Comments on: Goldman’s image problem A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Uncle Billy Cunctator Wed, 07 Oct 2009 04:11:27 +0000 K: Doubtfull. His big article was probably meant to be a “limited hangout,” that hands us a villain and takes the heat of the bigger villains.

Btw… Felix, did you know that “squid” was Italian slang for mafia?

By: K Wed, 07 Oct 2009 03:43:41 +0000 A screed? Taibbi’s piece is not a screed, it’s a bit of truth-telling. God bless him, I hope he is only warming up.

By: Uncle Billy Cunctator Wed, 07 Oct 2009 02:07:49 +0000 Dan, that’s the PR version of Warren Buffett.

The key to this entire global scam was being the arbiter of value. This is his secret, not being an avuncular old owl with a penchant for burgers and coke. Plus he’s made the right friends.

You want evil? Enter the world of Buffett & Matty Maroun (used to be Central Trucking. Now “Centra” I think. Matty was good buddies with Jimmy Hoffa and reportedly helped him build up the unions. Check out the history of the Ambassador Bridge and environs. Is the picture getting clearer?

Read his Wikipedia entry with an eye for tobacco companies and Darfur.

By: Dan Tue, 06 Oct 2009 19:40:32 +0000 Uncle Billy — Berkshire’s stake in Moody’s goes back a generation. Buffett has described his investmest philosophy as ‘lethargy bordering on sloth.’ In this case, the man was well into realm of sloth, as he would surely admit. Maybe not willful evil, but one of the seven deadly sins nonetheless!

By: Uncle Billy Cunctator Tue, 06 Oct 2009 16:20:11 +0000 Berkshire owned 20% of Moody’s (reduced to “only” 17% recently).

Moody’s is one of the chief enablers of our little predicament. Ratings… the raters seem to have had a some trifling involvement with a global meltdown. Let’s concentrate on what they *do* rather than what they say, yes?

By: Dan Tue, 06 Oct 2009 05:04:35 +0000 With Goldman’s size, market expertise and influence should come statesmanship and concern for the economy as a whole and a willingness to help provide leadership, even if it means leaving something on the table.

Here’s what I see from some of the other successful financial leaders that just isn’t happening with Goldman.

Pimco — Tips hand constantly with many forcasts on website and in print and broadcast media. This certainly gives it competition in its trades and may cost it some returns but this builds trust.
“Well, despite skeptics who are suspicious of ulterior motives, we at PIMCO keep very few secrets. I like to think of us as the Ohio State Buckeyes of yesteryear, boasting a well advertised “three yards and a cloud of dust” ”
(Bill Gross, Investment Outlook, 12/2005)

Berkshire Hathaway — Buffett’s herculean efforts to financially educate a world misinformed by efficient market hypothesis are well known. When he decides to buy, he commits for years and often decades, with nary a greater fool in his sights. While many in the financial world consider the spoils to be their well-deserved reward, he considers himself really lucky and arranges to give almost all of it back.

JP Morgan — Took leadership step of buying Bear Stearns and Wamu amid crisis. Admittedly the prices were good but was there a better offer? Goldman goes it alone and paranoia and insularity prevent moves like this. It is impossible to know in a weekend what such complex organizations are worth and substantially negative net worth was possible.

By: anonymous Mon, 05 Oct 2009 22:07:53 +0000 The FFIECs definition of an FHC states explicitly that an FHC is “required to sell any non-financial (commercial) businesses within ten years.” Furthermore, the law (12 U.S.C. § 1843(k)(4)(H)) creating FHCs states that the affiliate that holds the investment must do so as part of a bona fide merchant banking activity (e.g. profitable resale of shares).

While enforcement may have been lax over the last decade, it seems clear that Gramm Leach Bliley did not intend to allow financial holding companies to run commercial (i.e. non-financial) businesses either directly or indirectly. ELP/Institution%20Type%20Description.htm uscode12/usc_sec_12_00001843—-000-.html

By: framed Mon, 05 Oct 2009 19:39:55 +0000 Umm, correct me if I’m wrong, but the only push back offered by Goldman is that the $1B is the present value of the obligation and they may have to wait for a while to receive payment. I would assume they will be compensated for the time-value of this amount so what makes it not a windfall?

While not particularly giddy at the thought of another transfer of wealth from us to GS, the fault lies not with them, but with whatever lunkhead in the Treasury or at the Fed that either did not know of, or conveniently ignored, the clause allowing GS to step to the front of the line in bankruptcy and gave CIT a lifeline. So, by given GS the benefit of the doubt all that I’m left with is more data that the Treasury is full of incompetents or just enjoys making deals that are quite friendly to GS.

A suggested by Uncle Billy above, better PR is more about finding less transparently obvious lies than revealing truth.

By: Uncle Billy, Cunctator Mon, 05 Oct 2009 18:32:17 +0000 Well, the endgame becomes a little clearer in its murkiness when we realize that very few people and companies and government spokesclowns have any credibility.

Can you name anyone or anything, at this juncture, on which you can build a reasonably perfect trust?

Isn’t this a technique of war? Sew chaos and confusion? We’re getting clobbered. Who’s being groomed as the trustworthy one to lead us out of this mess? Either an unknown, or someone/something with an intact reputation. Is there anything or anyone out there that meets this criterion currently?

By: williambanzai7 Mon, 05 Oct 2009 18:01:22 +0000 You reap what you sow.