Tag Archives: Goldman Sachs

Anonymous: Going For Gold(man)

The group of hacktivists Anonymous , who just a week ago hacked into the servers of St. Louis Federal Reserve, has issued an alert about an upcoming attack against the mighty Goldman Sachs. According to Anonymous’ Twitter account, the hacktivist group wants to shut down Goldman Sachs’ Facebook and Twitter pages on Valentine’s Day to express its disdain for the financial behemoth. Nearly 900.000 Twitter followers received on Thursday an invitation to join in the cyber attack.

“Please help us to destroy twitter and Facebook account of Goldman Sachs february 14  |http://opgm1402.tumblr.com

Anonymous

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Anonymous released several e-flyers in several languages from its various Twitter accounts. All the e-flyers say the attack will involve three steps: First, Anonymous is encouraging supporters to report the Goldman Sachs Facebook and Twitter accounts as spam. Then, the flyer provides a URL where users can fill out an abuse form on Twitter (you can do the same on Facebook), reporting Goldman Sachs for Twitter malfeasance. In the final step, Anonymous followers are asked to make “friendly” phone calls to Goldman Sachs’ offices in London, Paris or Dublin, depending on which flyer they saw.

anon gold“Operation Goldman Sachs” is being run through an official Tumblr page. “#OpGm” isn’t the first time that Anonymous targeted Goldman Sachs. In 2011, Anonymous published the private personal information of a number of Goldman employees, including CEO Lloyd BlankfeinCNN wrote at the time that a Twitter user named CabinCr3w tweeted out that he had “doxxed,” or released, personal info of Goldman’s CEO, including Blankenfein’s age, education, recent addresses and legal cases he had been involved anon 2in.

At the time, Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the leak, International Business Times reports.

You may, of cource, have whatever opinion you what about the hacker’s vandalism, but it’s a nice gesture to give the victims a warning in advance, don’t you think?….

More info On the FED Hack

Reports also surfaced recently that Anonymous had hacked into the US Federal Reserve.

In an interview with ABC News, ex-Anonymous member Greg Housh says the hack was a result of the lack of prosecution of “big bankers that caused a lot of the problems we’ve had over the last few years.”

anon 3Housh also says to expect more Anonymous attacks on governments in the future.

The hack into the Federal Reserve resulted in the leaking of personal information of more than 4,000 bankers.

ABC News says the Federal Reserve hack may have been a part of “Operation Last Resort,” which was started earlier this year after Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz committed suicide over charges of wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer and recklessly damaging a protected computer.

Swartz, a hero and now a martyr to activists, faced as much as 35 years in prison if found guilty.

snon 4According to Insider Media Group, the planned “operation” is a reaction to a recent interview given by Huw Pill, a chief economist at Goldman. While talking to the Huffington Post, Pill suggested that France lower wages by approximately one-third in an effort to increase competition in the labor force.

The Operation Goldman Sachs Tumblr page is written in French, and might be an indicator that French hackers linked to Anonymous got the idea for the attack on Goldman from those comments.

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Top 10 Financial Failures of 2011

It’s the financial service web site FierceFinance.com who have put together the list of the biggest blunders in the industry during the past year. Personally, I might have put a few other issues on the list, but when it comes to the final top position I think we have a winner:

“Led by CEO Jon Corzine, formerly of Goldman Sachs, MF Global was a trading powerhouse back in 2010. That all came crashing down in late 2011, as the bank filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and lost track of $600 million in capital.”

FierceFinance

Yeah, losing $600 million is probably harder than earning them, and quite an achievement…

FireceFinance writes:

“The MF Global failure was a total unraveling involving poor management and risky investment. For what it’s worth, Corzine said he will not be seeking to collect his $12 million Golden Parachute severance package. But reports surfaced in The Telegraph speculating that MF Global employees in the U.K. may have received Q3 corporate bonuses, even with the firm on the brink of failure.”

Read more: MF Global coverage.

Here’e the rest of the list:

2. Bank of America imposes debit card fee.

“The backlash against the bank was severe. But CEO Brian Moynihan defended the bank’s right to make a profit, saying in a statement that he had “an inherent duty as a CEO of a publicly owned company to get a return for my shareholders.”

3.  Frustration sparks Occupy Wall Street protests.

“What originated as peaceful has become violent, as reports surfaced of police using tear gas on protestors along with attempts to force them out of encampments.”

4. S&P downgrades US credit rating.

“Even though S&P went on to be criticized for its debt rating practices (the issue of credit rating agency credibility looms large), the move was significant at a time when budget showdowns in Washington and a stagnant economy were constantly in the headlines.”

5. Raj Rajaratnam slammed for insider trading.

“The convicted insider trader dominated the news in 2011 and in many ways is seen as the pinnacle of success for federal prosecutors, who have been cracking down on offenders.”

6. Citi stumbles after major data breach.

“Citi was reluctant to publicly announce the breach, finally doing so only after being pressed on the subject by the media. Citi offered a public explanation of the incident and tried reassuring customers that the stolen data was insufficient to commit fraud and that social security numbers, dates of birth and card security codes remained secure.”

