Independent Fiduciary Consultant, Economics and Financial Ethics

One who intends to leave others better off for his having existed.

12/20/14

Mash Up; "First comes production. Then comes income. Spending and savings follow. All the rest is debt"

"Nigeria, Belarus Halt All FX Trading...

...manufacturers in Russia are facing a “bloodbath” because of the plunge in the value of the rouble.

...General Motors, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover also suspended deliveries to Russian dealers earlier this week. If car sales in Russia do continue to decline, it could affect British manufacturing.

“It is not supposed to close the market. 

We have told them we’ll continue intervening in the market,
 so there is no need to panic.”

Deputy Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Sarah Alade

...the temporary Russian FX-trading halt appears to have inspired all other nations with plunging currencies, and as a result Nigerian FX dealers halted trading after a central bank rule change meant to "limit speculation" against the plunging naira

“This raises concerns about the credibility of the central bank” 

“If it was their intention to stabilize or see some appreciation of the naira,
it’s backfired.”

Kevin Daly
senior portfolio manager...

...Investors dropped Nigerian assets as the outlook for Africa’s biggest oil producer worsened with Brent crude prices almost halving since late June.

...total credit market debt outstanding—-government, business, household and finance—-is up by 16% since the last peak—from $50 trillion to $58 trillion.

...Our government officials and policymakers continue to operate under the presumption they are gods, not subject to the laws of this world. ...by not acknowledging their mistake it allows them to still believe they can make pigs fly.  Specifically, the central bank is printing incredible stocks of money and pushing it directly into the stock market in an effort to create economic growth from nothing.

"Currently we have an international monetary non-system. 

Nobody has to follow any rules. 

Everybody does what they consider is in their own short-term best interest.

We are in absolutely uncharted territory here. 

This worries me the most.

The monetary system is dangerously unanchored

This all is a dangerous illusion."

William R. White
former chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements
on the Swiss National Bank introducing negative interest rates

...the current capitalism suffocating regime of Keynesian central banking and extreme financial repression has created systematic bias and noise in the so-called “in-coming data”. These distortions are the result of mis-allocations and malinvestments reflecting artificial, sub-economic costs of debt and capital. The resulting bubbles and booms, in turn, cause highly aggregated measures of economic activity to be flattered by the unsustainable production

During the last 80 months, 
the SNB’s balance sheet has soared from 100B CHF to 530B CHF
a 5X explosion that would make even Bernanke envious. 

Better still, a balance sheet 
which stood at 20% of Swiss GDP in early 2008
now towers at a world record 80% of the alpine nation’s total output. 

David Stockman

...our economic policymakers and really the consciousness of society is so narrowly focused on “The Market” that we seem uninterested in all things not securitized.  ...its printing endless amounts of dollars, sticking them in the stock market money machine and expecting that to somehow create economic prosperity to  all.  ...our policymakers believe they can ignore economic laws and can somehow create economic growth from nothing.

...What QE in the Eurozone will do is enable fiscal fraud in the peripheral countries and a further inflation of already lunatic valuations of sovereign debt...

...today the Italian 10-year is trading at a 1.9% yield because the fast money traders are happy to hold it on zero cost repo—- until the ECB takes it off their hands at an enormous windfall gain a few months down the road.

...once again those responsible will profit from their misguided policies and will bear no accountability for the horrible consequences of their decisions.

...bubble finance does not create growth; it funds phony booms that end up as destructive round trips.

HFT Accounts For 76% Of All Orders In Europe

HFT accounts for 76% of all orders by, 
49% of all trades and 43% of total value traded.

...Never in the history of the S&P 500 e-mini futures contract has so many contracts been traded at the market open...

...With market liquidity so compromised, HFTs can push markets around easily and they certainly did...

...urgently needed cleansing was stopped cold in its tracks when Bernanke tripled the Fed’s balance sheets in less than a year after the Lehman crisis, and then officially adopted ZIRP and the greatest spree of debt monetization in recorded history.

"Once again, on the heels of the turbulence, 
major central banks made soothing statements, 
suggesting that they might delay normalisation 
in light of evolving macroeconomic conditions.

Recent events, if anything, have highlighted once more 
the degree to which markets are relying on central banks:
 the markets' buoyancy hinges on central banks' every word and deed"

Bank of International Settlements
BIS Quarterly Review December 2014 - media briefing

...“operation twist” compliments of central bank bubble finance, embodies a temporally twisted imbalance of supply and demand that inherently results from false prices in the capital and commodity markets.

...the emerging worldwide liquidation of the energy bubble will hit the highest cost provinces first—-which is to say, the shale patch and oils sands of North America.

...Much of what meager production and job growth there has been in recent years will soon be taken back as the energy bubble comes back to earth.

...We are now entering an age of global cooling, drastic industrial deflation,  serial bubble blow-ups and faltering corporate profits.

...We are at “peak debt” in nearly every precinct of the world economy, and that means that central banks cannot close this wholly theoretical and imaginary gap; they can only blow dangerous bubbles trying.

...The current illusion of recovery is a result mainly of windfalls to the financial asset owning upper strata, the explosion of transfer payments funded with borrowed public money and another supply-side bubble - this time in the energy sector and its suppliers and infrastructure.

"eMini Liquidity was cut in half starting Dec 12. 

Unknown why."

Eric Hunsader

...The lower the liquidity, the easier to move a rigged "market" higher.

