- Greeks Struggle to Resolve Their Differences (WSJ)
- China May See Deeper Slowdown on Crisis: IMF (Bloomberg)
- Banks to take a hit on US home loans (FT)
- Europe’s banks face challenge on capital (FT)
- Smaller Interest-Rate, Credit-Default Swap Trades Seen On Horizon (WSJ)
- Pro-European elected Finland president (FT)
- Push Sputters for Credit-Default Swap Futures (WSJ)
- China Money Rate Rises as Central Bank Gauges Demand for Bills (Bloomberg)
- China Takes On Skeptics of Aid to Euro Zone (WSJ)
Humans are a flawed species. Our minds are easily manipulated. We don’t like pain. We prefer instant gratification. We are susceptible to mass delusion. We will often choose hope over critical thought. Those with higher IQs will regularly attempt to take advantage of those with lower IQs. Fear and greed are the two motivations used by the minority in power to control and manipulate the majority. The American people have been led astray by a small group of powerful men. We were herded through a door in the wall of perception that promised an American dream of material goods, entitlements and pleasure with no obligations or responsibility to future generations. There is only one choice that can save this country from ruin. Each individual must make a choice to either to continue supporting the manipulative, corrupt status quo or coming back through the Door in the Wall.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend” – Aldous Huxley
Psychopaths Caused the Financial Crisis … And They Will Do It Again and Again Unless They Are Removed From PowerSubmitted by George Washington on 01/03/2012 15:21 -0400
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum
Continuing the series of artist impressions of (in)famous desktops (Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke), today we bring to you the proposed desktop of one Lloyd Blankfein, courtesy of Sancho P. If nothing else, it explains where all the physical is.
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. 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 altogether. - Charlie Gasparino
With recent news that Lloyd Blankfein paid cash for his 15 CPW residence in 2008, it is useful to see just what other masters of industry (or, as the case may be, services), reside at New York's most desirable property. In addition to Lloyd, quite a few other Goldmanites seem to have a particular predisposition for expensive West Central Park views. Here is the full list courtesy of AmazonAWS.
Re: Winning at Ethics, the Goldman Way
I have reviewed no less than seven times your entire
episode on Charlie Rose.
Your artful simplicity, studied humility and former
hairline all positively radiated against the set’s dark
As one of my lesser colleagues on the desk marveled,
“Lloyd seemed almost human: Why?” To which I replied, evenly:
“because he finally read my last memo.”
Of course there was no reason you should look to one of
your own traders for advice. But now that you have, we must
proceed quickly. American public opinion is volatile; our
exposure to it is peaking, and it will be more difficult than
usual to create the illusion for American mortals (or as we like
to call them, “The Morts”) that our business is in their
interest, much less that we share anything in common.
This time, please, do not wait five months to internalize
my new action items.
Just because Goldman refuses to get it, and wishes to inflict even more pain on itself with more and more public appearances, here is Lloyd on Charlie Rose last night. More of the same: "We did well because we had the disciplined hedging [on housing]."Paraphrase: "Thank you Paulson for letting us steal your idea and have our prop book go $10 billion short two months before HSBC and New Century went tits up. Also thank you for reminding us to short hundreds of millions worth of Bear stock." Also, the amount of money put into Goldman by the government was not important for us. Ok Lloyd, please refund all the $2 billion in CDS profits you made by shorting AIG immediately. And again Lloyd blatantly misrepresents the truth, by saying that doing away with prop trading would only cost the firm 10% of the firm's revenue (so why the massive fight against the Volcker rule?). Forget all this market maker, liquidity provider generic fallback bs and mumbo jumbo. How about some disclosure on just how you classify prop trading Lloyd? Because something tells us that at least 50% of your flow and correlation desk is purely Prop (and certainly serves to bolster prop profits instead of putting clients "first" as we have disclosed about 10 times in the past week alone), as the 901 pages in Goldman discovery make only all too obvious (we will post on that soon). Hey Lloyd, here's an idea - how about instituting P&L stop limits on all your OTC FICC prop trades just like RBS? Oh yes, we'll go there... and in much more detail. Soon.
Zero Hedge deconstructs every lie and prevarication in Lloyd Blankfein's prepared statement ahead of tomorrow's Senate Hearing on "Wall Street and the Financial Crisis"
Politico has released the Voice Mail that Lloyd's blasted to all employees on Sunday night. In it we read that Lloyd still thinks his firm has a reputation, let along one which must be defended. The most amusing part is where the CEO tells workers to "maintain the level of focus
on our clients" - we assume this means using Goldman's extensive idiot-rolodex, calling up the dumbest of the dumb money and using GS' "brand and reputation" in selling them whatever the most recent version of toxic crap that the smarter money du jour wants to short via Goldman and its second to none flow and prop desk.
To: Lloyd Blankfein
Re: Winning the Public Relations War
Six months ago, with what I mistakenly took to be your tacit approval, I attempted to address ordinary Americans, almost as equals.
They envied and resented our firm; I sought merely to correct their misunderstandings about Goldman Sachs and send them on their way, so that they might more briskly resume their quest for gainful employment.
In hindsight, I misjudged their ability to see the reality of their situation, and of ours. At the time I accepted your strong suggestion that I never again try to speak directly to mortals -- or, as you referred to them, “The Morts.”
Lloyd Blankfein Says He Never Got Request To Take Less Than 100 Cents On Dollar For AIG CDO ExposureSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/13/2010 11:18 -0400
So... Timmy... Who's lying here?