Afternoon Links 10-28

October 28, 2009

Apollo shares plunge on government inquiry (Bloomberg) The for-profit education industry is shady in the extreme. Fully 86% of Apollo’s revenue comes from student loans financed by the government. It’s a great scam. Find a warm body that qualifies for federal student aid, and then sell ‘em as much education as they’re willing to borrow against. And when the government offers to increase aid, companies like Apollo (and private universities) just raise their prices, forcing students to take on more debt for the same education. In the end, its taxpayers that take the hit when student loans default…

Stressful jobs that pay badly (CNN, ht Rej) #2 has a funny anecdote.

Goldman’s lies of omission (Janet Tavikoli, ht Jesse)

Couple alive after car pins them to bed for almost an hour (CNN)

Extension of homebuyer tax credit not a done deal (CR)

A drop in the wrong bucket (David Leonhardt) Pandering to seniors.

Cell size and scale (Utah.edu) Ultracool. Zoom in slowly by scrolling to the right.

Schwarzenegger vetoes bill, sends message to Cali legislature (imgur)

Jaws (Telegraph) A larger predatory fish?? Wow.

Comments

Aw, mate, don’t worry about the sharks. In Queensland it’s the stingers (jellyfish) that are really deadly. And the saltwater crocs, of course.

Posted by dearieme | Report as abusive
 

Hi Rolfe. Great links as usual. I love how you mix in the bizarre and the humorous with the financial news.

But seriously dude. I’m a big fan of Janet Tavakoli. She is spot on when she calls David A. Viniar, Goldman’s CFO, a liar. She’s not the first to notice his flirtations with the truth.

Gretchen Morgenson, who deserves a 2nd Pulitzer Prize, pointed out the same misstatement by Viniar in her iconic piece on AIG’s demise written on September 27, 2008. That’s right – 2008. That groundbreaking article titled “Behind Insurer’s Crisis, Blind Eye to a Web of Risk” revealed the GS-AIG symbiotic relationship in amazing detail given that the bailout was just taking shape at the time.

Here’s a quote from her article which you’ll find familiar.

“Few knew of Goldman’s exposure to A.I.G. When the insurer’s flameout became public, David A. Viniar, Goldman’s chief financial officer, assured analysts on Sept. 16 that his firm’s exposure was “immaterial,” a view that the company reiterated in an interview.”

That’s right, she’s referring to the same Sept 16 earnings call that Tavakoli refers to. And Morgenson also highlights the use of the term “immaterial”.

It so happens that I wrote an article in my blog in March 2009 titled “Welcome to the Wall St. jungle” where I analyzed Morgenson’s article in light of the revelations that had come out at that time about the Fed bailout of AIG. I highlighted the passage from Morgenson above and added a comment of my own.

“Is the NYT calling GS’s CFO a liar?”

It’s nice to see someone with the credibility of Janet Tavakoli backing up my sentiments. My guess is that Viniar is so used to lying and getting away with it that it is just second nature to him. After all he has people like Rubin and Paulson ready to defend him.

I hope that this story gets some follow up. It’s truly frustrating to see all these revelations come to light and then nothing is done to go after the criminals.

You might also enjoy another article I wrote about Goldman Sachs back in September 2008 titled “”. It’s become popular enough that if you do a Google search for “goldman sachs criminals”, it is one of the top results. :)

 

Oops. I messed up that last link to my article. It should have been.

Goldman Sachs: Wall St. Gangstas

 

I had so much fun writing that comment about Janet Tavakoli, that I turned it into a post on my blog. I added pictures and even some video. I call it…

Goldman Sachs – liar, liar pants on fire!

Enjoy!

 

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