Its AFSCME! The Association that owned 7101 shares settled with Goldman Sachs with John Bryan likely stepping into the new role of Lead Director at Goldman Sachs who can steward the meetings and even decision making if Lloyd Blankfein has to be away. His witness in front of Rakoff may be one such occasion as he is requested by the Judge to give more detailed deposition in the Gupta cases. AFSCME has moved on to a pay package suit against J&J pleading with shareholders to vote against the Exec pay proposal.
Judge Rakoff also ruled that the AG’s office has to coordinate with the SEC and read all the material witness/evidence sheets collected by the SEC in related investigations and the Defense team gets to hear on any new evidence found thus extending discovery and necessitating more detailed depositions from Blankfein. AFSCME got the worries over the dual role of Chairman and CEO lloyd Blankfein into a petition and got a settlement where Chairman And CEO Lloyd Blankfein keeps his role putting speculation about changes other than that in the Exec comm as the bank/tradin machine gerts ready for a $4 +(EPS) trading quarter, pushing profits back over the $2 bln mar k just as it did in Q1 of 2011. It is still shedding jobs though as the Economy, keeps showing defective housing data and GS sticks to a $1.4 bln a year savings target moving key jobs in the back office ops and It to Utah and cutting jobs from sales and not so busy trading desks.
Europe is a pinch hitters’ story right now with UK GDP contracting another 0.3% this month to a annual rate of 0.5% growth and FRance still out at 1.2% growth in GDP. Italy is also managing well in manufacturing and mining expectations (92) and German CPI is within range and getting lower ( bad sign) by the month at 2.1% That means investor expectations showing strength could be a very fragile thing esp as Money Supply kept a good 2.3% pace on the 3 month moving average but Private Credit was at its slowest at a 0.7% rate
HSBC on the other hand , still bets on maintaining its lead in global trade, well poised on the China Brazil equation as Chinese banks add to the meat in local Latam locales. in India, HSBC Wealth paid with investigation of ill gotten gains by tax department indicting HSBC staff for encouraging surreptitious flight of Capital to Geneva. India is facing flak for tightening its FDI regime from the Tax front targeting overseas M&A of Indian businesses and revenue losses thru redoubtable yet questionable DTAA provisions in offshore locations. Brazil ran a $11 bln surplus with China as china becomes a greater partner in local infrastructure and Energy projects with China Brazil trade already $77 bln, Brazil receiving Yuan credit from China and China powering ahead with more partners joining in long term Currency swaps with China allowing Yuan more than the one in six share last year to probably a top of one in five traded Dollars being the Renminbi.
Durable Goods numbers are not bad a tall at 8.5% ex transportation (Boeing) and 12% for the composite index in new Durables Orders increase Y/Y comparison even as the monthly index grew 2.2% almost three tenths below expectations. And as Refi corrects so shall the MBA index with Refi down another 5% after a 9% fall in the week to March 16 and the Purchase index actually rose another 3.3%. The MBA composite is down less than 3% whle the 30 Y Conforming (Freddie/Fannie) mortgages rate kept climbing from its lows to 4.23% this week.
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