Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lloyd Blankfein

- CEO of Goldman Sachs -- current or former employer of Hall of Idiots inductees including Hank Paulson, Robert Rubin, and John Thain!

- Goldman is known as the gold standard of investment banks!

- In May 2009, Goldman agreed to pay $60 million to settle charges that it had promoted unfair lending in Massachusetts -- to feed the appetite for fresh mortgages of its mortgage securitization business!

- Goldman issued $33 billion of mortgage-backed securities from 2005 through 2007 -- flooding mortgage lenders with capital, and leading to increasingly risky and aggressive lending practices!

- Goldman engaged in the same uber-risky practices as other big banks, but made it through the crash in one piece -- no small thanks to its many friends in high places!

- An AIG bankruptcy may well have capsized Goldman, because the insurer owed the bank $12 billion on credit default swaps!

- After a meeting at which Blankfein was the only Wall Street CEO, the government decided to bail out AIG rather than letting it go bankruptcy -- to the tune of 100 cents on the dollar!

- Tried to hide massive losses in Q4 2008 from investors -- using legal but ethically dubious accounting trickery!

- In April 2009, told Congress that bankers needed to stop making so much money that they look "self-serving and greedy"!

- Days later, set aside $4.7 billion for Goldman compensation in Q1 2009 -- or about $675,000 per employee on an annualized basis!

- Blankfein's 2006 compensation: $53 million!

- His 2007 compensation: $70 million!

- Idiot!

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