Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pillars of western capitalism tremble!

Two reports of particular concern to this blogger, have been made public in the past few hours.

The first, revealing what has seemed obvious to this non-involved, indifferent observer, for some time is the large fall in profits at Goldman Sachs, one report, linked here, contains this startling statement:

Goldman Sachs dropped $4.17, or 2.7 percent, to $159.61 at 12:31 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, reaching the lowest level since Oct. 5. Net income slid to $2.74 billion, the New York-based company said today in a statement.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, 56, depended on trading and investments with the firm’s own money to generate 79 percent of first-quarter revenue. The investing and lending segment, which accounted for 23 percent of revenue, is unreliable because results are tied to market moves and because regulators might add restrictions to the business, said some analysts and investors.

The second, far more worrying IMHO, implies the deliberate manipulation of Libor, which forms the basis for financial adjustments in many "real" (ie non intra-financial institutions) commercial dealings. Read here. When I used it foe large oil company contracts, I was assured by my financial and accounting specialists, that LIBOR was the Gold Standard of independence, is this still the case?

If Libor has been fiddled, where has trust now found a home?



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