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Robert Khuzami Stands To Lose Up To $250,000 If He Pursues Action Against Deutsche Bank

Tyler Durden's picture




 

When the SEC'a Robert Khuzami recently recused himself of pursuing an investigation against Deutsche Bank in regard to potential CDO malfeasance, a bank where it is common knowledge the CDOs flowed (and were shorted "where appropriate" by Mr. Lippmann and his henchmen) like manna from heaven, we were curious just how large the conflict of interest must be for him to not pursue his official duty. Luckily, we were able to answer this question when we recently encountered Mr. Khuzami's Public Financial Disclosure Report for Executive Branch Personnel. It appears that Mr. Khuzami, who from 2002 to 2009 worked at DB, most recently as General Counsel, might have directly profited quite handsomely from the very activity he is now prosecuting Goldman, and other banks very likely soon, for engaging in. How handsomely? His 2007 bonus, 2008 salary and bonus, and 2009 salary added up to $3,804,537. This works out to about $1.9 million in comp per year. And let's not forget that 2006/2007 was the peak years for DB's CDO issuance. It sure seems Mr. Khuzami benefited nicely as a participant in precisely the kind of CDO gimmickry that he is currently all over Goldman for. Yet most ironic, is that Robert is expecting to receive between $100,001 and $250,000 in vested deferred stock comp from Deutsche Bank in August 2010. Should he, or someone else at the SEC, commence an investigation into Khuzami's former employer, the SEC's Director of Enforcement is sure to lose a substantial amount of money tied into the absolute value of Deutsche Bank stock.

And it doesn't end there. Khuzami lists the following asset holdings as of June 2009:

  • Federated US Treasury Cash Reserves: $1,001-$15,000
  • US Treasury Cash Reserves: $1,000,001-$5,000,000
  • Fidelity Advisor New Insights Fund: $15,001-$50,000
  • Henderson Int'l Opportunities Fund: $15,001-$50,000
  • Deutsche Bank Cash Account Pension Plan: $100,001-$250,000
  • DB Stable Value Fund: $1,001-$15,000
  • Goldman Sachs Mid Cap Value Fund: $1,001-$15,000
  • Dodge and Cox Int'l Stock Fund: $50,001-$100,000
  • SSGA Money Market Fund: $15,001-$50,000
  • Delaware Emerging Markets: $50,001-$100,000
  • Gateway Fund (401k): $15,001-$50,000
  • Third Avenue Real Estate Fund (401k): $15,001-$50,000
  • Touchstone MidCap Growth Class A (401k): $15,001-$50,000
  • Wells Fargo Endeavor Select FD (401k): $15,001-$50,000
  • Yacktman Fund (401k): $15,001-$50,000
  • PIMCO Real Return Class A (401k): $50,001-$100,000
  • Principal Short-Term Fixed Income (401k): $1,001-$15,000
  • Personal Residence - New York (Gross Rental Income): $1,000,001-$5,000,000
  • Deutsche Bank Common Stock (Vested Amount Compensation): $100,001-$250,000
  • Vanguard 529 Moderate: $50,001-$100,000
  • Vanguard 529 Aggressive: $1,001-$15,000

It appears Mr. Khuzami has done quite well while working in the private sector, undoubtedly defending his German employer from precisely the same actions he, or someone else at the SEC, may soon charge the firm was defrauding investors by. His total disclosed asset range from $2,525,000 to $11,375,000. It is also ironic that nearly half Mr. Khuzami's assets are contained in real estate, and not to mention that a substantial amount of his assets are also contained in Deutsche Bank plans as well as DB stock deferred comp. In fact, let's take a look at that deferred comp of $100,001-$250,000 a little closer.

It appears the SEC's Enforcement Director has between $100,001 and $250,000 in DB deferred stock compensation, which becomes payable in August 2010. Obviously this is not a trivial number. And while Khuzami may have recused himself from pursuing DB for CDO infarctions, that does not mean that some other SEC enforcer (surely, their $1 billion a year budget allows them at least more than one enforcement professional) would not be able to go after DB. The problem as we see it is that since the announcement of the SEC case against Goldman the firm has lost about 25% of its market cap. It is conceivable that DB, which dabbled far more in CDOs, and thus the SEC would have a much stronger case agaisnt the bank, would thus lose far more of its market cap should the SEC announce a case against the Germans. In fact, we could be looking at Mr. Khuzami's Vested Deferred Compensation value dropping from $100,001 - $250,000 to maybe even as low as $15,001-$50,000. Then again, this becomes irrelevant after August, when the former DB GC will have collected all his dues. Does this mean we should expect nothing from the SEC against Deutsche Bank for at least 4 more months? And is September 1 the day when the SEC formally announces charges against Deutsche? We would love to get the SEC's feedback on this.

Mr. Khuzami's potential conflicts of interest do not end with his open exposure to Deutsche Bank. His Schedule A appendix indicates that the man has open equity positions with firms such as Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, and JP Morgan. To wit:

Would this mean that Mr. Khuzami, and thus the entire SEC Enforcement Division, if judging by the Deutsche Bank case study, would recuse itself of investigating these three firms from an enforcement standpoint?

We certainly do not begrudge Khuzami's generous winnings as part of the private sector. If anything, any borderline criminal activity he may have helped cover up as GC of Deutsche (an act he was supposed to do so no ill-will there) should provide him with the knowledge to prosecute just such activity. However, when the head of the main US regulator's enofrcement body is so terminally ensnared in not just the Wall Street complex, but in the very fabric of Keynesianism (that up to $5,000,000 Treasury holding for example and not to mention his up to $5,000,000 rental property), the population should ask just how extremely biased this man can be when prosecuting the very system that allows him to have up to $11 million in assets currently tied in to the perpetuated status quo. Surely, should the Fed, and the market in general, be "surprisingly" uncovered to be the same ponzi construct as Madoff's pyramid scheme, Khuzami, and who knows how many other people, stand to lose virtually the bulk of their assets. This makes them very much conflicted in any real enforcement action, and certainly not independent or impartial. Perhaps Dodd, in his joke of a bill, can consider just how to establish a securities regulator which by its very nature is not constantly in bed with the very subject it is supposed to be investigating.

 

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Sun, 05/16/2010 - 11:20 | 354629 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

you would think someone that high up on house money would just leave the rest of the chips on the table and run out the back on first sign of a raid... but addicts are addicts and greed has a mind of its own

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 11:54 | 354672 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Maybe he was told to come back?

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 11:37 | 354643 Belrev
Belrev's picture

All this money looks to me like it is already vested. So I don't see how he can lose any of it. Much to talk about nothing. I think he just does not want to go against his former employer, because he does not want to spoil his business relationships that he can later use for his career and business purposes.

And when one contributes to 401k plan funds offered through employer, one does it by taking money on pre-tax basis from his pay check. So what is the smoking gun here? If he made millions while working at DB, he sure has contributed large sums of money to his 401k, which is now showing on this report.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:00 | 354685 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Excuse me, I'm no financial genius.  Just a simple farmer.  But aren't we talking about the strike price when he executes his options?  Wouldn't one expect that an agressive prosecution of DB would affect that price?

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 15:44 | 354957 Belrev
Belrev's picture

I don't see any options. Only common stock that was granted to him and has already vested.

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 02:27 | 355911 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Fine, so as he is a holder of a lot of shares of DB common you acknowledge the conflict of interest.  Or don't you?

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:16 | 354708 Bob Chipeska
Bob Chipeska's picture

Um, yeah, the guy owns stocks, bonds, and funds, has a pension plan/401k and some deferred comp, and even owns a house.  Shoot him for it.  Everyone also ranted when Hank Paulson had to sell his Goldman stake without paying taxes in order to become Treasury Secretary.  What's your better solution, Tyler?  Everyone in the government has to be 100% in Treasuries?  Going into this disaster no one at the SEC seemed to know anything about the businesses they were regulating.  Now they've hired some people who know their stuff, and it just so happens that those people may have worked on Wall Street.  Life goes on.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:23 | 354716 tupac shakur
tupac shakur's picture

Brilliant reporting. Thank you for clarifying the amazing conflicts of interest. Regulators are ineffective by design - regulatory effectiveness would kill future job prospects.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:27 | 354723 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Why not just hire grand Larceny felons out our prisons.  They know the system and can't vote in general elections.  Plus, they are already fitted for their orange perpsuits.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:54 | 354757 JohnKing
JohnKing's picture

A GS investigation into the prosecutor!

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 13:30 | 354814 Rick64
Rick64's picture

This begs the question, why does someone with this kind of wealth (and potential employment at a number of financial institutions) work for the SEC?

To give back to the community when in the end he is probably as guilty as the institutions he is investigating. The answer is obvious, to protect and mitigate the damages to these institutions, and thus his and his cohorts investments.

The revolving door.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 14:38 | 354875 Apostate
Apostate's picture

Because the SEC is basically a method for keeping corporate leaders in line, to prevent them from becoming politically active or particularly outspoken in the media.

It's not a real enforcement mechanism. Be serious. It's a big fake god that you sacrifice a lot of paper to and spend some money and time on providing the pretense of following their pseudo-regulations.

I mean, who does the SEC go after? A nobody like Mark Cuban? Martha Stewart? These people are totally meaningless in the scheme of things. It's more of a religion, believing in the power of the SEC, than something meaningful. 

Some of you have a lot to learn about the way the world really works. Maybe it's too scary for you to accept that the politicians are just drunken actors that get rotated around fundraising dinners and handed legislation to pass. That's too much for some people.

That's OK. It'll all come apart, anyway. 

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 21:24 | 355499 Privatus
Privatus's picture

+1

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 14:46 | 354880 Miyagi_san
Miyagi_san's picture

BE A MAN AND STEP DOWN

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 15:44 | 354954 Belrev
Belrev's picture

I don't see any options. Only common stock that was granted to him and has already vested.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 19:05 | 355290 tom a taxpayer
tom a taxpayer's picture

Outrageous! 

Who appointed Khuzami?

Who recommended him?

Who supported his appointment?

They all need to go!

Unbelievable perversion of justice.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 21:22 | 355495 Privatus
Privatus's picture

Robert Khuzami stands to lose up to $250,000 if people reporting to him pursue action against Deutsche Bank. Conflict of interest much?

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 22:55 | 355683 rickgo48
rickgo48's picture

These comments for the most part and your indictment of Khuzami are conjecture at best and not very well researched. It might make some sense to really do some research and understand his record and integrity. He is an extremely tough and talented prosecutor and did his utmost within DB to make sure that they did their business the right way. Being a chief counsel within a securities firm and bank is an extremely difficult and relatively unrewarding job. The business managers in banks/security firms constantly lobby their legal staffs to help them find ways to get deals done. The quote "if you don't approve any deals, you, as well as us, will lose our jobs because we won't make any money". Rob tried very hard within DB, but I don't believe that he thought that he could make the kind of impact that he could within the public sector. You fail to recognize the fact that he gave up his much higher compensation at DB to join the SEC. In fact, he could have easily joined many of the top law firms as a partner and chose not to do that either. This is the same guy that spent the first part of his career in the New York DA's office taking on the Blind Sheik while putting his own life and his families' life in danger. He decided to join DB to be able to make enough money to take care of his family, but gave that up to serve his country. He has recused himself from anything to do with DB not to protect himself from any problem, but because it is the right thing to do.

You do a lot of good work, but you are way off here.

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 00:57 | 355819 jwalker46
jwalker46's picture

Where are these "Public Financial Disclosure Reports" published?  (If not published, what is the process by which they can be obtained?)

Thu, 11/04/2010 - 05:14 | 698843 rocky89
rocky89's picture

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Thu, 11/04/2010 - 05:21 | 698845 rocky89
rocky89's picture

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