Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I'm sure by now most of you know that yesterday Goldman Sachs reported the bestest, stupendousest, wonderfulest, profitingest 1st quarter results in the history of financial reporting.

(Of course, they conveniently decided to change from their usual December through February reporting period, instead implementing one that encompassed January through March.)

And what happened to December, a month where the bank decided to write-down lots of really big losses. Well . . . they just ignored it. And the financial press lapped up their overwhelmingly big, and dishonest, numbers.

Jesse has a solid take on this latest move from our Masters. Read the whole post -- which is very short -- but this paragraph sums it up nicely:
Goldman did nothing illegal in their management of their earnings, both in the way in which they parsed the losses into a 'stub month' which was ignored, or in their decision to time an early announcement of 'exceptional profits' with a stock offering. But the financial press handled this badly, and considering the huge debt and forebearance Goldman owes to the government and the public it was not befitting a major institution with strong ties to the Obama administration.
It's the Insiders' country. We only live in it. Unless a sea change comes.

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Blogger Smitty said...

I don't remember...does AIG or GS or any of those folsk have to re-pay any of what the Government gave them? Or are they free to simply make their profits and pass them along to shareholders?

11:16 AM  
Blogger Weaseldog said...

They don't have to repay it.

Repayment is voluntary.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Smitty said...

Repayment is voluntary.[sigh]

I was afraid of that.

1:43 PM  
Blogger steves said...

Repayment is voluntary.What fiscal genius thought up that provision?

5:19 PM  
Blogger Weaseldog said...

As I remember, Geihtner fought for it and won.

It doesn't actually say that repayment is voluntary, but it doesn't stipulate repayment periods or terms.

Essentially, TARP assumes they'll pay it back, but doesn't require it to happen in any finite quantity of time. They could wait until after the sun explodes, or when a billion dollars is only day's wages for a janitor.

I think that the idea that GD will py back TARP, is really just a public relation stunt. I believe that the Gov will give them the money to repay the Gov.

10:46 AM  

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