Department of Justice

sage-butter-roasted-turkey-with-cider-gravy-646There’s no rush. Read more »

Michael Lewis had this to say yesterday about Greg Smith’s criticisms of Goldman Sachs:1

None of this exactly came as news. The news was that a living, breathing Goldman employee had said it. There was also, between the lines, a fresh hope: Goldman had employed an idealist! For a decade!

That was pretty much my reaction to the Department of Justice’s curiously underwhelming complaint against S&P for misrating subprime-mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis. Wait: S&P got paid to rate deals, and wanted to rate more deals and get paid more, so it rated deals favorably? TELL ME MORE. But then it is enlivened by an occasional cameo from a quant truther whom you would not have expected to exist inside S&P. Like Executive H:

Or Senior Analyst C:

Haha what? You can tell that the DoJ is getting its analytical framework for this case from those quant truthers, but that framework is dumb. Read more »

You’re Getting Stiffed On Snacks

If someone were to tell you that on a comparative basis, you were getting lapped by government employees when it came to compensation and perks, you’d probably find that 1) downright offensive and 2) extremely hard to believe. Maybe you work at allegedly prestigious hedge fund or investment bank. Maybe they tell you that the food they stock in their pantry is the best you can find on the Street. Maybe they plied you with promises of the most delicious refreshments money can buy and maybe they even closed you on the state of the art trading floor fondue pot and men’s room barista. Maybe they thought you had you fooled about the opportunities elsewhere.

For those duking out the perks sections of a new contract, don’t let yourself be taken for a fool. Read more »

Are you a wealthy individual who hasn’t exactly paid taxes, per se, or as much as you should have, in quite some time? Did you do so via HSBC India, which set you up with some secret accounts? Did you think you were being pretty clever, not going with UBS, which would’ve been like sticking a sign on your back proclaiming “I owe the government millions in taxes and unpaid parking tickets”? The DOJ would like to let you know that time’s up, smart guy. Read more »

westche.jpgThat’s the most obvious interpretation of the news that Westchester Country ($116,916 median household income to a New York and United States average of $51,001 and $61,117 according to the 2000 census) agreed to build a slew of “affordable housing” in a settlement with the Department of Justice and HUD over Westchester’s supposed failure to enforce fair housing laws.
The Wall Street Journal is calling it a shot across the bow of other counties (they mean the wealthy ones though) and in particular jurisdictions growing fat (or just barely failing to starve) off government teats.
There’s no reason at all, when you think about it, that you shouldn’t be able to move into your new place in Scarsdale right after for filing for unemployment.

But Mr. Sims said the lawsuit had made clear that “there was a significant amount of racial segregation” in Westchester. He said studies showed that zip codes could increasingly serve as a predictor of life expectancy and illness. “It’s time to remove zip codes as a factor in the quality of life in America,” he said.

Indeed.
Wealthy Suburbs Accept Low-Income Homes [The Wall Street Journal]