Goldman Sachs Genius with Twitter $GS, $TWTR, $FB

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) disallows traders to post on Twitter. Many of the big houses have similar rules. They think they can control by involving the verboten rule.

The big traders may have inadvertently applied the “silence is golden” rule. Speak naught and mine social media like crazy. Can you read the tape and take advantage. Watch for the trading houses to get in quietly and try to take the high ground.

Because they will. Wonder if Twitter will ever delay a post by crimping the firehose and letting someone like Gnip get an advantage. Twitter is all about selling data. Time will also decide the value of data.

Next hire in the research department will be social media engineers who do not know the difference between a bond and a stock. But they can find trend.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Softbanks Board of Directors not a Good Choice. Too much Financial Engineering $S $DISH $SFTBY $CLWR

Softbank has upped the ante on the Sprint acquisition. Yeah the deal is looking sweeter. The Holy Grail is of course all the spectrum controlled by Clearwire. Big billion dollar numbers are being thrown around. Lets look at the board and see if sticking around with Softbank would be a good idea.

Eight individuals. Three of whom have been career Softbank executives and will therefore vote the party line because they are the party line. this includes Masayoshi Son 56 who is President and CEO; Ken Miyauchi 64 who is a Softbank Executive Vice President and Kazuhiko Kasai 76 who is a career Softbank executive.

Yun Ma 49 is from Alibaba, Alipay, Taobao and Huayi Brothers. He sits on the board for strategic networking reasons which may or may not benefit the ordinary investor in a traditional risk reward manner.

Ron Fisher MBA 65  from Columbia and a B.Comm from University of Witwatersand South Africa is the founder and managing partner of Softbank Capital Partners. He was the CEO of Phoenix Technologies and President of Interactive Systems Corporation. Senior executive positions at Visicorp, TRW and ICL USA.

Mark Schwartz 58 former senior advisor to George Soros and then President & CEO of Soros Fund Management 2002-2005. With Goldman Sachs from 1979 – 2001. He was Chairman of Goldman Sachs (Asia) and president of Goldman Sachs  (Japan).

Both Ron Fisher and Mark Schwartz come from a strategic investing background. They are not directors of operating companies which day in and day out need to perform. So it’s all about the financial engineering for those two.

Sunil Bharti Mittal 56 of Bharti Enterprises and related ventures. Strategic Indian connection locked up with this director.

Tadashi Yanai 64 is Chairman of Link Theory Japan, Chairman of GU Co, Chairman President and CEO  of Uniqlo and Fast Retailing. also serves on Board of Nippon Ventures. I find it hard to connect the dots between his expertise and wireless spectrum.

The battle is for spectrum. If you want to stick around with Softbank there is no clear-cut pathway to shareholder wealth being maximized. They will shuffle the deck and deal over and over. There must be better ways or more clear-cut ways for investors to make money. Short term flippers should make money. No compelling long-term narrative with this Board of Directors

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. he will not be making a competitive or uncompetitive off for Sprint

MF Global & Unbridled Ambition of #JonCorzine #MFGlobal #corpgov $GS

Jon_Corzine

Jon_Corzine (Photo credit: deb)

Well it’s be a year now and the regulators are still picking through the pieces. In a bombing campaign the Pentagon has a target assessment team whose job is to make sure that the target has been obliterated correctly. On Wall Street no such luck. so how could hapless market participants protect themselves. What were the clues?

Answer: Jon Corzine of course.

After a successfully Machiavellian career at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) he becomes a senator representing the garden state of New Jersey. As a democrat. Go figure. A 1% from Wall Street casts himself as a democrat. You know of the people and all that.

Well senators can and are very powerful people. There are only 100 of them and each guy gets a six-year shot. But it’s not like the trading floor. Power operates in the shadows. What you see is not what you get. There are subtleties. You cannot pick up the phone and sell a billion dollars of something and be done with it. Jon Corzine failed to appreciate the opportunities and nuances of senatorial power.

So he decides to become a state governor. Still with New Jersey. But it’s still a political office. Yes you are the chief executive officer of a rather large state but you are also a political leader. Long story short Jon Corzine failed to grasp the art of politics. So he exits the political stage but still has this un bridled ambition with no clear cause.

He returns to Wall Street. After Goldman Sachs he is not content with a boutique or mid level play. He has to be the big fish in the big pond. He needs big victories to over-shadow what Goldman Sachs routinely churns out on a slow day.

So he gambles on european sovereigns. Europe is collapsing, apparently for what many on Wall Street and main street see as obvious reasons. Jon Corzine needs a different reality so he reaches for the wrong side of the bet. Behavioural investing gurus will study this one for a long time. Essentially Jon Corzine could not stop himself from flinging the dice against the wall.

So next time you look at an person or a firm to manage your precious hard-earned capital think about what drives these people.

Jon Corzine had gamblers ruin all over him cloaked by what should have been excellent credentials. In fact it turned out to be the ultimate in long tail risk.

Regulators and angry customers still continue to shift through hoping to uncover more. But the trail grows cold.

What will investors be fooled by next time.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. follow him on twitter@financialskepti

Goldman Sachs may control Canada Soon? $GS

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney Speaks on ...

