Tavakoli Structured Finance LLC

The Financial Report

By Janet Tavakoli

An Offer from Goldman Sachs to Prince Henry of Wales

An Offer from Goldman Sachs to Prince Henry of Wales

Goldman Sachs Executive Recruitment (satire)
New York, NY 10282

August 29, 2012

Dear Sir,

It has come to our attention that you have been offered a role in a porn film for $10 million. We urge you to reject it.

Princely Pay and Elite Status

Goldman Sachs is prepared to pay you much better than porn, and as a partner, your position will be much more prestigious than the Duke of York’s role as a representative for international trade and investment. We twist country treasurers and central bankers around our little fingers. Politicians are at our beck and call. We even pay a lower tax rate than your grandmother.

As a royal, you’ll regain your rightful status. We’ve managed to pervert capitalism and have even infiltrated our own regulators and government. If you join us, your elite status will be assured in perpetuity.

Department of Jesters

Our mortgage unit, Goldman Sachs Alternative Mortgage Products (GSAMP) was nicknamed “Garbage Sold at Mythical Prices” by financial professionals. In 2007, Ohio barred California-based New Century mortgage lenders from doing business after despicable practices. A complaint of alleged fraud against us detailed our close relationships with imploding mortgage lenders: Countrywide, New Century, and Fremont. They were bailed out, bankrupt, and/or sued.

The complaint showed “an accelerating meltdown for these subprime lenders, and despite known serious loan problems, [we] continued to securitize the loans and sell them in packages of residential mortgage backed securities.” Rotten deals such as GSAMP-2006 S3 (a $494 million deal from April 2006) were created and distributed by us and repackaged in other deals.

We paid a record $550 million to settle SEC fraud charges related to one subprime collateralized debt obligation (CDO) called Abacus. But that was chump change to what we would have paid if our GSAMP subsidiary and our own securitization department had been investigated.

Congress and TARP investigators uncovered further damaging evidence. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of a senate investigative panel, issued a memo stating that we at Goldman Sachs “magnified the impact of toxic mortgages.” For example, the Wall Street Journal reviewed data showing that a $38 million subprime-mortgage bond created in June 2006 was referenced in more than 30 debt pools (via derivatives) causing around $280 million in losses to investors by 2008. In other words, we kept repackaging, reselling or buying credit default protection on losers, thus multiplying losses to others many times over on the same trash.

Were we seriously investigated? Were we indicted? Of course we were not. Were any criminal charges brought? Of course they were not.

We dodged questions by claiming we lost money. But that’s the nature of control fraud. Parasites earn high pay while eating their host. That’s why we needed taxpayer subsidies like the bailout of our credit default swap contracts with AIG.

William K. Black, a renowned fraud investigator, explains control fraud in his book, The Best Way to Rob A Bank Is to Own One. His team had over 1,000 felony convictions of major financial figures after financial fraud in Savings & Loans resulted in a financial crisis a couple of decades ago. Our current crisis was 70 times larger after we neutered enforcement. Today our Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is our private Department of Jesters.

Mutual Overexposure

You’ve been overexposed. We completely understand that feeling! We felt the same way when we bought credit default protection from AIG on rotten CDOs, some of which we manufactured ourselves for ourselves and for foreign banks. We nearly sunk AIG, but U.S. taxpayers were forced to bail it out.

We nearly went under, too! Washington, the Federal Reserve and Treasury are all in our pocket, so they bailed out AIG’s credit default swaps on which we got a big payday. They paid our friends at foreign banks for which we originated rotten CDOs; thank goodness, or they might have sued us! Our friends in the U.S. government paid 100 cents on the dollar when other bond insurers were settling the same deals for as low as 10 cents on the dollar. We’ll stack our taxpayer subsidies against a royal’s any day.

Oh, and you’ll love this. A German bank sued us for securities fraud over Davis Square VI, one of the CDOs we originated, against which AIG sold protection. Our Department of Jesters is great at looking the other way. No criminal indictments for us!

Divine Right and God’s Work

The Shah of Iran, the son of a mere commoner, claimed he ruled by “divine right.” That didn’t end well for him. We’ve got spin that sounds better. We’ve done deal after deal like the previously mentioned reprehensible trash for which we’ve been unindicted. We call this doing “God’s work.” It’s working out great for us.

