Goldman Sachs CEO Must Have Been a Big 4 Partner In a Previous Life
“Just remember: if we all go an extra mile for our client, even when we feel that we’re reaching our limit, it can really make a difference in our performance.” — David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, said in a message to the investment bank’s 34,000 staff worldwide last Sunday, in which he responded to […]
You Can Easily Replace ‘Investment Banking’ with ‘Public Accounting’ In These Reactions to the Goldman Sachs Workplace Abuse Claims
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or neck deep in tax returns, you probably heard about the recent allegations from 13 first-year analysts who work at Goldman Sachs that their employer is actually a sweatshop disguised as an investment bank. In a Working Conditions Survey created and only answered by those 13 GS analysts, […]
Auditor Swap: Mazars Wins Goldman Sachs International Audit Firm Sweepstakes
For weeks, the rags in the U.K. have speculated about which midtier firm would win the battle to audit Goldman Sachs’ London-based European operations, a job PwC has held for what seems like a gazillion years. Would it be Grant Thornton? Would it be BDO, which became the fifth-largest firm in the U.K. earlier this […]
Goldman Sachs Makes PwC’s Former CEO New Lead Director
What does the world's most hated investment bank do when it wants to appear as though it is best serving the interests of both shareholders and clients? It grabs a PwC alum, that's what. James J Schiro got his start with PwC way back in 1967 (back when it was just plain ole Pw), clawing […]
Lloyd Blankfein Would Like Everyone to Get with Program Re: Mark-to-Market Accounting
This means you, Steve Schwarzman. And you, writers of FASB hate mail. It’s about time you all got on board.
“We are not moving away from mark-to-market accounting,” Mr. Blankfein said Tuesday. “The more we work with it and live with it the more I wish that everybody else would act in a corresponding way.”
You have your orders.
Goldman Sachs CFO: Layoffs Are About the Numbers
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. […] Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said the investment bank could layoff 1,000 employees globally as part of $1.2 billion in cost cuts.
During a conference call with analysts, Viniar said the potential headcount reduction is “as we sit here now and, of course, things can change,” adding that such layoffs would “come over the course of this year.” Viniar said the cuts could be “some senior, some junior people,” but “it’s really more dollar focused than head focused.” [MW]
Goldman Sachs CFO Admits That the Company Is Sensitive to Trash Talk, Doesn’t Go Looking for Trouble
Reuters reports that David Viniar told an investor conference in California that God’s Shop “take[s] all of the criticisms quite seriously” and “We never at least intentionally take reputational risk.”
Personally, I’m not sure why Vin is trippin’, since it’s pretty clear that most people don’t think Goldman is going the way of
the dodo Andersen. [Reuters]
Department of Justice Would Treat Goldman Sachs Slightly Better Than Arthur Andersen
That is, the DOJ wouldn’t indict Goldman on criminal charges like they did Andersen. Which, you may recall, didn’t turn out so well for A^2.
DealBook reports the musings of Sanford Bernstein analyst Brad Hintz:
If an alleged violation is identified during a Goldman investigation, we expect a reasoned response from the Justice Department. In a worst case environment, we would expect a “too big to fail” bank such as Goldman to be offered a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, pay a significant fine and submit to a Federal monitor in lieu of a criminal charge. Consequently, we do not believe that Goldman investors face an “Arthur Andersen” risk.
No ‘Arthur Andersen’ Risk to Goldman, Analyst Says [DealBook]
NFL CFO Sick of Working for a Shrewd, Egotistical Organization; Returning to Goldman Sachs
Two years working for Roger Goodell must have been pure hell, compared to reporting to Lloyd.
Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto is leaving the NFL after two years to return to Goldman Sachs.
Tony will be slumming it in IBD as the co-head of the Global Media Group. The NFL is cool with it though; they understand that not everyone is cut out for the big leagues. The good news is they’ve still got a Team Jehovah alum heading up the Finance Department:
The league said Monday that Eric Grubman will oversee the finance group at least until the end of collective bargaining negotiations with the NFL Players Association. Grubman is executive vice president of business operations and led the league’s finance operations when he joined the NFL in 2004.
