pesci".

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 01:08 | 475042 Rusty Shorts
Sat, 07/17/2010 - 01:23 | 475050 Arkadaba
Arkadaba's picture

Lloyd Blankfein will leave and will show up shortly thereafter as an MPP or MP or on BP's board of directors - is anyone else getting tired of this charade ... my head hurts

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 01:38 | 475061 VegasBob
VegasBob's picture

If Lord Blankcheque does get whacked, you can be sure he'll walk away with a 9-figure severance package.  For the mathematically-challenged, that's a minimum of a hundred million bucks.

Unfortunately, he will not get the one thing he does deserve, which is a long drop from the end of a rope hanging around his neck.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 01:42 | 475068 Spaceman Spiff
Spaceman Spiff's picture

How long will ZH last?


U.S. Authorities Shut Down WordPress Host With 73,000 Blogs


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 05:54 | 475157 chealy3
chealy3's picture


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 02:31 | 475111 Eric Cartman
Eric Cartman's picture

The Fuck. Charlie Gasparino... I still don't know how I feel about you. I really don't. I know you love to take credit when you "break a story," but that isn't what bothers me. I still just get a uncomfortable feeling about you. I'd like to believe you're fair, balanced and honest but your paycheck does come from FOX. Than again, I can't blame you for wanting a paycheck either. I guess that is my concern. I don't know who's side you're really on? I will admit, I'd like it to be main street but until you prove yourself as an independent journalist, I'll always take your stories with in with a little skepticism. 

Believe it or not, you've almost gained my trust. Time will tell. Welcome to Zero Hedge!


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 05:56 | 475159 PhD
PhD's picture

The devil is indeed among us as even they who are doing Gods work have to settle in court.


Dark times indeed!

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 06:01 | 475160 chealy3
chealy3's picture

darkness breads the light.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 06:15 | 475166 PhD
PhD's picture

While light may trumph the dark, the darkness is infinite and the speed of light absolute.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 06:06 | 475161 chealy3
chealy3's picture

And I ask, will there that be a suitor next of the same pursuit?

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 07:54 | 475187 poorold
poorold's picture

Goldman’s Behaviour Exposes Fatal Systemic Structural Weaknesses


Debts Owed and Assets Pledged versus Maturity Level of Debts Owed


As witnessed during the S&P’s decline to 666, the stock market significantly overstates the current value of wealth contained therein. From the DJIA high of XX,XXX, the decline to X,XXX represented a loss of XX trillion in wealth.  However, only X trillion of cash was extracted, and that amount is overstated several multiples based on “trading activity (gambling)” versus actual “redemptions for cash.”


The stock market represents a hope for future value, yet it is presented and perceived by most to be a store of value whose present value--measured by the number of shares you own multiplied by the last closing price--is equal to your current cash value.


If anything, the last two years should galvanize in every person’s mind, the absolute fallacy in that way of thinking.  The stock market trades on the margin.  Wealth measured by such a vehicle is elusive at best.


The current recession was brought on because of the occurrence of a severe mismatch in debts owed versus the ability to pay off those debts—in CASH.  Cash being the ultimate measure of the liquidation value of an asset.


When the debts owed were due (or called in) it became clear that nobody had the cash to make the repayment.  Assets (those collateralizing the debts and all other assets for that matter) simply did not have the cash value people thought the assets represented..


Is this a ponzi scheme? No, not necessarily. It could be simply a mismatch of Debt Maturity Date versus the Economy’s ability to repay those debts—in cash.


Except, of course, in this case the Debts Owed were and are based on Asset Values that are suspect at best.  Faulty, and as time went on even criminally negligent valuations of Debt were put forth and Cash extracted from the Economy.  This is self-evident because those who sold the Debt (whose valuation was criminally negligent) took out side bets indicating their belief the Debt they just sold would NOT be repaid. 


What company in America manufactures a product and then makes a bet the product will FAIL? And, we are not talking about product liability insurance here, we are not even talking about running out and betting the number 8 horse at Aqueduct.  We are talking about using a stacked deck to deal a lousy hand to your partner in a poker game and deal yourself a Royal Flush.


The net result of this has been to expose the system as broken.  The widely held belief of Value which investors have held for years is shown to be seriously flawed.  Your 401(k), your mutual funds, your stock portfolio, your municipal bond portfolio, your promised pension…they are, very simply, not worth what you think they are. And they are worth significantly LESS than you believe.


How much less?  Probably much more than you can even imagine.


Does the Government understand what has happened and are they working to solve the problem?


The simple answer is NO.  Government is expanding entitlement programs and ratcheting up their spending in the face of a private sector that is providing less tax revenue.


Simple, the government will raise taxes.  Wrong answer.  Raising taxes will certainly occur, but once again there is an obvious mismatch in the Maturity of Debts Owed and the ability to liquidate assets for CASH to pay those Debts.


Society will be forced to borrow from itself because there is simply not enough outside investment to provide the CASH owed to meet the Maturing Debts.


What happens at that point?  In fact, what happens when it is clear that is the only path available to keep the system going?


This is where we are now.


And rest assured, the money will be printed to keep the system going.


My thoughts do not lead me to think inflation/hyperinflation.  Instead, I think about printed dollars paying for more and more people’s basic needs and from a wider economic perspective, average personal consumption declining and “assets” heretofore valued on a “cash basis” being generally recognized to be worth significantly less.


One real question is when people “admit” the “cash value” they believe their “asset” is worth is not a “valid” cash value, how many will decide they would prefer to have “cash” and see how events unfold.


The real black swan is likely to be a dash for cash more than anything else.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 08:59 | 475222 zhandax
zhandax's picture

You talking about a squeeze?  What would the ponzi unwinding really look like?  Ever think?  Picture the moment...project your best guess.....I am serious; I want to hear the possibilities. 

Sun, 07/18/2010 - 07:48 | 475928 poorold
poorold's picture

I don't know the outcome, but the Fed was not joking with their recent economic projections for the next 5-6 years.

Taking those comments alone in conjunction with New Jersy's projected pension plan payment issues and it is easy to see that the funding issues that seem so far in the future (10 years) are really more like 2-3 years before people realize the magnitude of the problems and 4-5 years before it is obvious to everyone that there is not enough CASH to pay out.

Then what happens?  People start their dash for cash by converting financial assets to cash.  Stocks, bonds, etc. get sold en mass because people realize their values will only decline for the foreseeable future?

The current stock market is being propped up by lies.

It won't take much to start a run.  Just some serious selling by some big players who finally realize that the music is slowing down and there are hardly enough chairs around for most of the players still dancing to the music.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 08:37 | 475206 HEHEHE
HEHEHE's picture

Charlie is a floor mopper, and he just mopped the floor with Lloyd Blankfein!

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 08:48 | 475213 poorold
poorold's picture


QE2 = The Federal Reserve expanding the definition of "maintain price stability" to include, not the "dollar" as it is meant to be understood, but future claims on the dollar that want to be redeemed today "risklessly."

Now that would cause inflation/hyperinflation.


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 09:02 | 475225 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

Breaking news...Geithner with all his new FinReg powers will appoint his Master to head up Consumer Protection Agency...

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 10:35 | 475227 MarketFox
MarketFox's picture

Blankfein is just another "Typical Americanized CEO"....This means winning at anybody's cost but the firm's....and using their legal capture and legal largesse to the fullest.....After all...if you are not working for are against us....

Seems to me Blankfein should be given high fives for gaming the system at the highest degree possible....

There should be a "Corporate Heisman Trophy" award as an aside for "CEOs only"....

Maybe even make a new television episode...or even book series....

Why give all the eyeballs and ears away for free ?

Why hasn't Blankfein been on top of this....some easy $dough is escaping the grasp of the firm....

The US story ends in a modern "Mad Max CEO" free for all.....After all is this process not better than a few thousand barbarians cutting down and threatening the villages ....? Or better than killing civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq for natural resources ?

Same story....different mode.....

It's like televising the is that really " real innocents" being blown apart ? Or is creating financial warfare any less unjust ?

Then "commercial break".....

Justice in the USA.....American Facist Style....

By the way...who are the latest names in the corporate government employment revolving door....where the $ are land at where they the Ex police gaming the current police crop...soon to revolve over... long as it's's ok....

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 09:10 | 475229 Lndmvr
Lndmvr's picture

Don't see much difference between Gasperino and Scott Brown. I remember the days when picture morphing software first came out, free to play with. Slime to face, face to slime,  oh what fun.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 10:10 | 475262 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

Who is the right guy to change Goldman's image to fit the new paradigm it faces?



Sat, 07/17/2010 - 11:10 | 475292 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Charlie Gasparino?  I shudder.  I had to cancel my gym membership because of him.

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 11:54 | 475298 anony
anony's picture

So what?  The real value of Lord Blankfein's position is in the Goldamn stock, salaries, perks, bonuses in the tens if not hundreds of millions already captured and safely tucked away under his pillow or offshore. 

Along with the likes of Fuld, Weill, Cassano, Friedman, Greenberg, and a huge number of other semites, the position is about number 10 on a list of 10 of values to being associated with their firms.

A rose by any other name is still a rose and so is a multi-centimillionaire.

And Gasparino may already know that Lord Blankfein could give a merde about being the front man for the firm.


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 11:30 | 475302 anynonmous
anynonmous's picture

"Arriving in a small jet before the Obamas was the first dog, Bo, a Portuguese water dog given as a present by the late U.S. Sen Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.; and the president's personal aide Reggie Love, who chatted with Baldacci."

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 11:41 | 475309 Pez
Pez's picture

I hope "GoldmanSucks" days are numbered!

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 13:43 | 475377 Amsterdammer
Amsterdammer's picture

Let's remember that the British FSA has an ongoing

investigation on the activities of GSI, the London subsidiary of


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 13:59 | 475383 tahoebumsmith
tahoebumsmith's picture

When the " Peoples Republic" wanted posters go up, there won't be any rock he can hide under!


Sat, 07/17/2010 - 14:42 | 475414 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

One mississippi

Two mississippi

Three mississippi ........

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 15:32 | 475447 Fíréan
Fíréan's picture

How long until Goldman Sucks start sponsoring the ads in the side bar and then call the editorial shots around here ?

A small slap on the hand and back in business : the system is as corrupt as it can get and  what does it matter what anyone thinks, they can do what they please with impunity.

Sun, 07/18/2010 - 05:02 | 475887 Grand Supercycle
Sun, 07/18/2010 - 08:35 | 475940 Jake Lamotta
Jake Lamotta's picture

no surprise  "au revoir shoshanna"

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bryanfurry's picture

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bryanfurry's picture

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