Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs Gets A Presidential Pat On The Head

President Obama took a little trip to a Bay Area Wal-Mart on Friday to tell Goldman Sachs that it’s doing God’s work. But it already knew that. Read more »

The government wants to make sure that the Elect are remaining on a righteous path. Read more »

Looks like Jamie Dimon isn’t the only banker who isn’t reading Flash Boys. Read more »

Small Victories: Sergey Aleynikov Edition

Goldman Sachs does not have to pay the people trying, at its behest or otherwise, to put former programmer Sergey Aleynikov in jail (again). But it does have to pay to try to keep him out of jail. For now. Unless he does go to jail (again). Then all bets are off. Which is good for old Sergey (for now), because, as you might imagine, given the ordeal he’s been through, he’s broke. Read more »

Lloyd & Co. (don’t forget Gary!) are doing their part—and then some—to make regulators feel better about things. Read more »

Let Us Now Praise Goldman Sachs

Don’t hesitate to take your turn. Read more »

I can’t find the quote but I recently read someone arguing that you should never worry about anything you see on the news. By definition, the argument goes, horrible things that make the news are newsworthy, and they are newsworthy because they are rare, and so the odds of you dying in a terrorist attack, bridge collapse, Ebola outbreak, or anything else you see on TV are basically nil.

Financial news is endearing because it’s the opposite of that: it consists mostly of pointing at perfectly unexceptional market-standard practices that happen every day and saying “holy fuck, did everyone know about that? That’s messed up.” As Matthew Klein has said, “many things that are considered normal in finance look like fraud to almost everyone else,” so the vein is rich. Libor manipulation, Apple’s taxes, really take your pick. Or today’s Times article “Banks’ Lobbyists Help in Drafting Financial Bills”; my impression is that an article titled “Financial Bill Written Without Drafting Help From Banks’ Lobbyists” would, for sheer unlikeliness, be the financial-regulatory equivalent of a news report about terrorists blowing up a bridge using the Ebola virus.

Closest to my heart among these scandals of differing perceptions might be the “you built me a CDO designed to fail” cases. For starters: the fact that they come out of market-standard practices is reflected in the fact that pretty much every bank has one of them.1

But while every other bank seems to have come out of the CDO scandals with a reaction along the lines of “it’s a fair cop, here is a pile of money,” Goldman, who sort of originated the idea,2 has spent the last few years putting together increasingly convoluted committee structures and online animations to make sure it’ll never happen again, for some “it.” Here is the latest 26-page report on Goldman’s business standards improvement, and here is a genuinely delightful “lifecycle of a transaction” animation that I am tempted to replace with this: Read more »