Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Greek Specialist

"The architect of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s controversial 2001 trade with the Greek government is a top executive in the bank's London office with a yen for yoga and a command of Greek. Colleagues say 46-year-old Antigone Loudiadis [AL], who has a given name from classical mythology but goes by the nickname 'Addy,' was the woman behind the deal. ... Undertaken privately, it helped mask Greece's true indebtedness until recently, when the country's finances fell under deep scrutiny by public markets, critics say. ... For Goldman, the trade generated fees of as much as $300 million, according to the people familar with the matter--a windfall that left traders in the firm's London office marveling at [AL's] deal-making prowess. ... [AL] became a Goldman partner in 2000. A cerebral Oxford University graduate, she was eventually named co-head of the company's investment-banking group in Europe, making as much as $12 million in annual compensation, according to someone familar with the matter. She lives in an exclusive neighborhood in West London known for its white stucco homes. ... Educated at the Cheltenham Ladies College, an exclusive private girls' school outside London, [AL] came to Goldman from JP Morgan in 1994. ... By 2001, when those rates had become unattractive, [AL] helped Greece structure a different trade that enabled the government to continue using advantageous rates for accounting purposes", my emphasis, Kate Kelly, Cassell Bryan-Low and Dana Cimilluca at the WSJ, 22 February 2010, link:

Yen for yoga? Is AL Andropov who liked Scotch? Command of Greek? How many dollars an hour does AL get for Greek? Investors can rein in the Vampire Squid. Stop doing business with it. This is a zero-sum game. Who paid the $300 million? Where were the CPAs and analysts while this sham went on? There should not be structured trades to enable a "government to [use] advantageous rates to accounting purposes". AL and her CPA and attorney enablers should all be in prison for securities fraud.


Thai said...

I am not one to think of CPAs much but the occasional reading of your posts and your blog's title does have me now pondering this subject.

It seems to me that you will still always be left dealing with the moral fiber of a CPA, what level of integrity they have and ultimately who they feel their client is they are representing.

I am sure you guys have a professional standard for this issue but like most standards, are a rabbit hole you can drive a 10 ton truck through.

So it still gets back to the individual as well as the culture of the firm the CPA works for as well as the broader culture the firm itself resides within.

Perhaps another way of re-stating "Where were the CPAs and analysts while this sham went on?" is "Where were the CPAs who think and act like me?" ;-)

I do agree with you that if she really masked Greece's debt, she should at least be stripped of the right to work with other people's money, if not placed in prison.

... FWIW I don't get the sense the concept of "professional" in financial services professional is the same concept of professional you and I have.

Be well

Anonymous said...

There is an expertise of Wall Street which is tolerated by regulators.

This is regulatory, accounting and legal smoke and mirror making.

Obscuring substance... and meeting legal "form"...

Vampire Squid, and their less talented brethren, know that regulators are not clever enough to catch them at it... and I imagine Addy and her compatriots have a good laugh at the stupidity of the government stooges that they service.

Zero sum game? Why yes... that's true IA... and the main myth that the Greeks can help us slay is that the financial wizards are able to create value from financial engineering.

Those striking pensioners in Athens can't eat interest rate swaps... in fact they will eat less because MORE money is owed now thanks to Addy the Greek yogini...

tucson cpa said...

interesing & a rare post in the internet.

thanks for sharing this with us.


tucson cpa

Independent Accountant said...