The Wall Street Journal have a shocking story today ,"Goldman is queried on Bear's fall"
Apparently Alan Schwartz, who headed Bear Stearns Cos. at the tiome it sunk in March, called Goldman Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein to ask if there was any truth to talk that in the days preceding Bear Stearns's fall, if traders in the Goldman London office manipulated the struggling firm's stock. (A "spokesman" for the Goldman CEO says he doesn't recall having such a conversation with Mr. Schwartz)
By coincidence CEO Richard Fuld Jr of struggling Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. whose shares (and reputation) have been battered, has also contacted Mr. Blankfein.
To those inoccents abroad (fed a diet of stories ... My word is my bond etc.,) who don't sit in the plush banking parlours of Wall Street or Bishopsgate - spreading rumors one knows to be false with the intention of manipulating a public company's price is illegal.
But rumours haven't stopped there , and these fancy Credit Default Swaps (CDS's), a fancy sort of insurance / casino chip / IOU which banks bet with have left a toxic trail ...
Which may just ring a bell to those who read the post Thursday, June 12, 2008 Lehman shuffle the team, no new faces, no new ideas, ... the Bonfire of the Vanities ... Wail Street just needs a few more sparks about the semi-exit of glamorous lawyer, Alpha female and short lived CFO at Lehman Bros. Ms. Erin Callan.
In which Lord Patel remarked ..."Erin is of course good pals with Chicagoan Kenneth C Griffin and has helped over several years (with Lehman's dosh) his US$20 Bn, Chicago based Citadel Investment Group. He is of course a big noise in Chicago, a supporter of Barak Obama and also the lovely Michelle. Citadel daily trading activity reportedly is reputed to account for "more than 10% of daily U.S. listed equity options contract volume" and issued investment grade bonds in 2006."
Now the immensely rich, immensely powerful Kenneth C Griffin didn't get where he is today by acting on false rumours... no he, naturally, prefers the facts.
So, speaking hypothetically, any CFO half way out the door marked Exit in possession of a great deal of accurate information, maybe looking for another, safer berth ....
For those unfamiliar with the glamorous good looks of 42 year old Ms Callan , but who will no doubt be interested in her future career on Wall Street , here is a picture.
Late news .."Credit Suisse today announced that Erin Callan will be joining the Bank as a Managing Director and Head of its Global Hedge Fund Business. In this newly created position, Ms. Callan will join the Investment Bank Management Committee and the Global Client Steering Committee. Her appointment is effective September 2, 2008 and she will be based in New York."
In one of those crazy co-incidences Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein $27 million Goldman's Whitehall real estate investment fund is a 30% investor in brand spanking new apartment on the swanky "Tower" side of gleaming white 15 Central Park West where Erin recently took a 31st floor apartment... price not known. Hedge funder Daniel Loeb stopped the traffic when he paid $45 million, or $4,200 a square foot, for his pad on the "Tower" side ...... two years ago, asking prices are now US$6,000 per sq. ft plus.
Handy too for her personal buyer Michelle Beauvais at Bergdorf Goodman to pop round with a rail of frocks for her to try on.
RUSH UPDATE - http://www.spartacuslives.org/node/18821 How Goldman won big on mortgage meltdown Wall Street Journal Dec 14, 2007 On Mortgage Meltdown, A Team's Bearish Bets Netted Firm Billions; A Nudge From the CFO A useful link provided some time ago by George Dutton Many Thanks GD