Goldman Sachs

Auditor Swap: Mazars Wins Goldman Sachs International Audit Firm Sweepstakes

For weeks, the rags in the U.K. have speculated about which midtier firm would win the battle to audit Goldman Sachs’ London-based European operations, a job PwC has held for what seems like a gazillion years. Would it be Grant Thornton? Would it be BDO, which became the fifth-largest firm in the U.K. earlier this […]

Goldman Sachs Makes PwC’s Former CEO New Lead Director

What does the world's most hated investment bank do when it wants to appear as though it is best serving the interests of both shareholders and clients? It grabs a PwC alum, that's what. James J Schiro got his start with PwC way back in 1967 (back when it was just plain ole Pw), clawing […]

Lloyd Blankfein Would Like Everyone to Get with Program Re: Mark-to-Market Accounting

This means you, Steve Schwarzman. And you, writers of FASB hate mail. It’s about time you all got on board.

“We are not moving away from mark-to-market accounting,” Mr. Blankfein said Tuesday. “The more we work with it and live with it the more I wish that everybody else would act in a corresponding way.”

You have your orders.

Goldman to Maintain Accounting Method [WSJ]

Goldman Sachs CFO: Layoffs Are About the Numbers

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. […] Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said the investment bank could layoff 1,000 employees globally as part of $1.2 billion in cost cuts.

During a conference call with analysts, Viniar said the potential headcount reduction is “as we sit here now and, of course, things can change,” adding that such layoffs would “come over the course of this year.” Viniar said the cuts could be “some senior, some junior people,” but “it’s really more dollar focused than head focused.” [MW]

Goldman Sachs CFO Admits That the Company Is Sensitive to Trash Talk, Doesn’t Go Looking for Trouble

Reuters reports that David Viniar told an investor conference in California that God’s Shop “take[s] all of the criticisms quite seriously” and “We never at least intentionally take reputational risk.”

Personally, I’m not sure why Vin is trippin’, since it’s pretty clear that most people don’t think Goldman is going the way of the dodo Andersen. [Reuters]

Department of Justice Would Treat Goldman Sachs Slightly Better Than Arthur Andersen

That is, the DOJ wouldn’t indict Goldman on criminal charges like they did Andersen. Which, you may recall, didn’t turn out so well for A^2.

DealBook reports the musings of Sanford Bernstein analyst Brad Hintz:

If an alleged violation is identified during a Goldman investigation, we expect a reasoned response from the Justice Department. In a worst case environment, we would expect a “too big to fail” bank such as Goldman to be offered a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, pay a significant fine and submit to a Federal monitor in lieu of a criminal charge. Consequently, we do not believe that Goldman investors face an “Arthur Andersen” risk.

No ‘Arthur Andersen’ Risk to Goldman, Analyst Says [DealBook]

NFL CFO Sick of Working for a Shrewd, Egotistical Organization; Returning to Goldman Sachs

Two years working for Roger Goodell must have been pure hell, compared to reporting to Lloyd.

Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto is leaving the NFL after two years to return to Goldman Sachs.


Tony will be slumming it in IBD as the co-head of the Global Media Group. The NFL is cool with it though; they understand that not everyone is cut out for the big leagues. The good news is they’ve still got a Team Jehovah alum heading up the Finance Department:

The league said Monday that Eric Grubman will oversee the finance group at least until the end of collective bargaining negotiations with the NFL Players Association. Grubman is executive vice president of business operations and led the league’s finance operations when he joined the NFL in 2004.

NFL CFO Anthony Noto returning to Goldman Sachs [AP]

Accounting News Roundup: Rangel Settlement May Be in the Works; IMA Launches New Website; Landing a Job with Uncle Sam | 07.29.10

Rangel Is in Talks to End Ethics Case [WSJ]
“Negotiations between lawyers for Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.) and House ethics investigators continued on the eve of a public hearing Thursday that was expected to lay out the charges aga ethics panel announced last week its plans to present a case against Mr. Rangel, his lawyers have been in private discussions about a possible settlement to avoid a hearing. A central issue is the wording of the House ethics panel’s findings about Mr. Rangel’s alleged ethics violations, according to a person familiar with the case.”

