Dirty Gold in Goldman Sachs?
“Greed changed Goldman Sachs”
– A former Goldman Sachs’ partner
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
~ o ~
December 20, 2006
Goldman CEO’s $53.4M Bonus Breaks Record
By Vinnee Tong, AP Business Writer
Goldman Sachs Breaks Wall Street CEO Bonus Record,
Pays Blankfein $53.4M
NEW YORK (AP) — John Mack’s record for the biggest bonus ever paid to a Wall
Street CEO didn’t last even a week. It was smashed by the $53.4 million that
Goldman Sachs gave its chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein.
The bonanza for Blankfein included a cash bonus of $27.3 million, with the rest
paid in stock and options. He took the helm of the investment bank in June after
President Bush nominated Henry Paulson to be Treasury secretary.
The record payday, disclosed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in a filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, breaks the one set just last
Thursday when Morgan Stanley disclosed that it paid CEO Mack $40 million in
stock and options. Mack, who is 62, rejoined Morgan Stanley 18 months ago to turn
around the company after the ouster of Philip Purcell. Mack’s short-lived record
bested one set in 2005 by Goldman’s Paulson, who was given $38.3 million.
Other than Blankfein, 11 other senior Goldman executives as a group were granted
slightly more than $150 million in shares and stock options. The highest paid
among those were Gary Cohn and Jon Winkelried, who both hold the titles of
president and chief operating officer. They each received $25.6 million in shares
and options in 2006.
Any cash bonuses for the other executives were not mentioned in the filings.
The bonuses come after Goldman reported last week that it had earned the
highest yearly profit in the history of Wall Street. Net profit rose 70 percent to
$9.4 billion on revenue of $37.67 billion. Goldman and other firms have
benefitted from a surging market for takeovers and a strong stock market.
Goldman said last week it had set aside a total of $16.5 billion this year for
salaries, bonuses and benefits. On average, this would translate to $622,000 per
The bonuses come in a year in which Goldman shareholders have benefitted from a
rise of about 58 percent in the company’s share price, the strongest returns of
any Wall Street investment house.
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. have said they would pay
about $12 billion in compensation each. Lehman said last week it paid its chief
executive, Richard Fuld, $10.9 million in stock this year…
For more on commodities trading, GO TO > > > BP: Buzzards in the Pipelines
For more on Goldman Sachs, AIG, Coral Re, Marsh McLennan, Henry Kissinger, the
SEC, etc. …GO TO > > > Axis of Evil, Cooking the Insurance Books; Nests of the
November 29, 2006
SCUFFLES IN GOLDMAN SACHS
LONDON OFFICE FOYER
PAULSON CONFLICT OF INTEREST OVER
WANTA’S FUNDS LOOKS WORSE THAN EVER
By Christopher Story FRSA, Editor and Publisher, International Currency Review,
World Reports Limited, London and New York: www.worldreports.org.
~ ~ ~
Goldman Sachs, the giant financial corporation which is illegally holding on to
Ambassador Wanta’s $4.5 trillion Settlement funds as co-conspirators with the
US Treasury Secretary, its former CEO, Hank M. Paulson – appears to have a
problem paying its own office cleaners properly.
The Guardian, London, published a large picture today of scuffles and fisticuffs in
the foyer of the institution’s plush London offices in Fleet Street*.
The fighting in the foyer was part of a protest by about 20 office cleaners who
stormed the bank’s headquarters, trapping some of the wealthiest financiers in
The staff, from a cleaning firm called ISS, took their protest to the investment
firm’s premises because, believe it or not, Goldman owns a stake in the firm.
The cleaners, who work elsewhere in the City of London, are campaigning for an
increase in the London living wage of £7.05 an hour, compared to the low wage of
£5.35 they now receive. Their claim is supported by the Transport and General
The union, and the workers themselves, will no doubt be interested to learn, from
this posting, that Goldman Sachs continues illegally to hold $4.5 trillion of
financial resources that it does not own, that should have been paid out months ago
to Ambassador Leo Emil Wanta and his Virginia-based corporation, AmeriTrust
Groupe, Inc, as repeatedly explained on www.worldreports.org: see ARCHIVE.
The union and the cleaners they represent will also be interested to learn that
Goldman earns vast returns on this illegally retained fund, and that the huge
bonuses they will be paying out next month may form part of the overall
obfuscation of this ‘source of funds’.
City of London police were called to the bitter demonstrations in the Goldman
Sachs foyer, where financiers are expecting the huge bonuses to be paid to them
in December. A photographer from the Press Association (PA) was present at the
angry scuffles and fisticuffs, which can hardly have been welcomed by the
institution’s complacent and smooth public relations people.
Goldman responded pompously that it took ‘its responsibilities as a shareholder of
any company very seriously. And we also support responsible union representation
and the right for people to earn a living wage’.
If Goldman Sachs is so concerned to behave properly towards the employees of a
London cleaning company, why is it at the same time continuing to behave so
irresponsibly and illegally by holding on to $4.5 trillion of tagged funds earmarked
and belonging to Ambassador Leo Wanta?
Or does this institution suffer from a disease called DOUBLE STANDARDS – one
consequence of which could be that it may prefer to do the underhand thing until it
is forced to comply with the law and common decency and morality?
By being at the very least an accessory to the fact of Goldman Sachs’ illegal
retention of the $4.5 trillion fund, tagged in the name of Ambassador Leo Wanta
and his Virginia-based corporation, Mr Paulson is presiding over a glaring conflict
of interest, which probably has no parallel in financial history. His reputation,
and that of the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve, like the US dollar, is in
tatters – as he allows this irregular situation, abhored by the Rest of the World,
In fact, as the cleaners proclaimed on their placards: ‘GOLDMAN SUCKS’.
For more on Ambassador Leo Wanta, GO TO > > > The Antechamber
October 5, 2006
‘Goldman Sachs Effect’ hurts
U.S. defense against China
William Hawkins, The Examiner
WASHINGTON – A front-page article in the Sept. 25 issue of Defense News
reported that China has tried to blind U.S. satellites with high-powered lasers.
With sufficient power, lasers can blind electro-optical satellites or even interfere
with radar satellites.
Satellites have become critical to American military communications, surveillance
and targeting, and are at the heart of the strategy to transform the U.S. military
through net-centric warfare systems.
That China would seek to disrupt American capabilities should not be surprising,
given the number of hot spots in Asia and the Middle East where U.S. and Chinese
policies are at odds. There have been reports for many years that Beijing is
working on a variety of advanced weapons under the heading “assassin’s mace.” The
goal is to find ways to knock out Washington’s ability to act in a crisis.
What is disturbing is the lack of response from the Bush administration.
According to the Defense News report, “Pentagon officials, however, have kept
quiet about China’s efforts as part of a Bush administration policy to not anger
Beijing, which is a leading U.S. trading partner and seen as key to dealing
with North Korea and Iran. Even the Pentagon’s recent China report failed to
mention Beijing’s tests. Rather, after a contentious debate, the White House
directed the Pentagon to limit its concern to one line.”
The desire of the White House not to “anger” Beijing is an attitude apparently not
reciprocated in China, where there seems to be no fear of angering America by
testing weapons against U.S. targets. Who instills fear, and who shows fear, is a
measure of the real balance of power in a relationship.
Let’s call this the “Goldman Sachs Effect” after the international banking firm
that seems to have taken over White House China policy, even as it continues to
raise capital for Chinese industry and the regime.
Shortly after Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson became secretary of the
treasury, Robert Zoellick, deputy secretary of state and former U.S. trade
representative, took a high post at Goldman Sachs. President Bush’s chief of staff,
Josh Bolten, worked for Goldman Sachs in London. Goldman Sachs senior partner
Stephen Friedman briefly headed the National Economic Council before returning
to the firm.
This is not an entirely new situation. Robert Rubin, who was treasury secretary in
the Clinton administration, had been a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs.
The trade-off between commerce and security works against the United States on
both ends. It is well-known that Beijing manipulates the value of its currency by as
much as 40 percent to gain a competitive advantage against American firms.
Chinese officials claim that basing their currency on market values would cause
economic turmoil, harming China’s “fragile” banks and financial sector.
Paulson has embraced this explanation, and on his recent trip to Beijing said the
U.S. would be “patient.” He prevailed on Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and
Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to pull their bill levying sanctions on China for its currency
policy, so as to buy Beijing more time.
Yet, last May — while Paulson was still its CEO — Goldman Sachs invested $2.6
billion in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the country’s largest state-owned bank. According to a Sept. 28 report in the Wall Street Journal, “when
ICBC, as the bank is known, lists its shares on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock
markets next month, the value of Goldman’s stake could double based on current
demand for the offering.” Goldman Sachs was also a major underwriter for the
Bank of China’s June stock offering, which raised $11.2 billion. So much for
“fragile” Chinese banks!
Beijing has integrated its economic and security strategies within what it calls
“comprehensive national power.” There is no such unity in the United States,
because major banks and corporations are conducting their own private foreign
policies. They are willing to sacrifice the long-term security of the United States
for the chance to make a few extra bucks here and now. Thus they lobby for the
appeasement of Beijing in the hopes of avoiding any confrontations that might
interfere with trade or elevate security issues to the top of the policy agenda.
Chinese leaders are well aware of the “Goldman Sachs Effect” and are exploiting
it to the fullest. Beijing needs time to develop its military capabilities, and
continued American passivity is a critical factor in their strategic plans.
William Hawkins is senior fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council in
July 10, 2006
From the U.S. Treasury Dept. website:
Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Secretary of the Treasury
~ ~ ~
President George W. Bush nominated Henry M. Paulson, Jr. to be the 74th
Secretary of the Treasury on June 19, 2006.
The United States Senate unanimously confirmed Paulson to the position on June
28, 2006 and he was sworn into office on July 10, 2006 by Supreme Court Chief
Justice John Roberts.
As Treasury Secretary, Paulson is the President’s leading policy advisor on a broad
range of domestic and international economic issues.
Before coming to Treasury, Paulson was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Goldman Sachs. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1974 in the Chicago Office and
became a partner in 1982….
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Paulson was a member of the White House
Domestic Council, serving as Staff Assistant to the President from 1972 to 1973,
and as Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon
from 1970 to 1972.
Paulson graduated from Dartmouth in 1968, where he was a member of Phi Beta
Kappa and All Ivy, All East, and honorable mention All American for football. He
received an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1970. He and his wife, Wendy, have two
children, Amanda and Merritt.
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY, MR. SECRETARY!
July 4, 2006
Goldman Gives Ex-Chief
$18.7 Million Bonus
The incoming Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., was awarded an $18.7
million cash bonus for half a year of work as the chief executive of the Goldman
Sachs Group, the company said yesterday.
In its quarterly report, Goldman said the compensation committee of its board
approved the payment on June 29 in recognition of Mr. Paulson’s leadership for
the six months ended in May, when profit doubled to $4.79 billion.
Goldman also agreed to buy, for an undisclosed price, stakes owned by Mr. Paulson
and his wife in private investmentfunds it manages. A spokesman for the
investment bank declined to elaborate on the filing….
Goldman’s first-half results benefited from soaring trading revenue and higher
underwriting and merger advisory fees.
Last Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Mr. Paulson, 60, for the Treasury post,
succeeding John W. Snow. No date for Mr. Paulson’s swearing-in has been set.
Mr. Paulson resigned from Goldman after seven years as its chairman and chief
executive. Lloyd C. Blankfein, who had been chief operating officer, succeeded
Goldman filed with regulators last Thursday for a sale of Mr. Paulson’s 3.23 million
common shares, worth $491.6 million based on that day’s closing price.
It said Mr. Paulson also owned restricted stock worth $75.2 million, plus options
to buy 680,474 shares. His holdings were equal to 1.02 percent of Goldman’s
common shares, the investment bank said.
Goldman awarded Mr. Paulson about $38.8 million of compensation for its 2005
fiscal year, mainly in restricted stock, making him Wall Street’s highest-paid
< < < FLASHBACK < < <
February 1, 2004
Goldman’s CEO Strikes Gold
Despite Firm Fraud
CBS MarketWatch reports that Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO, Henry Paulson,
received a $20.8 million restricted stock bonus compared to a $2.6 million bonus
the year before.
For a company that is receiving subpoenas for mutual fund trading abuses, recently
agreed to pay $45.5 million for floor special abuses and recently received notice
from he NASD that it violated NASD and federal security laws, I can’t
understand why the CEO would deserve a bonus at all.
CBS also mentioned that former Goldman Sachs president and CEO John Thain,
who now serves as the NYSE CEO, received $20.1 million. 02:11 PM
June 2, 2006
Goldman says to name Blankfein as top boss
Board says move will take effect after
Paulson confirmed for Treasury post
NEW YORK – The board of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. announced Friday that it
intends to elect Lloyd C. Blankfein as its next chairman and chief executive
officer after the investment banking company’s current head, Henry M. Paulson
Jr., moves to the U.S. Treasury.
The board said in a statement that the election of Blankfein, who is 52, will occur
after Paulson is confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the Treasury post.
Paulson, 60, was selected Tuesday by President Bush as the next Treasury
secretary. He will succeed John Snow, the former head of CSX Corp., who
indicated he wanted to return to the private sector.
Goldman Sachs, which is headquartered in New York, is a leading global investment
banking, securities and investment management company.
Blankfein has been its president and chief operating officer since January 2004
and a director since April 2003, Goldman Sachs said.
He has been an executive at the company since 1994, when he was head of the
currency and commodities division. He later advanced to the rank of vice chairman
with responsibility for fixed income, currency and commodities as well as the
Blankfein is not on the board of any public company other than Goldman Sachs, his
corporate biography says.
He does have associations with nonprofit groups, including as a trustee of the New
York Historical Society and an overseer of the Weill Medical College of Cornell
University. He is also a director of the Partnership for New York City and a
director of The Robin Hood Foundation.
Founded in 1869, Goldman Sachs is one of the oldest and largest investment
banking companies with offices in New York, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong
and other major cities.
May 30, 2006
Ethics Group Criticizes Henry Paulson
Nomination for Treasury
Cites Nature Conservancy Conflict of Interest
and Fannie Mae Fraud
WASHINGTON, U.S. Newswire — Peter Flaherty, resident of the National Legal
and Policy Center (NLPC), criticized the expected nomination today of Goldman
Sachs CEO Henry Paulson as Treasury Secretary. NLPC was the sponsor of a
shareholder proposal at the Goldman Sachs annual meeting on March 31. The
proposal, which generated significant media attention, asked for a report on
Paulson’s apparent conflict of interest in chairing both Goldman and the Nature
In November 2005, Goldman Sachs adopted an “Environmental Policy” that closely
parallels the Nature Conservancy agenda on key issues like global warming.
Moreover, Paulson’s son Merritt is a trustee of a Nature Conservancy-related
group that was the recipient of a Goldman Sachs donation in the form of a tract
of land totaling 680,000 acres in Chile.
In his remarks at the annual meeting, Flaherty also noted that the Nature
Conservancy has been mired in scandal in recent years, as detailed in a Washington
Post series and in Senate hearings. The group sold ecologically sensitive land at a
discount to its own trustees on which they built multi-million-dollar vacation
homes, and structured land donations so wealthy donors could improperly
receive tax breaks.
Goldman’s defense, delivered at the meeting by John H. Bryan, chairman of the
Goldman Governance Committee, was essentially that the Goldman board reviewed
the environmental policy and the Chilean land deal and approved them. Bryan
specifically denied that the Nature Conservancy was involved at all in the land deal.
According to the Nature Conservancy tax return, however, it was paid a consulting
fee of $144,000 by Goldman for assistance on the land deal.
In an April 4 opinion article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Green-Nosing,”
business writer Judith Dobrzynski wrote, “It’s ludicrous to suggest that
Goldman’s board acted alone, as if directors didn’t know of Mr. Paulson’s
involvement with the conservancy or his advocacy of environmental causes.”
Flaherty said, “There remain unanswered questions about Paulson’s personal and
business ethics. At Goldman Sachs, Paulson promoted his own personal interests at
the expense of shareholders. As Treasury Secretary, will he promote the public
interest, or his own?”
Flaherty also cited Goldman Sachs’ role in the Fannie Mae scandal. According to
last week’s report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight
(OFHEO), Fannie Mae managers engaged in a series of questionable transactions,
including two with Goldman Sachs, which improperly pushed $107 million of Fannie
Mae earnings into future years. The goal was to rig the company’s books to make
it appear that the company had reached earnings targets triggering the maximum
possible payout for executives including Franklin Raines.
Steve Milloy of Action Fund Management, LLC, an investment adviser to the Free
Enterprise Action Fund, who also raised questions at the Goldman Sachs annual
meeting, reacted to the nomination by saying, “Paulson was CEO of Goldman when
the fraudulent Fannie Mae transactions occurred. With all the corporate scandals,
is Paulson the right person to now head Treasury?”…
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) promotes ethics in public life.
May 30, 2006
WALL STREET’S POLITICAL MEDICIS
President Bush today chose for his new treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.,
chief executive of Goldman Sachs. The investment banking firm is very active
politically, primarily (but not exclusively) on behalf of Democrats.
Former Goldman Sachs executives who entered politics have included Robert Rubin
(treasury secretary to Bill Clinton), Jon Corzine (New Jersey senator and now
governor), Josh Bolten (Bush White House chief of staff), and Stephen Friedman
(former chief of Bush’s National Economic Council).
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit that crunches data
from the Federal Election Commission and other sources, Goldman Sachs has, in
individual contributions by its members, PAC contributions, and “soft money”
contributions to political parties, given nearly $23 million to political candidates
for federal office since 1989.
In case you’re wondering, that’s quite a lot.
The charts on this and the three succeeding pages are from the Center for
Responsive Politics’ Web site, opensecrets.org….
Catbird Note: Of particular interest to some bird watchers, Goldman Sachs is
shown as giving $52,000 to Barack Obama for his 2004 Congressional race.
September 4, 2005
Cash payoffs, bonds and murder
linked to White House 911 finance
Documents point to attack on America
by White House crime families
by Tom Flocco, www.tomflocco.com
Sioux City, Iowa – According to leaked documents from an intelligence file
obtained through a military source in the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), on
or about September 12, 1991 non-performing and unauthorized gold-backed debt
instruments were used to purchase ten-year “Brady” bonds. The bonds in turn
were illegally employed as collateral to borrow $240 billion–120 in Japanese Yen
and 120 in Deutsch Marks–exchanged for U.S. currency under false pretenses; or
counterfeit and unlawful conversion of collateral against which an unlimited amount
of money could be created in derivatives and debt instruments.
The illegal transactions are also linked to the murder of a U.S. Army colonel
charged with overseeing approximately 175 secret CIA bank accounts, according to
the officer’s wife, Mrs. V. K. Durham. During multiple interviews, Durham told
TomFlocco.com that Bush 41 and Clinton administration officials visited her
husband Colonel Russell Hermann several times in the months prior to and three
days before his torture and murder on August 29, 1994.
Durham told us the $240 billion in stolen currency was obtained resulting from
George H. W. Bush’s presidential abuse of power, when he authorized former
Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady and former Secretary of State James Baker
III to make fraudulent use of the Durham Family Trust collateral without her
permission. There is evidence that Colonel Hermann’s and V. K. Durham’s
signatures were forged on a Goldman-Sachs bank account certification
requesting the conversions to U.S. currency.
The money was never repaid since the ten-year Brady bonds–purchased before
September 13, 1991 using the fraudulent collateral and gold bullion as security
came due on September 12, 2001—the day after the 9.11 attacks, having
allegedly been underwritten and held by the trustee, Cantor-Fitzgerald bond
brokerage firm [whose offices on floors 101-105 in the North Tower of the World
Trade Center (WTC) were destroyed on 9.11 along with the Brady bond evidence].
Three days before his suspicious death, Colonel Hermann told his wife that former
President George H. W. Bush, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and U.S.
Marine Colonel Oliver North (pardoned by Bush Sr. two years earlier for his
Iran contra indictments when Bush Sr. was also facing indictments for his role
in Iran contra) all passed V. K. Durham coming up in an adjacent elevator after
all three had left Hermann’s room and gone down in another elevator at the
Veterans Administration Health Care Center in Marion, Illinois.
Hermann had been probing Bush 41 and Clinton links to narcotics money
laundering, according to his wife.
Durham told us that Colonel Hermann told her “Bush, Greenspan and North were
trying to get me to sign off on the CI Ltd., the Central Intelligence, Ltd., Iran and
Latin American contra accounts. They held about $13-17 billion in physical gold.”
This, raising questions about an evidence trail for a grand jury to seek restoration
of funds potentially stolen by high government officials from United States
Misused collateral = gold security = bogus bonds =
$240 billion stolen currency
Evidence indicates that on August 19, 1991, John D’ Aquisto of DFG Inc. mailed
Federal Express packages to United States Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan
Greenspan and Bush 41 Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady to communicate
details of currency exchange transactions which ultimately led to multiple
allegations of bank fraud involving billions of dollars, according to V. K. Durham. It
is not known whether this cash was laundered into the Philippines and then used
for the “family,” referred to in the Wanta-Cheney memo.
The FedEx receipts show contact between Greenspan, Brady and John D’ Aquisto
and given the bank fraud links, Greenspan’s visit to Russell Hermann and the close
proximity of the transactions to September 11, Durham says prosecutors should
interrogate the three about their knowledge of improper banking activities which
could be linked to the North Tower attacks at Cantor-Fitzgerald and the Pentagon
impact reportedly involving the ONI on September 11–witnesses for a grand jury,
should an official entity decide to prosecute mass murder on behalf of U.S.
According to Stewart Webb, Nevada Secretary of State Frankie Sue Del Papa, a
Bush shadow government player, participated as a co-conspirator to obstruct
justice, intentionally switching forged documents pertaining to registrations and
filings of corporations involving Bush 41 and Leonard Millman. One of the
corporations connected to the gold-backed Brady bonds above was Cosmos
Corporation of Nevada–one of several Cosmos corporations.
Robert D. Hammond, Vice President of the Securities Sales Department, Goldman
Sachs & Co., wrote to John D’ Aquisto and DFG, Inc. on August 7, 1991, certifying
that DFG had an account with Goldman, number 027-02082-2; however, the
letter’s notary seal contained the forged signatures of both V. K. Durham and her
husband, Colonel Russell Hermann [ Durham initialed and attested to the alleged
bank fraud directly on the notarized document, indicating the signatures Goldman
sent to D’ Aquisto were forgeries ]:
“Please be advised that if DFG wishes to engage in foreign currency transactions,
Goldman Sachs has extensive capabilities in this area. For instance, upon receipt
of approximately 700 million Japanese yen into the above account, Goldman could
convert such funds into approximately $5 million U.S. dollars.”
D’ Aquisto also complained about more alleged bank fraud by Goldman Sachs in a
letter to Phil Roberts in the Bank Fraud Division at the U. S. Department of the
Treasury, written on September 10, 1991, regarding suspect banking procedures
wherein “funds were reversed and withdrawn from our account without our
In another letter on September 10, 1991 to Karl Ehm, D’ Aquisto and Russell
Hermann asked “did you receive the return of $5,117,280.00 back from Goldman-Sachs?” The letter also indicated “no zero balance shown after the activity
summary,” providing no evidence that $5+ million was withdrawn just minutes after
it was deposited while showing that the money was still in the account.
The letter specifically referred to a partial Japanese Yen transfer which took
place at Goldman’s Los Angeles office prior to the September 13, 1991 ten-year
contract. The transaction in California provides potential U.S. jurisdiction and
venue for another citizen grand jury should obstruction of justice continue in New
York City where Spitzer and Morgenthau refuse to probe the suspect $240 billion
dollar financial transaction which came due at Cantor-Fitzgerald two days after
the 9.11 attacks:
“On September 10, 1991 we received our August 1st-August 31 statement from
Goldman…On the statement enclosed you will see that the Japanese Yen went to
Mitsui Bank of Tokyo, which is Goldman Sachs’ correspondent bank. The monies
were then credited to the account and exchanged and deposited, U.S.D. equivalent
at the rate of exchange. That part of the transaction was perfectly normal.”
“What happened next is what concerns me. On August 7, 1991, the funds were
reversed and withdrawn from our account without our permission! There is no
reference to the whereabouts, or disclosure of the whereabouts of this money, or
of the receipt of acknowledgment that this transaction even took place.”
“As an ex-banker of 16 years, I feel that my rights have been violated to the
highest degree, and the laws of the United States have been broken. I think you
would call this bank fraud? According to Goldman Sachs, this was probably a
clerical error on their part. I find it hard to believe that a company such as
Goldman Sachs would be so negligent as to make a $5,117,280.00 “clerical
error….you can call me at our other company Ariel Life Systems Inc., a
government contracted corporation with the National Aeronautics and Space
According to two witnesses, Greenberg-Traurig is allegedly tied to suspect legal
entanglements surrounding the challenge for control of New Hampshire 9.11 widow
Ellen Mariani’s estate and her husband Neil’s death on September 11. Mariani’s
litigation in New York and New Hampshire against President Bush and other top
officials seeking court-ordered discovery about White House involvement in the
attacks and obstruction of justice by members of Congress was blocked due to
complications surrounding the challenge for control of her husband’s estate.
Norman Brownstein was a former Director and the current corporate attorney for
the late Leonard Millman’s MDC Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Silverado
Savings and Loan Association where President George W. Bush’s brother Neil was
a Director of the failed institution which cost American taxpayers at least $50
Webb revealed he has evidence that proves Silverado laundered $12 trillion
dollars in narcotics money during the time period that President Bush’s brother
Neil was on the board of directors of the failed bank organization.
According to Leonard Millman’s ex-son-in-law Stewart Webb, $2.6 billion in
Mena, Arkansas/Iran contra drug money was laundered through the Rose Law
firm [where New York Senator Hillary Clinton was a partner] into Millman’s failed
M&L Business Machines Company of Denver.
Webb alleged that his documented evidence and first-hand witnesses prove that
Hank Greenberg, Leonard Millman and Meyer Blinder were all involved in massive
securities fraud involving National Brokerage Group of Companies, and its Stinger
Securities, Coral Gables Securities and others that allegedly milked American
investors for billions of dollars during the 1980s. This, while Webb also alleged
that Hank Greenberg was involved in re-insurance fraud loans with Millman’s
National Acceptance Company which owned First National Acceptance Company,
both of which own Bank of America, with the first two being financially connected
Attorney General Spitzer is in possession of part of the above evidence relating to
Leonard Millman’s links to $6 trillion in American pension fund fraud; moreover,
Webb told us that former Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr–who the
whistleblower said obstructed justice in his investigation of Clinton/Bush-linked
narcotics money laundering–had lunch with Mr. Spitzer a few weeks ago, raising
additional questions regarding obstruction of justice for a grand jury with
Webb alleges that drug money was laundered by Millman into Hank Greenberg’s
AIG and other Wall Street accounts by Gwendolyn Waymark of the Waymark
Group and also the Foundations Group–which the Cheney memo above links to
boxes of cash moved from the Philippines and tied to both the recently deceased
Millman and George H. W. Bush.
The Foundations Group’s laundered drug money paid for a group of 9.11 terrorists
secretly headed by the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) Gary Best–one of the
former Iran contra shadow government players–according to Webb.
Most shockingly, Webb alleges that “ONI-CIA Marine officer Oliver North,
CIA-DIA agent Gary Best, CIA agent Terry Lynn Nichols and CIA contract
agent Timothy McVeigh were all paid through Waymark’s Foundations Group
funding arm–directly or indirectly.”
This raises the bar as to why the Vice President has not been subpoenaed when the
Wanta memo directly links Cheney, Dr. Rice (and by authority and the obligation
to act upon a financial terrorist threat– President Bush) to knowledge of the
Foundations Group in what appears to be United States covert black operations
involving financial terrorism and mass murder.
Webb told us, “this explosive evidence is why Eliot Spitzer and Robert
Morgenthau are obstructing justice to let AIG off the 9.11 hook in the “public”
part of their current and high-profile Wall Street probe. But it’s also why the
Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee members are obstructing justice and
committing treason by refusing to subpoena Cheney and other key intelligence
officials regarding their awareness of a “family” extending from the Philippines to
Europe and the United States–all with links to financing terrorism.”
A comprehensive grand jury investigation, with subpoenas, testimony and
interrogation by independent, a-political career prosecutors like Patrick Fitzgerald
could well blow the lid off 30+ years of illegal operations, financial terrorism,
9.11 mass murder, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Kennedy assassination and
pre-emptive war based upon lies–a lengthy pattern of illegal activities by a
succession of White House crime families, according to both Webb and V. K.
All this, tacitly endorsed by quietly complicit congressmen–either too frightened
to speak truth to power due to past small-plane assassinations or having been self-absorbed by pensions, perks and power to exercise their constitutional mandate to
protect the very citizenry which honors them with high office.
CIA banker’s strange death
Colonel Russell Hermann–a 53-year career military officer, had been conducting a
two-year internal investigation of President Clinton, White House counsel Vincent
Foster and protracted drug shipments into Mena, Arkansas; but Central
Intelligence would not let him retire since it was too expensive to train new
personnel and re-start the investigative trail, according to his wife “V.K.” who
witnessed the first attempt on her husband’s life from her front porch in 1993.
Durham told us “he traveled in a big black truck with tons of surveillance
equipment. I saw it, but he didn’t want me to come near it. He said ‘you don’t want
to know about this;‘ and as he put his arms around me and kissed the back of my
neck, he said ’we caught President [Clinton’s] man [Vince Foster] with Swiss bank
accounts, so now I can file my investigation reports, retire, and we can start living
a new life.’ “
“This was July 1, 1993. Vince Foster turned up dead on July 20 and my husband
Russell was murdered on August 29, 1994,” she said.
“The next day, while mowing his lawn on July 2, 1993, Russell was sprayed with
some type of poison gas–possibly sarin–from a passing vehicle. He took a few
steps and went down, bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose,” said Durham who had
married Hermann six years earlier on November 27, 1987.
“Russell had not finished his report on Clinton, Foster and the Mena, Arkansas drug
money laundering, she said, adding that her husband had cryptically told her, “If I
go to the hospital without that report being finished, I am a dead man.” This,
reminiscent of Michael Corleone’s “men are coming to kill my father” plea to a lone
nurse caring for the Godfather in an empty wing of a New York City hospital.
“There was no sign of an ambulance,” said Durham, “a 24 foot white box van with no
lettering or markings took Colonel Herman away and he was missing and
unaccounted for from 9:00 am till 10:00 pm at night. I found him the next day
through a phone call at my neighbors.”
“He was at St. Mary’s Hospital in Clayton, Missouri–in a wing all by himself,
strapped down to a bed with no life support system when I got to him, nothing,”
she said, adding “Russell was a U.S. intelligence officer–a full Colonel–and he
told me to ‘call my CWO2 [Chief Warrant Officer] and tell him to get my
mandatory two men in here to protect my life.”
Offering a warning to current CIA officers, Durham said “Russell told me they
strung him up on meat hooks on the way to the hospital–I saw the [warning:
graphic photos] hook marks under his collar bone: they beat him and burnt him
with cigarettes, broke his ribs, left hand and left arm, and shoved a cattle
prod into his rectum,” said the furious widow, making a clear point: “they’ll do it
again to any of the intelligence guys walking around now if they don’t do something
to stop these criminals.”
St. Mary’s hospital was described to us as some sort of secret military asylum–a
hospital of horrors, by Durham, who said “the hospital was filled with naval
officers and a woman named Ruth said ‘you have to sign these papers (4-inch
stack),’ and I asked ‘where are my husband’s records;’ she pulled them back and
shredded them right in front of me–all his military records–a full-bird U.S. Army
“When Ruth had her back to me, another woman slipped me a piece of paper of the
hours and medical log sheets with the hour Russell was taken to the hospital–helping to fix the hours of his torture and the fact that his ambulance
authorization had not even been signed,” she said, “proving he was tortured in the
back of that white truck–and this is the United Stated Veterans Administration!”
“Russell was kept there against his will after he recovered until November 17,
1993. One of the doctors, another friend of Russell’s and I saw Marine Colonel
Oliver North dressed in a white medical coat attempting to disguise himself while
visiting Russell’s hospital room on November 13 or 15, just before he was released
from the hospital.
Durham told us, “something was going on at that hospital. I saw a Navy Commander
strapped to a gurney–from Seal Beach…tied down. A female doctor was sitting
there with his wife and they were bartering over his body parts. I heard all this
with Russell’s doctor friend. The Commander was alive and strapped there, his eyes
looked terrified and his mouth was taped shut,” she said, offering “his wife walked
over to her husband and said ‘Now I’ll never have to know when you’re coming home
again.’ We inquired about him later and found that he had come up ‘missing.’ “
Still weak and declining from the first murder attempt on his front lawn, Colonel
Russell Hermann ended up at the Veterans Administration Health Care Center in
Marion, Illinois; and Durham told us “Hillary Clinton’s operatives, David Horowitz
and Karen Koffee came to meet with Russell, seeking money to underwrite the
National Healthcare Program she was pushing in 1994.”
“This was on July 20. Russell told me Clinton’s people said ‘you’re going to die
before very long and your wife will disappear and no one will know where she is,’
and both of them are accessories to murder as far as I am concerned,” said
Durham, as we listened in stunned silence.
“Russell was doing pretty well around August, 1994, and on Friday, August 26, he
said that George Bush Sr., Alan Greenspan and Oliver North came to see him in
his hospital room at the VA, and tried to get him to sign off on the Iran and Latin
America contra accounts so they could get control of them,” Durham told us,
adding, “but Russell told me he just reached down and grabbed a hand-full of
excrement from his hospital bowel and threw it at President Bush, saying ‘go to
hell.’ Then the three of them left the room as I was coming up the other elevator.”
“I was planning to take Russell home from the VA the following Monday, August
29–a couple days after Bush, Greenspan and North visited on Friday. I came in to
pick him up and he was dead,” she said, adding “the attending physician, Dr. Pettit,
refused to do an autopsy, even though Russell’s body was all red and he was given
8 or 9 injections on his hip and the base of his skull, and his back and body were as
red as fire–but his eyes were as clear as mine.”
“The coroner, Michael Vickery, took a number of photographs and told me ‘this
man was murdered,’ and I had been refused possession of his body for six days–from August 29 until September 5–after being told there was evidence that he
was frozen alive, she told us while still in stunned silence.
When we asked what happen next, Durham said “I found out the contra accounts
were moved from Republic Bank in Texas to Republic Bank in New York; I think
Teddy Lloyd was the banker in New York. I believe they knocked Russell out and I
thought he was dead. Then they moved him to the Guernsey Islands near England
and used his voice-activated and fingerprint codes to sign over control of the
$13-17 billion in gold that was in the accounts,” providing another paper trail for
recovery of missing funds from the U.S. Treasury–but also a public view into the
inner-working of intelligence bank account security.
V. K. Durham told us one of Russell’s men contacted her and said there had been a
government contract to take out the Colonel by either a Commander McDonough or
MacDonald, and that there are transcripts from the tape of his torture and
death, but she does not know where they are.
“Control files” blackmail congressional
and DOJ officials
Stewart Webb alleges that an important key to the “control” of the U.S. House
and Senate has been the use of blackmail via “Operation Brownstone,” led by
individuals he calls CIA shadow government players like Ted Gunderson, Harold
George Pinder and Clint Murchinson Jr. – setting up legislators for blackmail
through child pedophilia rings using both vulnerable male and female children from
orphanages all across the United States. This, according to scores of documents
Americans who are concerned about pedophilia, with near daily reports of
kidnappings or disappearances of young children who later turn up dead or fall
victim to Mexican, South American and Middle Eastern child sex slavery need only
start with the ongoing cover-up of pedophilia in the halls of Congress and the
White House. It’s still a hushed-up secret, waiting for irate parents and family
victims to march on Washington.
Other congressional blackmail was employed, according to Webb, by the late
Leonard Millman, New York Senator Hillary Clinton, Neil Bush and Florida Governor
Jeb Bush in an entity known as the MCRD-Boulder Properties Limited
Partnerships – financed by Silverado Savings & Loan; and Webb says this forced
dozens of current and former congressmen into bankruptcy, including high-profile
current New York Senator Charles Schumer. [Media Bypass, May, 2000]
Additional bribes and payoffs were affected through Millman’s cutout company,
Denver’s M&L Business Machines to David Mann, Asst. DOJ Inspector General,
who works under Lee Redneick, DOJ Inspector General, with money also paid to
Denver U.S. Attorney Mike Norton and Robert Pence, head of the FBI Denver
Illegal campaign money laundering involved Millman’s MDC holdings–fined by the
SEC in 1991 and covered up by former Colorado Attorney General Gail Norton, the
current Bush 43 Secretary of Interior, according to Webb. [ TIME, “Rush for
Gold–How Silverado Operated,” 8-14-1990, and TIME “Running With A Bad
Norman Philip Brownstein, a current Director of Denver’s Chubb Insurance
Company, allegedly owned by George H. W. Bush and Webb’s ex father-in-law, the
late Leonard Millman – through illegal trusts funded by laundered drug money
controlled by Brownstein – paid President Clinton’s legal fees and also paid off
Paula Jones in her sexual harassment suit against the President. Clinton’s personal
attorney, James M. Lyons–engulfed in the Whitewater scandal–sits on the board
of Millman’s MDC holdings.
All this, according to Webb’s documents and first-hand witnesses, but also Webb’s
grand jury demand–filed three times.
Webb told us as recently as August, 2004 in U.S. Federal Court in Denver [Case
No. 95-Y-107], Chief Judge Richard Matsch has continued to ignore and obstruct
his explosive evidence in a manner similar to when Matsch ruled in the Oklahoma
City bombing case.
Lastly, another illegal operation employed to “control” and pay off House and
Senate members was through Apartment Investment and Management Company
(AIMCO)–a real estate investment trust (REIT) currently run by former
Congressman Terry Considine and Bush 41 attorney Norman Brownstein.
Members of Congress have been bribed via the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) via Millman and Brownstein’s handing over hidden corporate
ownerships in AIMCO’s stolen HUD properties, the federal whistleblower has
According to Webb, AIMCO is the largest landlord of U.S. apartments–with units
that were stolen by Millman’s partner Phil Winn of Denver’s Winn Group, the focus
of the 1989 congressional “HUD Scandal “ investigation which led to Independent
Prosecutor Arlen Adams convicting Switzerland Ambassador Phil Winn and
others–but three months before leaving office, President Clinton pardoned Winn.
And congressmen continue to profit from money stolen from the taxpayers.
All this, as the voices of thousands of American boys cry out from their graves on
the bluffs above the Normandy beaches on the English Channel: “France!…now it’s
your turn to help America.”
Who will guard the guards?
Mary Schneider contributed additional research for this report.
[Mary was illegally fired by the Department of Homeland Security for her
whistleblower activity in the Orlando, FL Immigration office to protect America.
Rep. Ric Keller (R-8-FL) and Sen. Bill Nelson (R-FL) refused to help Mary even
after I flew to Florida and met personally with them….]
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 16:42:47 EDT
I would like to state the following.
eToys Fraud, Perjury, Failure to Disclose and Cover Up
The eToys shareholders and creditors have been deceived and are defrauded out
of opportunity and net return.
I am Laser Steven Haas the 100% owner of Collateral Logistics, Inc. (CLI) which
is the Court approved liquidation company by Federal Order in eToys. They were
going to sell all of eToys assets for $3 to $5 million and I helped get the same
assets to $20 million which helped put over $45 million in the cash reserves of
I was offered a bribe of $750,000 and said no — I was unwilling to become part of
the good ole boys club in Bankruptcy in Wilmington DE.
The details I give you are Facts that are in the Public Bankruptcy Court records
and can be seen online by Pacer or Racer.
I will begin by telling you what the Truth, a list of facts, that has been
accomplished thus far. (for though I am given credit — it is the facts/truth that
has accomplished several items that are really unimaginable)
1. I made allegations in the Fall of 2004 (Oct, Nov, Dec) on the failure to disclose
the MOST serious violation of conflict of interest any one has ever seen in a
For more, GO TO > > > Tinkering with eToys
April 7, 2005
Goldman Sachs Analysts Influenced
by Banking Interests
The Consumer Law News
In violation of NASD and NYSE regulations, analysts at Goldman Sachs were
encouraged to participate in investment banking activities and were compensated
with raises and bonuses.
The SEC’s complaint against Goldman Sachs includes reports that certain analysts
were “known to be swayed by banking to support certain names.”
During meetings with potential investment banking clients, known as “pitches,”
firm representatives implicitly suggested that Goldman Sachs would provide
favorable research coverage after the investment banking transaction.
One analyst had doubts about ratings on AT&T’s stock, but wrote in an email that
“investment banking considerations prevented [him] from making a change” in his
In July 2000, a pitch book for the Willis Group stated: “[the analyst] has sold
more stock than any research analyst in the sector.”…
If you have purchased shares in any of the following stocks from Goldman Sachs,
you may have a potential stock fraud claim. Contact the Consumer Justice Group
immediately for an evaluation of your case.
AT&T; Crosswave Communications; Crown Castle; Exodus; GenProt; Global Crossing;
Loudcloud; StorageNetworks; WebEx; Willis; Winstar Communications; WorldCom;
September 8, 2005
Ennis & Ennis, PA, Attorneys at Law
Ennie & Ennis, is currently representing investors in arbitrations against Goldman,
Sachs & Co. The SEC and the New York Attorney General found that Goldman
> issued reports that were not based on principles of fair dealing and good
faith and did not provide a sound basis for evaluating facts, contained
exaggerated or unwarranted claims about the covered companies, and/or
contained opinions for which there were no reasonable bases in violation of
NYSE Rules 401, 472 and 475(a)(6), and NASD Rules 2110 and 2210 as well
as state ethics statutes.
Goldman Sachs defrauded many investors through these actions. Many of these
investors are suing Goldman Sachs to recover damages for their losses. If you
lost money in the stock market because of advice from Goldman Sachs or any
other stockbroker, regardless of which stocks they recommended to you … call
Stocks involved in the Fraud:
StorageNetworks; Level3; Loudcloud; Amazon; GeneProt; Equinix;
Crosswave Communications; Ventro; Willis; Winstar Communications; Crown Castle; 360 Networks; Exodus; WorldCom; WebEx; AT&T
March 25, 2005
Goldman Sachs offers to buy
Seibu Railway group for $8.5 billion
US investment bank Goldman Sachs has offered to buy the scandal-hit Seibu
Railway group for about 900 billion yen ($8.5 billion dollars), a newspaper said.
Goldman Sachs has proposed purchasing Seibu Railway shares held by the group’s
core company Kokudo and taking over Kokudo’s debt obligations, the Nihon Keizai
Shimbun said, citing anonymous Seibu officials….
The group has been hit by a financial scandal.
Former Seibu railroad and hotel empire chief Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, once dubbed the
world’s richest man, has been charged with falsifying financial statements to
conceal his family control over the listed Seibu Railway.
He has also been indicted for insider trading after orchestrating the sale of
shares in the now delisted railway firm before the concealment came to light.
The group’s reform panel was set to compile the final version of its reform plan
centering around Kokudo’s absorption into Seibu Railway and a 200-billion-yen
capital increase, the economic daily said.
The offer by Goldman Sachs would serve as an alternative to this plan, it said….
For more on Seibu Railway, GO TO > > > Paradise Paved; Yakuza Doodle Dandies
November 17, 2004
Cooking the Insurance Books
A Decade of Lax Regulation Lays Groundwork for Scandal
By Lucy Komisar, Special to CorpWatch
In October, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed suit against the world’s
largest insurance broker, Marsh, accusing it of rigging bids and receiving
kickbacks in order to defraud clients such as other corporations, city
governments, school districts and individuals of billions of dollars through inflated
“Greedy trial lawyers were the usual excuse for premium increases. Now we
know that greedy corporations also have a starring role,” Spitzer said, accusing
several insurance companies as co-conspirators in making phony or inflated bids and
paying kickbacks to the brokerage to get business.
Spitzer also announced that two executives from the insurance conglomerate
American International Group (AIG) had already confessed to related criminal
charges. But his investigations into AIG may have only scratched the surface. A
paper trail stretching back a decade reveals that AIG used offshore shell
companies to skirt the law.
The current scam which Spitzer has uncovered works like this: Marsh, an insurance
broker, is supposed to find the best insurance policies for its clients from a wide
range of companies. Instead it steered the policies to companies such as AIG that
agreed to pay kickbacks. It solicited phony competitive bids for insurance
contracts to deceive customers into thinking there was real competition for the
business. Marsh made $800 million on kickbacks in 2003 alone – over half its $1.5
billion profit. With a 40-percent share of the global insurance brokerage market,
its fraud drove up prices for everyone….
Lax Regulators Give AIG a Free Pass
At Spitzer’s press conference, New York State Insurance Superintendent Gregory
V. Serio said: “This has gone from an inquiry into failure to disclose compensation
to an active investigation of bid rigging and improper steering. This certainly
proves the adage that where there is smoke, there is fire.”
But AIG’s comportment could not have been much of a surprise to Serio, who was
New York’s deputy insurance superintendent in the late 90s. That’s when New
York and three other states gave the powerful company a pass on some very
questionable practices. If they had paid attention to the smoke then, perhaps this
billion-dollar fire wouldn’t have ignited.
In the late 90s, four state insurance departments – New York, Delaware,
Pennsylvania and California were aware that AIG was moving debt off its books via
the use of an offshore shell company it secretly set up and controlled. But despite
clear evidence of wrongdoing, no sanctions were ordered….
In the mid-80s, two of AIG’s reinsurers failed. The bankruptcy liquidators paid
creditors, including AIG, over several years but meanwhile the amount owed was
liable to show up as unacceptably high levels of debt on the AIG books.
Trevor Jones, an insurance investigator who for 20 years has run Insurance
Security Services in London, explained, “Hank [Greenberg] decided to set up Coral
Re [a reinsurance company] to move the debts he couldn’t claim as assets into this
other company. … No real company would play ball, because you are fiddling the
accounts, moving your bad debts off your books.”
So AIG went to elaborate lengths to set up a shell company in Barbados, where
capital requirements and regulation was minimal compared to the U.S., where
American regulators couldn’t readily discover AIG’s involvement and where, as an
added incentive, it could move money out of reach of U.S. taxes….
Though it is an American company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, AIG
makes extensive use of offshore jurisdictions such as Barbados, Bermuda and
Luxembourg that are immune from U.S. regulatory and tax scrutiny. They help the
company launder profits to evade U.S. taxes and hide insider connections in
supposedly “arms-length” deals. This is especially important as the company has
moved into financial services and asset management, handling the wealth of “high
net-worth” clients – the mega-rich.
Greenberg has enviable political clout, never so much in evidence as when, with the
help of Henry Kissinger – chair of AIG’s international advisory committee and a
paid consultant via Kissinger Associates – AIG became in 1995, the first company
licensed to sell insurance in China. AIG was the only foreign firm that owned 100
percent of its license there….
