Harvey Pitt Loves Conflicts O' Interest


Harvey Pitt has been named deputy attorney general of Alabama where he will be investigating "short sellers and false rumors involving Colonial BancGroup, actions designed to drive down the institution's stock price." CNB apparently approached Pitt about the gig knowing that rumor mongering and wicked short selling are favorite topics of the erstwhile SEC chairman and current private citizen, which he believes are "serious problems...[that have] led to a whole host of additional problems in the marketplace." Pitt also hilariously noted that he has been contacted by other firms known by those in the know to be short-seller targets, but has thus far been rebuffed because they're self-conscious about having their asses tapped (sayeth Pitt: "They don't want it known that they are the targets of short sellers").
The P-man's compensation for the job has been disclosed but even if he's being paid in Lehman stock the whole thing sure to pay off in spades. The plan is prettay prettay genius--make up some stuff up based on speculation and hearsay about malicious shorts being responsible for CNB's horrific performance (the bank's stock lost 53 percent of its value this year), and then take the case study to Cox as evidence that the SEC really needs to extend now-defunct emergency rule to all financial companies which would mean KA-CHING for Pitt's newly formed RegSHO.com. RS is a web-based real-time electronic stock lending and location service that matches traders with available stocks that can be borrowed for short sales and offers immediate data on the short-sell market. Obviously the biz would be made exponentially more profitable if the SEC expands and extends the rule, practically forcing Pitt and Co to charge customers for both locating and pre-borrowing.
One error in Pitt's flawless money-making scheme, however, is the matter of his partner, John Tobacco. Anecdotal evidence shows that he's a bit of a Tim Sykes (please refer to the last comment on this thread).
Call Him Deputy Attorney General Pitt [NYT]
CEOs Launch Web Site To Protect Short Sellers: Firm Aids Compliance With SEC Naked-Sale Rules [Washington Post]


Know Your Chief Financial Officers: Harvey Schwartz

What do you know about soon-to-be Goldman Sachs CFO Harvey M. Schwartz? Probably not much, but luckily Bloomberg profiled the guy today and came back with a couple moderately amazing tidbits about longtime chief financial officer David Viniar's successor. Such as one, the fact that he likes his women with some gunshot wounds ("Schwartz...lives with Annie Hubbard, whom he met in 2003, a year after she was shot helping subdue a hostage-taker at an East Village bar") and two, to date he is the only known Goldman Sachs executive to play a role in a chick lit novel that went on to become a major motion picture (Jon Winkelried's cameo in The Notebook, which was left on the cutting room floor, sadly does not count). Schwartz and Hubbard make an appearance in the best-seller “Eat, Pray, Love,” where they’re credited with helping author Elizabeth Gilbert buy a house for a friend in Indonesia. “I sent out this e-mail to everybody that I knew, and I got an e-mail back from Annie saying that her boyfriend, Harvey, would like to contribute $10,000 to the cause,” Gilbert said in an interview. In addition to his generosity, shareholders will also be happy to hear that there's no risk of Schwartz pulling a Jimmy Cayne, i.e. working on his golf game in moments of minor to major crisis ("Jim Rothenberg, who plays with Schwartz about three times a year, said Schwartz’s high-teens golf handicap is a reassuring sign he’s not playing too much. 'I wouldn’t say Harvey’s a good golfer, which is a good thing if he’s going to be CFO of Goldman Sachs,' he said.") Schwartz Shrugged Off Black Monday In Rise To Goldman Sachs CFO [Bloomberg]