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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 30, 2010 1:04 PM. The previous post in this blog was Zinger of the Day. The next post in this blog is Have a great weekend. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, April 30, 2010

How to stonewall a congressional hearing

Take it from Goldman Sachs's lawyer:

"Long, thoughtful pauses followed by rambling nonresponsive answers can easily devour half of a member’s allotted questioning time," Blalack told the American Lawyer.

Comments (6)

I'm still not quite clear on what they think they are going to nail G-S for. If it's trading on both sides of a deal, then every brokerage house in the world is guilty. In addition, a lot of individual investors engage in hedge strategies.

Now, if they could get Paulson up there and ask him why, within a week, he put G-S' biggest comp (Lehman) out of biz, then saved G-S and then gave AIG money to give to G-S - That I'd like to hear.

When brokering a deal you still have a fiduciary duty to your clients. I know that this is true of real estate, and I'm pretty sure it's true for stock brokers. It might be construed as "self-dealing" when you are selling bonds to a client as a broker and betting against them because you have insider knowledge as a principal at the same time.

Lying to your clients about the viability of an investment anytime is illegal. It is called fraud.

If it's trading on both sides of a deal, then every brokerage house in the world is guilty.

They did that. And they made lots of money at it. And they profited from the financial bailout. And they embarrassed a lot of congresspeople who will sooner or later have to stand for re-election and answer questions.

The latter three aren't necessarily crimes. But you had better believe that's why they're going after them.

"I know that this is true of real estate, and I'm pretty sure it's true for stock brokers."

Well, slight problem - Individual stock broker really thinks his client should go long on the market long term. Big-boy division in same brokerage thinks the marekt is going short short-term.

Both are being honest aren't they?

My issue is with Paulson's manipulation and unequal treatment of Lehman and his former employer G-S (which happens to be his family's fortune.)

Of course, if they get too close, then maybe Dodd and Frank will have to admit they aren't too clean in this either.

Another reason for term limits.

Since the other half of a member's time is consumed by a long and rambling impertinent speech in the form of a predicate to a question, we get the substance we deserve from these show trials, which is absolutely nothing.

As for Goldman's fiduciary duty, the Goldman clients in this transaction were two very large, very sophisticated banks and an immensely successful hedge fund, each with independent views on the markets and a proprietary research staff. They knew Goldman was a broker and a dealer. By its very nature the deal required there be long and short positions, no secret there. It would be absurd to assume that Goldman wasn't talking to parties on both sides. Of course Goldman talked to the longs and the shorts when it was structuring the deal -- that's how business is done.

It is ironic to pick on Goldman, because they did it right. Goldman was covered, hedged and insured eight ways to Sunday. If AIG, Lehman, WAMU, Wachovia, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Countrywide, GE Capital, GMAC, Bear Sterns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and dozens of others had been that careful, the bubble would never have grown so large and the meltdown might not have happened, or at least it could have been contained to suprime.

So you want to punish Goldman? Be careful of what you wish for.

I'm curious about relationship between The Nature Conservancy and Goldman Sachs. Henry Paulson head of Goldman Sachs gave up his presidency of TNC when he became SEcretary of the Treasury. His replacement was someone from Goldman Sachs. GS has been involved apparently in some land deals with TNC, but nobody is looking into the relationship of Goldman Sachs with TNC which is possibly the largest non-profit landowner in the US. Yes I do have a bone to pick with TNC because they brought Monsanto into Willapa Bay in 1990 along with the USFWS to use Rodeo, the aquatic form of Roundup, to eradicate spartina grass. And they aren't shy about spraying poisons into the waters all over Wa. state. And yes I'm the infamous owner of the Moby DickHotel and Oysterfarm, who has been fighting the spraying of pesticides in the bay by the Commercial Oystergrowers as well, for the 20 years that I have been here.


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