Audit reveals billions of dollars of Iraqi oil funds gone missing [Guardian]
Hard to believe that there would be trouble tracking the money over there, “The US department of defence has called in forensic accountants to help track $8.1bn (£5.2bn) of $9.1bn in Iraq’s oil revenue entrusted to it after the fall of Baghdad, following an official audit that revealed the money was missing.

The funds were to be used for spending on reconstruction during 2004-07, a period when Iraq was under weak transitional rule.

The report was issued today by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which had previously criticised poor book-keeping by senior officials throughout the last seven years.”

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Still Too Big to Nail [Jonathan Weil/Bloomberg]
“This month Congress passed the 2,323- page Dodd-Frank Act without any clear understanding of why the financial crisis happened — and without doing a thing to address Fannie and Freddie, which were central players. Now the Obama administration says it will deliver a reform proposal to Congress by January on the nation’s housing-finance system, including Fannie and Freddie. Yet the government still hasn’t undertaken any comprehensive inquiry into why these companies blew up and who was at fault.”

Tax Consequences of the Mother of All Yard Sale Bargains ($200 Million for $45) [TaxProf Blog]
Just stumbling across some Ansel Adams negatives.

IMA Launches New Website to Support Accounting Community [Business Wire]
“IMA™, the association for accountants and financial professionals in business, unveiled [Wednesday] its new website, now making it even easier for professionals to experience IMA’s range of valuable resources and services. The website can be accessed at www.imanet.org.”


How to Get a Job in Financial Regulation [FINS]
The SEC, FDIC and CFTC are all hiring in the wake of Dodd-Frank. But landing a gig with the Feds isn’t like landing a job anywhere else. FINS breaks it down for you.

George Carlin Never Would’ve Cut It at the New Goldman Sachs [WSJ]
What’s next? They take your will to live? “The New York company is telling employees that they will no longer be able to get away with profanity in electronic messages. That means all 34,000 traders, investment bankers and other Goldman employees must restrain themselves from using a vast vocabulary of oft-used dirty words on Wall Street, including the six-letter expletive that came back to haunt the company at a Senate hearing in April.”

Alex Rodriguez Objects to Rangers Bankruptcy Plan [Bloomberg]
Chances are, A-Rod doesn’t know the particulars but he would like the $24.9 million he’s owed.

Accounting News Roundup: Sue Sachdeva to Plead Guilty for Koss Embezzlement; AIG Settles Accounting Fraud with Ohio for $725 Mil; Some PwCers Are Hanging Out the Shingle | 07.19.10

Sachdeva to plead guilty to six felonies in Koss case [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
Late on Friday, it was reported that Sue Sachdeva will plead guilty to six felon embezzlement case that was discovered at the end of last year.

The agreement with prosecutors brought some new things to light including that the scam began in 1997 and she issue over 500 cashiers cheques, including $10 million to American Express but also to charitable groups.

Also: “From February 2008 to December 2009, she authorized 206 wire transfers totaling $16 million from Koss accounts to American Express to cover items she bought with the credit card.

From February 2008 to December 2009, she authorized 206 wire transfers totaling $16 million from Koss accounts to American Express to cover items she bought with the credit card.

•?Koss employees worked “in concert with Sachdeva or at her direction” to make fraudulent entries to the company’s books to conceal the embezzlement. “These entries would falsely overstate assets, understate liabilities, understate sales, overstate cost of sales, and overstate expenses,” the agreement said. The agreement notes that the false entries “concealed the actual receipts and profitability of Koss,” allowing the scheme to continue.

•?To keep auditors off her track, Sachdeva did not fraudulently take money from Koss accounts at Park Bank during the month of June, because transactions during that month were reviewed by outside accountants.”

