On Goldman's Fascination With Pimping And Prostitution

Tyler Durden's picture

Overnight, the NYT's Nicholas Kristof penned an article which exposes Goldman, already deeply embroiled in muppetgate damage control, as being a 16% indirect owner in Backpage, an "emporium for girls and women - some under age or forced into prostitution... which has 70 percent of the market for prostitution ads, according to AIM Group, a trade organization." Up until now Backpage, shielded by its Village Voice Media which owns it, and is also a private company, has had its ownership structure far from the public's view, until now that is. Kristoff writes: "Village Voice Media has been able to resist pressure partly because, as a private company, it doesn't disclose its owners. But I've obtained documents that, with some digging, shed light on who's behind it... The two biggest owners are Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, the managers of the company, and they seem to own about half of the shares. The best known of the other owners is Goldman Sachs, which invested in the company in 2000 (before Backpage became a part of Village Voice Media in a 2006 merger)." Probably more interesting is the firm's response when confronted about this previously unknown stake: "Goldman Sachs was mortified when I began inquiring last week about its stake in America's leading Web site for prostitution ads. It began working frantically to unload its shares, and on Friday afternoon it called to say that it had just signed an agreement to sell its stake to management."

Needless to say it is difficult to make any extended ethical conclusions based on an isolated incident of what may have been simply a forgotten legacy position, although Kristof does try "for more than six years Goldman has held a significant stake in a company notorious for ties to sex trafficking, and it sat on the company's board for four of those years. There's no indication that Goldman or anyone else ever used its ownership to urge Village Voice Media to drop escort ads or verify ages. Elizabeth L. McDougall, chief counsel for Village Voice Media, told me Friday that she was "unaware of any dissent" from owners."

Yet some may be surprised to learn that this is not the firm's only expansion into the world of monetized prostitution. As the chart below shows, as of Q4, 2011, the firm also happens to be the top ten owner of Adult Friend Finder (Nasdaq: FFN), a company which recently went public, and which is nothing more than a porn portal for women, who can sell their "assets" to the highest bidder (and where any men members have to pay a monthly fee). Of course, the firm's own vision of itself as an adult Facebook is slightly different, if not supported by its share price which has been a one way ticket down ever since going public in May of 2011.

And while Goldman may be forced to dump its stake in Backpage now that the firm is about to find itself in "pimpgate" courtesy of the NYT, we wonder why it is that it was the only major firm adding to an Adult Friend Finder stake (which it built up entirely in Q4, 2001) in the last trading quarter?

So just to make the life of Lucas van Praag's (whom we had gotten quite fond of in the past few months) replacement, one ex-Tim Geithner assistant Jake Siewert a little more complicated, we would like to ask: just what is the firm's Internal Rate of Return when putting its money into websites encouraging pimping and prostitution? Such as this one:

Finally, and what everyone really wants to know, is do Goldman employees get some sizable discounts when spending money on minority investments?

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killallthefiat's picture

America can get f'ed by Goldman in more ways than one

AnonymousAnarchist's picture

A non-MSM source taking Tom Friedman or Nick Kristof seriously? This is zerohedge's April Fools, right? See "Let's talk about sex (trafficking)" via In Case You Missed It.

macholatte's picture

Here it comes.........


Under legislation expected in next month's Queen's Speech, internet companies will be instructed to install hardware enabling GCHQ – the Government's electronic "listening" agency – to examine "on demand" any phone call made, text message and email sent, and website accessed in "real time", The Sunday Times reported.

Internet activity 'to be monitored' under new laws


Skip's picture

Elana Kagan and other appointees from Democrat Presidents believe that certain political speech, i.e. that which they do not agree with, think Angry White Men speech, is not protected by the 1st Amendment.

Just add in the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Prevention Act and you have THOUGHT CRIMES ala Orwell.

So why did so many American die fighting Hitler?

Flocking swans's picture

How many died? I have no idea how many Americans died fighting Hitler. School only taught us how many jews died.

macholatte's picture

Clearly, you were not a very good student.


