Did Goldman Sachs dissemble and equivocate in its responses to the New York Times? Based on these responses, the answer is yes. Treasury Secretary Geithner may wish to keep that in mind the next time he looks to Goldman Sachs for his answers. Mr. van Praag states “Starting in the mid-90s, we bought credit default swaps from AIG to protect our firm from the risk of a decline in the value of risk we had assumed on behalf some of our clients, (i.e. assets to which we had exposure).” Near the end of his email he again mentions “CDOs from our clients” (emphasis added). His email never once mentions that the problematic CDOs requiring collateral calls from A.I.G. that precipitated its liquidity problems, the one’s referenced in the report, seem to be chiefly 2004/5/6 vintage CDOs. Goldman underwrote the Abacus CDOs on its own list, and Goldman also underwrote CDOs that featured prominently and in large portion on the lists of French Banks SocGen and Calyon as well as Bank of Montreal and Wachovia that also hedged this risk using CDSs with AIG.
Janet Tavakoli Retracts Her Apology To Goldman Sachs, Calls For More Regulation Of The Government Backstopped Hedge FundSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/22/2009 11:57 -0400
"In light of the SIGTARP report, I withdraw my earlier apology to Goldman. Public commitments to AIG are currently around $182 billion. If you wonder what Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein meant when he said: “[Goldman Sachs] participated in things that were clearly wrong and we have reason to regret and we apologize for them,” think of Goldman’s role in AIG’s crisis, Goldman’s bailout, and Goldman’s ongoing heavy taxpayer subsidies. That way, one of you will be genuinely sorry about it." - Janet Tavakoli
Goldman Sachs, which lately has been caught in a toxic spiral of potential misrepresentations (courtesy of the SIGTARP report which plainly refuted the firm's claims that it was not on the hook vis-a-vis AIG, and by the way, Ms. Tavakoli, we are waiting for you to retract your apology to the 85 Broad team) and horrendous PR (first Blankfein apologizing for something, then Gasparino telling Lloyd he should step down), may be the final straw that finally breaks open the Fed's "book of death" (for the middle class, f/k/a "book of life" for the banker cartel). Ahead of tomorrow's hearings on various Fed transparency initiatives, Rep. Elijah Cummings is calling for a complete tear down of the existing Fed structure, and demands an overhaul to the "minimal accountability" that the Fed issubject to courtesy of the current Wall Street perpetuated ( and lobbied) status quo.
We have gotten to a point where each country is trying to talk down its own economy in a pursuit of having the worst (DXY constituent) currency. Yesterday it was Bernanke warning about future growth prospects, last night it was Japan, and today it is Goldman Sachs, which is claiming that the economy is really worse than expected. What is the point of all this rhetoric: simple. In the current stock market bubble where the only driving force is the strength, or rather, weakness, of any given underlying currency (read- dollar), and where inflation and deflation pressures are inverted, such that a weak dollar would cause a market melt up, and thus, inflation spillover from overpriced stocks into commodities and other products, the only way to stimulate inflation is to posture having the weakest economy. Whether that is in fact "weakest" or merely most debt-laden, with worthless CRE, housing and other 'assets' serving as collateral on bank balance sheets, we leave to much smarter analysts such as Dick Bove and Meredith Whitney.
The updated Goldman Sachs 13F is out. With 10,244 security holdings, amounting to $180 billion in gross exposure, split among 7 institutional investment managers (Goldman Sachs & Co; Goldman Sachs Asset Management; Goldman Sachs International; Goldman Sachs AG; Goldman Sachs Execution and Clearing; The Ayco Company; Goldman Sachs Trust Company), it presents an interesting picture of Goldman's core equity positions. The bulk of the security holdings are held at GS & Co. ($94.5 billion of market value), followed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management ($80 billion of market value). Furthermore, Goldman breaks down holdings based on value of Calls and Puts, in addition to underlying stock.
As we pointed out recently, excess reserves at banking institutions have hit yet another all time record over $1 trillion, courtesy not just of the Fed's burgeoning reliquification efforts via direct asset purchases, but also due to its strategy to wind down the SFP program, and keep the Federal debt level under the legal cap, thereby providing even more liquidity to banks, to the tune of$185 billion. Yet if you thought that this inability to pass liquidity over into the broader currency pool was something to be concerned about (you know, that whole lending to consumers thing), you were wrong. Or so claims Goldman Sachs in this extended expose on why central planning is in fact good for Communist America. Also, for anyone who still doesn't understand how modern Fed-subsidized cash hoarding works, this primer should explain it all.
Guest Post: I Apologize to David Viniar and Goldman’s Lawyers and Call for More Regulation of Goldman SachsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/05/2009 16:07 -0400
"Goldman needs competent regulation and more of it. Among other things, Goldman’s credit
derivatives should be cleared on the exchanges. Citadel’s CEO Kenneth Griffin commented
recently in the Financial Times that Lehman’s collapse caused little disruption in the exchange traded markets. But unregulated credit default swaps and non?cleared interest rate swaps “triggered chaos in the market.” I join Mr. Griffin in saying “regulators must implement central clearing and put the integrity of the capital markets ahead of the profits of a self?interested few.” - Janet Tavakoli
"The public wanted to know if Goldman Sachs was one of AIG’s large credit derivatives counterparties, since it was involved in the bailout negotiations. In September 2008, AIG’s fresh credit rating downgrade (from AA to A) triggered a clause, requiring it to provide 100% collateral for many of its CDS contracts. It meant AIG had to quickly come up with tens of billions for some of its counterparties, and it was unable to do it. It was in that context that David Viniar made his remarks on September 16, 2008. Viniar’s remarks obscured the fact that Goldman was not disinterested. Goldman’s board first learned of its ongoing collateral dispute with AIG in November 2007, and Goldman bought protection against the possibility that AIG would fail." - Janet Tavakoli
An interesting report coming from McClatchy, concerning Goldman Sachs bets on the housing crash.
Give me a G... Goldman Sachs announced today that it plans to cut the rescue loan arranged for CIT Group by $875 million, to just $2.125 billion.
Mark the last 3 days down. Yet another classic. Goldman lowballs the GDP and panicked deflationists sell anything and everything "risk" related and pile into dollars and Treasuries. Then the "inflated" GDP is released, and suddenly risk assets of every race, gender, stripe, color, and ethnic origin are once again embraced.
Tavakoli on AIG Swaps: "There’s No Way They Should Have Paid at Par. AIG Was Basically Bankrupt", and Goldman Sachs CFO Lied About AIGSubmitted by George Washington on 10/27/2009 13:58 -0400
Janet Tavakoli with some more great quotes ...
"A decline in the value of the dollar is necessary in order compensate for the fact that the US economy will remain rather weak, will be a drag on the global economy. China will emerge as the motor replacing the US consumer and, of course, it’s a smaller motor because the Chinese economy is much smaller. So the world economy will have less of a motor, so it will move forward slower than it has in the last 25 years. But China will be the engine driving it forward and the US will be actually a drag that’s being pulled along through a gradual decline in the value of the dollar." - George Soros
"There is a sense that if you make money you are going to give. Making money, however, is different from stealing money. If you steal the money, you are not expected to give it to a charity my friends. If you steal the money we will take the money back from you, by way of the government, and put you in jail. The American taxpayer in fact has given trillions of dollars, billions directly to Goldman Sachs so that Goldman can use the taxpayer subsidy to play a parlor game and pay themselves record bonuses." - Dylan Ratigan
The following post is a revision of an article I wrote for my blog. The topic is the similarities between the leap of faith that investors took when they gave their money to Bernie Madoff and the leap of faith required of those who currently own and buy shares of Goldman Sachs. Upon some reflection, there are a number of interesting parallels. The data does not include the most recent earnings report, but given another incredible performance this quarter I thought the commentary was still very relevant.