Goldman Sachs and Robert Rubin
Coral Re, a Barbados reinsurance company, was launched with a private sale of
shares organized by Goldman Sachs, then headed by Robert Rubin, who would
become President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary and is now chairman of the
executive committee of Citigroup. A confidential memorandum … told why the
company was formed: “AIG’s interest in creating the Company is to create a
reinsurance facility which will permit the U.S. companies to write more U.S.
premiums. For a U.S.-domiciled company, a high level of surplus is required to
support insurance premiums in accordance with U.S. statutory requirement. The
statutory requirements in Barbados are less restrictive.”…
Rubin buddy Bill Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, may also have thrown his
weight behind the project. The Arkansas Finance and Development Authority
(ADFA), headed by a man who went to work in the Clinton White House, became
lead investor, although state law banned it from buying stocks.
The new company was not a legitimately independent business. For investors, there
was no money at risk; the board of directors never made a decision; and Coral Re
had no office of its own but was managed by American International Management,
a subsidiary of none other that AIG.
Eventually, the scheme unraveled. State insurance examiners look at company
books every five years. “In 1992, Delaware examiners auditing Lexington (an AIG
subsidiary) smelled a rat,” a former regulator from one of the four investigating
insurance departments told CorpWatch….
Things have gotten tougher for the company since the Enron affair caused the SEC
to look more serious about corporate corruption. … Last year, AIG paid a $10
million fine to the SEC for helping the Indiana wireless telecom company
Brightpoint commit accounting fraud.
AIG marketed a “non-traditional” insurance product aimed at “income statement
smoothing,” spreading a loss over future reporting periods. The SEC called such
financial products “just vehicles to commit financial fraud” and said the
insurance giant refused to give it subpoenaed documents, compounding its
misconduct. The U.S. Justice department is currently investigating but has yet to
file criminal charges.
Business Insurance, a trade publication, editorialized on the timidity of regulators
for giving AIG “little more than a tap on the wrist” in exchange for “a promise not
to do it again.”
“The message delivered here is that a company of AIG’s power and complexity can
afford to be openly hostile to state oversight and, in the end, have things pretty
much its own way. That is a disheartening message, indeed,” wrote the magazine’s
(Read the complete article in CorpWatch)
Lucy Komisar is an investigative journalist who is writing a book about offshore bank and
corporate secrecy. She receive research assistance on this report from the Arkansas
Committee. The committee was started in 1990 by University of Arkansas students, who,
suspicious that Arkansas Development Finance Authority was selling more bonds than it
could use to finance state projects, demanded the agency’s documents under the Freedom
of Information Act. It fought the case to the Arkansas Supreme Court before it got the
papers describing the AFDA deal to buy shares of Coral Re.
~ ~ ~
For more, GO TO > > > AIG: The Un-American Insurance Group
July 2, 2004
Goldman Sachs Settles SEC Case
NEW YORK – Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed yesterday to pay $2 million to
settle U.S regulators’ allegations that it improperly tried to spur interest in four
Asian share sales, including one in which it told investors to “TAKE A
GOOOOOOOD LOOK” at PetroChina Co.
The Securities and Exchange Commission claimed that Goldman, the No. 3
securities firm, sent e-mail to investors with details of PetroChina’s $2.9 billion
sale before the initial public offering in April 2000 was cleared by the agency.
Beijing-based PetroChina is China’s biggest oil producer.
“If you’re sending out detailed e-mails about planned offerings to some customers,
then there are other people out there who don’t have that information,” said Paul
Berger, the SEC lawyer who handled the investigation.
“That’s not fair.”
U.S. securities law bar underwriters from issuing written communications on a
stock sale – other than a preliminary prospectus or a so-called tombstone
advertisement – without SEC clearance.
“We’re pleased to put this matter behind us,” Goldman spokesman Peter Rose said.
New York-based Goldman, which neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing, agreed
to tougher penalties if it violates securities laws in the future.
A senior Goldman official also spoke to the media before PetroChina’s IPO was
cleared, saying proceeds of the offering would be used in China and not Sudan, the
SEC said, without identifying the executive….
Human rights activists had said China National Petroleum Corp., PetroChina’s
parent, might make investments that could funnel oil revenue to support oppression
in the African nation.
Goldman said at the time that it sent the e-mail to 77 hedge fund and institutional
clients in the United States by mistake. It then sought to correct the error by
publishing the contents of the e-mail in PetroChina’s prospectus….
November 12, 2003
Goldman Sachs Economist Pleads Guilty
to Multimillion-Dollar Scam
NEW YORK – A former Goldman Sachs & Co. economist pleaded guilty Wednesday
to fielding an insider bond tip that gave the firm an eight-minute edge on the
market and nearly $4 million in tainted profits.
John Youngdahl, 44, of Summit, N.J., will spend roughly three years in prison if a
federal judge accepts the terms of a plea deal he reached with the government.
He will also pay $240,000 to settle related charges by the Securities and
Exchange Commission if the judge approves the settlement.
The tip came Oct. 31, 2001, when the government announced it would end sales of
its benchmark 30-year Treasury bond. The announcement came with a strict 10
a.m. embargo, meaning no one could publicize the information until then.
But at 9:35 a.m., a consultant hired by Goldman who had attended the Treasury
press conference passed the information to Youngdahl, who relayed it to a Goldman
A Treasury Department employee inadvertently posted the announcement online at
9:43 a.m., eight minutes later.
The news triggered the largest single-day rally in the long-term bond since the
stock crash of October 1987.
$3.8 Million in Eight Minutes
The government said Goldman made $3.8 million on its eight-minute advantage.
Youngdahl admitted in court Wednesday that he had a prior arrangement with the
consultant to receive the illegal tip. He also admitted lying about the matter to
the Justice Department and the SEC….
The consultant, Peter Davis, has already pleaded guilty to securities fraud, wire
fraud and conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing. He has also agreed to pay nearly
$150,000 to settle SEC charges.
Another Scandal That Started During the Clinton Years
Government court papers said Davis was attending the Treasury press conferences
as far back as 1994 and was illegally violating the Treasury embargo as early as
Youngdahl, who was facing trial in February on a seven-count indictment related to
the bond tip, will be sentenced Jan. 30. His attorneys have asked the judge to
dismiss the remaining three counts.
Goldman has agreed to pay $9.3 million to settle SEC charges
related to the illegal bond trading.
February 4, 2003
Goldman Sachs’ CEO apologizes
for employee remarks
NEW YORK, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS – News) Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer Henry Paulson apologized to employees for suggesting
last week much of the company’s workforce was expendable.
Paulson sent a firmwide voice mail explaining the context of comments he made last
Tuesday during a Manhattan financial conference. He apologized for being “glib
and insensitive,” according to a person who received the message.
Paulson told investors and analysts the top 15-20 percent of bankers and traders
are responsible for making 80 percent of the revenue, which provides leeway if
more cuts become necessary.
“You can cut a fair amount and not cut into muscle,” he said during a
question-and-answer session with investors following his presentation.
The head of the world’s top merger and acquisitions adviser and largest stock
underwriter said he thought reductions made last year were sufficient. Goldman
laid off 2,938 people, or 13 percent of its headcount.
But if the weak investment banking market continues it had room to cut more
employees without risking losing its best talent, he said.
Paulson backtracked on those comments in his voice mail, saying they do not
represent how he feels about Goldman employees. He stressed the investment
bank’s output is a team effort.
After hearing employees were discouraged by the remarks, Paulson initially planned
to meet with individual departments to explain the comments. But over the
weekend he decided to speak to employees in one shot by voice message.
October 3, 2002
Top executives risk lawsuits
over Goldman IPO list
By Michael Erman and Per Jebsen
NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Some of America’s best-known executives may face
lawsuits demanding they give up the profits made on initial public offerings they
were allocated by investment bank Goldman Sachs.
State and federal regulators may jump on evidence produced in a congressional
report issued on Wednesday night that indicated Goldman doled out hot IPOs by
the hundreds to the executives of companies that were leading clients of the
investment bank, a practice known as “spinning,” legal experts said on Thursday.
The executives sold many of the IPOs soon after the shares began trading and
took substantial profits.
Among those most at risk because of the report from the House Committee on
Financial Services are eBay Inc.’s (EBAY) CEO Margaret Whitman and Yahoo Inc.
(YHOO) co-founder Jerry Yang. Others named included Ford Motor Co. (F)
Chairman and CEO William Clay Ford, who is the great-grandson of Ford founder
Henry Ford, and Barry Sternlicht, CEO of Starwood Hotels & Restaurants
Worldwide Inc. (HOT).
Investigators are looking into allegations that investment banks “spun,” or
directed, hot IPO shares to the top executives of favored corporate investment
banking clients as a way of retaining or keeping their investment banking business.
Legal experts said the information revealed in the report appeared to be similar to
that in civil lawsuits brought on Monday by the New York Attorney General Eliot
Spitzer against former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers and four other telecom
company executives. That case alleged the executives made millions by
“profiteering” from hot IPOs, access to which was provided by Citigroup’s (C)
Salomon Smith Barney in exchange for investment banking business. . . .
EXECUTIVES COULD ATTRACT LAWSUITS
A report by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on financial services
said the investment banks’ practices took advantage of the average investor by
giving the high-profile investors preferential access to the lucrative IPO markets.
“Our goals are to correct abuses in the markets and to make the system fair for
the average investor,” said Representative Michael Oxley, chairman of the
“People are willing to take a risk with their money, but they’re not willing to gamble
when the system seems rigged against them.”…
© 2002 Reuters
October 3, 2002
Goldman Sach’s sterling image
comes under fire
By Jake Keaveny
NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group (GS) Chairman Henry Paulson,
Jr. won plaudits in the business press last June when he proposed a plan to put
ethics back into the business mix, speaking before the National Press Club in a
rare public appearance.
As head of the venerable 133-year old bank, Paulson stood out amid the ranks of
executives discredited by a string of corporate scandals. But a congressional
committee’s revelation Wednesday may knock Goldman off its pedestal.
The House Financial Services Committee alleged that Goldman’s bankers regularly
doled out shares in hot IPOs to executives who gave them investment banking
“It can be pretty damning on a firm’s reputation,” said John Davidson, who helps
manage $4.5 billion as president and chief executive of Greenwich, Connecticut-based PartnerRe Asset Management Corp.
Davidson, who’s been in the business for 25 years and worked with Goldman for
most of them, said he sees the alleged IPO practices as widespread, and draws
little distinction between different banks.
In other recent securities investigations, the Securities and Exchange Commission
has reportedly probed Goldman for “laddering” — requiring investors to buy stock
in the after market as a condition to IPO allocations. Investors have sued the
bank for allegedly rigging IPOs.
Enron Corp. have sued it for stock losses.
Goldman, the biggest underwriter of IPOs during three of the last five years, has
denied the allegations….
September 27, 2002
Mammoth IPO suit hinges on
early defense motion
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A mountainous legal suit claiming that Wall Street banks
and their corporate clients rigged hundreds of initial public offerings has hardly
begun, but the most important arguments may have already been made.
Friday is the deadline for the final documents in a motion to throw the case out
made by defendants like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Credit Suisse Group First
Boston and once hot IPOs like EToys.
The motion is a standard defense tool, but lawyers on both sides say that
expanding government investigations into IPO practices, the breadth of litigants,
and the sheer size of a potential settlement make this ruling particularly critical.
Barring an outright dismissal, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin has an array of
options in deciding how the case proceeds. Because the case won’t likely make it to
trial, her decision will have a major impact on each side’s position of strength
during settlement negotiations…
ARMY OF LAWYERS
The motion and opposing responses have been pored over by a platinum list of
Securities lawyers representing 55 underwriting banks, as well as 308 issuer
companies, have tried to punch holes in the range of complaints with six different
motions to dismiss.
Investors, led by class action attorneys, allege there was industry-wide
misconduct to artificially boost demand and the price of shares. Among the
complaints: that analysts manipulated the market with optimistic research; that
banks ramped up commissions in exchange for access to IPO shares; and that
investors allocated IPOs were required to buy shares in the after-market in a
practice known as “tie-ins”….
“You can’t just say there’s fraud, you need to set forth detailed allegations, you
need some meat on the bone,” said Joseph De Simone, an attorney at Mayer,
Brown, Rowe and Maw, which represents GigaMedia Inc and several other issuer
The group of attorneys representing banks, which are the primary target, include
Gandolfo DiBlasi from New York-based Sullivan & Cromwell, the lead counsel for
Goldman Sachs and the liaison for the entire group.
CSFB, owned by Credit Suisse Group, is being represented by Robert McCaw from
Washington-based Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, who represented the bank’s Swiss
parent in litigation over the assets of Holocaust victims. . . .
The argument that no legal lines were crossed has become more difficult amid a
steady stream of headlines from government investigations into alleged fraud by
Among the pending investigations is a U.S. House of Representatives Financial
Services Committee inquiry into the IPO allocations and research practices of
Citigroup Inc.‘s Salomon Smith Barney, Goldman Sachs and CSFB.
Driven by a flow of new evidence, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is
expected to announce a set of new regulations governing banks, which could include
a complete divorce between investment banking operations and sell-side research
July 25, 2002
DEMOCRATS WON’T QUESTION RUBIN
Dave Boyer , THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Senate Democrats investigating the collapse of Enron Corp. said yesterday that
they have no plans to question former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, a
top official at Citigroup Inc., over its role in hiding Enron’s debt from investors.
“I don’t,” said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, chairman of the Governmental Affairs
Committee, when asked whether he intended to call Mr. Rubin as a witness.
But he said it was up to Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat and chairman of the
subcommittee probing Enron’s internal practices, to decide whether to question
Mr. Levin said he “probably” will call the chief executive officers of Citigroup and
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to testify, but not Mr. Rubin.
Asked whether he thought Mr. Rubin’s testimony might be appropriate, Mr. Levin
said, “I’d rather go to the top.”
Mr. Rubin, who enjoyed a stellar reputation as Treasury secretary, is chairman of
Citigroup’s executive committee. In November, he sought the Bush
administration’s help with Wall Street credit-rating agencies on behalf of Enron
when those agencies were about to downgrade Enron’s ratings.
Citigroup is Enron’s largest creditor and is one of the top contributors to Mr.
Lieberman and his political network in the past five years.
Congressional Republicans said Senate Democrats are playing politics by issuing
subpoenas for Bush White House aides in the Enron probe but shielding a former
Clinton official from sensitive questions. Top Democrats have criticized President
Bush repeatedly for his ties to Enron and a former chief executive officer of the
company, Kenneth L. Lay.
“You can’t ask questions on one side if you’re not going to ask questions on the
other side if something like this is done,” said Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott,
Mississippi Republican. “I think that they may want to call in Mr. Rubin and others
before the Government Affairs Committee, and —— if that’s where the trail leads
—— and see what happened.”
A House Republican yesterday said Congress should compel the testimony of Mr.
Rubin and of Sen. Jon Corzine, New Jersey Democrat, who was chairman of the
investment banking firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc. before he spent $60 million of
his fortune to win a seat on Capitol Hill.
“If we’re going to have hearings, Mr. Lieberman, let’s have Goldman Sachs,
let’s have Citigroup brought to the dais,” said Rep. Mark Foley of Florida.
Democrats “have been talking about the vice president and the president,” Mr.
Foley said on the House floor. “Let me suggest to them, if they want to have good
hearings, let’s call Senator Corzine, who headed Goldman Sachs. Let’s call
Secretary Robert Rubin, the Clinton secretary of treasury, who heads Citigroup.
“When we talk about Enron, we ought to talk about all the players,” Mr. Foley said.
“And there seems to be some real mischief. In fact Mr. Corzine used $60 million
to run for the Senate. Goldman Sachs was hyping Enron stocks past $90. They
encouraged people to buy it.”
A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs could not be reached for comment. Mr. Corzine
has denied inflating stock prices while chairman of Goldman Sachs and said
investors make their own decisions about whether to buy stocks at certain prices.
On Tuesday, Senate investigators accused J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup of
helping Enron hide debt and boost cash flow before filing for bankruptcy last
At a hearing, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup officials defended themselves
against charges that they helped Enron amass by September an estimated $5
billion in various dealings that were effectively hidden debt.