7. Bank of America forecloses on couple.

“One of the more bizarre stories of 2011 was when Bank of America accidentally foreclosed on a Florida couple. Although the bank eventually backed down, the couple hired a lawyer to recoup attorney’s fees. Five months passed without payment–this coming after a judge ordered the bank to pay up. So the couple and its attorney showed up to foreclose on a local Bank of America branch, declaring their intent to remove furniture, cash and other property.”

8. RSA suffers cyber attack.

“RSA’s SecureID tokens are used by 30,000 organizations worldwide. RSA remained open about the attack, offering tips and posting details describing the anatomy of the breach. But even transparency didn’t reverse the fact that banks were forced to rethink security and look for new options.”

9. Typo costs Goldman Sachs $45 million.

“A tip for everyone who deals with contracts: Double check all calculations. Goldman Sachs learned that lesson the hard way back in June when it issued four warrants relating to Japan’s Nikkei index. Buried in the depths of financial jargon was a serious formulaic mistake: A multiplication sign was inserted where there should have been a divide by sign.”

10. John Paulson‘s Sino-Forest bust.

“In all likelihood, 2011 will not be a great year for hedge fund manager John Paulson. Among his failures was selling 35 million shares of the Chinese company Sino-Forest at an estimated loss of $500 million.”

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Fitch Places Goldman Sachs on Negative Credit Watch

This is interesting: Fitch Ratings have just announced that the agency has placed The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.‘s ‘A+/F1+’ long- and short-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) and ‘a+’ Viability Rating (VR) on Rating Watch Negative. A whole bunch of major global banks gets the same treatment. I don’t think it matters that much to Mr. Blankfein & Co, thou – after all they’re just doing “God’s Work” – but it sends a signal to the market, adding a few more drops of uncertainty.

“Any adverse rating outcome would likely be limited to a one-notch downgrade of the long- and short-term IDRs, given the company’s stronger balance sheet and enhanced liquidity position relative to historical norms.”

Fitch Ratings

“In conjunction with a broad, global review of financial institutions and more specifically, global trading and universal banks, Fitch has placed several issuers on Rating Watch Negative, including Goldman Sachs (GS). Refer to the NRAC entitled ‘Fitch Places Seven Global Trading and Universal Banks on Rating Watch Negative,” the rating agency says in a press release.

Fitch believes that GS’s business model, like other global trading and universal banks face structural challenges given its wholesale funding profile and greater reliance on trading revenues.

“Fitch recognizes the steps GS has taken to diversify and extend its funding sources, as well as to de-lever its balance sheet, which will be reviewed in the context of other global financial institutions.”

The resolution of the Rating Watch Negative, which is expected to occur in the near term, will be based upon further analysis of the company and its peers, Fitch adds.

“Any adverse rating outcome would likely be limited to a one-notch downgrade of the long- and short-term IDRs, given the company’s stronger balance sheet and enhanced liquidity position relative to historical norms. This, combined with its leading positions in global capital markets are key franchise strengths supporting the firm’s ratings.”

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a global bank, providing underwriting, trading, financial advisory, asset management and securities services.

Business activities are now divided into four segments:

–Investment Banking;
–Institutional Client Services;
–Investing and Lending; and
–Investment Management.

Fitch places the following ratings on Rating Watch Negative:

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) ‘A+’;
— Long-term senior debt ‘A+’;
— Viability Rating ‘a+’
— Short-term IDR ‘F1+’;
— Commercial paper ‘F1+’;
Short-term debt ‘F1+’;
— Market linked securities ‘A+emr’;
Subordinated debt ‘A’;
Preferred equity ‘A-‘.

Goldman Sachs Bank, USA
— Long-term IDR ‘A+’;
— Long-term senior debt ‘A+’;
— Long-term deposits ‘AA-‘;
— Short-term IDR ‘F1+’;
— Short-term debt ‘F1+’;
— Short-term deposits ‘F1+’.

Goldman, Sachs & Co.
— Long-term IDR ‘A+’;
— Short-term IDR ‘F1+’;
— Long-term senior debt ‘A+’;
— Short-term debt ‘F1+’.

Goldman Sachs Bank (Europe) Plc
–Senior secured guaranteed debt at ‘A+’;
–Short-term secured guaranteed debt at ‘F1+’;
–Short-term debt at ‘F1+’.

Goldman Sachs International
–Senior secured guaranteed debt at ‘A+’;
–Short-term secured guaranteed debt at ‘F1+’;
–Short-term debt at ‘F1+’.

Goldman Sachs Paris inc. et Cie.
— Long-term IDR ‘A+’;
— Short-term IDR ‘F1+’.

Goldman Sachs Capital I
Trust preferred ‘A-‘.

Goldman Sachs Capital II, III
— Preferred equity ‘A-‘.

Ultegra Finance Limited
— Long-term senior debt ‘A+’;
— Short-term debt ‘F1+’.

Fitch affirms the following:

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
— Senior unsecured debt FDIC ‘AAA’;
— Short-term debt FDIC guaranteed ‘F1+’;
— Individual ‘B/C’;
— Support ‘5’;
— Support Floor ‘NF’.

Goldman Sachs Bank, USA
— Senior unsecured debt FDIC ‘AAA’;
— Short-term debt FDIC guaranteed ‘F1+’;
— Support ‘1’.

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