We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
Benjamin Franklin

Jumbotron's picture

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

Righteous statement, dude !

So that's where the supposed productivity gains are coming from in Amerika.

economics9698's picture

I thought this was a blog about Yids and porn.  Imagine Yids fucking whores, who would have thought of that!  I am confused.

FEDbuster's picture

The SEC is investigating this relationship very closely, laptops with bigger screens have been ordered.

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Consensual sex where money's involved vs ass-rape where money's involved.  I think that's where Goldman's cumming from.

StychoKiller's picture

Whoa, dyslexia dood!  That was "bigger screams from closely-held SEC laptop relationships!" :>D

Jumbotron's picture

"How many died?  I have no idea....."

Well....it's your own damn fault for not knowing.....certainly not a Jew's fault.....

For the record

Total American Deaths in WW II:  405,399

Total Wounded and Dead:  1,076,245

economics9698's picture

Did anyone in American high schools have a history lesson on the Holodomor?  I took Russian History and it was not in there.  Why the fuck not!

Why the fuck was the Holodomor not in American history books mother fucker?

We fucking know why.

Fuck off with your shit.

Disenchanted's picture



exactly! the only thing now in American school history books is endless browbeating about THE holocaust.


bravo e9698, it's time we stop being silent about the puppeteers in this freak show once known as the USA.


btw Americans stay tuned, you'll be the leading characters(victims) in Holodomor II(or in 'Bolshevik Revolution' II)...if you don't get your heads out of your asses soon.

Jedi Longsabre's picture

Your right 9698. The Russians have scrubbed that one clean. They were smart enough not to videotape the Holodomor like the Nazis did the Holocaust.

"Uncle Joe" Stalin killed between 2-12 million Ukrainians by starvation. In the second most productive farmland in the world (midwest being #1)

You don't see the Ukrainians having a hissy fit when the Holodomor is mentioned either because they are really tough people. But this is seriously the biggest story never told.

Think for yourself's picture

because he wanted to encroach on their turf

ToNYC's picture

The Lone Nut meets the Single Victim: a recipe for the Serial Police. This is far from the Breakfast of Champions, but an invitation to the free FEMA camp where the discounts and coupons grow to meet the hopes and desperations.

ChrisFromMorningside's picture

I was under the impression that Elena Kagan IS an Angry White Man, so why is she trying to limit their speech?

Oh ... she's Jewish? Sorry, Angry Jewish Man*.

Nassim's picture

It essentially gives them carte blanche to blackmail anyone who is married or working for a large firm/government and who passes time at these sites. Let's be frank, we all do to a greater of lesser extent. It is a honeypot trap - pure and simple.

rwe2late's picture

 Trafficking, but no mention of the US client states of Saudi Arabia and Kosovo? No mention of the destitution caused by military invasions and the R&R centers established for the occupation forces?

Kristof is a mouthpiece for the establishment whose alleged plan to save the "innocent", is yet another false war. 

He is advocating another war, one of prohibition against  those engaged in adult consenting sex, or even advertising about it. Conveniently for some, it would provide another reason to practice censorship, to fill the prisons, to blackmail politicians, all in order supposedly to protect the "children".

Haven't we had enough of these "wars" to realize they only worsen the situation and wind up producing even more victims? Why do they? Because the primary motivation, no matter the rationalization, is always the acquisition of more power, more "control", always for the "good" of others. Thus "terrorists" have morphed into "activists" and an expansive police state that promotes terror abroad. The "Drug War" has grown to a prison industry incarcerating millions while the CIA, banks, and drug lord allies reap billion$.

Should we be surprised Kristol is NOT advocating legalization of the sex trade(which would also allow the myriad laws protecting children to be better enforced)?

Should we be dismayed if a proclaimed libertarian jumps on the Kristol bandwagon in order to take a cheap adolescent shot at Goldman Sachs?

There is plenty to condemn Goldman Sachs for, but this attempted smear (for indirect investment no less) only makes the critics appear most foolish.

Disenchanted's picture


Talmud + Protocols(with some word swaps by me...).


