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Ear to the Ground

‘Very Skeptical’ Brooksley Born Takes on Goldman Brass

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Posted on Jul 1, 2010
David Viniar
AP / Evan Vucci

Man on the stand: Goldman Sachs CFO David Viniar has had some ‘splainin’ to do, as he did here before the Senate Investigations Subcommittee last April.

If there’s one person we’d want to see grill Goldman Sachs bigwigs about certain fishy pre-financial-meltdown practices in which they apparently engaged, such as their failure to give useful details about their vaguely defined and even less specifically tracked derivatives, it’d be Brooksley Born. Thankfully, that’s exactly who showed up “skeptical” and ready with some questions during a special panel investigation on Thursday.  —KA

Market Watch:

“I am very skeptical that you really can’t measure these derivatives revenues and profits,” said Brooksley Born, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairwoman and now a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. “I urge you to provide us with the information we are asking for; it’s been about six months.

“You don’t give it to your regulators; you don’t give it to the market in financial reports; you don’t give it in any forum in which your customers can see what you’re making, and you are refusing to give it to us,” she said. “I hope very much to see it soon.”

David Viniar, Goldman Sachs Group’s chief financial officer, repeatedly argued that the Wall Street powerhouse (GS 131.10, -0.04, -0.03%)  doesn’t break out derivatives profits from the rest of its profits.

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By John, July 2, 2010 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s all a damn fraud. They’ve created these things solely as taxpayer-looting mechanisms.

When there are $700 trillion worth of these things out there—10 times the world’s GDP—they cannot be legit.

Yet Obama and Congress continue to give their approval to these things.

I’ll let them have their credit default swaps, but the naked credit default swaps must be banned, lest they sink the world economy.

Google “naked credit default swaps” for the lowdown on how these creedy bastards intend to loot the system.

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By eir, July 1, 2010 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

“Dollars! All their cares, hopes, joys, affections, virtues, and associations seemed to be melted down into dollars. Whatever the chance contributions that fell into the slow cauldron of their talk, they made the gruel thick and slab with dollars. Men were weighed by their dollars, measures were gauged by their dollars; life was auctioned, appraised, put up, and knocked down for its dollars. The next respectable thing to dollars was any venture having their attainment for its end. The more of that worthless ballast, honor and fair-dealing, which any man cast overboard from the ship of his Good Nature and Good Intent, the more ample stowage-room he had for dollars. Make commerce one huge lie and mighty theft. Deface the banner of the nation for an idle rag; pollute it star by star; and cut out stripe by stripe as from the arm of a degraded soldier. Do anything for dollars! What is a flag to them!”
Charles Dickens

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