Wall Street trader whines over $8.25 million bonus — sues for more!


Dweeb Salem

A former Goldman Sachs trader, still furious at getting only an $8.25 million bonus in 2010, has taken the giant investment bank to court to get paid millions more.

Deeb Salem says he helped Goldman earn more than $7 billion and that a little more money in his pocket would only be fair considering all his contributions. He wants about $5 million in additional pay…

In his petition filed last week in New York’s State Supreme Court, Salem said things at Goldman started to unravel when he got a written warning about his 2007 job self-evaluation, Bloomberg reports. In that self-evaluation, Salem reportedly discussed a short squeeze involving derivatives linked to subprime home loans in 2007.

His own words were later used by U.S. Senators investigating whether Goldman bet against the mortgage market in 2006 and 2007 in such a way that helped it reap massive rewards as the housing sector tanked…

Salem watched his annual bonus go from $15 million in 2009 to $8.25 million the next year and $3 million in 2011. He left the firm in 2012 but soon filed a complaint about his 2010 pay with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s self-funded regulator. He tried to get more than $16 million from Goldman in arbitration, including nearly $7 million in deferred stock he felt he was owed. [He lost]

Now, Salem wants New York’s state court to overturn that regulatory decision. Goldman has argued that it has the final say on all bonus amounts and that Salem was aware of the policy.

The dude received more than $35 million in pay over six years. Goldman’s lawyer, Andrew Frackman, said…”He made a ton of money…He’s not entitled to more simply because he would like to have been paid more…”

Thanks, Mike

Presbyterians to divest holdings which aid Apartheid Israel

After passionate debate over how best to help break the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinians, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Friday at its general convention to divest from three companies that it says supply Israel with equipment used in the occupation of Palestinian territory.

The vote, by a count of 310 to 303, was watched closely in Washington and Jerusalem and by Palestinians as a sign of momentum for a movement to pressure Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and to end the occupation, with a campaign known as B.D.S., for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), one of a handful of historic mainline Protestant denominations and the church of many American presidents, is the largest yet to endorse divestment at a churchwide convention, and the vote follows a decade of debate — and a close call at the assembly two years ago, when divestment failed by only two votes…

The companies the church has targeted for divestment are Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions. The church has about $21 million invested in them, a spokeswoman said. The church says it has tried for many years to convey its concerns that the companies are profiting from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories by selling it bulldozers, surveillance technology and other equipment…

In a last-ditch tactic on Thursday, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, leader of the Reform movement (the largest branch in American Judaism), addressed the assembly and offered to broker a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and the church’s two top leaders so they could convey their church’s concerns about the occupation — on the condition that the divestment measure was defeated.

That offer appears to have backfired, with some saying afterward that it felt both manipulative and ineffectual, given what they perceive as Mr. Netanyahu’s approval of more settlements in disputed areas and lack of enthusiasm for peace negotiations…

Of more influence was the presence at the church’s convention all week of Jewish activists, many of them young, in black T-shirts with the slogan “Another Jew Supporting Divestment.” Many of them were with Jewish Voice for Peace, a small but growing organization that promotes divestment and works with Palestinian and Christian groups on the left…

It is not the first American church to use divestment to protest Israeli policies: The Mennonite Central Committee and the Quakers have sold stock in some companies that do business with Israel. Last week the pension board of the United Methodist Church announced that it had sold its stock in a company over concerns about its contracts with Israeli prisons.

Bravo. And, yes, it’s overdue. Community and religious organizations that saw the light of freedom bright enough to support the historic boycott of Apartheid South Africa have no excuse for absenting themselves from the BDS campaign against Apartheid Israel.

I’ve taken part in both campaigns and can heartily endorse the effect on the prospects for peace from such a campaign. We can’t count on our elected officials or the White House to get on board till the last possible minute; but, if the citizens of America still care to think of ourselves as a nation that stands up for justice and freedom – then climb on board the peace train and tell your church, your union, your college or university to divest themselves of holdings which aid Israel’s apartheid crimes.

Congressional committee ordered to court – hiding info on insider trading

A U.S. judge on Friday directed the House Ways and Means Committee and a staffer to appear at a July 1 hearing to address their alleged refusal to respond to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenas as part of an insider trading probe.

The order by U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in New York covers both the committee and Brian Sutter, staff director for its healthcare subcommittee and came at the SEC’s request.

The SEC said it is examining whether material nonpublic information concerning an April 1, 2013 announcement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of 2014 reimbursement rates for a Medicare program was leaked improperly, and whether anyone traded on that information…

According to the SEC, the House committee has resisted the subpoenas, in part by arguing that the U.S. Constitution shields lawmakers from having to testify or turn over documents…

As usual, the creeps in Congress think they are above the law.

In court papers on Friday, the SEC said it was looking into an email that a lobbyist at the law firm Greenberg Traurig sent to broker-dealer Height Securities regarding a deal struck in Congress about the Medicare rates.

It said that email was 70 minutes before CMS announced the rates after U.S. markets closed, and about 30 minutes before Height issued a report suggesting that the change could help companies such as Humana and Health Net.

The SEC said the share prices of both companies jumped after the report, with Humana’s rising 7 percent in the last 15 minutes of trading.

Sutter, meanwhile, had on the day of the announcement been emailing the Greenberg Traurig lobbyist about the termination of a client from the Medicare program, the SEC said. Both then spoke on the phone for three minutes, which was 10 minutes before the lobbyist emailed Height, the SEC said.

I would love to see US Marshalls march into the House of Representatives and handcuff some of these sleazy bastards and cart ’em away for refusal to answer a subpoena. Ordinary mortals, plain old American citizens don’t get to behave like monarchs. Congress-critters consider it as much of a right as being able to lie unchallenged.