Monday, July 7, 2014

The GAP - Part III - what he told his mother

Goldman Sachs trader is suing; his bonus of $8.25 million was five million less than he told his mother he was getting.  

Deeb Salem said in an arbitration hearing that he was expecting $13 million, down from a $15 million award for 2009 when he was paid more than the CEO, Lloyd C. Blankfein. Salem said his bonus was unfairly docked because of a written warning he received for his 2007 performance.

Salem said his group put on a large short bet against the housing market, reaping billions of dollars for Goldman Sachs and helping it weather the financial crisis better than peers. He said Blankfein told the desk to cover its bet in early 2007, forcing the group to sell almost $5 billion of positions to Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, the hedge-fund firm run by Phil Falcone that made billions betting against subprime mortgages.

In 2011, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said Salem and other Goldman Sachs traders manipulated prices of derivatives linked to subprime home loans in 2007 for their own benefit. The subcommittee’s assertions were based in part on Salem’s self-evaluation, in which he wrote “we began to encourage the squeeze with plans of getting very short again after the short squeeze caused capitulation of these shorts.”

Summary: one of the primary blood-suckers that precipitated the Great Recession and the collapse of my retirement savings by gambling, betting against the market tumble he helped create... he is complaining because he didn't make more millions personally for his performance.  This miscreant crashed the world marketplace, he and a few others like him, by gambling!  That was illegal until recently when big business and government colluded to provide yet another path for extracting wealth from the working class.  My loss was endurable, but my friends in Kenya saw the price of their food double.  The toll was and continues to be deadly.  

This particular tantrum by a Wall Streeter offers us insight into the power-player thinking that pervades the financial industry in the developed world.  

We know how it works now. We've created venues for an individual or team to manipulate the marketplace with multi-billion dollar wagers.  Win or lose, the cost is extracted from the world's working class. Functionally identical to Los Vegas gaming, it continues today, largely unregulated and unimpeded. The lower-income folks of the world pay for that play, and the GAP widens.