Our Apologists Will Lie to Your Grandmother, The Queen

In November 2008, your grandmother asked why no one foresaw the credit crunch. Yet many financial professionals have well documented track records that show they did. Moreover, they warned that high leverage — combined with securities that were a classic situation for fraud — begged disaster.

We handle the media better than you royals. Our media shills say “greed and venality do not make a criminal case.” That sentence is true. But the issue is fraud, which is cause for a criminal case. You don’t think that we used derivatives to reference the same dodgy $38 million bond over 30 times by accident, do you? Securities experts called us out on this B.S. in real time. That Tavakoli woman from Chicago wrote an entire book about CDO malfeasance in 2003. But we took it as a playbook and escalated, and our Department of Jesters is letting us get away with it!

British academics who are useful idiots wrote The Queen that a “psychology of denial” was responsible for intentional behavior. We’d be most grateful if you could keep your grandmother occupied with your shenanigans so she doesn’t ask any more questions.

The Right Stuff

After seeing this snippet in the Daily Mail, we’re 100 percent certain you have the right stuff for a long and extremely lucrative career with Goldman Sachs. A witness at the casino said:

“[Harry] was playing craps with his friends. They were wasted. He was calling other punters at the table ‘muppets’ and he joked to the dealer that he would kick his head in if he didn’t win.”

We love your jokes! We only ask for a little more discretion. No, we don’t mean about the nude photos; we don’t care about that. But these days when we call our clients “muppets,” there are no witnesses.

We look forward to your answer, and no matter what you decide, let it never be said that you were uninvited by the unindicted.

Yours sincerely,

The Unindicted Goldman Sachs

Captain Harry Wales Responds to Goldman Sachs

Sandringham House

22nd October, 2013

Dear Unindicted Goldman Sachs,

I am taking this opportunity to thank you for your offer of a partnership position with Goldman Sachs. I include your original letter (above); you may wish to review it before proceeding. I realize you extended the offer on the 29th of August 2012. The delay in my response was necessary to create part of the answer to your inquiry.

At this time, I would like to respond to several points in your letter. Yes, I was offered a role in a porn film for $10 million. This is a legitimate business, but I feel it is not the right direction for me. I understand Goldman Sachs is prepared to make me a much bigger monetary offer with princely status and perks. I also understand that you exert influence over international trade, country treasurers, and central bankers. You enjoy perks and tax advantages beyond members of the royal family. As you put it, the United States’ Department of Justice is your private Department of Jesters.

You may be aware that I served in Afghanistan. It required an adjustment to balance my private position as a member of the royal family, responsibilities of my position as an officer in the military, and the challenges of combat.

You rightly point out that I was overexposed. Like many young men in the armed forces, I blew off steam when I was on leave from the horrors of war. I quite regret how that appears both to the world and to my family. I didn’t intend to become the media’s jester.

While I am entitled to a private life, I am more aware than ever that the public eye is trained on me with much more intensity than even most U.S. celebrities.

You mentioned the Federal Reserve and Treasury are in your pocket, and you’ve received bailouts without consequences or indictments. My position is different. The people who have put their trust in me feel that actions matter. I have no desire to disappoint them again and look to the example of service to public duties set by my family.

You are proud that your tax benefits surpass my grandmother’s. She is already The Queen, but even if she were not, she would be a queen among women and an empress among men in my eyes. It caused me great pain to disappoint her and the rest of my family. I intend to perform my responsibilities in a way that will live up to the standards set by the men and women serving in the British armed forces: my comrades in combat, and my friends.

You claim you are doing “God’s work.” I see your work is ongoing. I have chosen a different path. I aspire only to acquit myself well in doing the work of an adult person of honour, as so many of the men and women I admire have done.

Thank you very much for remembering me at this time.

Yours sincerely,

Captain Wales

Update 2018: Is that offer still available? I tried the route outlined in this letter for a day or two, but it turns out I was giving you hollow PR spin. Meanwhile, my brother has had three children. I’ve become just an offshoot of the primogeniture tree, and that’s where most of the family money goes. I have a new, expensive wife. If the offer’s still good, I’d like to accept!


Endnote: The above letters are works of satire.


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