Shark Week!

I have to admit to spending too many hours the past few days watching various shows about our finny friends on Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week.”  Most of the shows centered on how to protect these ravenous beasts that sit at the apex of the oceanic food chain.

Little did I know at the time that I could have seen a similarly-themed series by merely following the financial press.

Here’s some conservation-related news from Wall Street’s “Shark Week:”

  • Goldman Sachs (actually a vampire squid and not a true shark) — it was announced that no criminal charges will be pursued by the Justice Department against the squid or its employees relating to the fact that it bet against the same sub-prime mortgage securities it was recommending to its clients.
  • Standard Chartered — this firm agreed to pay $340 million to New York’s bank regulator to settle an investigation of 60, 000 illegal transactions totaling $250 billion with Iran.
  • Jon Corzine (Round 1) — following a 10 month investigation into his role in the loss of $1.6 billion in co-mingled client funds, the Justice Department decided it had insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges.  (I can think of about 1.6 billion reasons to take the other side of that argument, but I’m not sure my opinion carries sufficient weight.)
  • Jon Corzine (Round 2) — people close to Corzine (perhaps from the Justice Department?) say he’s planning on launching a hedge fund.  And, why not?  He’s been exonerated of any criminal activity.  It’s time he gets on with his life of collecting 2 and 20.

It’s heartwarming that the sharks of Wall Street are being so well protected.  Only in this way can we be assured they will reproduce and maintain a healthy population.