"Twenty five years ago I quit a job on Wall Street to write a book about Wall Street. Since then, every year or so, UPS has delivered to me a book more or less like my own, written by some Wall Street insider and promising to blow the lid off the place, and reveal its inner workings, and so on. By now, you might think, this game should be over. The reading public would know all it needed to know about Wall Street, and the publishing industry would be forced to look to some other industry for shocking confessions from insiders. Somehow this isn't the case
Gold, Golden, Gilded, Glittering
- The Unexpected Double History Of Banking And The Art World
In fact, we have long entrusted the task of representing our ideas of value to members of two professions that might seem to have little in common: banking and art. And, in the last seven hundred years or so, it has happened more than once that visual and financial inventors have come up with strikingly similar representations. There is more than a shadow of resemblance between the purchase of the Hirst skull in 2007 and the mortgage-backed-securities debacle that made of Lehman Brothers in the following year one of the great public pictures of vanitas we’ve had. And, when you look further into these intersections, you often find that what is really at stake is a change in the way we feel and understand time. [more inside]
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.
New York Time Op-Ed. March 14th 2012:
TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. [more inside]
TARP is winding down...bring on the lawsuits.
Within the next week, the US government is set to sue a dozen banks for billions in losses caused by those banks' misrepresenting the risks of mortgage-backed securities. This is in addition to numerous State Attorneys General suing the banks for failing to reach an agreement in foreclosure abuses. Insurance giant AIG will also be suing BofA
to recoup losses over the mortgage bonds. BofA had also agreed to a settlement of $8.5 billion
to cover losses from soured mortgage debt issued through Countrywide. Deutsche Bank is suing WaMu
. Goldman Sachs already settled with the SEC for $500 million
for their fraud and have been sued by others
seeking to recover losses. [more inside]
Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?
"A whistleblower claims that over the past two decades, the agency has destroyed records of thousands of investigations, whitewashing the files of some of the nation's worst financial criminals."
Reuters reports that Goldman Sachs is storing aluminum in several warehouses outside Detroit
. Apparently not much aluminum is actually leaving
the warehouses. This may help explain the recent spike in the price of - any guesses? - aluminum. [more inside]
SEC sues Goldman Sachs for fraud
. GS has already come under fire for "betting against" financial products it was marketing, a practice that apparently helped it prosper from the real estate bubble but come out relatively unscathed. The SEC now says that one such product was designed specifically so that a Goldman business partner, Paulson & Company, could take a short position on it. Investors were apparently not advised of this fact. Goldman's stock was off more than 10% in the half hour following the announcement. [more inside]
"What happened here in Jefferson County would turn out to be the perfect metaphor for the peculiar alchemy of modern oligarchical capitalism: A mob of corrupt local officials and morally absent financiers got together to build a giant device that converted human shit into billions of dollars of profit for Wall Street" - "Looting Main Street
" Matt Taibbi takes an in-depth look into how finance, deregulation, corruption, synthetic rate swaps, and greed decimated Birmingham, AL. [more inside]
Meet financial advisor Mike Morgan
. He started an anti-Goldman Sachs website
to examine "what part Goldman Sachs and their executives played in the current Global Economic Crisis." The investment bank and its lawyers told him to cease and desist
. So Morgan sued Goldman
(pdf). The response has been overwhelming. Morgan is now organizing volunteers to go after the other banksters. Want to help? There's a webinar scheduled tonight