Tag Archives: goldman sachs

President Obama Fateful Error in Making Bush’s Goldman Sachs/AIG Scandal His Scandal

By William K. Black
Quito: June 3, 2015

We have known from the beginning that Lanny Breuer, who the Obama administration chose as its head of the Criminal Division in order to ensure that there would be no prosecutions of the banksters that led, and were enriched by the fraud epidemics that drove the crisis, would be a national embarrassment. Readers may recall that Breuer publicly admitted that what caused him to lose sleep was not the world’s most destructive fraud epidemics that ruined our economy or his grant of effective immunity to the banksters who led and became wealthy through those frauds. He lost sleep solely over his fear that if he held them accountable for the frauds that had bankrupted their corrupt banks those banks might be placed in receivership and honest managers appointed. (Of course, that isn’t how he phrased it, but that is what he was actually saying.)

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Remember When Carmen Segarra Exposed the NY Fed’s Refusal to Stop Goldman Sachs and Banco Santander’s Scam to Inflate Santander’s Capital? How’d that Work Out?

By William K. Black

On September 30, 2014 I wrote an article to explain the true significance (and horrific analysis by the NY Fed and much of the media) of Carmen Segarra’s key disclosure. My title was “A ‘Perfectly Legal’ Scam is Perfectly Unacceptable to Real Bank Supervisors.” Segarra was the NY Fed examiner who was fired for her criticisms of Goldman Sachs. Segarra was part of the group of new examiners hired as a result of the NY Fed’s admission that it had failed utterly under Timothy Geithner and that the failure had helped make possible the financial crisis. Segarra was part of the new crew that was supposed to radically vitalize the NY Fed’s broken supervisory arm. (Notice that I did not say “revitalize” – the NY Fed has always been Wall Street’s Fed bank, not America’s. It has never been an effective supervisor.)

The point I made was how similar the scam that Goldman crafted to reduce Banco Santander’s capital requirement was to the scam that Lehman used to reduce its capital requirement and pretend that it was healthy when it was deeply insolvent. The key thing that Segarra disclosed was that Mike Silva, her NY Fed boss, claimed that Lehman’s failure caused a “Road to Damascus” conversion that transformed him from a regulatory weakling into the big banks’ worst nightmare – a tough bank supervisor. I showed that, in reality, he did nothing when he learned of Goldman’s scam. The pathetic scope of his conversion is that he now understood that what Goldman and Santander were doing was unethical and endangered the global financial system, but remained unwilling to stop, try to stop, or even criticize Goldman and Santander’s scam.

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Dudley Do Wrong Rejects Being a “Cop” and Embraces “Foaming the Runways”

By William K. Black
San Fransisco, CA: November 22, 2014

William Dudley, the President of the NY Fed, is not a stupid man. He is, however, wholly unfit to be a regulator. He has now admitted that publicly. It is time for him to return to Goldman Sachs so that he can be replaced by someone expressly chosen to be a vigorous regulator who will embrace the most critical function of a financial regulator – to be the tough “regulatory cop on the beat.”

The story of Dudley’s ineptness has been mirrored by the New York Times’ inept coverage of the failures of one of the reporter Peter Eavis’ favorite sons on Wall Street. Eavis is a Brit with a B.A. in international history and politics. He has also been a pastor. He co-authored the epically incoherent column on the NY Fed’s most recent scandal, the leaking of confidential information by a NY Fed employee to a former NY Fed employee who had joined Goldman Sachs. I criticized that column in my November 20, 2014 article and provided some of the key missing facts and analytics.

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Note to Dudley: Everyone Questions the NY Fed’s Motives – For Good Reasons

By William K. Black
San Francisco, CA: November 20, 2014

The NY Fed and Goldman have combined again to produce fingers scraping on a moral blackboard. The story is – not – told coherently in a NY Times piece.

I’ll comment on only two aspects of the incoherent story. First, contrary to the NYT portrayal of the story, there is typically no ambiguity about whether regulatory information is confidential and there was no ambiguity about the particular information that we read (albeit, not in the NYT) that the NY Fed employee leaked to his former colleague after he joined Goldman Sachs.

Second, the NY Fed’s head, William Dudley’s, response to the latest scandal was “I don’t think anyone should question our motives.” I will argue that given the NY Fed’s intolerable institutional conflicts of interest, and the defense of continuing that conflict by the NY Fed’s leadership, e.g., Dudley, everyone should the regional Feds’ motives.

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Goldman Sachs Proof that God hates its Customers

By William K. Black

The chief executive of Goldman Sachs, which has attracted widespread media attention over the size of its staff bonuses, says he believes banks serve a social purpose and are “doing God’s work.”

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Goldman Sachs: Doing “God’s Work” by inflicting the Wages of Sin Globally

By William K. Black

The central point that I want to stress as a white-collar criminologist and effective financial regulator is that Goldman Sachs is not a singular “rotten apple” in a healthy bushel of banks.  Goldman Sachs is the norm for systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs) (the so-called “too big to fail” banks).  Impunity from the laws, crony capitalism that degrades democracy, and massive national subsidies produce exceptionally criminogenic environments.  Those environments are so perverse that they produce epidemics of “control fraud.”  Control fraud occurs when the persons who control a seemingly legitimate entity use it as a “weapon” to defraud.  In finance, accounting is the “weapon of choice.”  It is important to remember, however, that other forms of control fraud maim and kill thousands.

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Why the World Economic Forum and Goldman Sachs are Capitalism’s Worst Enemies

By William K. Black

It is fitting that Goldman Sachs is the recipient of this year’s “Public Eye” designation, but it is even more fitting that it is being announced during the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos.  Goldman Sachs exemplifies the travesty that WEF has created.  It is not the worst of the worst.  It is representative of the financial world of systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs) that are spreading crony capitalism through the West.  The SDIs are the so-called “too big to fail (or prosecute)” banks.

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The Vampire Squid has feelings and Obama is no longer her BFF

By William K. Black

Matt Taibbi famously dubbed Goldman “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” Taibbi knew his metaphor worked a deep injustice on Vampyroteuthis infernalis, a small animal that feeds on carrion and excrement (I will let the reader explore the metaphorical possibilities).    Goldman Sachs’ leaders were always secretly flattered by Taibbi’s metaphor.  They like being thought of as hyper-aggressive and intimidating.  Saying that an investment banker’s goal is to make money is to state the obvious and causes no embarrassment. Continue reading

Kudos for William Black’s Performance on CNBC

Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) has a post giving kudos to William Black for his performance on CNBC’s Closing Bell. The episode’s topic was whether or not Goldman Sachs should or could be prosecuted on fraud charges for their part in the financial crisis.

 

W. Black’s 8/10 Appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell

By William K. Black

My August 10th appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell opposite Bethany McLean. The debate topic was the failure to prosecute Goldman Sachs for any role in the financial crisis.