Anyone who reads the following quote objectively can see that that these concepts, ideas, and practices(especially those I've bolded) contained in 'the Protocols' are in play in today's world. But these things are not something new nor exclusive to our modern day world, and have been around for ages. At one time there could have been The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Sumer, Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Harappa, etc., etc.. Barring natural disasters I would wager that similar documents to 'the Protocols' have been the blueprints for the cause of the fall of many preceding great civilizations.


Protocol II

1. It is indispensable for our purpose that wars, so far as possible, should not result in territorial gains: war will thus be brought on to the economic ground, where the nations will not fail to perceive in the assistance we give the strength of our predominance, and this state of things will put both sides at the mercy of our international AGENTUR; which possesses millions of eyes ever on the watch and unhampered by any limitations whatsoever. Our international rights will then wipe out national rights, in the proper sense of right, and will rule the nations precisely as the civil law of States rules the relations of their subjects among themselves.

2. The administrators, whom we shall choose from among the public, with strict regard to their capacities for servile obedience, will not be persons trained in the arts of government, and will therefore easily become pawns in our game in the hands of men of learning and genius who will be their advisers, specialists bred and reared from early childhood to rule the affairs of the whole world. As is well known to you, these specialists of ours have been drawing to fit them for rule the information they need from our political plans from the lessons of history, from observations made of the events of every moment as it passes. The Sheeple are not guided by practical use of unprejudiced historical observation, but by theoretical routine without any critical regard for consequent results. We need not, therefore, take any account of them - let them amuse themselves until the hour strikes, or live on hopes of new forms of enterprising pastime, or on the memories of all they have enjoyed. For them let that play the principal part which we have persuaded them to accept as the dictates of science (theory). It is with this object in view that we are constantly, by means of our press, arousing a blind confidence in these theories. The intellectuals of the Sheeple will puff themselves up with their knowledge and without any logical verification of them will put into effect all the information available from science, which our AGENTUR specialists have cunningly pieced together for the purpose of educating their minds in the direction we want.


3. Do not suppose for a moment that these statements are empty words: think carefully of the successes we arranged for Darwinism, Marxism, Nietzsche-ism. To us Archons(authorities)*, at any rate, it should be plain to see what a disintegrating importance these directives have had upon the minds of the Sheeple.


4. It is indispensable for us to take account of the thoughts, characters, tendencies of the nations in order to avoid making slips in the political and in the direction of administrative affairs. The triumph of our system of which the component parts of the machinery may be variously disposed according to the temperament of the peoples met on our way, will fail of success if the practical application of it be not based upon a summing up of the lessons of the past in the light of the present.


5. In the hands of the States of to-day there is a great force that creates the movement of thought in the people, and that is the Press. The part played by the Press is to keep pointing our requirements supposed to be indispensable, to give voice to the complaints of the people, to express and to create discontent. It is in the Press that the triumph of freedom of speech finds its incarnation. But the Sheeple States have not known how to make use of this force; and it has fallen into our hands. Through the Press we have gained the power to influence while remaining ourselves in the shade; thanks to the Press we have got the GOLD in our hands, notwithstanding that we have had to gather it out of the oceans of blood and tears. But it has paid us, though we have sacrificed many of our people. Each victim on our side is worth in the sight of Yaldabaoth* a thousand Sheeple.


unedited version here: http://educate-yourself.org/cn/protocolsofsion.shtml


*Who are the archons and Yaldabaoth? see here: http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/hypostas.html (excerpt below)


I see the head Archon Yaldabaoth(aka Samael, Yahweh, Jehovah, God, Allah, etc., etc.) as the real brains behind things such as the Protocols. I exchanged the word GOYIM with Sheeple in the quote from the Protocols above, but in some of the instances the word Humanity may have been a better option. The Archon(s) envy and hate Humanity and seek its destruction.


That portion of modern day Jews who might think they will control the world through their banking, finance, and geo-political machinations are only misguided little puppets themselves...of the Archon(s).


But I said, "Sir, teach me about the faculty of these authorities - how did they come into being, and by what kind of genesis, and of what material, and who created them and their force?"


And the great angel Eleleth, understanding, spoke to me: "Within limitless realms dwells incorruptibility. Sophia, who is called Pistis, wanted to create something, alone without her consort; and her product was a celestial thing. A veil exists between the world above and the realms that are below; and shadow came into being beneath the veil; and that shadow became matter; and that shadow was projected apart. And what she had created became a product in the matter, like an aborted fetus. And it assumed a plastic form molded out of shadow, and became an arrogant beast resembling a lion. It was androgynous, as I have already said, because it was from matter that it derived.


Opening his eyes, he saw a vast quantity of matter without limit; and he became arrogant, saying, "It is I who am God, and there is none other apart from me". When he said this, he sinned against the entirety. And a voice came forth from above the realm of absolute power, saying, "You are mistaken, Samael" - which is, 'god of the blind'.


And he said, "If any other thing exists before me, let it become visible to me!" And immediately Sophia stretched forth her finger and introduced light into matter; and she pursued it down to the region of chaos. And she returned up to her light; once again darkness [...] matter.


This ruler, by being androgynous, made himself a vast realm, an extent without limit. And he contemplated creating offspring for himself, and created for himself seven offspring, androgynous just like their parent. And he said to his offspring, "It is I who am god of the entirety."


And Zoe (Life), the daughter of Pistis Sophia, cried out and said to him, "You are mistaken, Sakla!" - for which the alternative name is Yaldabaoth. She breathed into his face, and her breath became a fiery angel for her; and that angel bound Yaldabaoth and cast him down into Tartaros below the abyss.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Should we be dismayed if a proclaimed libertarian jumps on the Kristol bandwagon in order to take a cheap adolescent shot at Goldman Sachs?"

No.  Every self-proclaimed libertarian I have ever met is a complete hypocrite when their own financial interest, sense of morality, or other selfish interest is at stake.  Most of the guys running TBTF banks and military suppliers etc identify themselves as libertarians who hate regulation, government, etc., and they would tell you that they feed at the trough because they are merely taking advantage of the sheep who are dumb enough to let them.   

Lednbrass's picture

Besides the many voices in your head, come up with one shred of credible evidence that the people running TBTF banks and military suppliers identify themselves as libertarian. Something real, not a made up post from bipolarmoonbatsrusdotcom.

If not, shut your frothing pie hole- and drink a quart of Drano. You are a stupid person.

Lednbrass's picture

What the hell do Kosovo and Saudi Arabia have to do with GS owning sizable stakes in the porn industry? Nothing whatsoever. What does war have to do with it? Nothing whatsoever, However, because youre a mentally disturbed lefty in a state of perma-outrage, you bring in things entirely unrelated to the subject then run around shrieking with your hair on fire.

The subject is GS ownership stakes in things porn related, period. Not war, not Kosovo, not Saudi Arabia, not hookers of the world, not Kony, not blood diamonds or whatever other bullshit is in your head.

Now go pop another of whatever pill helps you keep your tenuous grip on reality you fucking idiot.

rwe2late's picture

because youre a mentally disturbed lefty in a state of perma-outrage … you fucking idiot.


The “connection” to GS is that adult sex advertising is no basis for a smear, either by Kristof or ZH.

The connection to Kosovo and militarism is that Kristof hypocritically advocates the very policies which generate sex trafficking.

The connection to libertarianism and policing is that the initial (and inevitably expansive) “solution” Kristof advocates is advertising censorship and continued repression of consensual adult activity, i.e.  more imprisonment. In no way does the continued illegality of the sex trade protect either sex trade workers, their clients, or society. Just as with the drug Prohibition war, illegality only strengthens the hand of the most unsavory exploiters.

 Thanks for giving me an opportunity to further clarify my comment.

If only all Americans shared the kind of logic and tolerance you exhibit in your remarks, ... the bar for conducting discussion would be impossible to raise higher.

beaker's picture

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion.
When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing.
When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors.
When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you.
When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.
–Ayn Rand, 1958

TruthInSunshine's picture

Goldman strokes their Muppet clients in more ways than one, bitchez

Pound them in the ass on the way in, and after they bleed rectally, charge them for a reach around when they're on their way out.


