SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Goldman trashing: Perfectly summarized in a Financial Times’ headline, “Silence is no longer Goldman,” the venerable firm had its dirty laundry aired when derivatives salesman Greg Smith wrote an op-ed in the New York Times, “Why I am leaving Goldman Sachs.” Nothing that shocking was revealed except, well, it confirmed typical Wall Street practices.
Blame it on the Mayans: While we typically don’t pay attention to the periodic end-of-world crazies, people were fascinated by the 2012 Mayan prediction. But the U.S. Congress may have been tempting fate when by chance it scheduled the fiscal cliff deadline to correspond with the end of the Mayan calendar. Luckily, both Earth and the U.S. government got an extension.
Et Tu, Canada? How bad of a year was it for banks? Even the Royal Bank of Canada — part of the one virginal banking regulatory structure free from the scandals of the U.S. and U.K. banking industry — was sanctioned by the CFTC for wash sales.
A throne for CME Group: Activists delivered a golden toilet to CME Group Executive Chairman Terry Duffy in January to protest the numerous tax breaks the Exchange received, including, according to the Chicago Tribune, tax increment financing to renovate bathrooms. Duffy had threatened to move the CME from Illinois in 2011 if the Exchange didn’t get a reduction in its state taxes.