Skip to comments.Goldman Sachs Sued By (IBEW Union) Big Pension Fund Over (Exec) Pay
Posted on 03/09/2010 5:39:00 PM PST by tcrlaf
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) was sued on Monday by a large union pension fund that accused the Wall Street investment bank of overpaying its executives.
The International Brotherhood of Electric Workers fund filed the lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court, seeking to recover money for the company on behalf of other shareholders.
It seeks to stop Goldman from allocating roughly 47 percent of 2009 net revenue as compensation, saying such allocations "vastly overcompensate management and constitute corporate waste."
The lawsuit also wants Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and others in management, rather than shareholders, to be responsible for charitable contributions that Goldman is making as a an apology for its activities.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Democrat-Supporting Goldman-Sach's insane, TARP-funded Executive bonus's?
Or the IBEW, which wants Goldman's "Charitable Contributions" redirected to ACORN-type "Charities"?
This is why it is unwise to invest in a financial company.
The people who work there are adept at putting the profits in their own accounts, not those of the stockholders.
Tell me again about how the unions are not a bunch of commie piggies.
Indeed. For whom does one cheer? Of course, one could simply eat some popcorn and enjoy the show.
This is amazing GS supported Obozo and now his minions in their desire to assist in his overthrough the Republic and Capitalism keep taking a bite of the elephant at a time. It is dying a slow death.
Root for a long, drawn-out, blood war of attrition with lots of embarassing public disclosure on both sides.
Wonder which side Obozo will take?
goldman’s bonuses are at a level that could be argued to be designed to bypass the public shareholders. They were private up until the late 90’s.
If "union bosses" are truly worried about the rank and file workers, they wouldn't mind, would they?....heh heh
So how’s that hopey changey working out for everyone?
When you play with fire you’re bound to get burned.
Goldman Sachs should expect more of this. If they’re going to rely on politicians manipulating tax law and regulations to make a profit then they better be ready for the unions and others to use those same politicians to take back much of those same profits.
Communists demanding stock dividends on their invested capital? Yeah, why not...
I’m not a fan of union thugs who are just as corrupt as the CEOs that the government has turned them loose on.
You should be rooting for the principle of being innocent until proven guilty. And Goldman Sachs is declared guilty hundreds of times of day --- including many people on this forum who fancy themselves conservative --- without a shred of evidence or basic understanding of the issues involved.
If a financial adviser or intermediary committed a wrong, go after him by all means. If Goldman happens to be that adviser, sue them to recover damages --- from all assets, be it cash, real estate or whatever. What does compensation have to do with that? Only one thing: in one of the worst witch hunts in American history, people (yes, even "conservatives") will cheer you in the fight against the evil bonuses. It's a pure exploitations of the current sentiment against capitalism, CEOs, bonuses (which are often not bonuses at all), the "rich" (unless they are basketball players or Jay Leno), etc.
Now, really, whom should you be rooting for, the defamer or the defamed? Indeed, a truly difficult choice for a conservative.
And the evidence is... what exactly.
Oh, I see: judging by your name, you just accuse people by proxy.
True. And that's exactly what most Americans are doing for the last few decades while socialists and other America-haters were dismantling the country. They don't realize, of course, that there will be no popcorn to chew at the end.
Couly be argued? By all means, please do argue. And explain also what kind of animal is that --- public shareholder.
I wa sbeing facetious. Anyway, a Union going after GS is rather rich.
Argumentum ad stramineus homo (argument against a straw man). True, it would be terrible if GS relied on politicians to make a profit, except the premise is factually incorrect. Goldman has always been the subject of envy by the rest of Wall Street because it attract the best talent and lets it flourish. That's where their profits are from. They were the only ones to have called the recent downturn correctly (which is why the weathered that storm the best).
But the facts don't matter to you do they? And it bothers you not that you repeat the falsehoods that the commies in the White House want you to repeat.
Agreed; I was thinking the same, too.
Indeed. Proof positive that you can’t make this stuff up.
The lawsuit has plenty of company. Shareholder lawsuits about corporate malfeasance in the setting of executive pay and comp packages are increasing in frequency.
Per the article, the IBEW (shareholders in GS) are contesting the actions of management on two points:
1. What the IBEW sees as excessive compensation, towit, nearly half of the profits of 2009.
2. The diversion of capital (in the amount of hundreds of millions of dollars) in the company to a “charity,” without a vote of the shareholders.
The executive staff of a public traded corporation have a fiduciary duty to the shareholders, and the IBEW contends that the management of GS has failed to exhibit this duty in their actions. There is another lawsuit already on file against GS on the first of these two issues.
As I said, shareholder lawsuits against corporations for claims of executive pay violating fiduciary duty are becoming increasingly common, and for good reasons. It is pretty clear that many companies have feckless idiots for management.
