[This Bloomberg interview with columnist Jonathan Weil] is a must-see piece of journalistic skepticism. The duo at Bloomberg News are discussing the recent alleged theft of trading code by a former Goldman employee Sergey Aleynikov who moved to a hedge fund called Citadel. Their commentary is incredulous. Their tone seems to ask: “Is the Government working for Goldman now?”
Here are a few gems:
“What is Goldman Sachs doing with this trading code that could manipulate the markets?”
“And Goldman got on the phone to the Justice Department and got them so fast to nail this guy, it’s almost – you wonder if they have a red line to the government.”
“It is amazing within one day of Goldman calling they had FBI agents at his driveway doing surveillance. The next day they arrested him…”
“It’s interesting that the prosecutor from the testimony that I’ve read, it almost sounds as if he’s working at Goldman Sachs.”
Also, they continue, how much due diligence could the FBI have done in two days? And, as I’ve mentioned too, the government lawyer said the code could be used by others to manipulate markets but said nothing about Goldman doing the same. Apparently it must be ok for Goldman to manipulate markets as well as to tell compliant government prosecutors what to do and say.
In his column Weil says
All this leaves us to wonder: Did Goldman really tell the government its high-speed, high-volume, algorithmic-trading program can be used to manipulate markets in unfair ways, as Facciponti said? And shouldn’t Goldman’s bosses be worried this revelation may cause lots of people to start hypothesizing aloud about whether Goldman itself might misuse this program?
It would be nice to see someone at Goldman go on the record to explain what’s stopping the world’s most powerful investment bank from using its trading program in unfair ways, too. Oh yes, and could the bank be a bit more careful about safeguarding its trading programs from now on? Hopefully the government is asking the same questions already.
Oh you cockeyed optimist, you. Isn’t is already quite clear that Goldman tells the government what to do? Which is quite scary and utterly undemocratic, isn’t it?