About Me

Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Note On Goldman Sachs

I first did business with Goldman in 1974. I had a nifty battle or two
with their research partners over the outlook for the bond market
back in 1982, and was then codified as "acerbic" at their shop. They
have been as arrogant as other Street guys for all those years, but
have also exhibited a certain sanctimony that annoys folks. They
are masters of coating the firm with teflon no matter how nit-picky
an issue might be. And like the Gov. they used to like to ask "How
can we help?"

Our policy as fund managers was never to tell them anything they
could use for a trade or a marketable idea unless you wanted them
to do something that benefited your performance. SOP.

Goldman is not an especially creative firm. Their strengths are early
trend spotting in banking and trading and the willingness to commit
sizable resources to back a product or service on the way up and, to
find ways to exploit same on the way down.

The SEC suit involves allegation of fraud in the marketing of a highly
specialized private placement by Goldman and will be decided on
the cumulative weight of the evidence the SEC presents. If the
SEC makes its case, and this is not the tip of a large iceberg, few
large Goldman clients will depart. After all, there is no shortage of
guys out there who have clipped GS once or twice over the years,

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