I read with tremendous interest about Goldman Sachs and their unusual interest in PetroAlgae, a company in the renewable energy field which is not only small but losing money. Generally a company like Goldman would laugh at such a small IPO. Courtney Comstock of Clusterstock details the pros and cons of the deal and refers to a Reuters article written by Steve Eder. One pro is the idea that Goldman positions itself nicely in the alternative energy field with this deal but one wonders if Goldman really needs this positioning as even with all their recent PR problems they are seen as the best and brightest on Wall Street and most every firm would die to work with them.
One idea not discussed regarding the IPO is the positive PR associated with bringing a company public under adverse conditions which helps the US economy and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Moreover, this move helps Goldman further ingratiate itself with the Obama administration and they hope that any additional good will generated here will translate into less public interviews where Obama decides to use terms like “fat cat bankers.”
I must admit however that the relationship between Wall Street and the Obama administration is complicated and it seems they have worked together on common causes such as the effort to save Chicago community bank Shorebank. According to Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge, this move while not successful enriched Wall Street – including Goldman while costing tax payers – you and me, $368 million.
To learn more, you may be interested in reading a new book by Charlie Gasparino, Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street. Gaspiro is the most prickly and sometimes difficult/peculiar personality I may have ever seen on TV. He is an awesome reporter, has fiscally conservative viewpoints and isn’t afraid to defend his point of view on-air. BTW, he was interviewed a few hours ago and mentioned that he has plenty of blame for Bush in this book as well.
He used to take part in super-heated ideological conversations on CNBC with some of his liberal coworkers and it felt almost-like a chair-throwing episode from Jerry Springer. Now sadly, Rick Santelli is one of the few commentators at CNBC (he is responsible for starting the Tea Party Movement with a single rant) who aggressively defends free markets and capitalism. Joe Kernen is a free market guy as well but you get the feeling NBC execs have had daily talks with him about not espousing his conservative views. Gasparino disclosed he was aware of talks in fact where GE CEO (parent of NBC/CNBC) Jeff Immelt had such a conversation about not trashing the Obama administration.
I am sure conservative viewers wish Kernen wouldn’t visibly bite his tongue on-air so much and keep the conversation going. He and Santelli are quite articulate and listening to them have meaningful debate on economic policy is quite entertaining while being informative and educational.
I haven’t read any of Gasparino’s books – I am still inching my way through Atlas Shrugged to be honest but here are his other titles: