Letter from Nigeria Goldman

FROM: Mr. Lloyd Blankfein

200 West Street

New York, New York



Chump City, ForeignLand

Dear Sir:

I have been requested by the Facebook Company to contact you for assistance in resolving a matter. The Facebook Company has recently concluded new agreements to share its users’ identities. The contracts have immediately produced moneys equaling US$50,000,000,000. The Facebook Company is desirous of harvesting user identities in other parts of the world, however, because of certain regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, it is unable to move these funds to another region.

You assistance is requested as a non-American citizen to assist the Facebook Company, and also the Goldman Sachs, in moving these funds out of America. If the funds can be transferred to your name, in your non-United States account, then you can forward the funds as directed by the Facebook Company. In exchange for your accommodating services, the Facebook Company would agree to allow you to retain 10%, or US$5 billion of this amount.

However, to be a legitimate transferee of these moneys according to American law, you must presently be a depositor of at least US$1,000,000 in a Special Purpose Vehicle which is regulated by the Goldman Sachs.

If it will be possible for you to assist us, we would be most grateful. We suggest that you meet with us in person in Chump City, and that during your visit I introduce you to the representatives of the Facebook Company, as well as with certain officials of the Goldman Sachs.

Please call me at your earliest convenience at 202-555-MOTU. Time is of the essence in this matter; very quickly the Securities and Exchange Commission will realize that the Goldman Sachs is maintaining this amount on deposit, and attempt to levy certain depository taxes on it.

Yours truly,

Lloyd Blankfein

  1. allan says:

    you must presently be a depositor of at least US$1,000,000

    As they say on Wall Street, when Joe Six-Pack-Figure shows up, the party’s over.

    • emptywheel says:

      It’s really pathetic–I changed nothing about this from one of the actual Nigeria letters online.

      Goldman has really stooped to really transparently bad fraud at this point.

      • bobschacht says:

        …I changed nothing about this from one of the actual Nigeria letters online….

        Including “You” which should be “Your” and the 555-MOTU phone number? Awesome!
        But why the DC area code, rather than a Manhattan area code?

        Bob in AZ

        • emptywheel says:

          Should have been NYC, you’re right. But I’m gonna keep it the way it is, because sometimes it’s hard to tell whether Goldman’s frauds arise out of NYC or DC.

  2. MadDog says:

    And dear chump, ixnay on the ealDay. Keep it close-hold and hush-hush:

    …The deal was a major coup for Goldman, which appeared to have found a way to get its clients in first.

    The bank planned to set up a “special purpose vehicle” to allow its clients to invest in Facebook. The plan was widely seen as a way to circumnavigate rules that restrict to below 500 the number of US shareholders a private company can have. It subsequently transpired that Facebook was planning to address the 500 rule itself by going public or publishing full accounts.

    While Goldman never commented on the private placement, the bank’s officials believe the “intense media attention” that the deal generated around the world was threatening to scupper the deal in the US.

    American law prohibits “general solicitation and advertising” in private offerings, banning banks from promoting an offer by taking out advertisements or communicating with media outlets.

    A Goldman representative said that the media coverage could have been interpreted by regulators as marketing and publicity in contravention of private placement rules…

      • MadDog says:

        Good on ya’!

        Special Purpose Vehicle has such underhanded and criminal ring to it, and the MOTUs either don’t know, or more likely, don’t care.

        • MadDog says:

          I can hear the MOTUs at Goldman responding to queries from folks like the SEC:

          “Hey, me and Muzzy, we wuz jest liberating the bank. Me and Muzzy, we’s all for liberation, ya’ see?”

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Brilliant snark. Goldman couldn’t let its American insider clients invest the way they normally because of domestic rules on “private placements”, but it can let its foreign insider clients invest.

    In some ways the never ending Nigerian scam that this post mimicks is more honest than Goldman’s continuing scams on the “investing public”: with the Nigerian scam, anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows they’re not gonna get something for nothing.

  4. prostratedragon says:

    O Brava!

    Chump City

    Now there’s a town that needs at least one sports franchise, complete with a line of logo’d apparel. (Chump City Chumps? Perpendicular bat as the cap logo? One of Pigmeat Markham‘s bladders?)

  5. rosalind says:

    OT: SF Chron had an important article up yesterday on the PG&E gas line explosion. It’s looking like PG&E gaming the regulatory system to save money may have led to the explosion. Really damning stuff:

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has been temporarily spiking pressure on major gas transmission lines since 2003, pushing levels to the legal limits on 10 lines in addition to the San Bruno pipeline that exploded less than two years after the last such surge…That 2002 law dictated how any pipeline designated as running under a “high-consequence area” – generally, a populated region – would be regulated, based in part on the peak pressure level at which it was run in the previous five years.

    In the case of the 11 lines, the utility has said, their five-year peaks were normally lower than their legal maximum pressures because they were connected to weaker lines with lower caps. As a result, some critics suspect, PG&E began pinching off the weaker lines for short stretches and spiking pressure on 11 lines to the legal limit, to establish a higher inspection threshold and avoid the need for the rigorous water-pressure tests should an accidental surge occur.

    Richard Kuprewicz, a pipeline safety consultant in Redmond, Wash., said the utility’s practice was “crazy.”

    “It’s so backward in its thinking – you wouldn’t think anybody would be that reckless,” he said. “The overall intent of the (federal inspection) program was, you are not supposed to look for loopholes.”

    (emphasis mine)

    • PJEvans says:

      It’s getting into ‘I wonder how much of the company will be left after the PUC finishes with them’ territory.

      Sweet Jeebus on an electric pogo stick, they are clueless.

      (Also, I sent the link to my supervisor at work. Just so someone else can appreciate the level of @#$%^&* brainlessness being demonstrated.)

  6. joanneleon says:

    Did you see this?

    President Obama will sign an order on Tuesday to review rules governing businesses in an effort that he says will protect Americans while “promoting economic growth.”

    Obama announced that he’ll sign the executive order in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, a clear sign that he’s trying to get the message to corporate America that his administration cares about the success of businesses.

    The document, Obama wrote, “orders a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.” While the “free market” has worked well for the United States, he said, regulations have at times been thrown out of balance and “had a chilling effect on growth and jobs.”

    • canadianbeaver says:

      In an op-ed pub

      lished in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, the president decries how regulations have sometimes “gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business — burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs.”

      Nice. It’ll be very popular. People love Clintonomics!

      • prostratedragon says:

        Mark Thoma trying hard not to sound shrill:

        There will now be a rush of lobbyists explaining to Congress and agency heads that the regulations the industries they represent face are excessive and need to be removed. There will be no shortage of effort in this direction. At the same time, a similar effort will be devoted to opposing any new regulation.

        That’s nearly economese for “What the f— is he doing?!” The answer to which might be, rope-a-doping Team ChCh.

    • mattcarmody says:

      If Obama isn’t removed through the primary system for 2012, anyone who votes for him is an accomplice in how much further he screws the American people making under $100,000 per household.

      • onitgoes says:

        I agree, but I’d go a tad further and say: how he’s screwing anyone making less than $200,000. I know that’s a lot of moola for most “average” (whatever that means) citizens these days, but still… even those making around $200k are getting ripped off these days. It’s the MOTU who make in the gazillions who are getting the real perks.

        Just saying…

    • bgrothus says:

      re: OT. I was in Los Alamos when this was happening. It was big headlines in town for a couple of days. The local paper had numerous mentions of “thin case” and the problems related to it. Your 2nd link casts light on the issue, which made no sense to me, and I did not dig for the info. Incredible that they keep going after it despite the $128M cost and the continuing total failure.

      The best thing I can say is that the local police and the other various forces really did a good job in not killing anyone in the process. If this had happened in Albuquerque, someone, most likely man with guns, would be dead by now.

  7. mpaul88 says:

    When Joe Internet Scammer does this it’s a crime. When mega-banks and Wall Street firms cook up the same scheme on the scale of billions of dollars, it’s celebrated.

  8. onitgoes says:

    Like the article in the NYT this morning about murderous thug/crook Baby Doc Duvalier “gracing” Haiti with his thuggish presence, I read the article about the Goldman Sachs and their transparently fraudulent FaceBook scheme, and thought: what next? Selling babies openly online?

    Then I opened to articles inside that terribly *liberal* rag, and read an article pretty much extolling the glories of predator drones picking off Pakistani’s and Afghani’s.

    Eh? A real “nooz” trifecta of horrible crap pushed out as the wonders of our present age with nary an indication of what might be wrong with any of these three “pictures/stories” from that incredible bastion of “liberalness,” the NYT.

    And so: on it goes…

  9. Cynthia says:

    Multi-billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has his eyes on China:


    Keep in mind, China is an authoritarian state. And like all authoritarian states, China doesn’t want its people to think freely, much less think critically. And since Facebook encourages its so-called “friends” to think freely as well as critically about things, Facebook is a threat to China’s goal of keeping political dissent at bay. On top of that, Facebook is a distraction in the workplace, thus it harms worker productivity. This is why Chinese manufacturing companies and American companies whose products are manufactured in China view Facebook as a cancer to their profit margins.

    So unless Zuckerburg can figure out a way to turn Facebook into an effective surveillance tool for the Chinese government, giving Chinese authorities a better shot at tracking down political dissenters with the aim of throwing them in jail, it’s best that he stays out of the Chinese market. Then again, if Zuckerburg is so consumed by greed that he’ll put money and power ahead of free speech and freedom of expression, he’ll have no qualms about selling his soul to the deeply authoritarian state of China.

    Let me also say that because Facebook is, above all else, a tool for consumption and as long as China remains a country that produces a lot more than it consumes, the Chinese market won’t be a big moneymaker for Zuckerburg and his Facebook Empire.

  10. Cynthia says:

    It’s bad enough that US taxpayers are subsidizing Goldman’s IPO of Facebook, but it’s even worse that Goldman is barring them from participating in this IPO. Some have speculated that Goldman is doing this to get around insider trading laws here in the US. Regardless of the reason, this is just one more piece of evidence that Goldman is an organized crime unit that has got federal regulators where it wants them — completely under its thumb!

  11. Cynthia says:

    If I were Mark Zuckerberg, I’d refuse to have such a corrupt and fraudulent bank like Goldman Sacs handle Facebook’s IPO. I would rather seek out an honest and respectable community bank or credit union to handle Facebook’s IPO. Which makes me think that Mark Zuckerberg is aspiring to be a white-collar corporate crook like Lloyd Blankfein is. But this wouldn’t surprise me in the least given what I’ve read about Mark Zuckerberg and especially what I sense about him.

    • onitgoes says:

      What makes you think that someone like Zuckerberg has an principles or integrity? Why would Zuckerberg “shy away” from the Goldman Sachs? I don’t see him, or FaceBook, as a particularly principled person/operation. Just my take. Seems to me that Zuckerberg is just a GenY version of the up & coming Robber Baron.