William Harrison, chief executive of J.P. Morgan Chase, said the bank acted
“properly and with integrity” in all of its dealings with Enron.
Mr. Lott said reports that the banks may have helped Enron hide debt in offshore
arrangements “need to be explored.”
“I don’t know Mr. Rubin’s involvement,” Mr. Lott said. “I think he did a lot of good
things when he was secretary of treasury, and I’m not alleging anything improper,
but I do think, if they were involved in this kind of operation, I think it needs to
be explored. It looks on its face suspicious.”
Another Clinton White House official, former chief of staff Erskine Bowles, is
taking heat for a corporate scandal as a board member of Merck Pharmaceutical
Inc., which is accused of inflating revenue by $12 billion.
Mr. Bowles is running for the Democratic nomination for the Senate in North
Carolina, and the state Republican Party yesterday criticized him for “his
unwillingness to explain his role in a string of disastrous investments while a
managing partner of investment bank Forstmann Little that led to the loss of
more than $100 million for Connecticut retirees.“
Copyright © 2002 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved
July 17, 2002
Corzine tied to stock scheme
Dave Boyer, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Sen. Jon Corzine, whose Wall Street expertise plays a key role in Democrats’
strategy on corporate responsibility, led an investment banking firm that is being
accused of inflating stock prices in the 1990s and contributing to the market
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle lately has kept Mr. Corzine at his side
frequently as Democrats call on President Bush to get tougher with corporate
executives who fraudulently inflate company earnings to boost stock prices.
“I think he’s made a stellar contribution,” said Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, Maryland
Democrat and author of a bill approved Monday by the Senate that would increase
the penalties for corporate wrongdoers.
But Goldman Sachs, the firm that Mr. Corzine left as chairman in May 1999, has
been a target of class-action lawsuits and accusations by a former broker who
complained to the Securities and Exchange Commission that the investment house
engaged in a scheme to force unwitting investors to pay artificially high prices for
Mr. Corzine, New Jersey Democrat, said he knew nothing about such schemes
when he ran the firm from 1994 to 1999.
“I don’t believe there is ever going to be anything that sticks about us at Goldman
Sachs forcing anybody to buy anything,” Mr. Corzine said in an interview.
“Goldman Sachs never forced anyone to buy anything when I was chairman, I can
tell you that.”
But Nicholas Maier, who was syndicate manager of the Wall Street firm Cramer &
Co. from 1996 to 1998, told SEC investigators in the spring that Goldman Sachs
routinely forced him to buy stocks at inflated prices if he wanted to purchase
shares of an initial public offering (IPO).
“Goldman, from what I witnessed, they were the worst perpetrator,” Mr. Maier
said. “They totally fueled the [market] bubble. And it’s specifically that kind of
behavior that has caused the market crash. They built these stocks upon an illegal
foundation —— manipulated up, and ultimately, it really was the small person who
ended up buying in.”
For example, Mr. Maier told the SEC that Goldman Sachs would offer him shares
of a new company’s IPO at the initial, low price of $20 per share only if he agreed
to purchase “aftermarket” shares of the same company at $100 each. In turn,
he would sell the shares of the higher-priced stock to small investors.
“None of these aftermarket orders had anything to do with what I honestly valued
a company to be worth,” Mr. Maier said. “Goldman created the convincing
appearance of a winner, and the trick worked so well that they seduced further
interest from other speculators hoping to participate in the gold rush. The general
public had no idea that these stocks were actually brought into the world at
unnaturally high levels through illegal manipulation.”
Mr. Bush on Monday said Wall Street went on a “binge” in the 1990s and now has a
“hangover,” a characterization that Mr. Corzine called “a diversion away from
“What we had was a breakdown in corporate ethics and corporate responsibility
that I don’t think has anything to do with anything other than excessive focus on
share price and managed earnings,” he said.
Mr. Corzine retired from Goldman Sachs in 1999 after taking the firm public and
receiving $320 million worth of its stock. He ran for the Senate in New Jersey in
2000, spending more than $60 million of his fortune to win the seat.
The bubble of high-priced technology stocks began to burst in March 2000. In
August 2000, the SEC issued a warning against aftermarket sales, also known as
“I’ve never even heard the term ‘laddering’ before,” Mr. Corzine said yesterday.
“We may have recommended on the analysis that we had that [a stock] was a ‘good
buy,’ but you can’t force anyone to buy anything. Investors make their choices
about where people invest, unless they’ve asked somebody to manage their money.”
Mr. Corzine was highly respected in his tenure at Goldman, and no one has accused
him of encouraging “laddering” or even knowing about the practice. But Mr. Maier
said it happened on Mr. Corzine’s watch.
“For Corzine not to know of a common practice being utilized to generate and
manipulate stock prices would be surprising,” Mr. Maier said.
“He was obviously there during this time. I definitively saw his company
engaged in illegal activity.”
The SEC would not comment yesterday on whether Goldman is under investigation.
Mr. Maier said he has not spoken to the investigators in several months.
“They expressed to me that laddering is a trickier thing [to prove],” Mr. Maier
“I will say it. They did it. They laddered. Whether the SEC can construct a
case is a different story.”
Asked whether he knew about an SEC investigation, Mr. Corzine said, “That could
very possibly be; I’m not aware of it. I’m divorced from [Goldman] since 1999.”
A class-action lawsuit filed in April 2001 accused Goldman Sachs and others of
engaging in “laddering” on the initial sale of stock of NetZero, driving up the
company’s share price to artificially high levels.
In another class-action suit, shareholders of Buy.com have accused the firm and
its underwriters, including Goldman Sachs, of engaging in a laddering scheme in its
IPO in February 2000, after Mr. Corzine left Goldman. And investors of defunct
online grocer Webvan.com have filed a similar suit in federal court concerning that
firm’s initial public offering in November 1999.
Another class-action suit filed last year says that underwriters, including Goldman
Sachs, manipulated several IPOs since 1997, including at least six when Mr.
Corzine was still at the helm of Goldman.
Copyright © 2002 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
INSIDERS DON’T SWEAT COLLAPSE
Michael Perkins and Celia Nunez
Long before the stock market went into the toilet, the big boys got out.
Last March, the tech-heavy Nasdaq index reached a staggering 5048, prompting
venture capitalist John Doerr to claim that we were witnessing “the greatest-ever
legal creation of wealth in the history of the world.”
This week, the Nasdaq fell below 2000. Someone is out a lot of money, and that
someone is primarily the small retail investor. Why? Because the insiders–
entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, investment banks and large institutional
investors– pulled out their capital long before the fall, leaving mom-and-pop
investors holding the bag.
Instead of the greatest-ever legal creation of wealth, the high-tech financial
bubble represented the greatest-ever legal transfer of wealth – from retail
investors to insiders.
For example, between November 1998 and July 2000, Goldman Sachs, Morgan
Stanley Dean Witter and Credit Suisse First Boston each pocketed more than
$500 million in underwriting fees from Internet companies. And over the past two
years, technology underwriting as a whole brought in close to $1 billion for each
Some insiders would argue they, too, have been hurt by the market’s decline. And
in fairness, it should be noted that not every insider pulled out early. … But the
fact is, not all stock losses are the same, because the insiders get their stock for
pennies a share, if that.
Thus, while an insider may have seen his portfolio slip from $50 million to $5
million, he probably paid only $100,000 for his stock, so he’s still ahead in terms of
But when individual investors see their stock portfolios plummet, it’s real.
The TRUTH is, little investors never stood a chance, because they simply don’t
have the same access, both to key information and to early deals, as big investors.
One reason is the “quiet period” mandated by the Securities and Exchange
Commission, which requires a startup company to shun any publicity regarding its
finances for at least three months before its initial public offering. The law was
intended to keep a company from hyping its stock, but in reality its main effect is
to keep small investors in the dark.
Big institutional investors such as Fidelity and Vanguard are never in the dark.
They’re treated to what’s known as a “road show” just days before an IPO. In this
private meeting with company executives, they are updated on the startup’s
Thus, the big investors know if a stock has recently become more risky and can
pass on it. Or they may decide to buy it anyway, knowing they can resell the stock
on the first day of trading before any bad news about the company is reported.
This practice, known as “flipping,” became common in an era when Internet stocks
were routinely tripling in value on their first day of trading.
Institutional investors weren’t the only ones flipping stock during the hot market.
Individual insiders did it too.
During the Nasdaq bubble, investment banks would routinely give hot new IPO
stocks – FREE – to corporate executives, venture capitalists and other decision-makers sitting on the boards of companies whose business the banks wanted.
These privileged decision-makers would then flip their shares on the first day of
the IPO for quick profits.
While the investment banks were giving out free stock to their favored clients,
they were also giving out bad advice to their mom-and-pop customers.
In a study of high-tech stocks, Roni Michaely of Cornell University and Kent
Womack of Dartmouth College found that investment banks rarely downgrade a
company’s stock to a “sell” rating if they have a business relationship with the
Despite these shenanigans, the savvy retail investor could at least take comfort in
Rule 144, the SEC regulation that bars a company’s owners from selling their stock
for 180 days after an IPO. (This type of stock is sometimes referred to as
“locked stock.”) So if the stock did tank three months after it was issued, at
least the small investor could find solace in the fact that the entrepreneur and his
venture capital backers had taken a loss on their stock as well.
Or did they?
Actually, during the high-flying days of the tech bubble, few insiders were
required to take risks. The investment banks devised a new financial service: They
would promise to buy a venture capitalist’s or tech executive’s locked stock as soon
as the 180 days were up – but at the stock’s higher early issue price.
This special service for favored customers didn’t cost the banks a thing, since they
would then use a combination of sophisticated financial instruments to “short” the
stock. That is, the banks would make money if the stock dropped in value, which it
almost always eventually did.
The technology stock bubble is already being compared to previous financial
manias: Dutch tulips in the 1600s, U.S. railroads in the late 1800s, etc. But what
sets this most recent mania apart is its Ponzi scheme quality.
Never before has so much wealth been transferred from one group of people to
another in such a short time.
Maybe if the Securities and Exchange Commission steps in to restore fairness, it
never will again.
(Michael C. Perkins is a founding editor of Red Herring magazine and co-author of
“The Internet Bubble.” He and Celia Nunez are authors of “A Cool Billion,” a novel
about Silicon Valley.}
June 17, 2002
Goldman unit insists it met
Japan tax obligations
TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) said on
Monday it had met all tax obligations in Japan and declined to comment on media
reports that said it had failed to report some income by transferring funds
Japanese media reports said on Sunday that seven Japanese affiliates of the U.S.
securities giant failed to report a total of five billion yen ($40.24 million) in income
Jiji news agency and the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper on Sunday quoted
unidentified sources as saying that the tax authority imposed an additional tax of
some 1.5 billion yen, including penalty taxes, on the Goldman Sachs group firms
after searching their premises for evidence.
The seven firms purchased bad loans, along with real estate assets put up as
collateral, from Japanese banks at low prices, and transferred some of those
assets to a dummy company in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven, Jiji said.
The Japanese affiliates also transferred the proceeds from related transactions
to a Goldman Sachs group company in the Netherlands, effectively evading tax
payments in Japan, Jiji quoted sources as saying….
© 2002 Reuters
May 23, 2002
EToys sues Goldman Sachs
for mishandling IPO
EToys Inc., the bankrupt Internet toy seller, on Thursday said it has filed a
lawsuit against Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for mishandling its
1999 initial public offering.
The suit — filed in New York State Supreme Court — alleges that Goldman, one of
the leading underwriters of IPOs, intentionally underpriced eToys’ offering and
received kickbacks from its customers who profited when the shares soared.
It charges Goldman with fraud and breach of contract and fiduciary duty.
A Goldman spokeswoman declined to comment on the suit, citing company policy.
Thousands of individual investors have sued dozens of investment banks alleging
fraud in the way they doled out shares of IPOs. This case — which echoes a
federal investigation into IPO allocation practices — is unique because a company is
Goldman priced eToys’ IPO at $20 a share, and the shares closed at $76.56 in
their Nasdaq debut on May 20, 1999, after hitting an intraday high of $85. Shares
of eToys now trade on the Pink Sheets — akin to a minor league exchange for
companies booted off the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange — at less than a
penny a share.
For more, GO TO > > > Tinkering with eToys
May 2, 2002
Steve Friedman Joins Goldman Sachs’
Board of Directors
NEW YORK –– The Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) announced today that
Stephen Friedman, Senior Principal of Marsh & McLennan Capital, Inc., has joined
its Board of Directors. Mr. Friedman served as Chairman and Senior Partner of
Goldman Sachs from 1990 to 1994.
“Over the course of his three decade-long career at Goldman Sachs, Steve’s keen
strategic sense and focus helped us expand our global presence and achieve
preeminence in our core investment banking businesses,” said Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs.
“Steve has a deep knowledge and understanding of our firm and industry and is a
highly-qualified addition to our Board of Directors.”
Mr. Friedman spent nearly 30 years with Goldman Sachs, retiring as Chairman and
Senior Partner. From 1987, he worked closely in executive leadership of the firm
with Bob Rubin, first as Vice Chairmen and Co-Chief Operating Officers and then
as Senior Partners and Co-Chairmen, until Mr. Rubin joined the Clinton
Administration in 1992. Mr. Friedman continued as sole Senior Partner and
Chairman until his retirement from the firm. Earlier assignments at Goldman Sachs
included co-head of the Investment Banking and Fixed Income Divisions and head
of the Mergers and Acquisitions Department. He became a partner in 1973 and
joined the Management Committee in 1982.
In addition to his role as Senior Principal of MMC Capital, Mr. Friedman currently
serves as a director of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Fannie Mae.
Mr. Friedman is also a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory
Board and is Chairman Emeritus of Columbia University.
March 29, 2002
Goldman may face fraud charges
SEC could charge brokerage for improperly obtaining information.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – The Securities and Exchange Commission told Goldman
Sachs Group Inc. it may charge the brokerage with securities fraud after it
learned about the Treasury Department’s plan to stop selling the 30-year bond
before it was publicly disclosed, according to a published report Friday.
The Oct. 31 news that the U.S. Treasury would no longer sell the 30-year triggered
the biggest bond market rally in 14 years – prompting bond-market traders to snap
up bonds before and after it was made public.
Goldman was informed it will receive a “Wells” notice from the SEC notifying the
Wall Street firm of the agency’s plans to recommend civil charges be filed related
to the Treasury leak, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with
A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment
The SEC also informed longtime industry consultant Pete Davis, who admitted that
he leaked the information, that he may be charged with securities fraud, the paper
reported. Davis attended a Treasury briefing intended only for the media and later
acknowledged telephoning certain clients while news of the Treasury halting 30-year bond sales was still embargoed. Davis’s lawyer, Brad Bennett, declined
comment to the Journal.
March 12, 2002
Goldman Sachs sells its 6.3% ResCare stake
Goldman Sachs has sold its 6.3 percent stake in ResCare, according to U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
The filing yesterday did not indicate when the company sold the stock. Goldman
Sachs reported in a similar filing in February 2000 that it held more than 1.5 million
ResCare stock fell about 9 percent last Wednesday after the company reported it
had to set aside money for client bills that may never be paid, and the stock has yet
to recover. The charge put it in violation of the terms of its bank loans.
ResCare stock finished yesterday at $8 per share, down 10 cents.
November 27, 2001
$1 million fine for Goldman Sachs’ unit
NEW YORK (Chicago Tribune) — In its largest penalty ever, the American Stock
Exchange announced a $1 million fine Monday against Spear, Leeds & Kellogg LP, a
Wall Street firm that matches stock buyers and sellers, for violating supervisory
The company, which was bought by Goldman, Sachs & Co. last fall for nearly $7
billion, also was ordered to conduct a review of its Amex operations and to adopt
new supervisory rules, Amex said in a statement.
At the time of the merger, Spear Leeds had hundreds of Chicago employees and
was the largest U.S. stock and options clearing firm by volume and the largest
specialist firm on the New York Stock Exchange.