A.I.G. to Pay $725 Million in Ohio Case [NYT]
“The American International Group, once the nation’s largest insurance group before it nearly collapsed in 2008, has agreed to pay $725 million to three Ohio pension funds to settle six-year-old claims of accounting fraud, stock manipulation and bid-rigging.

Taken together with earlier settlements, A.I.G. will ladle out more than $1 billion to Ohio investors, money that will go to firefighters, teachers, librarians and other pensioners. The state’s attorney general, Richard Cordray, said Friday, that it was the 10th largest securities class-action settlement in United States history.”


Goldman’s Grand Delusions Finally Hit Reality [Jonathan Weil/Bloomberg]
“Here’s the real beauty of the SEC’s settlement agreement [last week] with Goldman Sachs. The next time Goldman Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein goes on television and is asked by some reporter if Goldman committed securities fraud, as the SEC alleged, he won’t be allowed to say no.

He won’t be able to repeat any of the factually improbable denials Goldman issued just three months ago after the SEC sued it for ripping off a hapless German bank named IKB as part of a bond deal called Abacus 2007-AC1. He’ll just have to suck it up and take the hit. It’s “the right outcome for our firm, our shareholders and our clients,” as Goldman said in a press release after the settlement was disclosed.

More incredibly, the SEC even got Goldman to admit it made “a mistake,” which might be the strangest thing ever to happen on Wall Street. Next thing you know, Blankfein will grow wings for his trip to the heavens, and Goldman will surrender its charter as a bank-holding company to become a nonprofit center for religious studies.”

IMF Pulls Out of Hungary Loan Talks [WSJ]
“Negotiators for the International Monetary Fund and European Union walked away from talks with Hungary over the weekend, saying Budapest needs to do more to shrink its budget deficit before it can get any more bailout money.

The move is likely to alarm markets already suspicious of the new populist government’s pledges to cut spending.

After nearly two weeks of meetings with senior Hungarian officials, the IMF and EU teams on Saturday called an abrupt halt to the discussions. They said Hungary couldn’t have access—for now, at least—to the remaining funds in a 20 billion euro ($25.9 billion) loan package secured in late 2008 to rescue the country from a financial meltdown.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants split to form new firm [Salt Lake City Tribune]
Three PwC “accountants” (presumably partners/directors), Gil Miller, David Bateman and John Curtis have left the Salt Lake City office to form their own firm, Rock Mountain Advisory, LLC. The newly formed company will specialize in ” bankruptcy/restructuring, dispute analysis/receiverships, forensic accounting/due diligence, turnaround and business valuation.”

According to the Mr Miller, the trio formed their own business primarily because so many clients were being turned away from PwC due to “conflicts of interest.”

Accounting News Roundup: FinReg Brings Plenty of Change; Some Number Crunching of Goldman’s Fine; ATF: Sin Taxes Rose 41% | 07.16.10

Law Remakes U.S. Financial Landscape [WSJ]
The Journal asked twelves experts about the bill, many of whom are not nearly as impressed as the Deal Professor. “Congress approved a rewrite of rules touching every corner of finance, from ATM cards to Wall Street traders, in the biggest expansion of government power over banking and markets since the Depression.

The bill, to be signed into law soon by President Barack Obama, marks a potential sea change for the financial-services industry. Financial titans such as J.P. Morgan Chase &Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. may be forced to make changes in most parts of their business, from debit cards to the ability to invest in hedge funds.”

Apple May Offer IPhone Cases, Rebates to Address Flaw [Bloomberg]
Start forming the lines again, “Apple Inc., looking to avoid a recall of the iPhone 4, may give away rubber cases or offer an in-store fix to address a design flaw in the newest version of its top-selling product, according to analysts.

The company, which is holding a news conference at 1 p.m. New York time today, doesn’t plan to announce a recall, a person familiar with the matter said yesterday. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs may instead offer the giveaways or refunds to dissatisfied customers, some analysts said.”

Google CFO: Old Spice Is The Future [Tech Crunch]
Written on a horse: “You know you’ve got a viral marketing hit on your hands when the CFO of Google mentions it in an earnings call. Yes, I am talking about the Old Spice YouTube Tweetathon where the bare-chested Old Spice Man addresses people on Twitter via personalized commercials on YouTube.”