Accounting News Roundup: Rangel Settlement May Be in the Works; IMA Launches New Website; Landing a Job with Uncle Sam | 07.29.10
Rangel Is in Talks to End Ethics Case [WSJ]
“Negotiations between lawyers for Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.) and House ethics investigators continued on the eve of a public hearing Thursday that was expected to lay out the charges aga ethics panel announced last week its plans to present a case against Mr. Rangel, his lawyers have been in private discussions about a possible settlement to avoid a hearing. A central issue is the wording of the House ethics panel’s findings about Mr. Rangel’s alleged ethics violations, according to a person familiar with the case.”
Audit reveals billions of dollars of Iraqi oil funds gone missing [Guardian]
Hard to believe that there would be trouble tracking the money over there, “The US department of defence has called in forensic accountants to help track $8.1bn (£5.2bn) of $9.1bn in Iraq’s oil revenue entrusted to it after the fall of Baghdad, following an official audit that revealed the money was missing.
The funds were to be used for spending on reconstruction during 2004-07, a period when Iraq was under weak transitional rule.
The report was issued today by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which had previously criticised poor book-keeping by senior officials throughout the last seven years.”
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Still Too Big to Nail [Jonathan Weil/Bloomberg]
“This month Congress passed the 2,323- page Dodd-Frank Act without any clear understanding of why the financial crisis happened — and without doing a thing to address Fannie and Freddie, which were central players. Now the Obama administration says it will deliver a reform proposal to Congress by January on the nation’s housing-finance system, including Fannie and Freddie. Yet the government still hasn’t undertaken any comprehensive inquiry into why these companies blew up and who was at fault.”
Tax Consequences of the Mother of All Yard Sale Bargains ($200 Million for $45) [TaxProf Blog]
Just stumbling across some Ansel Adams negatives.
IMA Launches New Website to Support Accounting Community [Business Wire]
“IMA™, the association for accountants and financial professionals in business, unveiled [Wednesday] its new website, now making it even easier for professionals to experience IMA’s range of valuable resources and services. The website can be accessed at www.imanet.org.”
How to Get a Job in Financial Regulation [FINS]
The SEC, FDIC and CFTC are all hiring in the wake of Dodd-Frank. But landing a gig with the Feds isn’t like landing a job anywhere else. FINS breaks it down for you.
George Carlin Never Would’ve Cut It at the New Goldman Sachs [WSJ]
What’s next? They take your will to live? “The New York company is telling employees that they will no longer be able to get away with profanity in electronic messages. That means all 34,000 traders, investment bankers and other Goldman employees must restrain themselves from using a vast vocabulary of oft-used dirty words on Wall Street, including the six-letter expletive that came back to haunt the company at a Senate hearing in April.”
Alex Rodriguez Objects to Rangers Bankruptcy Plan [Bloomberg]
Chances are, A-Rod doesn’t know the particulars but he would like the $24.9 million he’s owed.
Accounting News Roundup: Sue Sachdeva to Plead Guilty for Koss Embezzlement; AIG Settles Accounting Fraud with Ohio for $725 Mil; Some PwCers Are Hanging Out the Shingle | 07.19.10
Sachdeva to plead guilty to six felonies in Koss case [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
Late on Friday, it was reported that Sue Sachdeva will plead guilty to six felon embezzlement case that was discovered at the end of last year.
The agreement with prosecutors brought some new things to light including that the scam began in 1997 and she issue over 500 cashiers cheques, including $10 million to American Express but also to charitable groups.
Also: “From February 2008 to December 2009, she authorized 206 wire transfers totaling $16 million from Koss accounts to American Express to cover items she bought with the credit card.
From February 2008 to December 2009, she authorized 206 wire transfers totaling $16 million from Koss accounts to American Express to cover items she bought with the credit card.