An Amex disciplinary panel found Spear Leeds failed to supervise Pasquale
Schettino, the company’s former managing director in charge of clearance
operations on the exchange floor. Schettino earlier was fined $100,000 and
permanently barred from the securities industry for alleged misconduct in
1994 and 1995.
The Amex panel found that Schettino, while employed by Spear Leeds, initiated
unlawful stock and option trades for Bullseye Securities without approval of Spears
Leeds or Amex. The exchange asked Spear Leeds in 1995 to restrict Schettino’s
access to the exchange floor, but the firm declined, Amex said.
Schettino went on to secretly trade for Viking Securities and secretly funded the
acquisition of an exchange seat in 1997 through his Spear Leeds partnership
account, Amex said. He was fired in 1998.
The fine for Spear Leeds dwarfs Amex’s second-highest penalty–a $225,000 fine
for Lehman Bros. in 1998.
Goldman Sachs consented to the disciplinary panel without admitting or denying the
violations. Schettino could not be reached for comment.
PROFITS OF DEATH —
INSIDER TRADING AND 9-11
by Tom Flocco – Edited by Michael C. Ruppert
~ ~ ~
Buzzy the Banker Joins the CIA
According to a CIA press release, in February 1998, A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard,
former CEO of Deutschebank-Alex Brown (the nation’s oldest investment banking
firm) and Vice Chairman of the Board of Bankers Trust, left BT and the investment
banking community to join the CIA full time.
As a matter of fact, the Washington Post reported that Krongard helped engineer
the $2.5 billion BT merger with Deutschebank shortly before sliding over to the
intelligence side of the stage.
Buzzy (as his friends call him) had served a long-term “moonlighting” stint as a
“consultant” to a series of CIA Directors. He left his banking position to become
counselor to CIA Director George Tenet just 11 months prior to the final $19.1
million guilty plea by BT, which was by then a subsidiary of Deutschebank.
Given Krongard’s lofty intelligence and investment banking positions, there are no
reports available dealing with important questions concerning his knowledge about
such relevant issues as the disposition of “unclaimed” funds, monitoring of global
stock trades for national security purposes, and wealthy “private client” operations
–- let alone whether the developing investigation into BT fraud had necessitated
his, ”leaving town just ahead of the sheriff,” as it were.
Yet Krongard has since risen to new heights, having received a March 16, 2001
Bush Administration promotion by President George W. Bush to Executive
Director, the number three position at the intelligence agency.
Ingram’s Last Trade
On August 28, 2001, 14 days before the Trade Center attacks, former
Deutschebank senior bond investment trader Kevin Ingram, pled guilty in a $2.2
million dollar money laundering conspiracy, resulting from a government sting
operation investigating the illegal sale of night vision goggles, Beretta machine
pistols, M-16 machine guns with silencers, rocket-propelled grenade launchers,
mortars, surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), TOW anti-tank missiles, and Stinger
missiles, according to court papers examined by the New York Post.
The next day, Alert Global Media, Inc., publishers of Money Laundering Alert,
reported that Ingram “pled guilty on August 28 to money laundering conspiracy as
part of an agreement [plea bargain] with the U.S. government, which will drop
other charges and receive Ingram’s testimony against two co-defendants from
Egypt and Pakistan.” Some published reports say that both of the other defendants
were from (current U.S. ally) Pakistan.
“Bin Laden has long-standing contacts with senior officials [of Pakistan]…,” said
Andrew Pearce of the Rand Institute in Washington. The Times of India also
reported on June 17, 2001 that one of three Pakistani middlemen working illegally
with Ingram asked undercover agents about the chances of obtaining
components for nuclear weapons.
Earlier (July 7) Associated Press reported that “Kevin Ingram, 42, an investment
counselor at the World Trade Center, was indicted June 28 on three counts of
trying to conceal at least $350,000 and one count of violating the Arms Export
“Ingram allegedly laundered $100,000 and $250,000 for federal agents, both times
taking a 9 percent cut before being asked to launder the $2.2 million,” according to
court papers examined by the New York Post in a June 15, 2001 report.
AP added that “Ingram is also named in two other counts…for trying to launder
$2.2 million in illegal arms sales. Ingram, out on $250,000 bond, faces a maximum of
100 years in prison if convicted of all charges.”
Arrested with Ingram were two New Jersey-based Pakistanis who had offered to
make a partial payment for the arms “in the form of heroin,” also according to both
AP and the New York Post.
A September 29, 2001 Bloomberg News/St. Louis Post Dispatch report revealed
that Ingram had angered his judge in July by failing to disclose his Swiss bank
account. Bloomberg reported that the Swiss account contained $1,086,000 in cash
and 75,800 shares of Carver Bancorp, Inc. worth $650,000.
“He was afraid of the implications, and he just panicked,” attorney Richard Lubin
told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann E. Vitunac at a bail hearing on July 10. Vitunac
raised Ingrams’s bond to $1.25 million and ordered him jailed two days later.
Curiously, however, given the terrorism that has transpired, federal agents
refused to divulge the name of the country that would have received the arms
according to court papers examined by the New York Post and others. However, the
documents confirmed that the defendants “referred to their foreign arms
buyer…as a well-known, former military official who wanted to partially pay
for the weapons with heroin.”
On June 15, 2001, the New York Post, reported that experts said the most likely
buyers connected to the former Deutschebank securities trader and the two
Pakistanis were current U.S. ally Pakistan or Osama bin Laden.
The Associated Press reported on 12/1/01 that Ingram had been sentenced to 18
months plus two years probation and a $20,000 fine on the money laundering
charges in this case. All other charges were dropped in the plea bargain. AP quoted
Ingram as saying at his sentencing hearing, “I made a horrible mistake and I did
something wrong. I’m very sorry about it, sorry for my family.” Ingram’s sentence
will likely be served at a minimum security facility in Fairton, New Jersey….
In spite of these revelations, no reporter or government official has asked or
disclosed how many times Ingram had laundered money or completed arms
shipments before he was finally nabbed. The extensive array of military hardware
in the possession of the Taliban and al Q’aeda beg this question.
A “Trader’s” Powerful Friends
Deutschebank-Alex Brown’s role in brokering the insider trades that scream
foreknowledge of the attacks further provides a common denominator — given the
activities and histories of key executives at the highest levels of the world’s
Ingram’s history speaks of access to power and financial policy making at the
highest levels. Not only was he an associate of Robert Rubin before Rubin left
Goldman Sachs to become Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, he has had ongoing
relationships with Corzine, who also sits on the Senate’s Subcommittee on
Securities and Investment — a subcommittee which should be investigating the
Prior to working for Deutschebank, Ingram was a highly placed executive with the
investment bank Goldman Sachs. Both Rubin and Corzine have served as CEOs at
Goldman. Rubin currently sits on the board of Citigroup — a bank which has been
cited for drug money laundering by the U.S. government and which (May 2001)
purchased a Mexican bank (Banamex) which has now lost two suits and one appeal
over press reports that its former owner, Roberto Hernandez, was a world-class
drug money launderer. Hernandez currently sits on the board at Citigroup as a
result of the buyout. So too does former CIA Director John Deutch. (See FTW:
Vol. IV, No. 3 – May 31, 2001 or visit www.copvcia.com.)
Kevin Ingram joined Goldman Sachs in 1988 after a brief stint at Lehman Brothers,
and by 1992 was promoted to run Goldman’s Collateralized Mortgage Obligations
desk, overseeing all trading of mortgage and asset-backed securities, according to
the New York Observer. Mortgage trading has long been suspected of being a
vehicle for the laundering of “hot” money.
In Black Enterprise (BE) magazine’s 1992 “Top 25 Blacks On Wall Street,” Ingram
was said to have left his (nine-year) high profile Goldman Sachs treasury securities
and options desk position in 1996 to head Deutschebank’s U.S. mortgage-backed
securities department — and ultimately their global securitiies operations in 1998.
BE added that “at Deutschebank, Ingram and his team of 25 professionals
structure and issue securities for an international clientele, including…high net-worth individuals. These deals can range from $1 million to several billion dollars.”
No member of the House or Senate has even broached the subject of hearings to
question either Ingram or recent Deutschebank-Alex Brown Vice Chairman and
current CIA Executive Director A.B. Krongard as to whether they dealt with any
wealthy Middle Easterners or Saudis in particular. Almost all of the September 11
hijackers were of Saudi nationality. Since both men had high supervisory positions
connected to the secretive “private client” operations of Deutschebank, and
Deutschebank handled the insider trades, this is an obvious course of inquiry.
Ingram’s position at Deutschebank became tenuous when the bond market crashed
in 1998 and the protégé of Corzine and Rubin likely felt insecure. The tumbling bond
market combined with periodic absences where “he would sometimes go
incommunicado for days — unusual for someone who ran a tradinng desk and was
responsible for open positions of $7 billion and more.”
Deutschebank asked for his resignation in September 1999, according to the New
From The Harvard Data Dump:
IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN A $4.7 BILLION RESERVE BY
THE SWISS RE NAZI GOLD, AND A $4.7 BILLION ATTEMPTED
SEIZURE OF GOLDMAN SACHS HUD LOAN SALE ASSETS?
~ ~ ~
In the summer of 1996, a highly political “investigation” was begun by the
Department of Justice into bid rigging and insider trading with respect to $4.7
billion of HUD loan sales by Goldman Sachs and PNC.
If various efforts to falsify evidence by the HUD and/or destroy evidence by the
HUD Inspector General (DynCorp, now prime contractor) and destroy witnesses
through a smear campaign during the subsequent four year investigation had been
successful, the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund (DynCorp, prime
contractor) would have had the basis of a $4.7 billion seizure of assets from
Goldman and PNC.
During the same summer in 1996, efforts began to identify and seek reparations
regarding Nazi gold and other assets maintained by Swiss banks, including the
Swiss National Bank, Credit Swiss, and United Bank of Switzerland (UBS). The
interim reparations fund was established by the Swiss at $4.7 billion US.
Allegations exist that the PROMIS software system at the Department of Justice
was used to identify Nazi accounts at the Swiss banks. According to Bill Hamilton
of Inslaw, DynCorp is one of the contractors who assumed Inslaw’s work in
managing the PROMIS system for the Department of Justice.
Allegations also exist regarding the use by Lockheed and Pug Winokur/DynCorp of
the PROMIS system to compromise the HUD systems, with $17 billion and $59
billion reported missing in FY1998 and FY1999.
Lockheed with DynCorp as a subcontractor manages the largest part of the HUD
computer systems. HUD has refused to respond to FOIA’s regarding DynCorp’s
contracts and subcontracts at HUD, taking the position that they have no contracts
with DynCorp and that the prime contractor refuses to respond to their requests….
November 12, 1997
From Russia Reform Monitor, No. 341, American Policy Council
Washington, D.C. – Gazprom, the natural gas monopoly dominated by Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin, announces a delay in its planned $3 billion bond offering due
to pressure from Washington over its gas exploration deal with Iran, the New
York Times reports.
The Iran deal would put Gazprom in violation of the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act
designed to penalize those regimes for supporting terrorism.
The deal might also make Gazprom’s lead underwriter, the Goldman, Sachs
investment bank, liable under the law as well….
“This is a tough one,” a senior Administration official said. “There are a lot of
competing interests, and the coherence of our Iran policy is at stake.”
“Stopping the Gazprom financing” would not only punish a partially state-owned firm
vital to Russian economic recovery, the New York Times notes; “It would also punish
Goldman, Sachs, a big contributor to President Clinton’s campaign whose former
co-chairman is the powerful Treasury Secretary, Robert E. Rubin, without stopping
any other foreign company from underwriting Gazprom….
Adding to the pressure on the Administration, Congress had begun to discuss how
to punish Goldman, Sachs and is already holding up the issuing of further Export-Import credits to Gazprom.”
[Editor’s note: Secretary Rubin continues to hold financial interests in Goldman,
Sachs but claims they do not influence his decisions.]
From Gold-Eagle, by Ted Butler, 12/08/99:
In my last article, I publicly accused at least six financial firms of fraud and
manipulation, for their dealings in the precious metals derivatives arena. I’m still
here. The fact that none has responded or acknowledged my allegations can be
interpreted in a number of ways. While it doesn’t prove them guilty, it doesn’t
exonerate them either. Their silence will not deter me.
Since the manipulation of the price of gold and silver continues, I intend to turn up
The recent controversy about Goldman Sachs and its relationship with its client
Ashanti Goldfields, provides further insight into the murky world of precious
metals dealing, as well as the title of this piece. We are fortunate that this
relationship has been made as public as it has, for it sheds more light on the gold
and silver manipulation and permits specific new accusations against Goldman. One
is very ugly indeed.
Published reports (principally from London) have presented detail that paint
Goldman Sachs in a far different light than is normally associated with the high
powered investment bank. For the record, I had contacted Goldman, once again, at
the highest level prior to releasing this article, telling them the nature of this
article and giving them the opportunity to refute my claims. Once again, they have
chosen not to respond nor refute. I can’t beg them to address this issue. I have
no personal vendetta against Goldman … my vendetta is against the crime of
precious metals leasing and unlimited and unrestricted short selling in the 15 year
manipulation in gold and silver.
Goldman Sachs is a key player in that manipulation and as such, they are a fair
target in light of recent revelations. Certainly, no one can accuse me of being a
bully towards Goldman, not when there is universal acceptance that Goldman Sachs
is the bully of the entire precious metals market.
Let’s face it, this firm is at the top of the food chain.
The dealings that Goldman Sachs had with their client Ashanti are sickening. It is
hard to reconcile Goldman’s actions in a world where the meaning of words such as
honesty, fiduciary responsibility, fairness and some concern for your fellow man, is
known to all.
If an individual lacked such basic traits, we would all consider that unfortunate.
For an institution like Goldman to lack such traits is unacceptable. The public
record shows that Goldman misled Ashanti. Just a little bit of common sense will
Step back for a moment, and try to put what happened in the Ashanti – Goldman
relationship into proper perspective. Ashanti, which has only been a public company
for five years, increased its Goldman-sanctioned short strategy to the point where
a $60 increase in the price of gold rendered it insolvent.
Please think about this. This was no renegade unauthorized trader gone wild. This
was Ashanti’s corporate policy. Goldman was their banker. Goldman knew, or
should have known, what Ashanti was doing. What Ashanti was doing was proving to
the world just what a scam leasing/forward selling and derivatives are.
For the first time in history, a deliberate and widely known “hedging” strategy
caused a public company to self-destruct financially…
This was no financial accident. This was a direct and unavoidable result of the
systemic fraud that leasing is.
Your common sense should tell you that something is wrong, when for the first time
ever, higher prices for their product hurts producers.
This Wall Street designed Ponzi scheme has turned the metal world upside down,
with producers actually rooting for lower prices. Bad things are destined to happen
to the hundreds of mining companies that resemble Ashanti.
The blame can be placed squarely on Goldman Sachs and the other unethical
It is no wonder that Goldman Sachs and its counter-party posse were quick to white
wash the mess they created at Ashanti. (An aside – I’m starting to believe that
“counter-party” means having a position that is counter to the best interests of
your client). Since Ashanti couldn’t meet its margin calls and no one has figured out
how to repossess real estate in Ghana, margin was waived by a “standstill”
This is outrageous.
Manipulative short sales which, by definition, were a price depressant influence
when initiated, were allowed to remain in place even after it became obvious that
the short seller couldn’t meet its obligations.
Is it just me, or is this not a direct affront to the concept of free markets?
Those that had reassured themselves that the price depressing influence of all
this obscene short selling would be negated and offset by the eventual buyback or
delivery, should rethink their position. Every action in this crises revolves around
preventing Ashanti from buying back its short position on the open market. Real
gold and naked calls were sold on the open market at the outset of the
transactions, but the requirement to buy-back was unilaterally waived by the new
rules of the crooked dealers, lest the price get out of hand.
