Not Sure What The Problem Is Here

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As if we didn’t live in a sick, fucked up enough city, where you can’t smoke in a bar, eat Trans fats or be rude to tourists, now people are saying that it’s no longer acceptable to mess with accounting so that actual losses plus paper gains equal a 79 percent increase in net income. Yes, the rules police has a problem with the fact that Goldman Sachs, because it is resourceful, was able to make (make money) money in the third quarter, when everyone else wrote down billions in losses, through trading profits that were unrealized and came from financial instruments whose value was determined by…Goldman. (“Goldman reaped huge gains within the level 3 pot in the third quarter. For example, it made a net gain of $2.94 billion from level 3 derivatives, financial instruments whose value is based on the value of underlying securities. And get this: $2.62 billion of that gain was unrealized.”)
A. What happened to Wall Street being a place that rewarded financial engineering and B. Incidentally, while walking home last evening I happened to pass Lloyd Blankfein outside his building, talking to a bunch of what I’m going to ballpark at ten years-old boys about what sounded like scooters. He was wearing a fleece vest, maybe an Old Navy Performance one, I don’t know. Let me ask you this—does that sound like the garb of a man who lie just to make a buck?
Questions arise about Goldman's blowout quarter [Fortune]

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David Viniar's Work Here Is Done

Back in 2009, Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar, whose face may not be as recognizable to you as that of Lloyd's but whose voice you've likely found just as if not more soothing each time you hear it during the firm's earnings calls, decided he was ready to move on after a three-plus decade long career with The Firm. Normally, that would have been just fine; people would have wished Viniar all the best as he happily waved good-bye to all his colleagues and friends from the gondola lift made of fluffy clouds and money that transports all Goldman Sachs executives to retirement. Unfortunately for DV, however, it was around the time that he started to think about leaving that Goldman hit some unfortunate rough patches that included "a civil fraud suit by the Securities and Exchange Commission over marketing of mortgage-related securities, a federal criminal probe on the same matter, and a civil suit brought by a hedge fund that bought a Goldman CDO." And while other higher-ups-- no names: Jon Winkelried-- would have thought nothing of abandoning Lloyd in his time of need or what kind of message it would have sent that a top official was calling it quits, David "Bones" Viniar is  a little more loyal than that. Lot more loyal in fact ("He's so loyal he's only going to do anything when the timing is appropriate," one person said at the time, adding that "David will do whatever the firm asks of him") and so he stayed. Stayed by Lloyd's side during his darkest hour. Stayed when the Goldman needed him most. And although some might have hoped he'd forget about wanting to leave; that he could be tricked into staying "just one more year" and another and another and another after that; that that good-bye he put on hold would stay on hold forever; that, if all else failed, Gary Cohn could put him in a sleeper hold with his legs...that good-bye has come. Goldman Sachs today announced that Harvey M. Schwartz, the global co-head of the Securities Division, will become Chief Financial Officer at the end of January 2013. After a distinguished 32 year career at the firm, including 12 years as the Chief Financial Officer, David Viniar has decided to retire and will join the Board of Directors as a non-independent director at that time. The firm expects to appoint additional independent directors to its board in the near term. David Viniar retiring as Goldman CFO [FT Alphaville] Related: David Viniar Stands By His Man