Goldman’s SEC Settlement by the Numbers: We Do the Math [ProPublica]
Effectively, it will be paid for by August 1.


AIG Says It Counted as Much as $2.3 Billion of Repos as Sales [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]
Somewhere a former Lehman CFO is screaming, “See, I told you everyone was doing it!”

“American International Group Inc., the bailed-out insurer, said it classified as much as $2.3 billion of repurchase agreements and $3.8 billion of securities- lending transactions as sales in calculating quarterly results.

In late 2008, ‘certain of AIG’s counterparties demanded significantly higher levels of collateral to enter into repurchase agreements, which resulted in sales rather than collateralized-financing’ treatment under accounting guidelines, the New York-based insurer said in an April 13 letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission released today. The accounting didn’t materially affect any ratios or metrics the company publicly disclosed, AIG said in the letter.”

‘Sin Tax’ Revenue Surges [TaxProf Blog]
“The Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau has released its Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report, detailing a 41% increase (to $20.6 billion) in the amount of “sin taxes” on alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and ammunition collected by the federal government. Most of the $6 billion revenue increase resulted from the higher tobacco taxes included in the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009. Firearms and ammunition excise tax collection rose 45%, the largest annual increase in the agency’s history.”

The SEC Should Be Careful Not to Spend All $550 Million in One Place

Hopefully they’ll spread it around, you know, with lifetime memberships to: ladyboyjuice.com, kinkycomments.com, sexyavatars.net, cafebuckskin.blogspot.com et al.

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the largest penalty ever paid by a Wall Street firm, to settle charges of securities fraud linked to mortgage investments.

Under the terms of the deal, Goldman will pay $300 million in fines to the Treasury Department, with the rest serving as restitution to investors in the mortgage-linked security. Goldman will not admit wrongdoing, though it will admit that its marketing materials for the investment “contained incomplete information.”

That doesn’t sound nearly as fun but we understand a few people may have gotten hurt on this deal.

Goldman Settles With S.E.C. for $550 Million [NYT]

Goldman Sachs Isn’t Perfect, Ya Know

“During the course of the financial crisis, we made our fair share of mistakes. We lost a considerable amount of money through our exposure to leveraged loans and mortgages.”

~ Goldman Sachs CFO David Viniar, in his opening statement before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Accounting News Roundup: Times Square Gets Back to the Grind After Bomb Scare; Down with the Corporate Income Tax; The Politics of Spending | 05.07.10

Times Square Goes Back to Work After Bomb Scare [FINS]
FINS checked in with several companies who have locations in the Times Square area to see if things are back to normal after last weekend’s failed bombing. Most companies are officially mum on the issue including our favorite TS resident, Ernst & Young, who was quoted as to have, “reached out [to their employees] on an informal basis.”

And by “informal” apparently that means “nothing” in some cases We checked with a couple of our own sources at E&Y and we were told that they had not received any communication at all. If there’s an email floating around out there, let us know but it sounds like any reassurance of safety was passed around on a post-it note.


A.I.G. Said to Dismiss Goldman [NYT]
Back in the game AIG! Thanks for the good times GS, Citigroup and Bank of America will take it from here. All it took was a little money for AIG to realize that they were in an abusive relationship.

Time to Junk the Corporate Tax [WSJ]
Michael Boskin argues for dumping the corporate income tax in an op-ed in yesterday’s Journal, citing several reasons that it sucks big time including double taxation, “Corporate income is taxed a second time at the personal level as dividends or those capital gains attributable to reinvestment of the retained earnings of the corporation. Between the new taxes in the health reform law and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, these rates are soon set to explode.”

…And that stakeholders ultimately bear this cost, “the corporation is a legal entity; only people pay taxes. In a static economy with no international trade, the tax is likely borne by shareholders. The U.S. economy is neither static nor closed to trade, and taxes tend to be borne by the least mobile factor of production. Capital is much more mobile globally than labor, and the part of the corporate tax that is well above that of our lowest tax competitors will eventually be borne by workers.”