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney Speaks on the 20th Anniversary of Inflation Targeting (Photo credit: canada.2020)

A long time ago Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) hired a guy called Mark Carney. Typical hire brilliant and they probably did not spend much time thinking about his Canadian pedigree. Well fast forward and Mark is now the Governor of Bank of Canada. That’s Canada’s central bank. Similar job to Ben  Bernanke at the Fed Reserve except Mark Carney has a good economy, sound banks and a center of right governing political party.

So the rumor mill cranks up because the liberal party who for the past two generations was the natural governing party but lost the last federal election and has been relegated to rump status is searching for a new leader. Many are touting Mark Carney the current governor Bank of Canada. They believe he has liberal values and fiscal conservatism which may appeal to the Canadian voter at the next general election in about three years. Mark Carney is not stamping out the rumours. Justin Trudeau may be announcing soon as well. But that’s another story.

But dammit it another alumnus of Goldman Sachs may reach incredibly high office. Canada is a G8 country. Its finances are sound, people are well-educated. They have plentiful oil and a well-functioning public health care system. Which self-respecting power seeker would not apply. But another Goldman Sachs employee moves up. It’s like a Damn Yankees narrative. Except this ain’t no baseball. But it certainly is Goldman Sachs. Blood sucking squid and all.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on twitter@financialskepti

Goldman Sachs Spawns a New Form of Literature and Then The Sex Site $GS

goldman sachs

goldman sachs (Photo credit: alyceobvious)

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) much maligned and beloved in the same breath has spawned a new form of literature. The letter of resignation complete with reasons seems to resonate in the financial press. While some may be trying to remove a giant squid they accidentally found on their face others a comfortably blinded by their own hubris and narcissistic viewpoint that they really were not comfortable with the culture. In some cases employees had been uncomfortable for more than five years as they cashed large incentive checks, bonuses, stock options and other forms of financial incentives.

So maybe the new hot trending search term will be “Goldman resignation letter”

Corporate culture experts may see this as a fissure in the Goldman Sachs culture. Imagine leaving the firm not to start your own even more diabolic hedge fund. but leaving just because well you know there were too many pirate like things going on. Like that should be a surprise.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Goldman Sachs Last Laugh – Disgruntled Whistleblower Un-Intended Consequences. $GS

Image representing Goldman Sachs as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is supposedly embarrassed or maybe its bemused by a very recently resigned executive who is publicly slamming his former pay cheque as “ripping off clients” He also describes the place as toxic and destructive. Finally he claims the two senior officers have lost control over the culture. An interesting play on words. Why not just call them evildoers?

So after the headlines and the notoriety what is the next move? What is the next move in the Presidential election year? What is the move for clients that the executive serviced in Europe? Say I assume he had nothing to do with the Greece stuff.

The fellow is called Greg Smith and has about 12 years of deep dive experience. We all assume he has made enough money to retire on. Because we don’t think he will get a job in financial services again. Here are a few scenario’s he probably has not modelled.

Subpoena from the attorney general and or congressional committees. He has made many black claims. Surely there is malfeasance and wrong doing to back up these serious allegations. If there is Greg Smith needs to spill it and come clean. Allow the Karma Police to issue warrants and let the investigation begin. You cannot be making these public comments and assume nothing will come of it.

Would it not be extraordinarily funny if Goldman Sachs commenced an investigation and attempted to compel Greg Smith to divulge what he feels he knows. His refusal to co-operate would invoke the law of un-intended consequences and make him the pouting bad guy who wants to suck on his thumb in public and maybe get a book deal.

Goldman can easily take the high  road and say “Whats this all about? Please let us know so we can fix it. Oh you wont talk. Then you are are just libelling and slandering and lets start an expensive lawsuit that will bankrupt you” The squid already has a rather bad public persona or some will think. So playing the role of the aggrieved party attempting to right wrongs my serve up karma that Greg Smith cannot handle.

So right now the only thing that maybe the whole world can agree on is that “Goldman Sachs acts in its own interests just like we all do. If that makes Goldman Sachs a corporate son-of-a bitch with a face eating squid so what of it. Most of us are sons-of-a bitch. Admittedly most of us do not have a face sucking squid. small point but true.

Greg Smith buckle up. The ride may have just started.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Goldman Sachs continues its slippery ways. Results and maybe riots on Jan 18 $GS

goldman sachsGoldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) will release Q4 and year-end results on Jan 18, 2012 at 08:00 ET by way of press release. When the market opens at 09:30 ET they will start their conference call. Lots of companies do it this way. You have a precious 90 minutes to digest information and take a crap shoot on what management may or may not say on the conference call.

At the same time there may be a traffic jam around the front door of fortress Goldman Sachs as various activist groups may take the opportunity to yet again show pathetic ineptitude. Personally I am concerned for the squids in the January weather.

We all know the market is off and Europe just smells bad. The real issue will be the impact of government regulators on how Goldman Sachs conducts its business and cranks out profits. These are all back room machinations not in public view. Goldman Sachs may throw a bone with a few market comments, but will not address the real issues.

What will Goldman Sachs look like in a few years? What will Goldman Sachs look like with a second term Obama presidency? Investors will still have to read between the lines and just plain guess at it.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.