Tag Archives: Lloyd Blankfein

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 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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Filed under International Econnomic Politics, Laws and Regulations, Technology

The Precious Irish Bondholders – Here's The Full List

The players in the European credit market are scared senseless by the proposal of channeling some of the losses in the financial sector over to them,  a so-called “Bail-In”.  The element of haircut for bondholders is particular relevant for Ireland who’s banking industry is the main problem. Well, here’s some examples of poor Irish bondholders: Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Deutsche Bank (Asset Management), Alianz, AXA, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Credit Suisse, just to mention a few… You’ll find the full list below.

“Every child in Ireland is being bequeathed a huge debt at birth to protect the interests of foreign, mainly German, bondholders – why?”

Guy Fawkes‘ Blog

BIG BANKERS: Lloyd Blankfein, Kenneth Irvine Chenault, Kenneth Lewis and Edward Yingling.

Anglo-Irish Bank do hardly represent a serious systemic risk to the Irish economy, certainly not to the same degree as AIB or the Bank of Ireland. And if it had been allowed to follow Lehman Brothers,  the shareholders and bondholders would probably have been the only ones to lose money.  However, the Irish government is seeking a way to protect their precious bondholders.

“Every child in Ireland is being bequeathed a huge debt at birth to protect the interests of foreign, mainly German, bondholders – why?”

This interesting question is raised in a recent post at the Guy Fawkes’ Blog.

The Irish state stepped in and nationalised a bank that was basically run by “crooks lending to property speculators,” the blogger writes.

Pointing out that the Irish people are taking the losses that rightfully should have been on the shoulders of the bondholders.

Once upon a time it sometimes happened that  a bond issuer defaulted. And it was seemed as a natural part of the risks investors take.

Yeah, well, times have obviously changed.

One can only wonder why Dublin’s political establishment is so keen to protect foreign investors at the expense of future generations.

The list below of foreign Anglo-Irish bondholders was originally obtained by an Irish bond trader, updated per November 15, and first published at the Guy Fawkes’ Blog.

These are the people whom Dublin’s politicians really seem to care so deeply about – I guess the names are somewhat familiar?

(h/t: Guy Fawkes’ blog)

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Filed under International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics

Want To Be A Bank Executive?

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, we’ve come to learn the facts of the top bank executive’s luxurious life, with numerous private estates and apartments, private jets, billion dollar bonuses and gold-plated waste bins. Sounds like a dream job, don’t it? But what if you were to be held personal accountable if your bank failed? If you were to be sued by the government, dragged through court and charged with a billion dollar fine? Even if you did nothing wrong? Would you still want the job?

“The process went on 20 years ago and is happening again now.”

Thomas Vartanian

It seems like there will be an openings for some experienced managers in the financial industry over the next months. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, (FDIC), has authorized lawsuits against more than 50 officers and directors of failed banks and aims to recoup more than $1 billion in losses stemming from the credit crisis.

The lawsuits were authorized during closed sessions of the FDIC board and haven’t been made public, Bloomberg Reports.

FDIC, which has closed down 294 lenders since the start of 2008, has held off court action while conducting settlement talks with executives whose actions may have led to bank collapses, Richard Osterman, the agency’s acting general counsel, says in an interview.

“We’re ready to go,” Osterman states.

“We could walk into court tomorrow and file the lawsuits.”

Want Money Back

The FDIC  has so far brought only one case against financial officers or directors tied to the recent collapses; a suit filed in July seeking $300 million in damages from four executives of IndyMac Bancorp Inc.

When a bank fails, the agency’s investigators take about 18 months to complete their autopsies, meaning most of the probes stemming from the financial crisis are still ongoing, Osterman says.

The usual practice is, if FDIC investigators finds something suspicious early in the process, they send letters to the bank executives alerting them that a law suit may be coming to recoup a portion of the losses.

15 bank directors and officers at BankUnited recivied such a letter on November 5th last year.

According to the letter, they’ve “blindly made loans to borrowers who, for the most part, were un-creditworthy, creating an unduly high risk of inevitable failure when the housing market began to decline,” and that they had “breached their fiduciary duties.”

However, the FDIC says they only file suits “where they are believed to be sound on the merits and likely to be cost-effective.”

Meaning; there’s a lot of room for interpretation.

The recently authorized lawsuits, if filed by the agency and not settled, would claim damages of more than $1 billion, according to FDIC spokesman David Barr.

Osterman says the goal is to reach as many settlements as possible.

The Cost Effectives

Obviously there’s been some purely criminal activity going on in the heat of the boom, but the main issue have turned into a question if these persons are able to refund the FDIC with a couple of hundred million dollar, or not.

The severity of the mismanagement is subsidiary.

The former IndyMac employees, accused of granting loans that were unlikely to be repaid, denies any wrongdoing.

Attorney Lawrence Kaplan is representing two of the IndyMac defendants. He says the paucity of cases filed to date shows the difficulty of assigning blame for a crisis that took down so many financial companies.

“The current crisis was caused by economic conditions that few, if any experts, including leading federal officials, saw coming,” said Kaplan, who’s a lawyer at Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP.

“As a result, claims that directors and officers of many failed banks engaged in negligence lack credibility as such claims attempt to hold those directors and officers to an impossible standard of care,” Kaplan says.

So, Who Want A Job?

I guess that wasn’t mentioned in any of the IndyMac executives’ job contracts – an “impossible standard of care,” I mean.

But then again, if it was, we probably wouldn’t have got the amusements of John Thain, Dick Fuld, Vikram Pandit, Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, among others.

Wonder if any of the above ever thought:

“Holy shit! If something goes wrong, I will be held personal responsible and sued  by the authorities for almost everything I owe…”

Well, personally I doubt any of them hardly knew what a CDO was until they blew up in their faces two years ago.

You cold argue that they should have known.

In that case, they also should have know about the “impossible standard of care.”

It’s not something new.

In fact, the same happened to the bank executives after the so-called savings and loan crisis in the late 80’s/early 90’s.

A 20 Year Process

During that period, the FDIC sued executives from more than 24 percent of the 1.813 lenders that failed.

“The process went on 20 years ago and is happening again now,” Thomas Vartanian, a partner at law firm Dechert LLP in Washington, says.

“This is the way it’s going to go over the next few years as they catch up with doing these investigations and doing claims.”

According to FDIC, 2010 will be the peak year for bank failures, and the agency’s list of so-called problem lenders suggests banks will keep collapsing at an accelerated rate in coming months.

The confidential list had 829 banks with $403 billion in assets by the end of the second quarter, according to Bloomberg.

Introducing: The B-Team

One particular interesting question arise from this questionable case:

What kind of people are willing to take on the leadership of a major financial institution knowing that they’re signing up for  job that requires an “impossible standard of care”?

In my view they’re either overconfident, reckless or stupid. (Perhaps all three).

And that’s not the people we need; not running US banks, nor any other important business.

But that’s what we’ll get with a practice like this.

As the resent crisis seems to be an evidence of.

You Sue Me, I Sue You, Oh Peggy, Peggy Sue

Italy Charge Foreign Banks With Fraud

EU Wants Answers From Wall St. On Greek Debt

Goldman Sachs Charged With Fraud – Here’s The SEC filing

Civil And Criminal Probes Against JP Morgan For Silver Manipulation

SEC To Take Action Against Moody’s

Banks Face Multi-Hundred-Million Dollar Settlements

The Truth, Some Truth And Something Like The Truth

DnB NOR Except Penalties of NOK 26 million

Hey, America! Wall Street Got A Message For You

6 US Banks Collects 93% Of Industry’s Trading Revenue



Filed under International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics