How to Bring Down Goldman Sachs
While I admire the tenacity of fellow Kossack Laser Haas, I find his diaries hard to understand, especially for someone new to his story. So I'm making the attempt here to summarize his case against Goldman Sachs, which seems pretty tight if there is a will to prosecute.
Understandably, that's a very big if, since Goldman Sachs and other big banks "run the place".
Goldman Sachs brought eToys public.
Internet toy seller EToys Inc., which has filed for bankruptcy, said Thursday that it filed a lawsuit against Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for allegedly mishandling its 1999 initial public offering.
The suit--filed in New York Supreme Court--alleges that Goldman, one of the leading underwriters of IPOs, intentionally underpriced EToys' offering and received kickbacks from its customers, who profited when the shares soared.
It charges Goldman (ticker symbol: GS) with fraud and breach of contract and fiduciary duty. A Goldman spokeswoman declined to comment on the suit.
There is very obvious criminal activity. Not so much on this lawsuit, but that when Goldman Sachs trashed the company to hide their initial crime and eToys went bankrupt, eToys hired some bankruptcy lawyers, Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnel (MNAT). Those bankruptcy lawyers happened to secretly be affiliated with Goldman Sachs. It is against the law for a bankruptcy law firm to work on a bankruptcy case when they are affiliated with the firm associated with the IPO, because there could be a conflict of interest.
Just like with Nixon, it wasn't so much the initial crime that got him in trouble, it was the coverup. This coverup is a very clear, documented crime, and it could bring down Goldman Sachs.
MNAT simply lied to the federal court and did not disclose the fact that MNAT had a relationship with Goldman Sachs and supplied affidavits, under penalty of perjury - stating MNAT had no conflict of interest issues. This was a flat-out lie.
MNAT very merrily went on doing everything they could to wreck eToys, and destroying the paper trail of what they were doing. Aside from hiding the trail of Goldman Sachs' initial IPO crimes, there was the matter of KayBee Toys wanting to buy up eToys' assets at a fire sale. KayBee Toys had been taken over by Mitt Romney's parasite zombie company, Bain, and it was out looking for more braaaaains. So it was a win-win for Goldman Sachs, whose undervaluing of the IPO was hidden by forcing the stock to be worthless, and Bain, that would be able to do its favorite vulture thing and pick over the remains.
eToys, meanwhile, thought they had competent bankruptcy lawyers, but instead, their lawyers were secretly working for Goldman Sachs. And here is the proof, in a written deposition:
I know compared to the many nefarious things that Goldman Sachs has done, that this is very minor. But sometimes minor things can nail criminals harder than their major crimes. Al Capone was convicted on tax evasion. Enron was brought down with wire fraud. And it looks like News Corp is going to get it with bribing foreign officials.
You may ask yourself why such an obvious case did not get prosecuted? The case would be tried in Delaware, where eToys was incorporated. When it came time for prosecution, a new U.S. Attorney for Delaware was appointed--Colm Connolly. He came fresh from Goldman Sachs, and back when the bankruptcy proceedings were happening, he happened to be working for another firm--MNAT. Very cozy.
So this whole thing was put in the circular file and never prosecuted. But it could be prosecuted now, and would have major teeth. It's ironclad.
11:51 AM PT: I want to get this correction in as quickly as possible. I was working from Laser Haas's diaries. Connolly did not come from Goldman Sachs, he came from MNAT
12:13 PM PT: Also posted below in comments by Limelight:
Goldman Sachs Will Take Refuge by assuming the posture of apology (that is not an apology) and acknowledge that what it did was "wrong" but not illegal.
Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnel will claim it kept its entities affiliated with the two clients totally separate and compartmentalized and retained impartiality. Besides, it was serving the best interests of its client, whichever one that one is.
No prosecution(s) will occur.
Then they'll reward their respective legal firms that are advising them on their PR campaigns on now to whitewash this black mark with big bonuses and wash their hands of it