Goldman Sachs and the Wall Street Conman
I was reading the New York Times and came across this article with the following headline:
Wall St. Helped Greece to Mask Debt Fueling Europe’s Crisis
Surprise is not the appropriate word. My only question is why do institutional investors continue to work with an organization that continues to sabotage the financial system for its own person greed. Where are all the pension funds that signed the PRI and claim to work towards a more values based finance system:
Here are the principles:
1 We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
2 We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
3 We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
4 We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
5 We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles
6 We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
Where is the outrage and disgust? If you look at a recent study done on mba’s, the shock is even greater.
“The bank’s reputation remains strong among aspiring MBAs. It was ranked the fourth-most-desirable place to work in a survey of 6,207 MBA candidates at 67 business schools from December 2008 through March 2009 by Universum Group, a Stockholm-based marketing company. Goldman Sachs, which was rated third the previous five years, trailed No. 1 Google Inc., based in Mountain View, California, and the consulting firms McKinsey & Co., in New York, and Bain & Co., in Boston.
Goldman Sachs hasn’t seen any decline in job inquiries from MBA students since last year, Sandra Hurse, vice president for global recruiting, wrote in an e-mail.
“Our applications numbers remain on par with previous years, and attendance at our recruiting events on campus this year were high,” Hurse said.
I guess dying rich in any way possible is still the mantra. However, I do believe that what Dow Chemical, experienced during the Vietnam War and what Shell experience with Nigeria and Brent Spar with respect to reputation will happen to Goldman Sachs. Perhaps, it will take longer, but in the long run, we need a finance system based upon values and less on macho ego. If not, the same melt down will happen over and over again.
We are already starting to see large institutional investors (pension funds, family offices, etc.) do their own financial engineering. It’s not rocket science, and many of the so called whiz kids on wall street, are not that smart. Recently, a large investment bank approached me for an introduction to a $ 100 billion low carbon infrastructure project. I tried to facilitate, but my friend (the client) said that the balance sheet of the investment banker was not strong enough for them. I referred this information to the investment bank, and they said in a pathetic attempt to boost up their ego “Oh. That is debt. We only do M&A”. It was hysterical and sickening to listen to this garbage.
“Dude you cut and paste text to be in compliance. You are not curing cancer and providing education, food, and water to billions of poor people”. Our standards for financial service industry providers need to be higher. There are many companies to choose. Whatever happened to the client is king.
I guess they never worked with Wall Street Investment Bankers.
GS may have aided and abetted Greece by providing the financial instrument (a swap) to enable them to ‘adjust’ their cash flows, but Greece was the guilty party in reporting this as reduced debt. GS were simply displaying business opportunism (although I’m certainly not defending them).
And by the way – how can a widely-reported swap (Risk magazine mentioned it as far back as 2003) suddenly come as a surprise to EU officials??
This is however more a question of how the entire EU budget and accounts network has become completely corrupt. The EU’s own auditors have rejected the official annual reports in every year for more than a decade now.
Have a look at some of the reports and articles written by Marta Andreassen (I think that’s the spelling) who became a corruption whistle-blower within the EU finance team – she’s now an MEP for UKIP (who favour the UK’s withdrawal from the EU).
Terrifying but fascinating stuff.
While not defending any of the companies mentioned or GS; Dow, Shell, etc. are still amongst the leaders in their respective segments. It is not that GS is doing something that its peers do not, it is just that they are doing it better!
It is not a fair world Robert, am afraid…