The Political Economy of Consumption: ‘Tis Better To Give, and Give, and Give [Tax Vox]
This sums up why America’s deficit problems and citizens personal debt problems will never be fixed:

Not to stereotype, but nations do have personalities. Italians eat. Russians drink. Americans spend. And when anything—or anyone—gets between us and our consumption, watch out.

Recessions make us grumpy in part because we can’t consume as much as we like. In the depths of the current downturn, the savings rate in the U.S. topped 5 percent. But retail sales have been rising since October, and the savings rate has fallen in half. I suspect Americans won’t really feel better until we drive our savings rate back to zero.

Accordingly, politicians have to pander to masses about “cutting taxes” and “reducing spending” when it’s very simple and popular to the do the former, while in reality it’s very difficult and unpopular to do the latter.

Goldman Sachs May Inspire a Redefinition of “Fiduciary Duty”

This story is republished from CFOZone, where you’ll find news, analysis and professional networking tools for finance executives.

One bit of commentary I’ve noticed in the blogosphere following yesterday’s Goldman show is that the bank could toggle back and forth between being an investment advisor and a broker dealer when it came to any fiduciary duty it owed to investors in its crappy mortgage deals.

That may or may not be a loophole that needs closing, as Senator Collins’ line of inquiry suggested. Surely, banks like Goldman shouldn’t be able to use it as such.

But it’s important to remember that this is not an issue in the SEC’s case against the bank.


Take another look at the complaint. It charges Goldman with violations of three specific provisions of the securities laws, Section 17 (a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10 (b) and Rule 10-b (5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All of them relate to deceit, plain and simple.

Here’s the exact wording from the complaint: Goldman, the SEC charges, “employed devices, schemes or artifices to defraud, made untrue statements of material facts or omissions of material facts necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, or engaged in transactions, practices or courses of business which operated or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon persons.”

Nope, nothing about fiduciary duty there.

Goldman’s defense here, essentially, is that the bank didn’t have to disclose those facts the SEC refers to, because the investors in the deal in question were sophisticated or already knew or should have known that another party that was betting against them had helped select the portfolio, and that any other information it failed to disclose wasn’t material.

Nothing about fiduciary duty there, either.

So while the back and forth over that issue may be important to any legislation aimed at reforming such practices, it’s not strictly relevant to the legal case.

Of course, we’re talking about a jury trial here, so the atmospherics surrounding the case, including what the bank should have done that it wasn’t legally required to do, aren’t totally irrelevant.

Anyway, I was somewhat puzzled over the significance of the fiduciary issue when I stumbled across it earlier this morning. And I figured others might be as well.

Accounting News Roundup: Goldman CFO’s ‘Unfortunate’ Response; EU Prepares to Scrutinize Auditors; SEC Chief Accountant: June 2011 Deadline for Convergence Is ‘Arbitrary’ | 04.28.10

Carl Levin To Goldman CFO: When You See ‘Sh–ty Deal’ E-mail, ‘Do You Feel Anything?’ [TPM]
Late in the proceedings of yesterday’s epic Senate subcommittee hearing (involving some of the Almighty’s finest), Goldman CFO David Viniar may have had a bit of a Freudian slip when he responded to potty-mouth Senator Carl Levin’s badgering.

Levin asked Viniar how he reacts to hearing about the email. “Do you feel anything?” Levin asked. Viniar replied: “I think that’s very unfortunate thich got a smattering of laughter from around the room. Levin asked Viniar how he reacts to hearing about the email. “Do you feel anything?” Levin asked. Viniar replied: “I think that’s very unfortunate to have on e-mail,” which got a smattering of laughter from around the room. “On an e-mail?” Levin shot back angrily. “How about feeling that way?” Viniar started to backtrack: “I think that’s a very unfortunate thing for anyone to have said in any form.” “How about to believe that and sell that?” Levin asked. “I think that’s unfortunate as well,” Viniar responded.

