Felix Salmon

Goldman’s scandal-prone board

It’s pretty clear now why Rajat Gupta stepped down from Goldman’s board of directors last month — the only question is why it took him so long. Galleon’s Raj Rajaratnam was charged back in October, along with McKinsey director Anil Kumar; Gupta was not only the former head of McKinsey but was and is a close friend and business associate of Rajaratnam:

Counterparties

John Gapper on the Magnetar Trade — FT

A purse that you can fill with wine — Damselesque

Cat learns how to use an iPad — YouTube

BofA now supports modifying mortgages in bankruptcy — HuffPo

Minimum bid for breakfast with Nouriel Roubini: $7,000 — CharityBuzz

The scandalous Lehman CME auction

It was one of the least transparent and most underpriced asset sales since the days of Russian privatizations. In the chaos of the immediate aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the CME Group auctioned off Lehman’s derivatives assets for less than half their value — handing a $1.2 billion windfall to Barclays, DRW Trading, and — you knew this was coming — Goldman Sachs.

The Greek debt spreadsheet

How fabulous is this spreadsheet? It allows you to take the official Greek assumptions of what’s going to happen with respect to its fiscal situation over the next few years, and replace them with anything you like.

How loan servicers milk the foreclosure-prevention program

If there’s one consistent villain in the tale of attempts to minimize home foreclosures, it’s the loan servicers. They lose paperwork, they foreclose on homes they have no right to foreclose on, they accept borrowers into modification programs while trying to foreclose on them at the same time, they deny borrowers a modification even when they shouldn’t, they’re impossible to get ahold of, their communication with borrowers is atrocious, they claim to be owed vastly more money than they actually are owed, and so on and so forth.

Blanche Lincoln’s excellent and doomed derivatives proposals

There’s a fair amount of confusion over the new derivatives legislation that Blanche Lincoln is planning to introduce tomorrow, and partly that’s because a lot of DC journalists don’t really grok the distinction between exchange clearing and exchange trading. (It’s a pretty recondite distinction, I hardly blame them.)

Counterparties

Sting like a bunny — Glendale News

Sorkin’s careless sloppiness suddenly becomes willful disingenuousness” — Salon

Questions answered on business blogging

I got an email this morning from a journalism student with a few questions; I thought if I was answering them I might as well do so on the blog, for anybody else interested.

Goldman reputation datapoint of the day

Roben Farzad, in his BusinessWeek cover story on Goldman Sachs, had to mention the reputation issue: