Goldman Sachs

Risk free investing by the NZ Super fund

$200m NZD given to Banco Espirito Santo, a Portuguese bank, to bail them out. The bank folds, and the underlying insurance is voided.

These guys make Terry Serepisos look like George Soros.

Almost $200 million in taxpayers’ money invested through the New Zealand Superannuation Fund has been lost after the collapse of a Portuguese bank where the money was invested – supposedly as a “risk-free” loan.

The fund, set up with public money to partly cover the retirement costs of Baby Boomers, revealed yesterday it had been caught up in the collapse of Banco Espirito Santo (BES), and a US$150 million investment made in July had been wiped out.

The investment was a contribution to a Goldman Sachs-organised loan to the bank, but only weeks after the money was injected it imploded. President and founder Ricardo Salgado was arrested as part of a criminal investigation into tax evasion.

After disclosing billions of euros in losses, and facing a run on funds by depositors, the bank collapsed in a heap and was broken up in August.

Read more »

If John Key did this?

I can’t wait to see what David Shearer, Russel Norman and all the left wing blogs say about this news out of the United States.

 President Barack Obama is nominating a childhood friend to represent the U.S. at the United Nations office and other international organizations in Geneva. He’s also tapping a major fundraiser for his re-election campaign to be ambassador to Morocco.

If confirmed by the Senate, Pamela Hamamoto will have the rank of ambassador.  Read more »

Goldman Sachs runs a $3.5B aluminium scam

Profiting from Success AND pissing off pinkos

New York Times

Here is a good idea for Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley to consider…at the same time as cleverly funding social programmes it will also unhinge the labour and Green parties:

New York City, embracing an experimental mechanism for financing social services that has excited and worried government reformers around the world, will allow Goldman Sachs to invest nearly $10 million in a jail program, with the pledge that the financial services giant would profit if the program succeeded in significantly reducing recidivism rates.

The city will be the first in the United States to test “social impact bonds,”also called pay-for-success bonds, which are an effort to find new ways to finance initiatives that might save governments money over the long term.

First used in Britain and now being explored in Australia,the bonds are rapidly capturing the imagination of some public officials in the United States: on Wednesday, Massachusetts announced that it was completing negotiations with two nonprofit groups to finance juvenile justice and homelessness programs, with the promise of repayment only if the programs work.

The federal government, Connecticut, New York State and Cuyahoga County, Ohio, among others, are at various stages of considering using the bonds to harness new funds for human-services programs.

In New York City, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg plans to announce on Thursday that Goldman Sachs will provide a $9.6 million loan to pay for a new four-year program intended to reduce the rate at which adolescent men incarcerated at Rikers Island reoffend after their release.

NBR rips into ComCom extremity

by Winslow Taggart

We’ve blogged a bit about the “mad dog” issues at the Commerce Commission. Today it’s the NBR’s turn to highlight the extreme decisions of the ComCom, with commentary from the financial sector confirming the issues highlighted on this blog around a month ago.

In a submission to telecommunications commissioner Ross Patterson, Mr Bascand says the commission’s approach puts the success of the government’s ultra-fast broadband initiative at risk.

And could be a turn-off for foreign investors considering buying shares in partially privatised state-owned energy companies.

His comments follow what he describes as last month’s “policy shock” of draft regulations for the unbundled copper local loop – the traditional mainstay infrastructure of the national telephone system, which fibre-optic cable will replace as ultra-fast broadband rolls out nationwide.

The government’s $1.5 billion subsidy plan is intended to accelerate uptake of UFB, but the Commerce Commission’s approach suggests it “has a mandate to tilt the playing field back to copper” while using a flawed benchmarking approach to regulation, Mr Bascand said.

Don’t mention Sky TV, who received supposedly happy news from the ComCom only to have it all turn to dust when the Mad Dogs tacked on a paragraph about investigating Sky TV’s broadband relationships.

It also seems that Harbour Asset Management aren’t the only ones. In addition to Milford Asset Management, First NZ and  Forsyth Barr, Global firm Goldman Sachs also points out how government is about to get shafted by the ComCom.

However, last month’s draft decision had led Goldman Sachs to cut its forecast of UFB uptake by 10%, suggesting outcomes that “run entirely counter to government policy”, tilting the playing field in favour of copper and forcing Chorus to accept uneconomic returns on its copper network.

However the issue was handled, the government should be aware international investors now look askance at New Zealand regulators, making them wary of investing in partially privatised assets where regulatory risk remains high, such as the electricity sector.

The question this blog asks is this – who needs Labour and the Greens running interference on an asset sales programme when the Commerce Commission can do it just as easily for them?

Do IRD do sweetheart deals like this?

The Guardian

A sweetheart deal by the HMRC is being legally challenged. It makes you wonder if our IRD has run similar sweetheart deals.

Do readers know? If so what should be done about it?

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs will be forced to defend itself in court against allegations that it gave one of the world’s most profitable banks a sweetheart deal on the repayment of unpaid taxes worth up to £20m.

The agreement between HMRC and Goldman Sachs reached in 2010 could be quashed after the high court allowed a preliminary permission hearing to take place on June 13th following court filings made by the activist group UK Uncut Legal Action.

Activists accuse HMRC of giving the US multinational giant favourable treatment in a settlement of a tax dispute which saw Goldman Sachs let off £10m in interest payments.

What would Alasdair say?

The NZ Herald reports:

Goldman Sachs has identified women as a “hidden labour pool” that could boost economic output by 10 per cent and solve an expected labour shortage as Christchurch is rebuilt.

The report, Closing the Gender Gap – Plenty of Potential Economic Upside, argues that New Zealand is only three-quarters of the way to unlocking the hidden value of its female workforce.

“Our estimates show that closing the gap in male and female employment rates in New Zealand would boost the level of gross domestic product by 10 per cent,” said Goldman economist Philip Borkin.

The rebuilding of Christchurch would stretch available resources and labour shortages were likely, Borkin said.

A major construction company told Goldman Sachs that the pool of 77,000 tradespeople nationwide needed to more than double to rebuild Christchurch. A labour shortage could increase inflation and force the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates.

“We see no reason why more females could not be employed in the construction sector and play a role in the rebuilding of Canterbury,” the report said.

I bet Alasdair Thompson would have something to say about that. I mean can you imagine all those construction site afflicted with the monthly sick issue???