But not without lots of help from the U.S. taxpayer. Didn't they get themselves declared a bank so they could borrow at the Fed's discount window at a rate really close to zero? I'm not a financial guy so I may be in way over my head here, but it seems to me these Wall Street guys put themselves in precarious positions, expected us to bail them out, and then when they began to realize big returns, want to keep all the booty for themselves. It really does seem to me like what I keep hearing - socialize the losses, privatize the profits.
Yeah, okay. I'll help you find out what's really going on with GS and our government.
Start with doing a little research on this: http://www2.goldmansachs.com/services/investing/private-equity/urban-investments/index.html
It's called the Goldman Sachs Urban Development Fund. And you know what it does? It takes tax dollars and funnels the money to pet projects that Rangel and the other democrat clowns steal. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
This "urban fund" has nothing to do with talent or hard work, as every project it funds gets backed by the government. In other words, if the project fails the government picks up the tab and GS walks away with cash in their piggy bank.
And there's a lot more. Do some research. Find out what's really going on. GS isn't a shining example of free market capitalism. They're an example of fascism. Yeah that's right, I said it.
You appear to misunderstand not only what I said but also your own statement. The question was not whether GS does EVERYTHING right: like you, I am upset by both the donations to the Dems their officers make (acting as private individuals), and some of their corporate activities.
This has nothing to do with their profits (please reread YOUR original statement). People and groups should be criticized for their wrongful acts. Like many, you take sides instead: having developed a dislike for the company, you now blame it for ALL of their acts and the profits they derive from legal and honest business. It is disheartening to see the ease with which such defamation is accepted, even by conservatives.
So thank you for the pointers but those issues have nothing to do with the billions of profits made by GS: those billions stem from hard work of very talented people. And that is what I said, when replying to you, in my previous post.
Not at all. The crisis hit in October; GS started to bet on decline in preceding May of that year.
"Didn't they get themselves declared a bank so they could borrow at the Fed's discount window at a rate really close to zero?"
Yes they did. They were staunch opponents of the bailout, which was forced upon them. A changeover to a commercial bank was a part of that process.
Please note also that it would be outright stupid to change the fundamental structure of a firm because of the minute market conditions. The interest rates are indeed low, but abnormally so. What will happened if the rates are to rise above 10%, as they did under Carter? Moreover, if the company were to change the fundamental structure just to capitalize on a few months of abnormally low rates, it would be sued by sophisticated shareholders (mutual funds, etc.) --- because that would be utterly irresponsible on the part of the management.
Finally, the opportunity to become (or purchase) a bank was ALWAYS open --- for GS just as for you and me. Crises, TARPS and other connections pushed on you by the media have absolutely nothing to do with that.
"I'm not a financial guy"
That is perfectly fine, of course. The right thing to do, however, in the absence of knowledge or data is to suspend judgment. Just don't have any. What we witness instead is routine defamation, from both the left and the right. This is not only wrong (according to Judeo-Christian morality) but also dangerous. The same thing happed in Germany in 1920s-1930s: the entire country turned ledt, anti-business and unti-capitalist. The distinction between the Left and the Right was the same as between Lenin and Stalin. All three parties there were socialist. We witness much of the same here. Both the left and right is anti-business and anti-capitalist. It is for that fundamental reason that we have a far-left socialist in the White House (recall that the Republicans have also produced a socialist, big-goverment MacCanin). And for that same reason, this is not the end of it. "it seems to me these Wall Street guys put themselves in precarious positions, expected us to bail them out"
No, not at all. Businesses, like people, do their best within given limitations. That's all. Not one person has anticipated the crises, and for a very simple reason, which happened before our own eyes but very quickly.
Here is what happened, very briefly. All of us form expectations as to what the world is likely to do. Our government has CONSISTENTLY cultivated that idea that it'll bail out big businesses since at least mid-1980s, when the entire S&L industry was bailed out. This by itself does not make Wall Street to take greater risk. Nobody there ever thinks to himself: I'll bet my company for this deal and, if it goes sour, the gov will bail me out (this is not only immoral -- I don't expect all players to be moral either --- but stupid. Bailouts leave a shell of a company, not a company in its glory. And as soon as the company starts losing its glory, the management is taken to task --- well before bankruptcy and bailouts). So if you want to blame someone, blame the government: both Rep and Dems clutivated the perception that the government will step in for a couple of generations now.
What created the crises was not the bailout or the lack thereof: it was an unexpected turn of events. It's not whether the news is good or bad that moves the markets --- important, but only secondary --- but the fact that some information IS news. The catastrophic news was that Lehman was allowed to fail. Again, it's not the failure itseld that was problematic. The fact that Lehman was allowed to fail was contrary to decades-old posture of the government, both administrative and legislative, both Republican and Democratic. Credit markets were stunned. Why? The allowed failure signaled a complete change in the government's position. But to what? Nobody knew. Well, when creditors (banks) don't know, they stop lending. (When they think something is more risky, they charge higher interest. But when they don't know the ruled of the game --- as after the failure of Lehman --- they cannot even estimate that risk. They cannot therefore determine an appropriate interest to charge for the loan, and stop lending altogether). The markets froze. (Yes, under a Republican president).
