I may not know much, but I know a lot of it. So I decided to share my opinions and thoughts on what I would do if the OWS movement either elected me Grand Poobah or asked for my advice:Back in 2009, as it was becoming apparent that the AIG bailout was nothing more than a conduit to the investment banks we posted "David Viniar, CFO of Goldman Sachs Blows Smoke at Journalists on AIG":
1. The Great Lie of Wall Street.
Every CEO tells the same great white lie. It is at the heart of every communication. It is at the heart of every financial decision. It is, at it’s very base, the reason why you all are in the 99pct and they are in the 1pct. The Lie ?
Great CEO White Lie = “We are acting in the best interests of shareholders.”
When a CEO utters this lie, everyone automatically forgives whatever they do. Add 10k jobless to the unemployment rolls ? Sorry, we did it in the BEST INTEREST OF SHAREHOLDERS. Merge or buy a company and cut back across the board ? We did it in the Best Interest of Shareholders.
The problem is that unless the company is losing money and it is the only way to keep the company alive, in this era of 9.1pct unemployment it NEVER is in the BEST INTEREST OF SHAREHOLDERS.
Shareholders , whether they own shares directly or through mutual funds or pensions do not live in a corporate vacuum. Their lives are impacted by far more than the share price of a stock. Every layoff in the name of more earnings per share puts a stress on the economy, on the federal, state and local governments which is in turn paid for through taxes or assumption of government debt by….wait for it.. the same shareholders CEOs say they want to benefit.
If OWS really wants to change corporate structure and impact the economy, talk to shareholders. Talk to your parents, uncles/aunts, cousins, friends who own shares of stocks either directly or indirectly and have them state loudly and clearly that they would rather have a higher Price to Earnings Ratio and even a lower stock price than have their TAXES increase in order to support all the people laid off from their jobs in the name of shareholders !
You might even consider buying a share of stock. Just 1. Maybe you can all pitch in and then go to a shareholders meeting and let them know how you feel about the best interests of shareholders.
2. Push to Make All Financial Institutions Partnerships
We should make all investment banks become reporting partnerships (meaning they still have the same reporting requirements they have today ). I would have no problem with our government loaning money to the partners of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and other Too Big To Fail Institutions so that they can buy back all public shares of their stock. Of course all those partners would become personally liable for repaying that money back to the government. It would probably be about 120B dollars in total to take these 2 companies private. That is far, far less than a possible bailout would cost.
Those personal guarantees would change EVERYTHING in the banking industry. It would change the decision making process across the board. There would be a moral hazard to every decision. Today , a wrong decision and they vacation on their yacht. As a partner, the wrong decision and they are protesting right next to the OWS crowd as a 99pct er. It would be the definition of having “skin in the game”...MORE
...My question is, "If Goldman Sachs were still a partnership, would they have entered into these transactions in the same size?"
The answer, of course, is no.
If partners equity were at risk, there is no way that they would have depended on ratings agencies to ascertain the strength of their counterparty.
Junior partners would be expected to run honey traps on AIG employees.
Lower level employees would hone their dumpster-diving skills.
Whatever it takes to gain competitive intelligence and safeguard the partnership's capital.
See also: "The optimal design of Ponzi schemes in finite economies"...