That unfortunateness is in no particular order.

Brussels to scrutinise role of auditors [FT]
The EU has had it with auditors in their current form and is turning their stink eye towards the profession with a whole lot of skepticism, especially since Ernst & Young got in trouble over you-know-what.

Michel Barnier, the new EU internal market commissioner, joined the debate on Tuesday saying that the role of auditors needed closer scrutiny now that the financial turmoil of the past two years was subsiding.

“I’m convinced that it is the right time to launch a real debate at European level on the subject of audit. This conviction is reinforced by the questions recently raised in the context of the audit of the accounts of US bank Lehman Brothers,” Mr Barnier said.

The FT reports that the EU is kicking off this increased level of scrutiny by publishing a green paper this fall on the subject that will examine the way “audit firms are owned and governed…the concentration in the audit market and its implications on financial stability, the emergence of small and medium-sized practitioners, the audit of smaller companies and international standards on auditing,” and also the supervision of global audit firms.

PwC pays £427,000 damages over valuation work [Accountancy Age]
The original suit was for £35 million; that would a W for P. Dubs.

Miami accountant’s workers accused of aiding fraud [Miami Herald]
Two employees of “Miami’s go-to forensic accountant if you want to get ripped off” Lewis Freeman have been charged with conspiring with him in the embezzlement scheme that he pleaded guilty to last month.

SEC Chief Accountant Says Convergence Need Not Be Completed by June 2011 [Journal of Accountancy]
No rush on that, sayeth James Kroeker, on convergence by June 2011:

SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker told the JofA Tuesday that he would support the boards’ cutting the number of projects due in June 2011, provided there was good rationale for a delay.

“June 30, 2011, is an arbitrary deadline and it’s not one that’s been put in place by the SEC or by our road map,” said Kroeker.

The Goldman Sachs Hearing – Uncensored! (Literally)

“How about the fact that you sold hundreds of millions of that deal after your people knew it was a shitty deal? Does that bother you at all?”

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) to Goldman Sachs’ Daniel Sparks, regarding SEC allegations that Goldman Sachs sold knowingly shitty CDOs to clients.

In Non-Goldman Sachs News, Mary Schapiro Doesn’t Think Much of Your Report on the SEC’s Response to Allen Stanford

In case you haven’t turned on a TV, been on the Internet or talked to single human being today you’re aware that Mary Schapiro and the Commission are little busy raining shit all over Team Jehovah.

As fun as this must be for the SEC, for some reason there are a few people that would like to discuss the SEC’s reaction to a Ponzi scheme whose alleged perp will likely die awaiting trial.


Even though Mary Schapiro can’t believe this timing (!), fine, she’ll humor you. But don’t interrupt again. They are trying to God’s work (and maybe win over some voters).

The following is a statement from SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro regarding SEC Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Report 526 — “Investigation of the SEC’s Response to Concerns Regarding Robert Allen Stanford’s Alleged Ponzi Scheme”:

“This report recounts events that occurred at the Commission between 1997 and 2005. Since that time, much has changed and continues to change regarding the agency’s leadership, its internal procedures and its culture of collaboration. The report makes seven recommendations, most of which have been implemented since 2005. We will carefully analyze the report and implement any additional reforms as necessary for effective investor protection.”

In other words, “I’m turning this ship around, and most of your bullshit suggestions are already in place, so how about you take your light your OIG report on fire?”

Accounting News Roundup: Substance at Utah IRS Building Was ‘Non-hazardous’; Goldman Sachs Discloses Its Bad Publicity Risk; Resort Where Tiger Gave Apology Files for Bankruptcy | 03.02.10

Suspicious substance at IRS called non-hazardous [KSL5]
After everything that has happened lately that is IRS-related, somehow that white powdery substance showing up at an IRS building and three employees having seizures is one giant coinky-dink.


