Comments on: Open questions about the Abacus deal http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/17/open-questions-about-the-abacus-deal/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: TinyOne http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/17/open-questions-about-the-abacus-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-13690 Mon, 19 Apr 2010 18:41:39 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3454#comment-13690 Do you find the substantial amount of information we do not know, as this list of questions indicates, incongruous with your other posts pronouncing goldman’s guilt?

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By: bidrec http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/17/open-questions-about-the-abacus-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-13689 Mon, 19 Apr 2010 18:34:49 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3454#comment-13689 2. I paraphrase, “…it seems natural that at some point the question would arise as to who wanted to [lay off risk by shorting] them.”

The SEC laid down the law, “At the start of the year, the SEC, the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York met with representatives of the Risk Management Association (RMA) and the Securities Industry Association (SIA). On the agenda was the issue of agent client disclosure. From the start, Les Nelson, managing director at Goldman Sachs and co-chair of the SIA’s securities lending division, knew that the regulators were serious.

“They basically gave the industry an ultimatum,” says Nelson. “Agents could either provide increased disclosure to the borrowers or agents would have to act as principal to every single trade with a borrower in the future. I think it took us about one second to make up our minds which route to follow.””

Resulting in,

“Under the Procedures, a broker-dealer may continue to negotiate and agree to securities loans with Agent Lenders without identifying at the time of the transaction the specific Principals involved. In addition, a broker-dealer may continue to book such transactions without reference to the underlying Principals (i.e., a broker-dealer may book a single contract for a borrowing of securities from the relevant Agent Lender, without identifying or separately booking transactions with each relevant Principal from whom securities are being borrowed).”

http://archives2.sifma.org/ald/documents  /A_-_Z_Guide_Documents/ALD_No-Action_Re quest.pdf p3

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By: bidrec http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/17/open-questions-about-the-abacus-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-13686 Mon, 19 Apr 2010 18:07:51 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3454#comment-13686 In response to point 2.: “The first question that a professional investor should always ask before making a trade is “who is on the other side of this trade, and why”.”

I suppose pension funds are not run by professional investors but they never know who is selling their holdings short. Indeed the beneficial owner is not the client for the lending agent. The custodian is: “To help our custody clients take advantage of these market opportunities and earn incremental revenue, J.P. Morgan will identify securities that are “trading special” and help [custodian] clients lend these specific securities [to short sellers]…”

http://tinyurl.com/y26xako

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By: bidrec http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/17/open-questions-about-the-abacus-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-13685 Mon, 19 Apr 2010 17:45:04 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3454#comment-13685 It is certainly standard practice when it involves the borrowing of securities from one party for the purposes of shorting those securities by another party.

“The Bank now proposes to act in the capacity of a “conduit lender” to provide additional return enhancements to its securities lending customers. Currently, the Bank’s customer chooses various potential borrowers from a list of usual borrowers. However, the customer may decide not to “approve” all of the borrowers on the list, resulting in some customers that will not permit their securities to be lent directly to certain borrowers. Yet, a certain borrower may desire to borrow securities that only may be found in accounts of customers that have not approved the borrower. To engage in the conduit lending services, the Bank would borrow the desired securities as principal from the customer that had declined to approve the borrower, and then on-lend those same securities as principal to the borrower.”

http://www.occ.treas.gov/law/int1026.pdf

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By: usignuolo http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/17/open-questions-about-the-abacus-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-13657 Mon, 19 Apr 2010 09:06:00 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3454#comment-13657 I still think there is a big question mark over ACAs role in all this. Did they really believe that Paulson wanted to go long and invest in all these dodgy housing stocks they were busy selecting with advice from Paulson I am not convinced they are the patsies they are being made out. But they can say they were just as taken in as their client as GS cannot reveal their real involvement without gainsaying its own claims that the deal was all above board.

Also GS seems to be claiming that playing off clients against each other in this way, with the non disclosure involved, is standard practice. Is it?

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By: petewarden http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/17/open-questions-about-the-abacus-deal/comment-page-1/#comment-13634 Sun, 18 Apr 2010 16:48:08 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3454#comment-13634 Have you seen Sam Antar’s thoughts on the SEC’s tactics?
http://whitecollarfraud.blogspot.com/201 0/04/did-clever-sec-bait-goldman-sachs-i nto.html

He’s the former CFO of Crazy Eddie who was successfully prosecuted by Richard E Simpson, who’s also the lead counsel in this action. His analysis gives me hope they might actually be serious about bringing Goldman Sachs to account on this.

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