Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
gripes sites, trademark

Companies:
goldman sachs



Goldman Sachs Caves Against Gripes Site; Money Doesn't Buy Bogus Trademark Lawsuit Wins

from the that's-one-for-the-little-conspiracy-theory-guy dept

Back in April, we wrote about the odd decision by massive Goldman Sachs to threaten legal action against a gripes/conspiracy site called GoldmanSachs666.com. The site was obviously not an official site of GS or endorsed by the company, and any moron in a hurry would recognize immediately that it was an anti-Goldman Sachs site. Threatening it made absolutely no sense. The company, as large as it is, had almost no chance to win in court, and the threat would only get that much more attention to the site itself -- which it has.

And, now that Goldman Sachs has bestowed so much media attention on the gripes site it's basically caved in and withdrawn its complaint (via CitMediaLaw). But, that still doesn't explain how anyone at Goldman Sachs thought it was a good idea in the first place to bully this guy?

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2009 @ 8:55am

    Sure, and Goldman (conveniently down the street from me) should get a good kick to the nuts.

    This week, they've approved an action providing gross bonuses for Q2 equal to some $700,000 per employee. Yes, 3 months of work is worth $700,000.

    Henry Paulsen's comapany.

    "Goldman Slacks" As Jim Cramer put it, which was his previous employer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Brooks (profile), 17 Jul 2009 @ 9:41am

      Re:

      You know, I keep hearing people say this kind of thing, but I don't get it.

      If the companies lose a lot of money, the management is corrupt and incompetent and doesn't deserve to be paid. If the company makes a lot of money... they still don't merit bonuses?

      When, exactly, would be bonuses be merited? I'm not a financial guy, but making $3.4B in one quarter in this economy is kind of impressive to me.

      The bonuses amount to 50% of the profit for the quarter. Sure, it seems steep, but you have to admit it was an impressive (or lucky) performance. Heck, Warren Buffet's investment alone gained $1B of value in the past quarter, for an annualized rate of return of 107%. The company's sitting on

      Emotional dislike aside, why not pay big bonuses? What would you suggest they do with the money? Add it to the $160B of excess liquidity they're sitting on?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Dark Helmet (profile), 17 Jul 2009 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re:

        "If the companies lose a lot of money, the management is corrupt and incompetent and doesn't deserve to be paid. If the company makes a lot of money... they still don't merit bonuses?"

        Bonuses can be okay, but they HAVE to start being in more reasonable values. The whole lesson we were supposed to have learned over the past year was that the days of excess are over. These bonuses are excessive.

        "When, exactly, would be bonuses be merited? I'm not a financial guy, but making $3.4B in one quarter in this economy is kind of impressive to me."

        Yes, some would even say SUSPICIOUSLY impressive. Some might even have called them "Madoff-esque", until about six months ago that is.

        "Emotional dislike aside, why not pay big bonuses? What would you suggest they do with the money? Add it to the $160B of excess liquidity they're sitting on?"

        First, a stipulation: NO LAW SHOULD BE CREATED TO DO WHAT I SAY NEXT, IT IS SIMPLY SOMETHING I THINK MORE PEOPLE SHOULD DO MORE OF. My answer to the question of what should they do? Invest that money in their country through corporate investments of small businesses, charities, and the like. In fact, there are an awful lot of servicemen waiting for their VA claims to be processed because the VA is so understaffed and underfunded. A billion there could probably do a lot of good.

        Again, they certainly should not be FORCED to do this through taxation or law, but for all the Rah Rah Go America bullshit you here out of the wealthy elite, you'd think they'd want to do more to help than simply trying to win some real life monopoly game.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Brooks (profile), 17 Jul 2009 @ 3:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think you've confused a few things.

          First, most of the "wealthy elite" are that wealthy and elite because they've focused their lives on maximizing returns. Any "rah rah America" stuff you hear is from the very few who venture into the political arena.

          Second, why do bonuses HAVE to be more reasonable? Where do you want that profit to go? Is it better for society and the economy if GS leaves it around as excess and unused capital, or if they pay substantial bonuses to a lot of people, each of whom (presumably) is going to look to parlay it by investing?

          Third, your Madoff reference makes you seem like a kook. Are you suggesting GS' profits are fictional and that they keep two sets of books? Or was that a random and bizarre outburst?

          Anyways, I agree that the system could be improved. But unless we're willing to scrap the market or do weird stuff like having the government regulate all compensation, reforms are going to have to be shareholder and market driven. No amount of "it SHOULD be different" will do a thing.

          So shoot -- make a proposal for how change could be effected.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Dark Helmet (profile), 17 Jul 2009 @ 11:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "First, most of the "wealthy elite" are that wealthy and elite because they've focused their lives on maximizing returns. Any "rah rah America" stuff you hear is from the very few who venture into the political arena."

            That's a misunderstanding of how most of the wealthy elite in the world attained their wealth, not to mention a head in the sand attitude with regard to the marriage between big industry and government in this country.

            "Second, why do bonuses HAVE to be more reasonable? Where do you want that profit to go? Is it better for society and the economy if GS leaves it around as excess and unused capital, or if they pay substantial bonuses to a lot of people, each of whom (presumably) is going to look to parlay it by investing?"

            Here's my question as an answer: Which creates a greater overall economy, large bonuses to 5% of a company, or spreading that profit around more (but not totally) evenly amongst every last member of the corporate "team", from the Prez to the Janitors? I think that giving more people some wealth to spend creates more economy than lots of wealth for some to maybe spend.

