Monday, April 20

Romans And Goldman Sachs

Well, it is hard not to think of Monty Python and make a snide remark .. but actually, these dedicated servants of Bath have dressed in costume to entertain us. Unseen in my photo the tens of hundreds of people surrounding the plaza to witness the Roman solider's technique when charging an enemy - usually together, marching forcefully with shields facing forward in advance of a surge (the Japanese tourists video everything, God bless them). Hey, it worked for the Romans for a pretty long good while.

Goldman Sachs has announced that it will return to the tax-payer the '08 £6.1 billion TARP they received to stay in business. Good news, right? Well, yes - until one realises that they have accrued close to £5 billion of bonus money in the first quarter of '09 alone. This is aprox. £2.5 million for each of the 443 Goldman partners. Goldman cannot pay out these bonuses, you see, until they have repaid the TARP early and at the severe disadvantage to the US government. And here is what is so galling : no doubt we are in a liquidity crisis thanks to Lehman Bros.' collapse in September '08, which panicked the market and tightened the credit sphincter with a whoop! The government tried to put together a Lehman-saving public-private package which failed because one investment bank balked - yes, that was Goldman Sachs, who had A) amassed huge long positions against Lehman's counter-balance; and B) shorted the fuck out of the financial sector. In other words, the perfect hedge which they completely controlled. When Goldman forced Lehman to fail, Goldman off the hook for millions in obligations while making a fortune for themselves - at least £5 billion - by shorting the subsequent equity market collapse. Nice work for those 443.

"My policy on cake is still pro having it and pro eating eat."
Boris Johson