The Guardian is reporting that Goldman Sachs, fresh from the difficult task of looting the US economy, has taken the next step in cementing its reputation as the pre-eminent investment house for incompetent morons masquerading as fund managers:
A bitter rift has opened up between the world’s most powerful bank and one of its most fearsome dictators after Goldman Sachs invested $1.3bn (£790m) of Colonel Gaddafi’s money – and lost virtually all of it.
Yup, a big chunk of Libya’s sovereign wealth fund has been pissed against the wall by Goldman, apparently because those high-powered investment advisors bet that asset values were on a tear:
Goldman lost the money – which it invested between January and June of 2008 in a range of options to buy currencies and shares at a future date for a stipulated price – after the collapse of Lehman Brothers panicked the markets and caused the underlying securities to crash in value. The investments, in a basket of currencies and the shares of six energy, utility and banking companies including Citigroup, amounted to a bet on a rise in the underlying value of the assets. However, since their values plummeted they became virtually worthless.
And given Gaddafi’s penchant for shelling his own citizens, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer chap. As Shakespeare so eloquently put it, a plague on both your houses.
But there does seem one unanswered question: who was on the other side of those options contracts? Was it another of Goldman’s gilt-edged clients? Wouldn’t that be interesting to know …