Don't Bother Goldman Sachs's General Counsel With Your Silly Little Questions

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Greg Palm doesn't have time for them, nor does the NY Fed for employees trying perform the job they were hired for, alleges a lawsuit filed today.

Before she could formalize her findings, Segarra said, the senior New York Fed official who oversees Goldman pressured her to change them. When she refused, Segarra said she was called to a meeting where her bosses told her they no longer trusted her judgment. Her phone was confiscated, and security officers marched her out of the Fed’s fortress-like building in lower Manhattan, just 7 months after being hired. Today, Segarra filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the New York Fed in federal court in Manhattan seeking reinstatement and damages...

In April, Goldman assembled some of its senior executives for a meeting with regulators to discuss issues raised by documents it had provided. Segarra said she asked Silva to invite officials from the SEC, because of what she had learned about the El Paso-Kinder Morgan merger, which was awaiting approval by other government agencies. Segarra said she and a fellow examiner from New York state’s banking department had prepared 65 questions. But before the meeting, Silva told her she could only ask questions that did not concern the El Paso-Kinder Morgan merger, she said. Nonetheless, SEC officials brought it up. Goldman executives said they had no process to check the personal holdings of bankers like Steve Daniel for possible conflicts, according to notes Segarra took at the time. Asked by Segarra for Goldman’s definition of “conflicts,” the bank’s general counsel, Greg Palm, responded that it could be found in the dictionary, she said. As the Goldman examination moved up the Fed’s supervisory chain, Segarra said she began to get pushback. According to her lawsuit, a colleague told Segarra in May that Silva was considering taking the position that Goldman had an acceptable firm-wide conflict-of-interest policy. Segarra quickly sent an email to her bosses reminding them that wasn’t the case and that her team of risk specialists was preparing enforcement recommendations. In response, Kim sent an email saying Segarra was trying to “front-run the supervisory process.”

NY Fed Fired Examiner Who Took on Goldman [ProPublica]

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