Audit Notes: Goldman’s Sophisticated Investors, Abacus Emails, Deindustrialization

The New York Times gets an interesting scoop on the Goldman Sachs deal for a stake in Facebook—one that values it at a bubblicious 100 to 125 times trailing earnings.

Andrew Ross Sorkin and Susanne Craig report that a group inside Goldman turned down Facebook’s offer because of “the high valuation and… a mismatch with his investment criteria.” Now, other Goldman clients are queasy about the famously “clients first” firm:

The decision by Mr. Friedman, who holds a seat on the firm’s management committee, has raised concerns among some of Goldman’s most sophisticated clients who have been pitched on Facebook in recent days.

Several wealthy individuals approached about the offering said they had declined, in part, because of Mr. Friedman’s rejection. The clients spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear that making a public comment would hurt their relationship with Goldman and their opportunity to have access to future investments.

— Charlie Gasparino, meantime, adds a new wrinkle to a Goldman story that may have helped give those most sophisticated clients their indigestion: the Abacus scandal.

Gasparino reports for Fox Business Network that ACA, the firm that was on the other side of the John Paulson bet, is suing Goldman for fraud and has documentary evidence in the form of Goldman emails.

Now where it goes further than the SEC lawsuit…they basically have emails where Goldman Sachs clearly is in the loop with ACA and ACA is clearly under the belief that Paulson is long the portfolio, not short. What these emails show, which is pretty interesting, is that Goldman did not correct ACA Capital in this belief.

ACA told Gasparino this:

We have documents that show Goldman Sachs told ACA (that) Paulson was long in ABACUS investment.


— Overlook the Business Insider-style sensationalism (“19 Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Will Blow Your Mind”) and check out this post on the demise of American manufacturing.

It’s from a site called The Economic Collapse, but each of the facts links to a mainstream media or other reputable source for its information. Some of its pretty eye-opening. Like this:

#4 In 2008, 1.2 billion cellphones were sold worldwide. So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States? Zero.

Or this:

#8 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

Or how about this:

#1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001.

(via Zero Hedge)

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.