Goldman Discloses a New Risk: Bad Publicity [DealBook]
Team Jehovah pushed the button on its 10-K yesterday and because they’re the type of company to keep everything on the up and up, they put it out there that when every media source calls you out each time you break wind, you have a entirely new problem:

“Press coverage and other public statements that assert some form of wrongdoing, regardless of the factual basis for the assertions being made, often results in some type of investigation by regulators, legislators and law enforcement officials, or in lawsuits.

…adverse publicity…can also have a negative impact on our reputation and on the morale and performance of our employees, which could adversely affect our businesses and results of operations.”

You don’t think the name calling and nuclear testicle jokes can affect the bottom line? Think again. PwC bought it. Shouldn’t you?

Sawgrass Resort Linked to Tiger Woods Apology Files Bankruptcy [Bloomberg]
At present, avoiding any contact with Tiger seems to be prudent.

Review Comments | 07.22.09

beer.jpgAmazon to Acquire Zappos.com for $847 Million – “Amazon says it is paying for the acquisition with 10 million shares of stock worth approximately $807 million. In addition, Amazon said it will provide Zappos employees with $40 million in cash and restricted stock units.” [Bits/NYT]
UK ‘is losing 52 pubs each week’ – Where will the UK accountants go for lunch? [BBC]
Who needs audit? [Accountancy Age]
Chrysler says dealer legislation could force liquidation – “Chrysler Group could again face the prospect of liquidation if legislation aimed at reversing its decision to terminate contracts with 789 dealers becomes law, a company executive said on Wednesday.” [Reuters]
Goldman Sachs Payments to U.S. Give 23% Return to Taxpayers – LB says “you’re welcome” [Bloomberg]

Review Comments | 07.21.09

Ben_Bernanke.jpgBernanke Sheds Light on Exit Strategy – “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke shed light Tuesday on the toolkit the central bank can employ to unwind its crisis measures, but he made clear to lawmakers that the economy remains too weak to start tightening monetary policy.” Better than no exit strategy [WSJ]
CIT Expects Loss of $1.5 Billion, May Seek Bankruptcy – “CIT Group Inc., the 101-year-old commercial lender seeking to avoid collapse, said it expects to report a loss of more than $1.5 billion for the second quarter and may need to file for bankruptcy if it’s unable to tender for notes maturing next month.” [Bloomberg]
Apple’s quarterly profit tops forecasts – The good results… [Reuters]
Yahoo sees drop in income from operations this quarter – …and the bad. [Reuters]
Which Of Alan Greenspan’s More Quotable Quotes Will Bite Him In The Ass On The Big Screen? [DealBreaker]
The Goldman Way to Celebrate: a Parody – Well played LB. Well played. [DealBook]

Vampire Squid, Broken Down

For you viewing pleasure, FT Alphaville has provided some illustrations so that we might better conceptualize Matt Taibbi’s labeling of Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”, which still makes us wince.
All we’ll say is that includes Darth Vader so that makes it worth a look.
Vampire squid, illustrated edition [FT Alphaville]

Oliver Stone Movie on Goldman Sachs to be Coming This Fall

Because we love ourselves a good cat fight, we feel obligated to tell you about the current scratch and screech fest currently going on between Goldman Sachs and Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. Taibbi wrote a less than flattering article on Goldman in Rolling Stone’s latest issue (which is not available online. Read: Lame).
Why, do you ask, would Goldman waste their time on an article in a formerly renown, now ridiculously corporate magazine? For starters, Taibbi describes GS this way, “The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”
Not a lot of room for subjective interpretation there. Quoting a response from a Goldman spokesman via the New York Post, “The bank’s spokesman, Lucas Van Praag, [said]: ‘[Taibbi’s] story is an hysterical compilation of conspiracy theories,’ he wrote in an e-mail. ‘Notable ones missing are Goldman Sachs as the third shooter [in John F. Kennedy’s assassination] and faking the first lunar landing.'”
We admit, on one hand, that Taibbi might be a tad on the nutty side but the mere fact that Goldman is acknowledging the article with any kind of response puts us in the strangely curious camp.

Goldman Gotcha
[New York Post]