What followed and you witness was a long chain of finger-pointing in the attempt to deflect responsibility. A simple guy does not even understand any of the above; when he sees his monthly statement, he blames the broker, the mutual fund, the Wall Street. Those parties started to point fingers at each other and at the rating agencies. That is what you read about in the newspapers. But the banking crisis occurred when and because Lehman failed without a warning. (If the process of failure was preceded by warning from the government or some such information, the markets would have digested that and, although shaken, would not freeze completely). Don't take me wrong. We did indeed have a housing bubble that had to burst. We did indeed have two generations of people that do not save and borrow their last dollar to impress their neighbors with a new kitchen. All those problems are not imaginary and would be costly. But the decline would not necessarily create a crises. And certainly not a BANKING crises. Banks stopped lending for a simple and single reason: they were shocked.
"socialize the losses, privatize the profits." The sole reason it seems plausible to you is because of the consistent, unrelenting and vicious misinformation unleashed on you by the MSM.
Just reread the sentence you quoted. If it were true (but is not), what is the way out? To socialize profits. Nationalize companies. Proletarians unite. Invite Chavez as a consultant... That quote is nothing but a slogan designed to make you swallow as reasonable the destruction of the country the Obamites are undertaking. And, judging by the comments on this forum, it is working.
They failed. They only exist, because their clown buddies in fed gov covered all their losses for them.
"That's where their profits are from."
They failed, there are no profits.
" They were the only ones to have called the recent downturn correctly"
You must have forgotten, Dave, that one does not determine either truth or morality by voting. Antisemitism was quite popular in the Nazi Germany. For over 70 years, the Communist Party was very popular in Russia. We know the costs and other ultimate results of that popularity.
Your argument is fallacious prima facie.
Per the article, the IBEW (shareholders in GS) are contesting the actions of management on two points: 1. What the IBEW sees as excessive compensation, towit, nearly half of the profits of 2009."
This claim is also fallacious for a simple reason. Executive compensation is but one expense in the costs of doing business, just as are rent, office supplies, etc. It is a well-known fact that an outside observer cannot in principle determine that a particular expenditure is excessive: one has to see all details and do so contemporaneously with decision-making. Why didn't they bring an action against "excessive rents," "excessive office-supply expanses" or some other such thing? For a simple reason: the anti-capitalist witch-hunt was succcessful, and anything against "bonuses" has a good chance of finding a sympathetic jury. Try instead to find a juror who would be outraged by the fact that a particular building could've been had for $12M annual rent rather than, say, $13M. That's all.
While an outside observe cannot determine with certainly that something is excessive and possibly fraudulent, he can certainly be suspicious. The course of action then is a standard one: when management and/or board lose confidence of shareholders, they should be replaced. No wrongdoing is necessary; lack of confidence is sufficient.
Ah, but that is not what the suit is about... Proletarians of all countries unite against the Wall Street. There is no difference between this garbage lawsuit and the recent claim of the Greek Prime-minister that Greek problems are due to short-seller. Ridiculous, but it works. Even you find merits in those claims.
"2. The diversion of capital (in the amount of hundreds of millions of dollars) in the company to a charity, without a vote of the shareholders."
True. I really have a problem with that. But can't you see while rereading your own words that this has nothing to do with compensation? (It's the lawyers' practice: when shooting, bring up everyting --- you never know what may resonate with the jury or the judge. Strange that you JUSTIFY that).
"The executive staff of a public traded corporation have a fiduciary duty to the shareholders,"
Thank you, but there is no need to repeat the textbooks verbatim. If you suspect that your readers don't know what "fiduciary" means, explain, but quoting textbooks serves no purpose.
"and the IBEW contends [I know; the question was whether there was any merit in that contention] that the management of GS has failed to exhibit this duty in their actions."
"As I said, shareholder lawsuits against corporations for claims of executive pay violating fiduciary duty are becoming increasingly common, and for good reasons. It is pretty clear that many companies have feckless idiots for management."
Well, you were quite reasonable up to this point. The last statement, however, is at par with something may year at an oriental bazaar. I have no comment.
GS was against the TARP, which was forced upon them by their ex-Goldman "buddy" Paulson and their "buddy" (according to socialists) Bush.
"They failed, there are no profits."
Barking statements without any reasoning or other support only emphasizes your ignorance. Go to Yahoo or something, check the data...
