Tag Archive for ‘Goldman Sachs’
On the fifth anniversary of the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, columnist Gael O’Brien says the biggest takeaway of the 2007-8 financial meltdown may be how leaders misjudged the “footprint” of their institutions and the impact they can have on “bystanders” – a community, a country, and potentially countries around the world.
For more than two years, Goldman Sachs’ reputation has been under fire for its alleged role in the financial crisis. On August 9, 2012, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) announced it won’t prosecute the firm. Goldman Sachs’ spokesman said, “We are pleased that this matter is behind us.”
A leading plaintiffs’ lawyer says the widespread acceptance of hedge funds – which now receive hundreds of billions of dollars from pension plans representing average workers – has not been matched by commensurate improvements in their level of transparency, accountability and corporate governance. As a result, he argues, “it’s time for hedge funds to be brought into the 21st century,” with broad changes in the legal regime that governs them.
The head of the Ethics Resource Center says former Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith’s very public resignation – and accusations that the bank had lost control of its culture and “moral fiber” – are backed up by a recent survey which spotlights a historic decline in culture in all business sectors across the country.
An executive at Goldman Sachs has left the firm with a bang, penning a New York Times op-ed accusing the company of increasingly putting profits ahead of clients. Greg Smith started as an intern 12 years ago and last headed a derivatives department. Not surprisingly, Goldman quickly and strongly disagreed with his take.
Transparency – the effective provision of credible information to stakeholders in a way that improves decision-making and increases legitimacy and trust – is a rapidly growing requirement for international corporations, particularly those in mining, oil and gas, also known as the extractive industries.
While there’s no excuse for recent leadership scandals, Art Stewart writes, “it is also irresponsible to dismiss outright our own role in engendering a culture of duplicity, incompetence, and corruption as if it all could manifest from unsupported solo acts.”
A new report by Bloomberg News suggests that in July 2008, then-Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson met with “a dozen or so hedge-fund managers and other Wall Street executives” to discuss a possible scenario for placing mortgage enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into “conservatorship.” Pulitzer Prize-winner Jesse Eisinger says Paulson’s meeting with his former Wall Street peers draws “a picture of a Treasury Secretary who took care of his buddies while allowing the system to blow up.”
Has anything changed in banking regulation since the crisis of 2008? Consider the case of MF Global Holdings Ltd., a New York-based securities firm that filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 31 after disclosing sizable exposure to derivatives and other investments related to billions of dollars in European sovereign debt. The firm was headed by Jon Corzine, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs who subsequently went into politics and was elected U.S. Senator and, later, Governor of New Jersey. In this video clip, “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart compares and contrasts the positions and behavior of Jon Corzine, the politician, with Jon Corzine, the CEO banker.
In July 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council endorsed a set of principles designed to address human rights abuses by business. In an interview, the man who led development of those principles – Harvard professor John Ruggie – discusses their implications and explains why he thinks the newly-coined term “human rights due diligence” has already become a permanent entry in the lexicon of international business.