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Minyan Mailbag: Sea Change in the Once Proud Financials

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Greed and fear make for a toxic combination, particularly when so many agendas abound.

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Toddo,

In response to your Goldman (GS) post yesterday, I couldn't agree with you more about the slight wafting smell coming from the broker.

First, I am astonished that Goldman's Alpha Fund investors are not storming the gates to find out how their fund took it on the chin this summer while the Goldman trading desk made a bundle having the seemingly opposite position on. That reeks by itself.

And now comes the analyst downgrade that just happens to benefit the trading desk position. More nose wrinkling.

Spitzer had them all separate research from investment banking. Maybe he should have had them also separate the trading desk from the customers.

If this keeps up, GS will start getting that Bear Stearns (BSC) "we're in it for us only" reputation. And we all know how well that rep worked for Bear this year.

-Minyan Steve


MS,

Yes, we've seen this movie before but the names have been changed to protect the affluent.

I'm not looking to cast a disparaging stone (not my style) and I certainly don't have an "edge" as to whether the posse (collective sentiment) will call for a lynching. But there is a clubby, old school mentality surrounding Goldman, starting with Hank Paulson and continuing throughout the corporatocracy. That didn't matter while the screens were green but tongues wag and fingers point when folks start losing their homes.

I'll offer that for many (the former middle class), we've been in a recession for quite some time. It's been masked by the depreciating dollar, insulating the "haves" and skewing the economic numbers. That's what "was" but, judging by the action in once proud proxies of a finance-based economy, from Countrywide (CFC) to Fannie Mae (FNM) to Citigroup (C), we've witnessed a sea change.

That's not to say that we can't see a near-term rally or even, dare I say, a year-term lift. Greed and fear make for a toxic combination, particularly when so many agendas abound. As we've been saying, however, nobody is bigger than the market and the truth shall eventually be told. And while I won't say that Goldman did anything wrong (as per industry standard), revisionist history has a way of coming full circle.

Thanks for the Minyanship and have a fantastic gobble.

-Toddo

R.P.


Holiday Festivus is here! Come join us and support the Ruby Peck Foundation For Children's Education at an old-fashioned Southern-style hoe-down in the heart of New York City on December 7th. Click the image below to learn more!

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