TQ: " They were the only ones to have called the recent downturn correctly" Spunkets: "Nonsense!"
Did your psychiatrist ever suggested to you that you have a dictatorial personality? Well, if something is true or nonsense "just 'cause you said so," perhaps you should debate someone else.
You lose the argument simply because you resort to the idiotic comparison of shareholder lawsuits to Nazi Germany.
It appears you don't even know the meaning of the word "comparison" (let alone "idiotic"). I must have confused you with another New York Dave. Judging by your train of thought (that train is comprized of disconnected cars), you are still a sophomore. Unfortunately, I have a policy of not wrestling with pigs and children.
So please accept my apology for replying to you with a detailed post. I shall make every effort and refrain from doing so in the future.
There are only dumb people that believe they didn't want that $10 billion to play with.
Re: "They failed, there are no profits."
"Barking statements without any reasoning or other support only emphasizes your ignorance. Go to Yahoo or something, check the data...
The results are a funciton of the $10B they recieved from fed gov.
"Did your psychiatrist ever suggested to you that you have a dictatorial personality? "
Too bad it isn't based on free market capitalism, or private money.
But if they did take government funds, then the losses were indeed socialized. I don't care if there's an expectation that the government will bail out big business. I didn't create that expectation, nor have I ever endorsed it. I was sorry lots of people lost their jobs when Lehman failed, but I was glad the failure was allowed to happen.
For the record, I don't think Goldman would've failed without TARP or borrowing from the discount window, which is all the more reason they shouldn't have done it. You play with fire, you get your hands burned. Don't play with the taxpayers' money. I hope all the executives at these firms have learned their lesson and won't ever look to the American taxpayer again for any kind of handout.
One final thought - When you say Goldman was "forced" to take the funds, what does that mean? I'm not trying to be combative, I just want to know what would have been the consequences if they'd refused.
Right. In general, would you agree that, if I force you to take action, you are not responsible for the consequences of that action? Paulson, in the presence of Bush, requested that CEOs of major banks sign on the dotted line (literally). They are responsible for the consequences.
(In contrast, the automakers HAVE actively and repeatedly pleaded for help, which nobody forced upon them. Strangely, people are angry at Wall Street, which was against TARP, and completely indifferent to the real culprits.)
They then went on to borrow from the discount window, right?
Right. But what does borrowing from the discount window have to do with the bailout. Any chartered bank can borrow from that window. If you and I form a bank today, we can borrow the same day. I am confused, what does this have to do with the bailout, in your opinion?
"But if they did take government funds, then the losses were indeed socialized."
Borrowing from the discount window has noting to do with the bailout funds. Banks routinely did so for decades and continue to do so.
Here too I am confused about the way in which you arrived at the conclusion. If I understand correctly, the argument is: "if banks borrowed, then losses were socialized." How?
(Indicentally, Goldman has not really suffered losses (that you suggest were socialized) and has repaid the "bailout funds" that it forced to take almost at once.)
"I don't care if there's an expectation that the government will bail out big business."
I understand. I merely tried to explain who created the liquidity crisis.
"I didn't create that expectation, nor have I ever endorsed it."
Well, that makes two of us. But I did vote for Republican presidents and senators, and those presidents and senators, ever since Reagan, have created those expectations. In addition, I voted for Bush Junior, who, under direction of Paulson, reverse that course (Lehman) in the most reckless way and thus created the liquidity crisis. To the extent that I voted for these officials, I am responsible for the consequences.
The point is that, in a democracy one cannot just say "I did not do this or that:" we the citizens are responsible for the actions of the officials we elect; they and their actions are out responsibility.
"I was sorry lots of people lost their jobs when Lehman failed, but I was glad the failure was allowed to happen."
I was glad, too. It is the reckless manner in which that was done that created more harm than benefit.
"For the record, I don't think Goldman would've failed without TARP or borrowing from the discount window, which is all the more reason they shouldn't have done it."
It appears that you view the discount-window operations as some kind of subsidy from the government. It is not. The discount window is available most of the time to all banks.
"Don't play with the taxpayers' money."
They did not. It was Detroit that wanted and did play with that money.
"One final thought - When you say Goldman was "forced" to take the funds, what does that mean?
After Lehman's failure, CEOs of the main Wall Street investment banks were called into Bush's office for an urgent meeting. According to some reports, without letting those CEOs even to sit down, they were told to sign the paper compelling them to take funds (allegedly for the good of the nation) and dismissed. They were basically treated like soldiers by a sergeant.
"I just want to know what would have been the consequences if they'd refused."
None of us can refuse the executive orders of the President, right?
It appears that you and I have the same values and agree on matters of principle. The differences in conclusions we reach appear to stem from the different sets of assumptions (facts). None of us can refuse the executive orders of the President.
Thank you too for your detailed and well-reasoned replies.