Posts Tagged ‘Goldman Sachs’

Letter From Claverack 11/01/2016 The dichotomy of things…

November 2, 2016

After an unusually long day for me, I have returned to the cottage, turned on the floodlights over the creek, made myself a martini and am listening to the YoYo Ma station on Amazon Prime.

The bank I have used for a decade or more, First Niagara, was purchased by Key Bank.  My business account has been basically unavailable now for three weeks.  An earnest and very good young man by the name of Jeff Hannett has been working diligently to help me access it.  We’re about 80% there.  If it weren’t for Jeff, I would have transferred to another bank.  I intend to let the CEO of Key Bank know that.  A half dozen friends of mine have pulled their business from Key and gone to other banks.

That was my first stop this morning.  Then others and now I am home, looking over the floodlit creek and listening to soft and gentle music, sipping my vodka martini and finding the peace in a long day.

A week from today is the election.  I can’t wait for it to be over except that it won’t be over.  The rancor raised over the last eighteen months probably will continue until the end of my life.  Polarization has become the norm.  And worn as I am now, I will be more worn as the years go on.

Some Republicans are pronouncing they will work to see that Hillary Clinton is impeached in her first three months as President, if she is elected.

Some Trump supporters seem to be talking about violence in the streets if the election goes to her.

Earlier today while waiting for Jeff at the bank, I started reading an article that said our beloved “Founding Fathers” were even more rancorous than this election, even less civil, even more brutal.  That gives me faith we will get through this.  Please, let us get through this.  Please.

Bethany Thompson, an eleven-year-old who was left with a crooked smile after fighting for her life against brain cancer, killed herself today because of bullying.  She went home, found a gun and shot herself in the head.

My heart is broken and my soul is so angry…  So ANGRY.

Speaking of angry, Assad, President of Syria, said today that his country was better off since the civil war that has wracked his country, sent half of them away as refugees and killed a half a million of them.

He has just put his face next to the word delusional in the dictionary.

The pictures I have seen today from Aleppo will haunt me today until the day I die.  Another little boy on a stretcher, being treated, in pain and bewildered.  And I still wonder:  where is that bewildered little boy in the back of an ambulance that captured our attention a couple of months ago?  I wonder if he lives?  I wonder if he will ever be whole again, if he does live?

Also, in that part of the world, Iraqi forces are said to be on the doorstep of Mosul.  Families attempting to flee that are captured find the men separated from their families and are probably being sent off to an inevitable death.

My heart, tonight, is with them also.

In the world of corporate deal making, it is being talked about on “the Street” that Goldman Sachs is encouraging Apple to make a bid to capture Time-Warner from the clutches of AT&T.  Interesting.

Apple certainly could afford it.  AT&T seems such an odd match for Time-Warner.

Hulu will be launching an OTT service with multiple channels next year.  Its viability moved forward today with deals with Disney/ABC.

How can I be talking about the OTT opportunities in the same letter in which I am talking about the slaughter in Aleppo?

I care about both but at the end of the day, what is happening in Aleppo is far more important than what is happening in OTT.











Letter From New York May 6, 2010

May 6, 2010

   Show Spelled[kuh n-teyn-muh nt]
the act or condition of containing.
an act or policy of restricting the territorial growth or ideological influence of another, esp. a hostile nation.
(in a nuclear power plant) an enclosure completely surrounding a nuclear reactor, designed to prevent the release of radioactive material in the event of an accident.

I’ve been thinking a lot about containment the last few days – there are lots of things happening that seem to need containing.

First of all, there is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that definitely needs containing – the slick is spreading and is reaching shore, threatening the fishing industry in the Gulf region, another in a series of catastrophes that have bedeviled them since Katrina hit five years ago. Deep beneath the ocean surface, crude keeps burbling out – at five times the rate originally thought, now covering an area larger than Puerto Rico. And the efforts to stop the well from spilling have so far proven ineffective – not all of British Petroleum’s men and efforts combined with those of the U.S. government have been able to put this Humpty Dumpty together again.

BP’s CEO Hayward was heard to say: what did we do to deserve this? Perhaps not pay enough attention to well safety? Eleven men are missing and presumed dead. Some are already declaring the fishing industry in the Gulf dead on arrival, not seeing a way that they will recover from what is becoming the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

There is a lot of effort going into containing this catastrophe with its attendant ecological and political fallout – the Obama Administration is scurrying to contain accusations that it moved too slowly in responding to the situation, desperate to avoid comparisons to the Bush Administration’s response to Katrina.

And while BP’s Hayward is doing his best to contain the oil spill and the corporate backlash, another CEO, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs is doing his best to contain the potential damage to his financial behemoth as it faces both civil and criminal investigations over the way it handled sales of mortgage back securities. He appeared before a very hostile Congress, where some comments from lawmakers had to be bleeped because the language was so strong. He did a good enough job in Washington that most think he will save his job. Friday night he appeared on Charlie Rose, again elegantly and eloquently defending his company while promising more careful oversight going forward as a result of current corporate soul searching. It was exactly what you’d expect from the CEO of Goldman Sachs after being taken to task so severely by Congress. It was a worthy effort at containment.

The State of Arizona is working to contain the fallout that is resulting from passing a tough immigration law. While the majority of Arizonans favor the law [as do, apparently a majority of Americans] there were protests held in something like eighty cities this past weekend and many are calling for boycotts of the State of Arizona. This was not unexpected though what was unexpected, according to an Arizonan interviewed on NPR, was that some Arizona companies are taking about boycotting Arizona.

And, certainly sobering to me, was waking to the news on Sunday, that a car bomb had failed to go off in Times Square on Saturday night – a failure on the part of the men who assembled it. New York has been lucky in containing such threats as these, having stopped a crew intent on bombing the subway last year and saved this time by apparent incompetence. But it is a sobering thought, and I am grateful that this incident did not result in death and destruction. Awareness is heightened that we are vulnerable and efforts are continuing to be made to wrack mayhem on us. And this will be a condition that will be hard to contain.

Thinking about the news of the week, it seems that it has all been about the “act or condition of containing,” fighting back ecological disaster, corporate catastrophe and political fallout. Legions are engaged in stopping the oil spill, legal and public relations legions are engaged in walling off BP and Goldman Sachs from their troubles, and so on and on…men’s efforts to enclose and contain the toxic results of acts of other human beings.