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What 'Advice' Will Artie Levitt Give Goldman Sachs?

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June 03, 2009 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: GS

gary-weiss.com asks the obvious question:
What 'Advice' Will Artie Levitt Give Goldman Sachs?

I've been scratching my head today --- and I don't advise it, as it causes a sore -- trying to figure out the kind of "advice" that Goldman Sachs is going to get from its new "advisor," the overrated former chairman of the SEC, Arthur Levitt.

Why would anyone want "advice" from an Arthur Levitt?

I was stumped, I must say. But then a couple of thoughts that come to mind about Levitt's new gig:

Gratitude.

Goldman and the rest of the Street owe Levitt, bigtime. When he was chairman of the SEC, the agency did absolutely nothing to regulate derivatives or hedge funds, did nothing to rein in executive compensation, took only tepid steps to curb brokerage sales practices. In general, you name it, Artie didn't do it.

Fig leaf.

The Reuters story says that Levitt will "provide Goldman with strategic advice in a number of areas, namely public policy." OK, there's a clue. He has an undeserved reputation as an "investor advocate," as I detailed in Wall Street Versus America. So I suppose Goldman can use Levitt as a fig leaf for whatever policies it favors that are contrary to the public interest.

But perhaps most of all:
Doubletalk. As Francine McKenna explained in Huffington Post a couple of months ago, Artie is an expert at talking out of two, sometimes more sides of his mouth. Her focus was on the great job Artie in a similar role at AIG.

The rest is here:

http://garyweiss.blogspot.com/

More of the same here:

http://www.goldmansachs666.com/

 

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