Goldman’s and the counter-parties’ mopping up actions in waiving margin
requirements for Ashanti make them clearly guilty of market interference for the
purpose of price fixing.
I don’t understand how the authorities can’t, or won’t, see this. You would think,
aside from reckless client negligence, that this would be the most severe charge
one could bring against Goldman. I only wish that were true.
Now I make an accusation that saddens me.
It is an accusation that I have wrestled with, because it is so serious and ugly. The
fact that I have offered pre-notification to the party I am accusing, and asked
them to set me straight, does not lighten the burden. It is an accusation that not
only have I never made about anyone, but one which I never thought I would ever
make. But the evidence is so overwhelming, and the nature is so germane to the
issue of fraud and manipulation in gold and silver, that I feel I have no choice.
I claim that Goldman Sachs, as part of its role in the sinful manipulation in gold and
silver, is additionally guilty of racial discrimination towards its client Ashanti
Please allow me to explain.
First, as a white man, let me give you my definition of racial discrimination. You
know I don’t mince words. White men taking advantage of black men, because they
are black, is my definition of racism. Clearly, the record shows that this is what
Goldman Sachs did to Ashanti in their financial dealings. The proof lies in the public
It is no secret that Goldman Sachs has been the main financial advisor to Ashanti
since its formation as a publicly-owned mining company in 1994. The recent
Financial Times article of December 2, 1999 describes the relationship fully (The
title – “All Things to All Men”).
Additionally, the 1998 Annual Review for Goldman Sachs (www.gs.com) actually
highlights Ashanti as one of 16 corporate clients (out of thousands) deserving
special mention, including a testimonial by Ashanti about how good Goldman was to
them. The testimonial obviously predates the current situation.
Additionally, it is no secret that Ashanti led the gold mining world in the
shortselling of gold and gold derivatives, compared to production. At its peak,
Ashanti was close to 12 million ounces short, or an incredible 8 years worth of
The obvious question – how did Ashanti get to be the most aggressive short seller
of gold? Did they do it to themselves, or did Goldman do it to them? Or, does it
really matter – should Goldman, as its longtime financial advisor, have prevented
Ashanti from being in the disaster short position in the first place?
I think you have to look at each participant to determine if Goldman Sachs was
racist in its dealings with Ashanti. Ashanti is in Ghana, in the African Gold Coast.
The country is poor, with a literacy rate of 60%, a life expectancy of 55 years, and
20% unemployment. The ethnic diversity is 99.8% black African and the GDP is $7
Ashanti Goldfields is the largest employer by far (around 10 thousand), and along
with cocoa, gold provides the bulk of Ghana’s foreign exchange. Ashanti is
overwhelmingly a black company, with a CEO who is a native Ghanaian and who
worked himself up from a shift mine manager position. Ashanti’s current stock
(ASL-NYSE) capitalization is roughly $350 million.
Goldman Sachs is a global financial powerhouse whose ranks are loaded with
talented and educated overachievers. It will earn net profits of close to $2 billion
this year, and has a market capitalization of around $37 billion, or more than 100
times Ashanti’s (Ashanti does produce a real product or true wealth, while Goldman
is a moneychanger, but that’s a different topic). Hell, Goldman’s market cap is 5
times the whole country’s GDP.
Goldman Sachs has been a pioneer and experienced hand in the gold and silver
leasing /forward selling scheme for over 15 years. Ashanti has been involved for
maybe 4 years or so. Goldman has a tradition of sophisticated financial dealings
going back 130 years; the country of Ghana has only been independent for 40 years,
mostly under military rule. Ashanti was government-owned until 1994.
One fact that I can’t provide is how much money white Goldman Sachs made off of
black Ashanti. You can be sure the amount was as obscene as racism itself.
It is not possible for a reasonable person to conclude that Ashanti, in any possible
scenario, could hoodwink Goldman Sachs in a sophisticated game of dealing in
precious metals derivatives. So, if Ashanti has ended up on the ropes financially,
who’s fault is it? It’s so clear, it’s obnoxious. A new, unsophisticated investor
versus the master of the universe.
Ashanti, of all the mining companies hurt by the price rise, had the highest
concentration of “exotic”(aka “toxic waste”) naked mutant calls. Do you think that
Ashanti dreamed up the terms and conditions of these derivatives that are
polluting our financial markets?
The white man (Goldman) tricked the black man. That, my friends, is racism at the
worst I have seen in thirty-five years.
Goldman Sachs should be punished severely and stripped of any privilege of dealing
with any government entity. At the very least, I can’t imagine how they could be
allowed to continue in the metal business.
Even if you refuse to acknowledge this conclusion on the information I’ve provided,
and somehow still think Goldman’s role was proper, ask yourself this – why did a
majority of gold producing mining companies all do the same thing at roughly the
same time? As I detailed in my last piece, there was an unnatural movement by all
sorts of mining companies to load up on dangerous short gold derivatives at
precisely the wrong time. Was this the mining companies getting together to trick
the Wall Street Sharks?
In defense of Goldman, I don’t think they are racist motivated. They are
motivated by GREED.
They would steal from anyone, using any available method – in that sense they are
truly non-discriminatory. Racism was not the primary motive in Goldman’s dealings
with Ashanti – money was.
But even though the people of Goldman may not be personally racists, or the firm
may not normally be considered a racist organization, motivation doesn’t matter.
The law (both moral and written) doesn’t distinguish – it is not permitted.
The historic Civil Rights Movement that I personally witnessed was about
eliminating institutional racial discrimination, and hopefully individuals’ minds in
time. That’s what makes Goldman’s actions so repugnant – the racial discrimination
they are guilty of is institutional in nature. That Goldman’s prime motivation in its
dealings with Ashanti was not racial discrimination, doesn’t excuse the fact that
racial discrimination obviously existed.
And it should matter not that those discriminated against were not of our shores.
Surely the law intended to preclude US companies from violating the civil rights of
Goldman’s role in Ashanti’s finances was so pervasive, that they can’t walk away.
In this sense, Ashanti is likely to be restructured, rather than liquidated, because
Goldman would really get a black eye otherwise. That, plus the mining assets can’t
be repossessed. Goldman might even arrange for a backroom covering of Ashanti’s
But even if Goldman were to refund all fees, rescind all transactions and make
Ashanti whole, that doesn’t change the fact that Ashanti was clearly racially
discriminated against. And it doesn’t lessen Goldman’s involvement in the broader
institutional fraud of leasing.
As disturbing as Goldman’s transgressions against Ashanti are, I’ve always thought
that one of the uglier aspects to the fraud and manipulation in gold and silver has
been the hardship borne by the individuals who actually toil down in the mines. Not
only do they labor in an unbelievably difficult environment, they all too often are
deprived a livelihood because of the artificially depressed prices of gold and silver.
Over the course of the leasing scam, hundreds of thousands of innocent people
(most of them black Africans) have been thrown out of work due to mine closures
because of low prices. If that was because of legitimate supply/demand forces, it
remains just sad and unfortunate. But if it was because of a manipulative hand
from the canyons of Wall Street, it is also outrageous and unacceptable.
In this sense, while I’ve singled out Goldman Sachs in their dealings with Ashanti,
Goldman wasn’t alone at Ashanti, nor in the overall leasing scheme. By artificially
depressing the price through their manipulative actions, AIG, Chase, JP Morgan,
UBS and Republic Bank, and others, are also racists in the institutional
discrimination against laid-off black workers.
That they also caused the non-racist unemployment of non-black or other minority
mine workers, does not lessen their guilt, that crime is separate to the
So far, I’ve gone to the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the Justice Dept., US
Attorneys, the FTC, the Comptroller of the Currency, the CFTC (many times), and
mining companies and their auditors in trying to end this scam. Wouldn’t it be
something if what broke the back of the manipulators was a civil rights activist?
The authorities who should be on top of the scam obviously won’t do it – so maybe
someone from left field might do the trick. I’ve always known that if this fraud
and manipulation were as broad and deep as I’ve insisted over the years, the proof
of its existence would manifest itself in many ways. But I must tell you, even I am
shocked about the recent revelations in this scam.
Even I am taken back by the ugliness and evil that has sprung from an inherently
flawed concept – metal leasing and unlimited short selling.
From The American Populist Review –
America’s Financial Hoodlums
With its highly questionable involvement in the ruinous Ashanti Goldfields (Ghana)
hedging mudslide, Goldman Sachs has suffered a public relations scorching of huge
For these New York-based investment traders, that’s no novelty. …
Goldman Sachs, to put it mildly, has an unfortunate reputation associated with
financial bubble crashes….
It was in the late 1920s, when Goldman sought to project a public image as a “rock-ribbed conservative bank.” In hard fact (how history repeats itself!) it was
probably the most wildly speculative bank in the US at the time. It was named by a
US government-appointed investigation as one of the banks which, by looting,
market rigging and outrageous manipulation helped precipitate the Wall Street
crash of 1929, at the time the worst financial crash in world history.
It led directly to the Great Depression of the 1930s, the international rise of
communism and of Nazi Germany, all leading inexorably to World War II….
Then, as now, Goldman Sachs was one of the top-ranking bond trading companies. It
lent some of its capital to its own captive commercial banks, charging them rates as
high as 20%, so they could lend it in turn as “call money” to speculators playing the
stock market. With the Wall Street crash, the whole house of cards came tumbling
down. . . .
The rapid deleveraging of the Goldman Sachs empire helped topple the market.
Others involved in producing this outcome included JP Morgan, National Bank (today
Citigroup/Citicorp) and Chase Manhattan National Bank (today Chase Manhattan).
The price paid for that insane market, resulting in the runaway disintegration of
the US stock market and the pulverisation of the global economy, was bitter
indeed. In America, by 1933, the economy had shrunk by 30%, one quarter of all
American workers were jobless, a third of the country’s banks were in the
bankruptcy court. The banks were blamed – and compared with Al Capone.
The stock market did not fully recover till 1954. . . .
April 25, 1995
Bishop’s Gambit –
Hawaiians Who Own Goldman Sachs
Stake Play Clever Tax Game
Their Trust Is Educational, But Investments Produce
Big Incomes for Trustees – Macadamia Nuts For The IRS
The Wall Street Journal
The giant Hawaiian trust that now owns 11% of Goldman, Sachs & Co. bills itself as a
charity. It’s an increasingly tough sell…
Take executive pay: For the year ended June 30, 1993, Bishop’s five trustees
earned $820,000 each — payments calculated, in unusual fashion, partly as a
percentage of the trust’s tax-free investment income…
Wheeling and Dealing
Bishop Estate doesn’t invest like a traditional charity either: Instead of passively
pursuing rent, interest and dividends, Bishop wheels and deals in the world of
shopping centers, apparel chains…
The highly secretive trust enjoys near-Olympian status in Hawaii and disdains
scrutiny from outsiders….
The architect of Bishop’s diversification was then-trustee Matsuo Takabuki . . . a
man who savored “relationship investing” with the rich and socially prominent…
In short order, the trust became investment partners with the Rockefellers,
Wendy’s hamburger-chain founder Dave Thomas, Marshall Field scion Frederick W.
Field and former Treasury Secretary William Simon, among others…
On the federal level, some warn that Bishop risks violating the IRS prohibition
against “excessive personal benefit” as a result of its executive compensation
“The IRS is quite concerned with organizations where people are being paid a great
deal,” says Dan Langan, a spokesman at the National Charities Information Bureau, a
watchdog group. “You’ve hit the jackpot with this group.”…
Moreover, during the past several decades, Bishop has nurtured close ties with
the IRS, whose employees in Washington and Los Angeles are visited periodically by
Bishop officials — sometimes bearing chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. . . .
There are signs, though, that Bishop Estate is looming larger on the politicians’
radar screen these days — thanks in part to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin,
former chairman of Goldman Sachs.
In December, 1992, shortly after Bishop purchased its first Goldman Stake, Mr.
Rubin, who had just been named U. S. Secretary of Treasury, needed to divest
himself of his limited-partnership interest in Goldman Sachs…
In just one phone call from Goldman, Bishop agreed to guarantee, for a fee, Mr.
Rubin’s Goldman limited-partnership interest in the unlikely event that the firm
ever went under.
Bishop will get to pocket about $1 million in fees from Mr. Rubin and to enjoy the
satisfactions, however intangible, of having a lasting relationship with the man who
now, it turns out, oversees the IRS.
Mr. Rubin, who has recused himself from Bishop and Goldman matters, disclosed
that arrangement last February when questions were raised about his and Goldman
Sach’s potential stake in the Mexican bailout.
Now the House Banking Oversight and Investigations subcommittee is planning
hearings in which Mr. Rubin may be questioned about his financial links both to
Goldman Sachs and Bishop Estate….
Separately, Bishop’s federal subsidies are also under review again in Congress —
where the once-influential Hawaiian delegation is suddenly part of the minority
Says Rep. John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio who led an unsuccessful fight last
year against the handouts, “The Bishop Estate is pushing the limits of the law
and deserves more scrutiny…”
From The Buying of the President: . . .
Goldman Sachs has enjoyed very good relations, as you might expect, with the
Clinton Administration since January 20, 1993. Not only did the firm’s co-chairman
join the president’s cabinet, but Kenneth Brody, a Goldman Sachs general partner
until 1991, was appointed by the president to be chairman of the Export-Import
Goldman Sachs, the president’s top career patron, contributed $15,000 to the
Democratic party since Bill Clinton’s inauguration, and also has ties to the
president’s legal defense fund, which was begun to defray the Clintons’ legal
expenses from the Whitewater investigation and a sexual harassment civil lawsuit.
Although the Office of Government Ethics looks unkindly on anyone who solicits
contributions for the defense fund, a Washington lobbyist for Goldman Sachs,
Michael Berman, has raised money for just that purpose . . .
The general counsel of the President’s Legal Defense Trust was Bernard Aidinoff,
whose law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell, has done substantial work for Goldman
Sachs, and has contributed $37,600 to Clinton. . .
Rubin spearheaded Goldman’s move into Mexico, and the firm had steered billions
of dollars to that emerging market over the years. The peso crisis of 1993-94
came to a head just as Rubin was becoming treasury secretary. His one-year
recusal from dealing in matters affecting Goldman Sachs had ended. By helping
Mexico to make good on its commitment to bondholders, the $20 billion U.S.
portion of the bailout was viewed by some as a publicly-financed insurance
policy for Rubin and Goldman Sachs, along with other large investment houses and
banks that were highly exposed in Mexico.
Rubin was a partner in the firm and could be civilly liable for claims by investors.
Mexico has already used the bailout money to pay back investment banks.
If the bailout was not a guarantee, the investment community was further
reassured by the “Framework Agreement For Mexican Economic Stabilization,”
signed by Treasury Secretary Rubin and the Mexican Ministry of Finance on
February 21, 1995. The document gave the Department of the Treasury “the right
to distribute, in such manner and in such order of priority it deems appropriate”
the Mexican export revenues it now controls.
In other words, Robert Rubin had the power to grant first rights of payment to
whomever he chooses, including the holders of Mexican bonds purchased from
The Savings and Loan Disaster, Rubin, and Altman
Estimates of the cost to the economy of the savings and loan crisis range from
$150 billion to $1.3 trillion.
When it came time for the Clinton administration to supervise resolution of the
debacle, the president put in charge two men who came from the sector that would
end up making money off the disaster: Wall Street.
Both Rubin and Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, formerly of the
Blackstone Group, joined the administration after their investment banking firms
had made millions of dollars in the clean-up of the savings and loan disaster. The
government was relying on Wall Street to sell the failed thrifts and Goldman, in
particular, was one of the early and biggest players, purchasing “several billion” in
Neither Rubin nor Altman was directly involved in their firms’ thrift work, but in
one case that began while Rubin ran Goldman, a Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC)
audit found, in general, that both Goldman Sachs and the RTC behaved improperly in
pursuing the deal and concluded that the adverse effects were magnified by the
RTC having given Goldman Sachs an increased role as underwriter.
Essentially, Goldman Sachs was both buying and selling properties.