•?Koss employees worked “in concert with Sachdeva or at her direction” to make fraudulent entries to the company’s books to conceal the embezzlement. “These entries would falsely overstate assets, understate liabilities, understate sales, overstate cost of sales, and overstate expenses,” the agreement said. The agreement notes that the false entries “concealed the actual receipts and profitability of Koss,” allowing the scheme to continue.
•?To keep auditors off her track, Sachdeva did not fraudulently take money from Koss accounts at Park Bank during the month of June, because transactions during that month were reviewed by outside accountants.”
A.I.G. to Pay $725 Million in Ohio Case [NYT]
“The American International Group, once the nation’s largest insurance group before it nearly collapsed in 2008, has agreed to pay $725 million to three Ohio pension funds to settle six-year-old claims of accounting fraud, stock manipulation and bid-rigging.
Taken together with earlier settlements, A.I.G. will ladle out more than $1 billion to Ohio investors, money that will go to firefighters, teachers, librarians and other pensioners. The state’s attorney general, Richard Cordray, said Friday, that it was the 10th largest securities class-action settlement in United States history.”
Goldman’s Grand Delusions Finally Hit Reality [Jonathan Weil/Bloomberg]
“Here’s the real beauty of the SEC’s settlement agreement [last week] with Goldman Sachs. The next time Goldman Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein goes on television and is asked by some reporter if Goldman committed securities fraud, as the SEC alleged, he won’t be allowed to say no.
He won’t be able to repeat any of the factually improbable denials Goldman issued just three months ago after the SEC sued it for ripping off a hapless German bank named IKB as part of a bond deal called Abacus 2007-AC1. He’ll just have to suck it up and take the hit. It’s “the right outcome for our firm, our shareholders and our clients,” as Goldman said in a press release after the settlement was disclosed.
More incredibly, the SEC even got Goldman to admit it made “a mistake,” which might be the strangest thing ever to happen on Wall Street. Next thing you know, Blankfein will grow wings for his trip to the heavens, and Goldman will surrender its charter as a bank-holding company to become a nonprofit center for religious studies.”
IMF Pulls Out of Hungary Loan Talks [WSJ]
“Negotiators for the International Monetary Fund and European Union walked away from talks with Hungary over the weekend, saying Budapest needs to do more to shrink its budget deficit before it can get any more bailout money.
The move is likely to alarm markets already suspicious of the new populist government’s pledges to cut spending.
After nearly two weeks of meetings with senior Hungarian officials, the IMF and EU teams on Saturday called an abrupt halt to the discussions. They said Hungary couldn’t have access—for now, at least—to the remaining funds in a 20 billion euro ($25.9 billion) loan package secured in late 2008 to rescue the country from a financial meltdown.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants split to form new firm [Salt Lake City Tribune]
Three PwC “accountants” (presumably partners/directors), Gil Miller, David Bateman and John Curtis have left the Salt Lake City office to form their own firm, Rock Mountain Advisory, LLC. The newly formed company will specialize in ” bankruptcy/restructuring, dispute analysis/receiverships, forensic accounting/due diligence, turnaround and business valuation.”
According to the Mr Miller, the trio formed their own business primarily because so many clients were being turned away from PwC due to “conflicts of interest.”
Accounting News Roundup: FinReg Brings Plenty of Change; Some Number Crunching of Goldman’s Fine; ATF: Sin Taxes Rose 41% | 07.16.10
Law Remakes U.S. Financial Landscape [WSJ]
The Journal asked twelves experts about the bill, many of whom are not nearly as impressed as the Deal Professor. “Congress approved a rewrite of rules touching every corner of finance, from ATM cards to Wall Street traders, in the biggest expansion of government power over banking and markets since the Depression.
The bill, to be signed into law soon by President Barack Obama, marks a potential sea change for the financial-services industry. Financial titans such as J.P. Morgan Chase &