We hear the hideously unthinkable– layoffs at Goldman– are happening today. We have no other information*, other than that “the guy sitting next to me was crying.” Until someone coughs up something interesting, we’ll be watching Jiminy Glick clips (February is Jiminy Glick Month). We will begin with the following:
So who is on this list of 14 companies under investigation by the FBI for their involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis? The FBI apparently intends to keep us in suspense because they won’t give details. All we know is that they are looking into “allegations of fraud at various stages of the mortgage process, from companies that bundled the loans into securities to the banks that ended up holding them.”
So let’s recklessly speculate. Two companies that are sure to be on the list are Bear Stearns—which is already under investigation by federal prosecutors and the SEC—and Countrywide, which is both the biggest home loan lender and also facing an SEC inquiry. Goldman Sachs is very likely on the list. It was accused on the pages of the Sunday New York Times of misleading clients by packaging CDOs while shorting the mortgage market. We know that at least one Senator read the article and has been making a stink, and we know that federal investigators often get their leads by reading the paper. What’s more, Goldman Sachs has said that it is cooperating with an unnamed government agency.
Morgan Stanley has also admitted to cooperating with unnamed government authorities. At first, everyone assumed this was the SEC. But why wouldn’t they come out and say that? More likely they declined to name the agency out of fear that saying they were cooperating with the FBI would tar them with serious criminality—rather than the everyday Wall Street shenanigans implied by an SEC investigation.
So that gives us four good leads. Who else is
a cylon on the list? No doubt some additional mortgage companies and some home builders. Maybe the ratings agencies are also. Leave your guesses in the comments section below.
FBI Launches Subprime Probe [Wall Street Journal]
According to John Mack’s assistant (I kid, of course, though the tip was anonymous so it’s a fifty-fifty chance it could’ve come from her), Morgan Stanley’s population restructuring project will affect “more than just [the rumored] 1,000 brokers,” with cuts occurring in all departments but most heavily in IBD, and impacting 10-15% of total employees. But layoffs, these things happen all the time, and I don’t want to say I’m not beside myself with this news, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. Know what I am losing sleep over? Know what’s seriously cutting into my mid-morning nap schedule? Weighing on my mind? Distracting me from my Mark Haines fantasies? Infringing on my ability to stare off into space? This news (smut, rather) about Goldman Sachs—GOLDMAN SACHS—being forced into this pedestrian layoffs business. Cutting one person—VP, associate, analyst, trader, CEO, secretary, janitor—from Goldman Sachs is too many; according to Reuters, GS will be cutting a whopping 5 percent of its global workforce. I would like to know where the hell God, Goldman Sach’s co-pilot, is during all of this. What he could possibly be doing that’s more important than protecting his children. The only plausible explanation that I can come up with is that he was busy ghost writing this. If that happens to be the case, cool. It was worth it and “Who knows how many men unwittingly dropped their pants under the government’s watchful eye”? That was inspired my friend. Otherwise, we have a problem.
Wall Street, even Goldman, faces ’08 slowdown [Reuters]
What Happens in Men’s Room, Stays in Men’s Room [Bloomberg]
Goldman Sachs’s FLAGSHIP fund–i.e. the central showcase for the unbridled abnormal genius that is Goldman Sachs Asset Management– Global Alpha, lost more money last year than almost any other major hedge fund, according to Financial News. Maybe it’s a sign that I need to leave my job (or just get out more), but the fact that this highly prestigious investment bank has in its possession a hedge fund as shitty as GA, which started 2007 with $10 billion and posted a loss of 39 percent is endlessly amusing to me. ThinkEquity Global Alpha down almost 40%? Not that funny. Goldman Global Alpha down almost 40%? Hysterical. But then again, these are the same jokesters who brought you Global Equity Partners (worst performing global equity manager in the third quarter of last year, down 2.8 percent; not sure how badly they lost it in Q4, perhaps you do) and Global Equity Opportunities (don’t make me look it up), so hilarity was bound to ensue.
Anyway. I think we all know what time it is:
We like to think our time working for this e-rag has given us, if not company-supplied dental insurance, a strong stomach, able to withstand the most hideous, funky tasting spunk of news. But this truly makes us want to gag: Goldman employees getting shit bonuses. Makes you want to gag, too, doesn’t it? According the Post cost center employees at the Broad, expecting to receive 75 percent of their salary as bonus this year, got fifteen. On a day when I woke up specifically wondering if I should get out of bed or not, and more generally asking, what the hell am I doing with my life, this is not the kind of news I want to hear. When you can’t count on the lowest of Goldman Sachs workers—IT, back office, etc.—to at least be compensated on par with the senior executives at, I don’t know, Bear Stearns, what can you count on? Nothing. If I were born with normal functioning tear ducts, I’d probably be shedding a few right about now (rest assured that there’s an almost embarrassing amount of wet ones rolling down Carney’s face).
Goldman Sack-Cloth Bonuses [NYP]
Unfortunately for the Yankees’ obsessed boys at 85 Broad, it does not look like the Bronx Bombers will be playing in the “Goldman Sachs Stadium” anytime soon
Sorry to inform our loyal Goldman Sachs readers, but despite the impending opening of a new stadium for our beloved Yankees, the Yankee’s chief operating officer, Lonn Trost, is quoted as saying that the team “[will not] change the name of Yankee Stadium.” Perhaps George Steinbrenner, in his dementia-like state, failed to realize that Citi Group paid $800 million for the naming rights of the Mets Stadium. A price tag like that would certainly come in handy when in 2007 you pay Roger Clemens $1 million per game.
The naming rights, however, for the new Giants/Jets stadium is up for sale. The privilege for the naming of the stadium could easily top $1 billion. A mere drop in the bucket for Goldman. My intuition senses “Goldman Sachs Football Stadium”?
–Davey Bachs, DealBreaker Intern
How the Business of Corporate Naming Rights is Changing [Fox Business]
Remember the Craigslist guy from Monday? The one who made exactly $772,000 and was spending Christmas alone. The guy who sounded a bit too American Psycho-ish with his detailed description of his furniture and appliances? Mentioning “custom made oak dresser” and his “viking stove.” This one?
Well, guess what? You were right. It’s a fake. But it was so brilliantly faked that the author got dozens of responses from women interested in spending the holidays beneath his fifteen foot tall Christmas tree and other outsized objects he mentioned. The author, who writes at a blog called Cajun Boy In the City, has experimented with fake Craigslist in the past but seldom gets responses from women. Until now. Apparently, even bitter, self-centered materialistic guys can get teh attention with women as long as they’re hitting the right numbers and work for Goldman Sachs.
So now we’re going to send Bess out on a date with the Cajun Boy, as long as he agrees to spend the evening in character.
my holiday gift to you: “fancy being lavished during the holidays?” [Cajun Boy In The City]