The RTC was created in 1989 to clean up the savings and loan mess….
“We believe the $10.1 million in fees that RTC paid to Goldman Sachs for assets
that it did not sell were unreasonable.”…
May 11, 1998
Elite Gobble Your Tax Dollars
By Martin Mann, The Spotlight
The House and the Clinton administration are eye-ball to eye-ball on billions for the
IMF. The key question is, who benefits?…
The Clinton administration is pressing Congress to vote a hefty new handout — some
$18 billion — to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this year...
These stories have been well covered in the mainstream media. But what has been
missing from the White House press releases — and mainstream media reports — is
where the money really goes. . . .
To make up for such lack of candor, this populist newspaper has launched its own
inquiry to find out just who gets the dough rolled out for this conspiratorial one-world financial bureaucracy The answers turned out to be revealing. . . .
First rakeoff rights off the top go to Goldman Sachs, the giant Wall Street
investment bank where Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin made his first billion in
the anything goes 1980’s…
Goldman Sachs has been retained as a lavishly-paid financial adviser, underwriter
and syndicator both by the governments of South Korea and Indonesia, as well as
some of the largest banks and corporations in these sorely squeezed countries.
BILLIONS INVOLVED . . .
Under current arrangements, stage-managed by Rubin and his faithful sidekick,
Undersecretary of the Treasury Laurence Summers, Indonesia and South Korea are
slated to share an eye-popping $100 billion in IMF bailout funds during the next
16 months or so….
“You’d think most of the loot would go to help ease some of the crushing dollar-denominated debt of these hard-hammered Asian economies — at least, that’s what
Rubin and Larry Summers claim,” commented Fred Ackerman, a veteran Wall Street
trader in international debentures…
Nothing like it, warned this veteran money manager. “In reality, the IMF’s bailout
is being used mainly as loan insurance to enable Indonesia’s and Korea’s tapped-out
state agencies and corporations to borrow even more in the global markets.”…
Goldman Sachs, chosen as the lead underwriter and syndicator of new bond issues
for some of the largest Southeast Asian borrowers, is already collecting millions —
and is expected to collect tens of millions — of dollars in fees and royalties for
helping to pile more debt on the stumbling Indonesian and Korean economies….
“It’s like one of Mike Milken’s daisy chains, isn’t it?” asked Ackerman sarcastically,
referring to the fraudulent syndicates set up in the ‘80’s by convicted swindler
Michael “Junk King” Milken to rig the bond markets. . . .
In much the same fashion, there is just a thinly veiled linkup between the official
acts of Treasury Chief Rubin – known to insiders as the most powerful man in
Washington as well as the main back-channel promoter of the IMF – and the huge
profits skimmed by his once-and-future firm, Goldman Sachs, from such
international bailouts, Wall Street sources say…
The second kickback from the IMF bailout goes to what even the Wall Street
Journal calls “vulture capitalists” — that is, international financiers who pounce on
distressed corporations, buy them out at knockdown prices, and then use “special
connections” to make a killing on the deal. This is what happened in Mexico in 1994-95, and it’s happening now in Southeast Asia, Wall Street sources say. . . .
For an example, they cite the case of Daewoo, a major Korean car manufacturer,
crushed by a back-breaking $3 billion debt it could no longer service after
international speculators, led by George Soros, raided Korea’s currency and
devalued it by more that a third last year. . .
An international syndicate headed by General Motors and advised by Goldman
Sachs is now negotiating to buy a controlling interest in Daewoo at a time when they
can acquire the huge bankrupt manufacturing complex at a steep discount,
something like “15 cents on the dollar,” these sources averred….
“That’s a real sweet deal for the vulture investors grabbing Daewoo, but will they
also get stuck with its $3 billion in outstanding debt,” asked Dr. Gottfried
Sieberth, the dean of European financial writers based in the U.S….
Not if the IMF cash is divided up the way it was in Mexico, where it was used to
buy up the defaulted loans of the biggest banks and corporations, explained this
May 3, 1999:
Trust Scandal Haunts Goldman –
Sullied Bishop Estate Owns 10% of Bank
Daytime television has nothing on the Bishop Estate, a charitable trust that will
make a huge windfall in Goldman Sachs’ initial public offering expected Tuesday…
The trustees of the estate are mired in an explosive scandal with subplots of
greed, cronyism, sex and suicide that are worthy of the tawdriest soap opera….
Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate was set up 115 years ago to educate Hawaiian
children as stipulated in the will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct
descendant of the king who united the islands. With assets of about $10 billion, it
is one of the richest trusts in the USA and the largest private landowner in
Among its assets: a 10% stake in Goldman Sachs, the leading investment bank that
is ending its long reign as a private partnership. When Goldman goes public, the
estate stands to at least triple the value of its $500 million investment….
May 4, 1999
Goldman Sachs Leaves Little
To Chance With Red-Hot IPO
The Wall Street Journal
The IPO which raised $3.66 billion, ranks as the largest financial-services IPO
Top executives at Goldman, such as Mr. Paulson, received shares in the company
valued at as much as $200 million….
Goldman itself sold 51 million shares. Two Goldman shareholders, Kamehameha
Activities Association and Sumitomo Bank Capital Markets, a unit of Sumitomo
Bank, also sold nine million shares each, leaving them with Goldman stakes of 4% and
May 10, 1999
Goldman Goes Shopping
On the eve of its initial public offering, Goldman Sachs has Wall Street’s attention.
It’s the last of the great private investment banks to go public, and its IPO is the
most alluring so far this year.
Goldman will sell 11% of the firm during the first week in May. The offering will be
priced between $45 and $55 per share and could fetch more than $3.3 billion.
That would put a value of $25 billion on the whole company, making it the largest
financial services IPO ever.
But what’s really got Wall Street matchmakers abuzz is what happens next: What
will Goldman do with all of that valuable currency? . . .
An insurance play is another possibility. Marsh & McLennan is said to have
rebuffed several would-be buyers of its Putnam Investments management group.
But Putnam isn’t the only big draw for Goldman Sachs. A steady stream of income
from insurance fees would quell Wall Street’s concerns that Goldman’s sales are
linked too closely to trading.
“Marsh & McLennan has a hammer-lock on the insurance brokerage business
globally, and its asset-management group, Putnam, is clearly of the necessary
stature,” says Donald Putnam…
< < < FLASHBACK < < <
From: Goldman Sachs, by Lisa Endlich:
Above all, (Sidney) Weinberg showed unswerving devotion to his clients….
He had restored the firm’s good name and laid the groundwork for its later
profitability. For decades to come Goldman Sachs would benefit from the goodwill
generated by this one man….
The day after Sidney died on July 23, 1969, his obituary ran on the front page of
the New York Times, alongside news that U.S. astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin, and
Collins were returning from the moon….
Gustave Levy was the obvious and only choice to succeed Weinberg as senior
partner of Goldman Sachs in 1969….
Weinberg’s style of doing business had no place in Levy’s rough-and-rumble trading
world. While Weinberg strove to associate Goldman Sachs’s name with the finest
corporations in America, those closest to Levy say his aspirations were more
mercantile — he simply wanted to do all of the business….
The choice of Levy to head an investment bank was an unusual and ultimately pivotal
one. The senior partners of the firm’s major competitors at the time were bankers.
Goldman Sach’s business and culture were heavily weighted toward banking as well,
but with a trader at the helm Goldman Sachs would become prepared for the
trading-oriented world that would emerge in the early 1980’s.
One of Levy’s greatest contributions was to prepare the firm psychologically for
the risky world of proprietary, mortgage-backed securities, and derivative
~ ~ ~
Levy brought trading risk to Goldman Sachs and thereby set the firm on an
entirely different path from the one Weinberg had steered. . . .
Weinberg had averred risk, arguing that it had once almost fatally damaged the
firm’s name. Levy, too, was concerned about the firm’s reputation, but he was
aggressive and ambitious and wanted Goldman Sachs to make money. . . .
During his earliest days in the arbitrage department, [Robert] Rubin got a taste of
Levy’s famed impatience. Rubin, analytically minded, had discovered a complex
trading opportunity involving warrants that would allow the form to buy stock at an
attractive price in the future.
Levy, who himself thrived on elaborate deals, hated long explanations. Rubin took
the idea to his boss, who listened for about a minute….
“Stop! D’ya wanna buy or d/ya wanna sell?” Levy shouted at Rubin in his New
Rubin tried again. “Gus, it’s not that simple.” …
“I don’t care!” Levy hollered. “D’ya wanna buy, or d’ya wanna sell? Don’t waste my
time.” . . .
~ ~ ~
BLOCK TRADING, which revolutionized the exchanges and is now the predominant
method for buying and selling large stock holdings, was Levy’s brainchild. After
World War II the country’s assets had become institutionalized. Many companies
set up self-administered pension funds that pooled savings but invested only in
Slowly, as the wisdom of diversifying into equities spread and the painful memories
of the crash receded, these funds began to purchase stocks….
~ ~ ~
FOR WALL STREET the early 1970s were wretched times. In January 1973 the
Dow had stood at 1,051 and by December 1974 it had almost halved to 578 and
would not rise above 1,000 again until 1980. For Goldman Sachs, which would
struggle with low earnings and a spate of lawsuits, this would be a particularly
The low point in Levy’s management of the firm came in February 1979, after the
Penn Central Railroad reported dismal earnings. An official of the National Credit
Office (the agency that rated commercial paper) telephoned Goldman Sachs, Penn
Central’s commercial paper issuer, to discuss the railroad’s creditworthiness. The
firm reassured the official of its generally positive view of the situation, and the
paper’s “prime” rating was left in place….
Goldman Sachs continued to sell Penn Central paper, but took steps that minimized
its own exposure to the securities. While still recommending the commercial paper
to customers, the firm feared that there would be little customer demand and
insisted that henceforth it would provide customers with Penn Central paper from a
“tap” — that is, the railroad would issue a specified amount whenever Goldman
Sachs brought them an interested buyer. In this way, Goldman Sachs would have no
more than $8 million in inventory….
When Penn Central plunged into bankruptcy, panic engulfed the commercial paper
market. Investors concerned about the solvency of other issues by Goldman Sachs–the firm had about 300 issuers at the time–rushed to redeem their securities.
Corporations all over America had to borrow from banks to repay these short-term
debts, and the Federal Reserve was forced to act to ensure continued liquidity….
Goldman Sachs has assumed, incorrectly, that the Federal Reserve would rescue
the railroad by providing it with the needed liquidity….
Levy testified later that at no time was he concerned about the solvency of the
railroad. Regardless, Goldman Sachs was censured by the Securities and Exchange
Commission for its actions and required to give customers more detailed
information about issuers in the future.
Despite the fact that Goldman Sachs had access to a great deal of adverse
financial information about Penn Central, the SEC said that it “did not communicate
this information to its commercial paper customers, nor did it undertake a thorough
investigation of the company…”
For Goldman Sachs the episode was nothing short of a disaster. The firm’s good
name, nurtured for so many decades by Sidney Weinberg, was once again tarnished,
its credibility damaged, its finances precarious. . .
Clients lined up to sue the firm, with Goldman Sachs named in at least forty-five
The railroad had defaulted on $87 million worth of commercial paper at the time of
the bankruptcy, and the firm faced potential lawsuits for an amount greater than
the partners’ capital, which stood at only $53 million at the time.
It was a frightening time for the forty-five partners, because their personal
liability was unlimited.
Although the firm did not admit liability, it eventually settled with many clients,
buying their paper back for between twenty and twenty-five cents on the dollar and
granting them some participation in any recovery of funds that might be made from
In October 1974, Welch’s Foods and two other plaintiffs sued the firm, and the
case went to trial.
A federal jury found Goldman Sachs guilty of defrauding its customers by selling
them Penn Central commercial paper in 1969 and 1970, when the railroad was going
The firm was forced to buy back the commercial paper from the plaintiffs at its
face value plus interest….
~ ~ ~
In October 1976, Levy suffered a stroke and collapsed while chairing a board
meeting … Leaderless, the firm was left in turmoil….
~ ~ ~
The author writes that the two leading contenders for Levy’s leadership seat were
John Whitehead and Sidney Weinberg’s son, John L. Weinberg, and that eventually
they were elected to co-chair the firm. Sidney, according to the author, had given
his son advice about the business, and relates a story about him sending John to see
Floyd Odlum, the man to whom he had sold the Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation:
While the other meetings John attended may have produced some sound advice,
Odlum’s words still ring in John’s ears some fifty years later … Odlum offered the
younger Weinberg these prophetic words of advice: “I am going to do something for
you. I will give you this book, but you have to promise me that for the whole rest
of your career, you will keep a copy of this book and refer to it….”
The book was Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles McKay,
originally published in 1841.
“Watch for the excesses,” Odlum warned.
“No one is going to tell you what they are or when they will arise; each time they
will look different.”
Excesses will be taken care of by the marketplace, he told the younger man, but as
each generation forgets the lessons of the last, the same mistakes are made
~ ~ ~
By the 1970s, Levy’s legacy had passed to consummate trader Robert Rubin…
The 1980s would mirror the 1920s with an eerie deja vu. The market rally, the
ensuing crash, the financial scandals, the merciless government investigations — all
had been witnessed sixty years earlier….
The takeover wave would bring new and unimagined opportunities, as hostile tenders
and “greenmail” provided price aberrations of the kind that arbitrageurs thrive
Working with a $1 billion portfolio of securities, Rubin and his half dozen
assistants immersed themselves in the takeover mania of the 1980s.
Robert Freeman was Rubin’s number one assistant, soon becoming a partner in the
~ ~ ~
For years the “Chinese Wall” — the veil of secrecy intended to keep confidential
information from traveling from one department to another — between banking and
arbitrage was paper thin. Bankers all over Wall Street hopped the divide with
frightening regularity, consulting with traders about the market’s perception of a
deal . . .
The risk arbitrage department at Goldman Sachs acted as in-house consultant to
the firm’s merger specialists in a way that was entirely legal. Arbitrageurs
provided expert advice in evaluating the complexities of a deal and calculating the
potential market reaction…
Consultations between the two departments would continue until 1986, when the
trading environment on Wall Street and what was considered acceptable practice
On May 12, 1986, Dennis Levine, an investment banker at Drexel Burnham Lambert,
was arrested and charged with making $12 million on insider trading. . . . the
stories remained on the front pages of newspapers of the nation until the end of
By then, dozens of individuals had been arrested, their firms humiliated, as
billionaires traded in their mansions for jail cells.
~ ~ ~
The SEC investigations that began in 1986 changed the entire climate on Wall
Street. Previously accepted and legal practices came under scrutiny as firms
tightened their internal controls in response to a more thorough and aggressive
SEC. Many of the accepted practices at Goldman Sachs and other firms that
allowed arbitrageurs unimpeded access to information — talking with the bankers
working on a particular deal, for example — would be closely scrutinized and after
1986 changed dramatically….
No one dreamed of the damage a minor figure at a second-rate firm could do to
Information provided by Levine resulted in the arrest of a group of relatively junior
bankers from Shearson Lehman, Lazard Freres, and Goldman Sachs. These young
men had made relatively little or nothing from their illegal activities but would pay a
The Goldman Sachs banker, who pleaded guilty, was very junior and left the firm
immediately. Then, in a desperate plea bargain agreement, Levine offered up Ivan
Boesky, the best-known arbitrageur of the day.
Boesky had preached greed, financial success, and self-interest as acceptable, even
morally laudable goals….
~ ~ ~
On November 14, 1986, Boesky was arrested, pled guilty to charges of insider
trading, and paid the then unheard-of fine of $100 million.
He, in turn, implicated Martin Siegal, a well-respected and successful banker and
merger expert who recently had moved from solid Kidder Peabody to more daring
Drexel. Siegal had accepted suitcases of cash in exchange for tipping Boesky about
Seigel then pointed his finger directly at Robert Freeman, chief of risk arbitrage,
head of international equities, and trusted partner of Goldman Sa