By the way, I wonder how many senators, representatives in the house, and other 'lawmakers' have given Goldman useful and quite blackmail-able information to via the use of these prostitution networks?

That's Goldman, so far ahead of those who in 'the service of their constituents,' that it's scary.






Is Goldman Sachs, Pimpin', gonna have to choke a bitch?
JohnKozac's picture

SEC is probably one of their heaviest subscribers.

I am Jobe's picture

VIP card from GS. All taken care off. SEC is stressed and need the downtime.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Watching porn at the office all day can wear a guy out!

Zero Govt's picture

Indeedy, and what better way to chill-out from a days porn surfing at the SEC than calling Goldmans to arrange a quickie on the way home

TruthInSunshine's picture

Goldman has a list of VIP Clients, especially those in government or regulatory agents, who have used any of the multitudes that are their pimp services, and they will pull out and discreetly drop the dime on anyone threatening them, using their paid shills that they have on staff at the desks of many newspapers around the world at a moment's notice.

It all reminds me of the dead prostitute at one of the Corleone run brothels at the hands of one Senator Pat Geary in The Godfather, if you know what I'm talking about.

prole's picture

Client number 9: there's a young lady in the office who's been asking for you?

Bob's picture

Hey, Spitzer may be able answer to that. 

BTW, after a few years of rehab while sitting the bench in the Bush League, he's been getting a whole lot more feisty recently and just replaced Olbermann on Current TV at 6PM.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Now we know how Spitzer's banker foes got him busted and disgraced for hiring a prostitute -- they owned the escort service.

nmewn's picture

Yeah, put a gun to his head and forced him to call...sure.

slaughterer's picture

GS really ought to Short their shares and take themselves private at this point.

back2basics's picture

techniclly wouldn't you be the one f'in them? 

Muddy1's picture

According to the chart Blackrock, Fidelity Investment, and Citigroup are also big investors.

Muddy1's picture

Let's not overlook ZH taking money from AnastasiaDate.com (see top of page the ad may still be there), and Sugar Daddy

i-dog's picture

errmm ... ZH has no control over which ads Google sends you (only your own surfing habits do that!) and ZH has no way of filtering Google AdSense ads at your browser, even if they wanted to.

i-dog's picture


Yeah, I know ... it's called 'personal responsibility'.

I add the main trackers to the HOSTS file and use Chrome with AdBlock and DoNotTrack+ plugins. Then, just for overkill, I occasionally switch to IE for infrequent surfing of sites that I don't wish Chrome to track in the History. So I rarely see an ad ... certainly none pushing Asian or Russian girlfrends (unfortunately!).

According to DoNotTrack+, this very page is trying (and failing) to track me via:

  • Twitter Badge
  • Google AdSense
  • Google Analytics
  • StatCounter

As a comparison, Drudge is trying to track me via:

  • Rubicon Project
  • Comscore Beacon
  • Quantcast

Notwithstanding all that, I also assume that everything I do on the net is being tracked anyway! But I don't actually care ... because, if they really wanted to arrest me for anything, they would just make up what they didn't have!

Acorn10012's picture

Been awhile since seeing the Sugar Daddy ad...not sure how the Over Achiever CD ad came up for me. Who on ZH is shopping for CDs?

Son of Loki's picture


...and watch your derivative grow....

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Pimping ain't easy. Especially now that morality is back in a bull market.



vast-dom's picture

so not surprised about this. if you only knew the average jock frat boys that work at goldman and other banks -- this is all to be expected, really. In fact, any public company that is porn related SHOULD be owned by firm like Goldman. People, don't be naive!


I'm almost tempted to look for some whores i see around on this Goldman site, but i doubt they use their real names in real life and on them listings, you know, the one's that look up their client's IRS records before they "date" them ;p



Seorse Gorog from that Quantum Entanglement Fund. alright_.-'s picture

Online prostitution. Gotta love the interwebs