Meanwhile, returning to the real world , crony capitalist Goldman Sachs today is expected to try to re-brand itself as a company that will (ahem) put client interests before itself. As Forbes.com columnist Haah Touryalai says about Lloyd Blankfein’s latest twist to reinvent the firm, “Stop laughing. It’s true.”
Goldman reportedly will release its own investments to the public. One question is how much they will reveal about their ownership with Al Gore of the Chicago Climate Exchange and its opaque London-based sister firm, Climate Exchange, plc. The latter, by the way, is registered in the notorious Isle of Man where shell companies, rogue nations and criminal syndicates operate freely. Both companies were acquired last year for $600 million by Intercontinental Commodities Exchange. Goldman with Gore have made a mad bet on a new U.S. carbon futures market to reap windfall profits off of the environmentalists’ global warming dream of an energy cap and trade regime. But the collapse of any agreement in Copenhagen and a new Republican House have dashed their hopes so far. The question is will last summer’s SEC $550 million fine against Goldman — the biggest fine ever slapped on a Wall Street firm — alter its openness and method of doing business? Don’t bet on it.