            "Third, your Madoff reference makes you seem like a kook. Are you suggesting GS' profits are fictional and that they keep two sets of books? Or was that a random and bizarre outburst?"

            Sure there's some Frank Thomas' out there. But most of them, to one degree or another, whether they get caught or not, are Barry Bonds / Mark McGuire / Sammy Sosa / Ralph Palmiero / A-Rod. Calling people who call out the truth "kooks", lumping them in with UFO hunters and what have you is the oldest trick in the book. Corrupt business is easy, and if you want to name a forum where we can discuss it in detail, I'd be thrilled to do so.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2009 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re:

        When, exactly, would be bonuses be merited?


        How about when they actually did something that truly added long term value?

        There is excessive pay and bonuses paid to these people, in most cases, for doing nothing more than shuffling paper and hoping things turn out well.

        It also doesn't sit well with me that some of the "bonuses" is really nothing more than their standard pay, it's classified as a bonus only so they don't have to pay the full income tax rate on it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        dorp, 17 Jul 2009 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re:

        The bonuses amount to 50% of the profit for the quarter. Sure, it seems steep, but you have to admit it was an impressive (or lucky) performance.

        It's like you fell out of the sky. The $10 billion from the government directly or the $12 billion to AIG that helped GS are not part of this "luck" somehow?! Or the fact that government allowed them to become a bank holding company in record short time that prevented all their clients from withdrawing (or at least trying to) all their assets.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Brooks (profile), 17 Jul 2009 @ 3:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, since 75% of GS profits were from trading, mostly in foreign currencies, on their own account... um, yeah, the AIG bailout seems kind of tangential. Unless you want to argue that the entire system would have collapsed, which certainly would have hurt GS quite a bit.

          But if you're going to argue that, then we're all in the same boat. I didn't earn my consulting fees last quarter, because without the AIG bailout, my clients would likely have been in real trouble and would have spent less money (and no, my "consulting" is not financial at all, and I'll never see money like we're talking about here, so I'm not an interested party).

          Seems like a lot of handwaving there. Tell me again why Warren Buffet, who made $1B in three months from investing in GS, is being shortchanged by these bonuses? Or, if you want to be really out there, why the government is being shortchanged?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            dorp, 17 Jul 2009 @ 3:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Wait, you are claiming that losing $23 billion dollars out right would be tangential?! Without AIG bailout, GS would simply NOT get its money back. And to overlook the fact that government let them change to bank holding company is ingenious, but certainly reflects the thinking that GS is practicing: thanks for the help, now we are going back to screwing the pooch.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Krusty, 18 Jul 2009 @ 12:53am

        Re: Re:

        DAMN RIGHT!
        Even if it was a result of the government bailout, because they did make a profit and that is what counts isn't.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Brooks (profile), 17 Jul 2009 @ 9:31am

    It's the classic accountability problem. Someone in their law department rode around on the "I'm defending the company's image!" horse to get attention and self-promote, either not knowing or not caring that their actions were against the long term interests of the company (in the form of bad PR and lending credibility to wacky conspiracy types).

    You see the same thing with managers fighting for larger budgets; their self interest in being able to say "I managed a $5m budget" outweighs the company's long term goals of allocating resources efficiently.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pitabred, 17 Jul 2009 @ 11:36am

      Re:

      I think it's even simpler than that. I think it's because they thought they could get away with it, and the site would cave, because so many people do any more.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AC, 17 Jul 2009 @ 9:42am

    Hurried Morons

    why do morons always seem to be in a hurry?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 17 Jul 2009 @ 9:51am

    How Come

    No one here mentioned how much taxpayer monies Goldman Sachs has received.
    If you think the USA is swirling in a Coriolis to the bottom of the sewer, you would be correct.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ron, 17 Jul 2009 @ 10:14am

    Yeah, even Fortune Magazine is agog at Goldman's greed. See their article: Goldman Sachs bites Uncle Sam's hand.
    Seems like the only people who learned a lesson are us poor, dumb b**tards who footed the bill to save the banking system.
    I must have missed our share of the bonuses...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    sactopete, 17 Jul 2009 @ 10:34am

    what to do w/ GOLDMAN'S STACKS?

    SINCE THEY ARE SO SMART, AND THEIR 100 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR RETURN FROM AIG(US TAXPAYERS)FOR THE INSURANCE ON THE BETS THEY MADE AGAINST THE CRAP THEY WERE SIMULTANEOUSLY SELLING...THEY SHOULD CREATE A NEW, RESPONSIBLE AIG THAT CAN'T GO BANKRUPT

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2009 @ 8:45pm

    Quaker Steak and Lube

    Goldman Sachs thinks it's invincible.

    Probably similar to how the East India Company thought it was invincible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Raider, 18 Jul 2009 @ 12:41am

    LETTER FROM GOLDMAN

    Goldman Sachs will be eternally grateful to Obama for staying out of its way. Goldman has an uncommon grasp of the joystick.

    This could be its letter of appreciation, ----

    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2009/07/goldman-sachs-thank-you-mr-president.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    goldman cramer, 19 Jul 2009 @ 4:50pm

    Bad for america

    Criminals! They all tout each other's genius all the while leveraging the public's money. And couldn't we have guessed that Jim Cramer's #1 stock has been Goldman Sachs (GS) for the last 4 years. A chart of his Goldman Sachs (GS) stock picks
    http://www.stocktagger.com/2007/09/jim-cramer-calls-goldman-sachs-gs-best.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.