duminică, 25 aprilie 2010

Un nesperat ajutor PR pentru Goldman Sachs

Fareed Zakaria e înzestrat cu neobişnuitul talent de a face întoarceri de 180 de grade. Rare, dar spectaculoase şi chiar decisive.

Ieri îl lua în şuturi pe Hamid Karzai, azi zice că n-au altul mai bun. Tot ieri era de părere că Iranul trebuie doar îndiguit, după care brusc s-a răzgândit, apreciind că trebuie Obama să dea de pământ cu el. De vreo doi ani, Fareed face spume diplomatice împotriva crizei şi a celor ce au generat-o, dar în urmă cu două zile a tras un interviu la el acasă, pe CNN, în care s-a transformat în avocatul de PR al proaspăt acţionatei în justiţie de către Securities and Exchange Commission, nano-banca Goldman Sachs (mai exact, filiala sa de valori mobiliare Goldman Sachs & Co.)

În pofida vârstei care mai degrabă nu l-ar recomanda, Fareed Zakaria a atins un impresionant nivel de credibilitate şi influenţă publică în lumea americană, dar şi în afara acesteia, ceea ce te face -în situaţii ca acestea, chiar dacă, în prima secundă, nu eşti de acord cu el - să te întrebi în ce măsură afirmaţia lui tranşantă n-are totuşi o logică solidă la bază.

Iată ce a afirmat:

"I think when you read the SEC's case carefully, frankly the civil case against Goldman is very weak, because what Goldman Sachs did was act as a bookie between two people who wanted to make bets.

[John] Paulson's hedge fund wanted to bet that the American housing market was going to go down. He said if you can find me someone who's willing to take the other side of that bet, I'll make the bet with you guys.

So Goldman goes out to try to find someone on the other side of that bet. ... That's why they're often called an intermediary in these things. The SEC alleges that John Paulson was deliberately putting stuff in that basket of securities that he wanted to bet against that he thought was crap. Goldman says he didn't have the final say in it but he was consulted.

What I'm not clear about is that even if Paulson did select the securities he wanted to bet against, why is that illegal? That happens in markets every day. Somebody comes to a bank like Goldman Sachs and says, "Hey, I want to bet against oil futures. I want to bet that oil is going to go down in value. Here's the instrument I want to bet against. Find me someone who wants to take the other side of this bet" - and they go out and find that person.

The argument that Paulson was deliberately putting in securities that he thought were valueless makes no sense because, of course, that's why he was betting against them.

Now the key here is that on the other side of that bet were highly sophisticated investors with much larger funds than John Paulson's. They had seen every single security that they were betting on. So the idea that they were somehow fooled doesn't make any sense."

Şi continuă, zicând că:

"By and large I think that many of these products should be more tightly regulated, these derivatives should be traded in a much more open and transparent way, there should be greater capital requirements, which means if you're going to take bets you should have the money to cover the bets.

The irony here is Goldman Sachs managed its risk better than probably every other bank on Wall Street. That's why they're still around. The ones that really managed their risk badly and imposed huge systemic costs on the taxpayer were Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns and AIG. Goldman is one of the places that managed its risk pretty well, precisely because it succeeded and it came out of this crisis fastest, there is a certain degree of envy and resentment that these firms all benefited from government action."

O intervenţie simplă spre simplistă, dar abilă, cu accente bine plasate, cu îndoieli introduse acolo unde trebuie, însoţite de menţiune cu tentă exoneratorare: "sunt cei mai buni de pe piaţă, în vreme ce alţii s-au dus la fund."


Dacă vreţi să citiţi şi contra-argumentele la pledoaria pro-Goldman Sachs, apăsaţi aici: http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2010/04/22/just-how-weak-is-the-case-against-goldman/ Şi chiar citiţi-le!

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