Max Berger has won billions in settlements in shareholder lawsuits involving Bank of America, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Wachovia and Washington Mutual, according to The New York Times. Sometimes viewed in a harsh light, plaintiff’s lawyers are look better when their results are compared to the smaller settlements the government tends to command.
As Read More
Putting a new spin on an old sobriquet, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against Goldman Sachs and a former vice president at the firm for making undisclosed contributions to the gubernatorial campaign of a former Massachusetts state treasurer.
Goldman—sometimes referred to as “Government Sachs” because former executives (Bob Rubin, Josh Bolten, Hank Paulson … it goes back to Sidney Weinberg, doesn’t it?) have a habit of going to work in Washington—found itself in the SEC’s sights after a former Goldman vice president named Neil M.M. Morrison lent a hand to then Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, who was running for governor.
According to the agency, Mr. Morrison was “substantially involved” in Mr. Cahill’s campaign from November 2008 to October 2010, during which period Goldman was involved in underwriting 30 debt offerings for the state:
More than 50,000 Greeks marched on the nation’s parliament to protest austerity measures required by bailout agreements, according to Reuters: ”‘We can’t just sit by idly and do nothing while the troika and the government destroy our lives,’ said Dimitra Kontouli, a 49-year-old local government employee whose salary was cut to 1,100 euros a month from 1,600 euros previously.”
Spain is moving towards accepting European bailouts, even as protests in Madrid turned violent and politicians in the Catalonia region called for secession.
“It’s just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money or lose if opposite.” So said Tan Chi Min, a former Royal Bank of Scotland trader in a conversation with traders at other banks, in an affidavit reviewed by Bloomberg. “It’s a cartel now in London.” Tan is suing RBS in Singapore for wrongful dismissal after being fired for attempting to manipulate Libor.
Gangsters v. Banksters?
Last week, as the Chicago teachers’ strike was puttering out of the news cycle and the National Football League’s lockout of its referees was thundering in, a federal labor mediator announced to little fanfare that the International Longshoremen’s Association and U.S. Maritime Alliance had agreed, “for the good of the country,” to extend the master contract governing dock work from Maine to Texas for 90 days.
The media barely covered the news, but the implications were enormous. If the two sides had failed to reach a deal before the existing contract expired on Sept. 30, the resulting chaos would have touched not only the 20,000-some longshoremen who punch a clock on the East Coast, but thousands of truckers and railroad men, mechanics and warehouse workers, and the many millions of Americans who buy and sell automobiles, home electronics, designer jeans, toothpaste and anything else that’s manufactured on foreign shores. Pretty much everyone.
Three months from now, it could still happen.
wall street social
Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar is retiring after 32 years at the firm, according to a press release linked by the firm’s twitter account.
Mr. Viniar joined Goldman in 1980, rising to the top of the firm’s Treasury Department in 1992, according to the release, before assuming the role of deputy CFO in 1998. According to Goldman, Mr. Viniar is the longest serving CFO of a major Wall Street institution.
Two-year analyst programs are a staple at Wall Street banks, with college graduates hiring into the entry-level programs before charting paths to fortune via buy side firms, business school, the recording studio.
Not at Goldman Sachs any longer. The firm is ending its analyst program after executives decided it was no longer the best way to develop talent, The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon.
To put a finer point on it, Goldman was fed up with its best-and-brightest college grads using the program as a launching pad to private equity and hedge fund jobs:
Standard Chartered, the British bank that agreed to pay a New York State regulator $340 million to settle charges that it violated U.S. sanctions with Iran, is nearing a settlement with the U.S. Treasury and Manhattan district attorney, according to The New York Times. The anticipated deal will likely cost Standard Chartered less than its settlement with New York’s Department of Financial Services, because the federal and local authorities view the banks actions less severely than did the state regulator.
A Department of Justice probe into the collapse of MF Global is going nowhere fast, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reports that former CEO Jon Corzine met with federal investigators for the first time last week. Meanwhile, sources tell The Journal that it’s looking more unlikely criminal charges will be filed.
“Many people on Main Street distrust Wall Street right now, yet few can put their finger on why,” said Jamie Raab, publisher of Grand Central, according to The Times.Which is an overwrought explanation for giving former Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith $1.5 million for his book, Why ILeft Goldman Sachs. A simpler reason: People want the dirt.
German lender DZ Bank AG sued Goldman Sachs over $188.6 million in mortgage-backed securities, according to Bloomberg, claiming that investment bank misrepresented the loans underlying the securities.
Earlier in the week, Bayerische Landesbank sued Goldman over about $511.9 million in securities underwritten by Goldman, charging that the securities were riskier than promised and were Read More
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi won wide support from his board for a plan to buy the sovereign debt of euro zone countries. Rates on Spanish 10-year bonds promptly fell to levels last seen in May, and the corresponding Italian bond fell to its lowest since April.
LightSquared, the wireless broadband company backed by Harbinger Capital founder Phil Falcone, is battling with creditors over control of the firm’s bankruptcy, according to Bloomberg. LightSquared has asked a judge to extend a deadline to file a Chapter 11 plan; the creditors say, “Having nothing to lose, Mr. Falcone wants to pursue a high-risk, high-return strategy.”
A federal appeals court revived a pair of securities cases in decisions handed down today, reinstating a lawsuit charging Goldman Sachs with misleading mortgage investors, as well as a 10-year-old insider trading case brought against a hedge fund manager.