This is the greater fool theory to believe the market is deep enough for so many to “get out” at the same time with poor liquidity conditions.

...the markets’ outsized and illogical reactions are signs and symptoms that financial markets are broken. The FOMC’s meddling in financial market behavior could easily catch up to them in an ugly fashion.

...today’s 35 bps yield on 10-year JapanGBs——the debt of a government which is hopelessly bankrupt and for which there is virtually not a single bid anywhere outside of the open market desk of the BOJ. Nor does it make any more sense than today’s heated rip on Wall Street based on the word “patient” at a point in the cycle where 71 months of free carry trade money has already inflated financial asset values to the nose-bleed section of history.

Flying blind, the financial markets are thus bubbling - in the delirium phase - like never before. That is, until they don’t."

UK Unions Call For North Sea Tax Breaks As Oil Slump Threatens Jobs (Guardian)

...German pundits blamed their joblessness on good weather, whereas Goldman suggested that the Germans actually have strong growth . . . because of the weather.Fed governor Plosser says the economy is great “despite the effects of severe weather.” The CEO of Walmart doubts the weather argument altogether, instead suggesting that everybody is unemployed and broke.

“Every time it seems that we are finally drawing to an end of easy money, something (or things) in the world go wrong.” That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

http://www.zerohedge.com/

http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-december-20-2014/

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/12/links-122014.html

12/19/14

Bill Black; "In finance, we implicitly assume that transparency also involves providing light."

"(Anyone who has walked into a glass door on a very dark night knows that transparency without light is no great protection.) John 3:20 is also about accountability – the desire of the evil to use darkness to avoid having their evil “deeds” “reproved.” A related verse, from our semi-sacred secular texts, was doubtless influenced by these religious themes – Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ famous phrase was that “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

In finance, because of the deliberate destruction of effective financial regulation by Presidents Clinton and Bush and President Obama’s refusal to recreate it..., our only means of bringing light to the dark places where the elites “doeth evil” is whistleblowers.

...Obama never misses a chance to miss the chance to hold the banksters accountable.

...No one is surprised at Obama and Holder maintaining their perfectly imperfect batting average of .000 – all on called third strikes – against the senior bankers who grew wealthy by leading the three fraud epidemics that caused the financial crisis and the Great Recession. [U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet] Bharara is the shocker, for he has been the proverbial “one-eyed” prosecutor in the valley of the morally blind...

...Two important points of interest along the way are worth noting. The “Deal Book’s” 2012 article unintentionally revealed how depraved the mainstream financial media had become. Upon learning that whistleblower [Edward O’Donnell] (a) had as a bank officer attempted to prevent the fraud and had been retaliated against for doing so, (b) had then brought the fraud to the attention of Bharara, and (c) upon learning the facts from O’Donnell, Bharara viewed the fraud as “brazen” – the Deal Book attacked O’Donnell. O’Donnell is the only one who acted with courage and integrity. He is the obvious hero of the piece. The Deal Book made no snide remarks about Countrywide and Bank of America’s corrupt senior officers who had ripped off the U.S. Treasury (by defrauding Fannie and Freddie). That contrast is why I used the word “depravity” to describe how odious Deal Book has become...

To sum it up, after a full trial with some of the best criminal defense lawyers in the world backed by Bank of America’s immense wealth and resources, Bharara’s trial team convinced a jury, by the preponderance of the evidence, that Countrywide/Bank of America committed “crimes” consisting of intentionally, and massively, defrauding Fannie and Freddie. Further, if you read Judge Rakoff’s opinion closely about the nature of the fraud – deliberately gutting underwriting standards and making the incentives perverse in order to create fund enormous numbers of bad loans – you know that this was an “accounting control fraud.”...

With all these new facts available to them about Bank of America’s frauds, the unprecedented size and universality of frauds committed by each of the largest banks, and the recognition even by the NY Fed – the apologists-in-chief for Wall Street – that Wall Street’s “culture” was profoundly corrupt, the NYT abandoned the word “fraud” in its title and substituted the euphemism “misdeeds.” “Misdeeds?” That’s what your three year old nephew does at a picnic.

...An earlier false-claims lawsuit filed by Mr. O’Donnell was instrumental in Mr. Bharara’s pursuit of a civil fraud claim against Bank of America and a former Countrywide official for selling shoddy mortgages. The lawsuit centered on a program at Countrywide nicknamed the hustle, which rewarded employees for producing more loans regardless of the quality.

In July, a federal judge ordered Bank of America to pay a $1.27 billion penalty in that case. The former Countrywide executive who faced civil action in that lawsuit, Rebecca Mairone, was ordered to pay a $1 million fine for her role in directing the program.

...DOJ’s tight-fisted approach to the best whistleblowers like O’Donnell and his counterparts at many banks ...is self-destructive.

...The officers running the schemes to originate millions of fraudulent mortgages routinely provided exceptionally generous incentives to the loan brokers to ensure that they delivered those millions of fraudulent loans. ...The $20,000 fee that loan brokers could make for making crappy/predatory loans was a significant portion of the “profits” that the lender would (fraudulently) recognize on making the crappy loan and then selling it through fraudulent “reps and warranties” to the secondary markets. The senior officers running these fraud schemes recognized that they would make far more money by being generous and using the prospect of such a killing degrade the ethics of the brokers and induce them to bring in huge amounts of crappy/predatory loans with fraudulently inflated appraisals and borrowers’ incomes.

The bad guys used financial incentives to degrade ethics and reward the least ethical people. DOJ refuses to use financial incentives to encourage good people to do the right thing and stop ongoing frauds that can trillions of dollars in losses. Whistleblowers of integrity always suffer retaliation and that retaliation typically causes them great harm...

The Prosecutors That Didn’t Bark, or Wag Their Tails

Sherlock Holmes famously solved a case by focusing on what did not happen – the dogs that did not bark. The things the NYT wrote in 2012 and 2014 relating to O’Donnell are important for ...revealing ...what the articles do not report. In a world of great financial journalism the articles would have discussed the matter I’m about to explain, but in the world we live in the blame must go almost exclusively to Obama, Holder, and Bharara. There is not a word in the article from Obama, Holder, Bharara or anyone in the U.S. government (Thomas Curry, Bank of America’s anti-regulator, is the most unforgivably absent regulator) saying...;

1. Thank you Mr. O’Donnell

2. Mr. O’Donnell’s courage and integrity was a great public service, we ask in the strongest terms possible for everyone with knowledge of frauds and crimes to follow his example and contact us. We will vigorously pursue all credible leads on these elite frauds to the fullest extent of the law.

3. We are delighted, in addition to our cash award of $120 million (a more appropriate figure), to announce that President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and U.S. Attorney Bharara will personally present Mr. O’Donnell with (pick your prestigious medal). At that same ceremony we are also proud to announce that other American heroes such as Richard Bowen, Alayne Fleischmann, and Rachel Steinmetz will be receiving that same award. (The names I have given are simply illustrative, many more whistleblowers should receive the award.)

I have checked seven other major financial media outlets and none reports any statement by any representative of the U.S. government in conjunction with the financial award to O’Donnell. To their credit, Reuters contacted Bharara’s office to seek a comment. “A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office declined comment.” Simple politeness, particularly in this holiday season, should have led Bharara’s people to say a simple “thank you” to O’Donnell.

...DOJ was humiliated by the Frontline documentary (“The Untouchables”) when the producers made the point that they were inundated by whistleblowers as soon as word got out that they were investigating the failure to prosecute – and, overwhelmingly, the whistleblowers explained that DOJ never tried to contact them. Each of the three very large bank civil cases brought by DOJ was made possible by whistleblowers. O’Donnell was not contacted by DOJ – he initiated the contact. At each of the press conferences announcing that they were bringing the three largest domestic bank cases (1) DOJ failed to mention the whistleblower, (2) failed to thank the whistleblower, and (3) failed to call on new whistleblowers to come forward. It was almost if they didn’t really want to be inundated with whistleblowers exposing the crimes of the elite bankers.

...This entire pattern would be surreal if one believed that the Obama administration actually wishes to regulate banks vigorously and effectively and actually wishes to prosecute vigorously the elite bank frauds who cost this Nation over $20 trillion in lost GDP and over 10 million American jobs.

But no one believes that, so the refusal to restore the rule of law is all too real.

The way in which they spurned a heaven-sent invitation to drive one out of the park is simply the latest proof that in Obama’s case we need to revise the introductory question to Pesach’s famous “four questions.” For Obama, it should read, “Why is this night the same as all other nights?” The Obama administration never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to hold accountable the senior bankers who were made wealthy by leading the three fraud epidemics that caused the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

I would love to be proved wrong..."

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/12/bill-black-obama-holder-choose-banksters-whistleblowers.html

12/15/14

How Jim Westmoreland, Mary Vigue and ICMA-RC's lobbyists shafted Greensboro's employees

The email that led to the following chain of events;

From: George Hartzman
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 7:56 AM
Subject: Seven International City/County Management Association (ICMA) 457 Retirement Plan Fee Comparisons

Per ICMA's Plan Service Reports;

San Antonio's $254,097,157 Q2 2014 Plan Service Report (page 83) states;

"As of June 30, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.82% of plan assets)"
.
.
Orlando's $141,985,619 Q1 2014 Plan Service Report (page 105) states;

"As of March 31, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.64% of plan assets)"
.
.
The City of Durham's $25,531,109 Q2 2014 Plan Service Report (page 87) states;

"As of June 30, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (1.06% of plan assets)"
.
.
The City of Greensboro's $87,898,314 Q1 2014 Plan Service Report (page 66) states;

"As of March 31, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.84% of plan assets)"
.
.
The City of Wilmington's $26,047,983 Q1 2014 Plan Service Report (page 68) states;

"As of March 31, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.81% of plan assets)"
.
.
The City of Charlotte's $44,774,547 Q1 2014 Plan Service Report (page 78) states;

"As of March 31, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.80% of plan assets)"
.
.
The City of Winston Salem's $19,933,124 Q1 2014 Plan Service Report (page 49) states;

"As of March 31, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.47% of plan assets)"
.
.
Please ask ICMA to match Winston Salem's fee structure or better to leave more money in employee accounts or fire them.

Thanks,

George Hartzman

ICMA-RC won't say whether any of the above information is accurate, 
but chose to use words to downplay the veracity of the numbers
instead of providing data that counters the above facts.

From: George Hartzman 
Date: October 7, 2014 at 1:23:23 PM EDT
Subject: This evening's 3 minutes.

George Hartzman,

I teach financial ethics, foresaw the 2008 financial crises, after which I became a whistleblower against Wells Fargo, and I have found the financial industry engages in profit skimming via limited transparency that provides little to no value to investors who pay the fees.

...In the fall of 2013, I analyzed Greensboro's 457 retirement plan to see if the City's employees were being overcharged for administration and investment management.

Greensboro’s 457 plan provider is the Washington DC based “non-profit” International City/County Management Association, or ICMA whose CEO made more $2 million in 2012.

I found that;

North Carolina's 231,000 plan participants pay about $217 each for recordkeeping per year.

Greensboro's 2,781 ICMA 457 participants pay about $266 each for recordkeeping per year.

But Winston Salem, who rolled over their plan's 1,029 ICMA 457 participant balances in 2012, pay about $91 each per year.


ICMA-RC, Jim Westmoreland and Mary Vigue
won't say whether or not
the $91 per participant number is accurate
for Winston Salem.

I wrote about Greensboro's plan on April 23, 2014 for Yes Weekly and met again with city staff a couple of months back.

Greensboro's employees are getting fleeced by the state and ICMA and no one seems to want to do anything about it.

Lowering the costs your employees are paying within these plans can create higher levels of economic impact after retirement, as more money would be available to be spent locally.

I can explain how to lower these costs for Greensboro's employees in about 15 minutes.

Please invite me to a City Council work session to look into increasing the values of our community's retirement accounts.

After presenting the above words to a City Council meeting, 
I was never invited to a City Council work session.

From: Vigue, Mary
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2014 1:26 PM
To: Hammond, Connie; Blackburn, Joan
Subject: Fwd: This evening's 3 minutes.

Can I please get something to respond to this tonight?

Thanks

It ends up Mary wasn't looking for a truthful response, 
but a counterpunch provided by Greensboro's 457 plan provider.

From: Westmoreland, Jim
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2014 12:11 PM
To: Department Heads
Subject: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman

I’ve been made aware that Mr. Hartzman may be calling around to some of you (and possibly some of your employees) to ask questions about our 457 plan. If he calls you, please refer him to Mary Vigue for follow-up.

Thanks.

Jim Westmoreland, PE, City Manager
City of Greensboro

Westmoreland and Vigue ran interference
not in the best interests of Greensboro's employees, 
but in the best interests of ICMA, of which they are members
and who created ICMA-RC to make money off of municipal employees
with the help of ICMA members like Jim and Mary.

On Oct 14, 2014, at 11:38 AM, "Zack Matheny"
wrote:

Mary -

I spent over 8 years in this industry as a professional and have invested in mutual funds since I was in high school.

I would like to set a meeting with you, and anyone else that oversees this account.

There are some changes that could be made and their response was underwhelming.

Please, let me know when you can meet.

Zack

There is no record produced by the City so far
that shows Zack ever following up with Mary, 
or Zack attending a meeting on the 457 plan fees.

From: Vigue, Mary
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 12:46 PM
To: Matheny, Zack
Cc: Hammond, Connie; Carruthers, Tom; Lusk, Rick
Subject: Re: Council Request- ICMA-RC

I am having a conference call with ICMA-RC on Monday if you want to meet prior to that so staff can share your concerns and possible changes.

After today I am available the rest of the week and I will pull the appropriate staff. Let me know a time that would work for you.

Thanks.
Mary
.
.
From: Hammond, Connie
To: Vigue, Mary
Subject: RE: Council Request- ICMA-RC
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 8:57:35 AM

Thanks.. Will share further thoughts when we take a break.

Thanks for all you do......

Connie D. Hammond
Human Resources
City of Greensboro
.
.
ICMA-RC tried to cover the tracks of thier involment 
in putting out the fire while maintaining thier profit margins;



ICMA-RC provided talking points and a letter 
to send to municipalities I got in touch with 
not for the benefit of ICMA-RC's customers,
but for the benefit of ICMA-RC.



Damage control, sent to the City of Greensboro,
without a corresponding response by Staff
to the detrimment of Greensboro's employees invested in the plan.



The letter written by ICMA-RC lobbyist John Saeli;

"distorted and incomplete"

Winston Salem's plan includes a per participant fee that is not assessed to other plans referenced"

Why would Winston's plan have fees not in other plans?



from: George Hartzman
to: aflattich@icmarc.org, jweight@icmarc.org, carmenc@cityofws.org, jsaeli@icmarc.org,
bcc: "Westmoreland, Jim" ,
"Clark, Jim (Legal)" David.Parrish@greensboro-nc.gov,
"Vigue, Mary" , Thomas.Carruthers
Sharon Hightower "Jamiah.Waterman "Hammond, Connie" "Cooper, Larry"
Nancy Vaughan Mike Barber Zack Matheny Tony Wilkins joan.blackburn@greensboro-nc.gov,
Rick Lusk marlene.druga anita holder
date: Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 9:47 AM
subject: Please provide a numerical explanation of why the total costs to employees are incorrect.

"Mr. Hartzman's comparison is inaccurate, incomplete and misleading..."

John Saeli
Vice President, Market Development and Government Affairs
.
.
What specific numbers are innacurate?

If something was innacurate, why wasn't I informed for the oppurtunity to retract, refute and/or apoligize?

Why wasn't a retraction demanded?



The financial industry is very much in favor of asset based fees, as the profit margin increases over time via compound interest.  Flat dollar retirement plan Record-keeping and Reporting fees are in the best interests of participants, as shown in Greensboro's case, at the bottom of the following post;

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/11/401k-457-403bs-and-federal-governments.html



Greensboro ICMA-RC 457 plan fund alternatives which City management refused to look into

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/11/greensboro-icma-rc-457-plan-fund.html
.
.
City staff coodinating with ICMA-RC;

From: Blackburn, Joan
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 6:02 PM
To: Weight, James
Subject: FW: This evening's 3 minutes.

Joan A. Blackburn
Total Compensation Benefits Supervisor
Human Resources Department
.
.
From: Blackburn, Joan
To: "Weight, James"
Subject: FW: Recent PIRT responses sent to Mr. Hartzman
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 6:01:18 PM
Attachments: 457 Plan statement 12-31-13 for PIRT.pdf
457 Plan Financial Statment 2009 for PIRT 33694.pdf
457 Plan 2010 Financial Statement - PIRT 3694 .pdf
457 Plan 2011 Financial Statement PIRT 3694 (2).pdf
Fund Performance 6-30-14.pdf
Fee Disclosure Statement.pdf
Service Agreement with Greensboro to 2018 signed.pdf
PIRT 3890_9-17-14.pdf
457 Plan Document Trust 11 06.pdf
.
.
From: Weight, James [mailto:jweight@icmarc.org]
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2014 8:48 AM
To: Blackburn, Joan
Subject: RE: This evening's 3 minutes.

Hi Joan,

I can call you mid-day today, ok?

James Weight, CFP®
Director, Relationship Management
Mid-Atlantic Region
ICMA-RC
.
.
From: Blackburn, Joan
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2014 09:30 AM
To: Weight, James
Subject: RE: This evening's 3 minutes.

How’s 12:30?

Joan A. Blackburn
Total Compensation Benefits Supervisor
Human Resources Department
.
.
From: Weight, James
To: Blackburn, Joan
Subject: Re: This evening"s 3 minutes.
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:44:16 AM

12:30 should be a good time for me.

I will call you in your office then, ok?

James Weight, CFP
Director, Relationship Management
Mid-Atlantic Region
ICMA-RC
.
.
From: Gaylord, Shani
To: Westmoreland, Jim; Vigue, Mary
Cc: McCollough, Mary
Subject: RE: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:45:40 AM

Good morning Jim and Mary,

George Hartzman recently called to provide the information that he will be downtown today, so feel free to contact him if you’d like to schedule a brief, 15 minute meeting to go over the 457 plan before today’s Work Session. He mentioned that he also went over this information with Jeff, Marikay and Zack.

He can be reached via phone at...

Best,
Shani
.
.
From: Vigue, Mary
To: Gaylord, Shani
Subject: Re: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:46:26 AM

Jeff?

Mary Vigue
Interim Assistant City Manager
City Manager's Office
City of Greensboro
.
.
From: Gaylord, Shani
To: Vigue, Mary
Subject: RE: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:47:35 AM

[Greensboro's News and Record Publisher] Jeff Gawger. [Gauger]

Please excuse my spelling he did not spell out the name.
.
.
From: Vigue, Mary
To: Hammond, Connie
Subject: Fwd: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:52:06 AM

Have we heard anything from ICMA-RC?

The Jeff below is with the media... 

This makes Councilmember Matheny's email make sense.

Mary
Mary Vigue
Interim Assistant City Manager
City Manager's Office
City of Greensboro
.
.
The Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:52:06 AM message from Mary Vigue was forwarded;

From: Hammond, Connie
To: Marro, Joseph; Blackburn, Joan
Subject: FW: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:09:17 AM
.
.

And then City Staff used ICMA-RC's letter and talking points to put out the fire;

From: Hammond, Connie
To: Vigue, Mary
Subject: RE: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:16:44 AM

Yes… I got a copy of a proposed letter yesterday from Weight. 

We can discuss. 

Over phone or in person.
.
.
From: Hammond, Connie
To: Marro, Joseph; Blackburn, Joan; "jweight@icmarc.org"
Subject: Hartzman"s
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:52:50 AM

This link may give you further insights (?) into the thinking. See side panel "457 proposal..

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/

Connie
.
.
From: George Hartzman
To: Vigue, Mary
Subject: Re: See you at about 2:45 tomorrow
Date: Monday, October 20, 2014 12:41:18 PM

Looks like I am meeting with Nancy Vaughan alone at 2 tomorrow, if you would like to join...
.
.
Mary Vigue was aware of my efforts state wide;

From: George Hartzman
To: bwhitehorn@ashevillenc.gov
bcc: Marty Lawing, "Vigue, Mary" Nancy Vaughan, Rick Lusk 
Subject: Thanks for your time.
Date: Monday, October 20, 2014 2:30:50 PM
Attachments: 10 10 2014 TSP Presentation Book.doc
Information request for the North Carolina Treasurer.doc

If possible, please forward the information request to North Carolina's Treasurer's office as a "fiduciary".

I call to ICMA with mention that you spoke to me and took a look at how Winston Salem is doing business may bring down your fees rather very quickly.

Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing spoke with ICMA last Friday, and Greensboro Assistant City Manager Mary Vigue is meeting with them
.
.
From: Tony Wilkins
To: "George Hartzman"; Westmoreland, Jim; Lusk, Rick; Hammond, Connie; Vigue, Mary
Cc: Vaughan, Nancy (Mayor); Johnson, Yvonne; Barber, Mike; Abuzuaiter, Marikay; Hightower, Sharon; Fox, Jamal; Matheny, Zack; Hoffmann, Nancy; Wilkins, Tony
Subject: RE: On October 21, 2014"s ICMA 457 plan meeting with Mayor Vaughan and Mary
Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 1:57:41 PM

Jim Westmoreland,

Please tell me, in language that I can understand, if George Hartzman’s claims in this e-mail are true.

Thanks,

Tony Wilkins
Greensboro City Council
.
.
From: Hammond, Connie
To: "Carmen Caruth"
Subject: FW: Hartzman"s
Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 3:04:30 PM

Carmen,

As discussed.....

This link may give you further insights (?) into the thinking. See side panel "457 proposal..

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/
.
.
From: Cooper, Larry [mailto:Larry.Cooper@greensboro-nc.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 3:43 PM
To: Weight, James
Cc: Flattich, Art; Blackburn, Joan
Subject: FW: On October 21, 2014's ICMA 457 plan meeting with Mayor Vaughan and Mary

Vigue

HI James,

See the information below I referred to in my voice message. This email blast is the result of
George’s meeting with the Mayor and Mary Vigue yesterday. He is trying to make contact with
Winston-Salem regarding 34 basis point issue.
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ICMA member Jim Westmoreland misleading City Council;

From: Westmoreland, Jim To: "Tony Wilkins"
Cc: Vaughan, Nancy (Mayor); Johnson, Yvonne; Barber, Mike; Abuzuaiter, Marikay; Hightower, Sharon; Fox, Jamal;
Matheny, Zack; Hoffmann, Nancy; Wilkins, Tony; Lusk, Rick; Hammond, Connie; Vigue, Mary
Subject: RE: On October 21, 2014"s ICMA 457 plan meeting with Mayor Vaughan and Mary Vigue
Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 6:41:20 PM

Tony,

I have asked staff to prepare an update for Council on this item. We will share tomorrow.

In simple terms, we have a very good 457 plan in the City of Greensboro that provides a diverse range of funds/options for our employees to choose from. Depending on the fund/option they choose to invest in, different plan fees are applied.

So I don’t think that comparing our plan/fees to others by averaging plan fee costs by participant is a fair comparison or really means anything?

Jim
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From: Weight, James
To: Cooper, Larry
Cc: Flattich, Art; Blackburn, Joan
Subject: RE: On October 21, 2014"s ICMA 457 plan meeting with Mayor Vaughan and Mary
Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014 4:41:51 PM
Attachments: ICMA-RC Letter Regarding Hartzman Fee Comparison - Greensboro - 10 16 14.pdf

Hi Larry,

Thanks again for the heads up yesterday.

Would it be helpful for us to meet with the City Manager and/or the Mayor and/or any City Council members?...

James Weight, CFP®
Director, Relationship Management
Mid-Atlantic Region
ICMA-RC
.
.
Department Directors told not to engage in conversations
that could have left more money in the pockets of Greensboro's employees;

From: Grayson, Greg
To: Fire Leadership
Subject: Notes from Department Director Meeting
Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 11:56:36 AM

...Hartzman information in public domain on 457 plan costs
Direct questions to Mary Vigue, do NOT engage with Hartzman
His data is not comparing apples to apples
ICMA charges variable fees based upon the funds employees choose
.
.
From: George Hartzman
To: Westmoreland, Jim; Lusk, Rick; Hammond, Connie; Vigue, Mary
Subject: On October 21, 2014"s ICMA 457 plan meeting with Mayor Vaughan and Mary Vigue
Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 9:24:12 AM
Attachments: Greensboro fee pages.pdf
Winston Salem Fee Pages.pdf

On Tuesday, I met with Greensboro Assistant City Manager Mary Vigue and Nancy Vaughan in the Mayor's office.

Mary, a member of ICMA, had met with a representative of ICMA-RC on Monday.

Mary became confrontational from the outset of the meeting, and seemed to be advocating for ICMA's justifications of Greensboro's current 457 plan fees as opposed to what's in the best interests of Greensboro's employees invested in the plan.

Mary cited a hidden asset based fee in Winston Salem's fee structure to assert Winston Salem
doesn't pay less than Greensboro...

...Mary Vigue objected to the idea of considering the plan's fees per participant and asserted that
Winston paid more during the meeting on several occasions.
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...Greensboro's VT Vantagepoint Equity Income "Large Value Fund" (page 67), which ICMA
owns, which is inherently a conflict of interest, charges a total of 0.78% on $1,609,652 in
Greensboro's plan.

Winston Salem's Vanguard Equity Income Admiral "Large Value Fund" (page 50), which is
essentially the same thing Greensboro's Equity Income Large Value Fund only different,
charges a total of 0.21% on $2,011,041. Adding in the 0.34% ICMA charges Winston on the
back end, I found the total annual charge for Winston's participants to be 0.55%.

Greensboro's 0.78% is larger than Winston's 0.55%.
.
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Winston Salem's Mid and Small Cap index funds (page 50), where most of the participant's
money is invested, is charged a total of 0.44% by ICMA. (0.10% + 0.34%)

Greensboro's Mid and Small Cap funds total annual ICMA charges (pages 67 and 8) are
1.20%, 1.14%, 1.09%, 1.05%, 1.27%, 0.82%, 1.02%, 1.24% and 1.45%.
.
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It's my understanding Mary did not ask for or inquire about any possible fee reductions during her meeting with ICMA-RC's representative on Monday, but instead appears to have consumed a great deal of ICMA cool aid to regurgitate to the benefit of ICMA, as opposed to proactively looking out for what the best course of action was for Greensboro's employees.

Mary asserted that nothing needed fixing in Tuesday's meeting with Mayor Vaughan and I.

Mary cited Rick Lusk, Connie Hammond, Larry Cooper and herself as experts who agreed that nothing needed to be done with the ICMA 457 plan's fee structure and fund line up in the face of an opportunity to leave more money in the retirement accounts of City of Greensboro participants.

Please confirm Mary's assertion that Rick Lusk, Connie Hammond and Larry Cooper found no need to look into potential savings in Greensboro's 457 plan fees.

I never recieved confirmation.

Trying to do the right thing in this case has become much more difficult than it should have been.

Inaction has occurred for more than 12 months since these issues were initially raised.

Let's give Greensboro's 457 participants a raise and more money to spend locally in retirement by lowering their fees, which are demonstrably too high and retarding the prospect of wealth creation for 2,781 employees.

This email should not have been necessary.

George Hartzman
.
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Notice Flattich never says how the costs are understated and misrepresented, or why the information is incorrect;

From: Flattich, Art   aflattich@icmarc.org
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2014 9:43 AM
To: Lisa Saunders; Brian Hubbell
Cc: Carmen Caruth
Subject: Recent Public Information Requests

Lisa and Brian, I hope all is well. I wanted to give you both a heads up that the same gentlemen that made a public information request from the City of Winston Salem several weeks ago is now sending the email below. Please note that he incorrectly states the total costs to employees at the City of Winston Salem. I wanted to give you a heads up for two reasons. First, this particular individual has sent this out to many employers and employees in the State of North Carolina and specifically names the City of Winston Salem. Secondly, we have just released a written response that details the many factors that go into plan pricing and that the total cost to the City of Winston Salem’s employees is understated and misrepresented in his email. I have attached our written response for your information (please note that we addressed the letter to Lisa but it is written as a response to those employers who have received the email below which the City, presumably, did not.)

Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Thank you and have a great week.

ICMA Retirement Corporation
Art Flattich, Vice President, Southeast Region
aflattich@icmarc.org
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.
From: Carmen Caruth
To: Hammond, Connie
Subject: FW: Recent Public Information Requests
Date: Monday, October 27, 2014 9:50:48 AM

Attachments: ICMA-RC Letter Regarding Hartzman Fee Comparison - Winston Salem - 10 24....docx

FYI

Mr. Hartzman had requested information from our Finance Department and plan consultant (Hubbell Consulting).


Which I have still not recieved.

See correspondence from Art Flattich with ICMA.
.
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From: George Hartzman [mailto:hartzmancpe@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 11:50 AM
To: Healy, Sarah
Subject: Information request

Please provide all communications between Mary Vigue and ICMA for the last 90 days.

g
.
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from:  George Hartzman
to:  "Vigue, Mary" 
date:  Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 12:14 PM
subject:  Fund Lineup

Any word on the fund line up we spoke of and you said you would inquire about?
.
.
From: George Hartzman [mailto:hartzmancpe@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2014 9:42 AM
To: Healy, Sarah
Subject: Re: Response to PIRT # 4002

Please provide any communications over the last 90 days to or from ICMA RC and Mary Vigue, Connie Hammond and Jim Westmorland.

g
.
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From: Healy, Sarah
To: Vigue, Mary; Hammond, Connie; Westmoreland, Jim
Subject: PIRT request
Date: Friday, October 31, 2014 10:18:34 AM

Jim, Mary and Connie:

Sending as an FYI – it is PIRT # 4006. Will keep you posted.
.
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From: George Hartzman
Date: Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Subject: Re: Information request for the City of Charlotte
To: "Ellis, Anna"
Cc: "Darby, Nakyhia"

Please pass the attached proposal along to the Willis of North Carolina.

The proposed fees should save Charlotte employees about $1,318,584 over five years, as the City is overpaying rather dramatically for services from ICMA.

The problem I have run into with the consultants who looked at 457 plan providers in Greensboro is they appeared to only review more expensive plans to the detriment of Greensboro's employees, as in this case as with many others along with the Nationwide provided plan via the North Carolina Association of Counties.

It seems a few Municipal Management oriented employee associations have cornered the market via influence with decision makers at the expense of many employed under members of the same associations.

Please provide the last Willis of North Carolina's provider assessment and the report of their last RFP produced for the City of Charlotte in an electronic format...
.
.
From: Healy, Sarah
To: Vigue, Mary
Subject: FW: PIRT request
Date: Friday, October 31, 2014 1:32:47 PM

Mary – wanted to let you know that only 7 emails were produced from the search and no emails were to/from you.
.
.
From: Vigue, Mary
To: Healy, Sarah
Subject: Re: PIRT request
Date: Friday, October 31, 2014 1:35:22 PM

Thanks! :)
.
.
From: Healy, Sarah
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2014 1:13 PM
To: Westmoreland, Jim
Subject: FW: Response to PIRT # 4006

Jim – I wanted to send you a copy of my reply to Mr. Hartzman regarding his recent PIRT # 4006
request. Only 2 of the 7 emails produced were not sent to Mr. Hartzman b/c one was your personal quarterly statement and the other was Connie’s personal quarterly statement. Neither are public record.

Just wanted to let you know.
.
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From: Westmoreland, Jim
To: Healy, Sarah
Subject: RE: Response to PIRT # 4006
Date: Monday, November 03, 2014 3:07:14 PM

Thanks.
.
.
From: George Hartzman
To: Westmoreland, Jim; Vigue, Mary; Hammond, Connie; Nancy Vaughan; @votehoffmann.com; Matheny, Zack; Lusk, Rick
Subject: Fwd: Response to PIRT # 4006
Date: Wednesday, November 05, 2014 10:34:28 PM
Attachments: PIRT 4006.pdf

Mary told me on Monday night, after telling both Nancy Vaughan and myself on October 21st that Mary would personally contact ICMA-RC, that she had been in touch with HR about getting the fund list of alternative investments with lower costs from ICMA-RC.


Looks like ICMA member Mary Vigue
never did what she said she would
to the mayor of Greensboro.

I spoke with ICMA-RC Deputy General Counsel Angela C. Montez this afternoon, who told me municipalities have the lattitude to negotiate fees and switch funds as fiduciaries deem prudent and in the best interests of participants.

Mary said otherwise. Jim doesn't seem to have a problem with it, or he doesn't know and should.

ICMA members Mary and Jim appear to be acting in the best interests of ICMA-RC.

Mary incorrectly informed both Mayor Vaughan and I that Winston Salem was paying less per participant on October 21st, acting as an overt advocate for ICMA-RC after meeting with an ICMA-RC rep the day before.

It's been about two weeks since Mary said she would personally get with ICMA-RC on the fund list, and two days since she said she directed HR to do so.

The information request attached suggests otherwise.

Nancy Hoffmann and Zack know what a fund list is.

To my knowledge, no one at the City has made any effort to save Greensboro's employees money within the 457 plan, despite more than a year's worth of effort on my part.

ICMA members Mary and Jim don't seem to mind ICMA-RC skimming off of Greensboro's employees.

It seems ICMA members Mary and Jim are acting in the best interests of ICMA-RC.

I would like to hear some good news on saving Greensboro's 457 plan participants some money by the close of business tomorrow.

Those names above are the only recipients of this email.

At this point, ICMA members Mary and Jim are involved in a betrayal of 2871 Greensboro 457 participants, in my view.

At this point, I believe ICMA members Mary and Jim have violated ICMA's ethics code conflict of interest rules, and probably the City's ethics code as well, as if either really means anything.

I am trying to do the right thing.

It appears ICMA members Mary and Jim are not only impeding my efforts, they are helping ICMA-RC maintain and increase profits at the expense of thier non-ICMA co-workers.

I have tried to get this done relatively quietly.

That period of time is coming to a close.

By doing nothing, I believe those involved in non-action are actively stealing from other people's kid's futures.

g
.
.
From: George Hartzman [mailto:hartzmancpe@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2014 6:21 PM
To: Healy, Sarah
Subject: Info

All communications to or from for The last 30 days

Jim Westmoreland
Mary Vigue
David Parrish
Chris Wilson
Nancy Vaughan
.
.
From: Westmoreland, Jim
To: Turlington, Donnie; Healy, Sarah
Subject: FW: Info
Date: Thursday, November 06, 2014 7:44:53 PM

It would be good to ask Mr. Hartzman if he could more specifically define what he is looking for with this request?
.
.
from: George Hartzman
to:
bcc:melanie.buckingham@greensboro-nc.gov, melanie.daniel@greensboro-nc.gov, melanie.neal@greensboro-nc.gov, melinda.king@greensboro-nc.gov, melinda.medford@greensboro-nc.gov, melissa.ashe@greensboro-nc.gov, melissa.coble@greensboro-nc.gov, melissa.douglas@greensboro-nc.gov, melissa.mckoy@greensboro-nc.gov
date: Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 11:20 AM
subject: Concerning the contents of an information request on Greensboro's 457 retirement plan.

From what I have found so far, Mary Vigue and Jim Westmoreland amongst others, betrayed City of Greensboro employees by regurgitating ICMA-RC's message of leave the plan fees and options unchanged.

Westmorland and Vigue, both members of ICMA (International City/County Management Association), have been running interference for ICMA-RC (International City/County Management Association Retirement Corporation), in violation of Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest: Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter.

Even after Zack and Tony asked, city staff towed ICMA's line, and told city employees to refer any contact from me to Mary Vigue.

Mary told me about a month ago she was getting a fund line up with lower fees that could replace the current from ICMA-RC.

There is no record of anyone from the city asking for it, which means Mary lied to my face in the middle of a Council meeting.

There has been no movement on the part of city executives to act in the best interest of the city's employees, even after I identified the funds Winston uses and showed they are paying much less, even though Greensboro's plan is three times bigger.

According to ICMA-RC's 2012 IRS form 990, Robert O'neal, ICMA's Executive Director, serves as a paid director of ICMA-RC.

San Antonio’s Assistant City Manager and ICMA member Frances Gonzalez serves on ICMA-RC's board. San Antonio has $254,377,728 of City employee funds with ICMA-RC.

Meaning Mary Vigue could as well.

Decatur, Georgia’s City Manager and ICMA member Peggy Merriss serves on ICMA-RC's board as Decatur offers an overpriced ICMA-RC 457 retirement plan.

If both San Antonio’s Assistant City Manager and Decatur, Georgia’s City Manager are ICMA members are paid board members of ICMA-RC, while Decatur and San Antonio do business with ICMA-RC, Westmorland and Vigue, both members of ICMA, could be paid ICMA-RC board members.

I told some truth, and Mary and Jim asked the folks who are making money off of not telling the truth for there side of the story, and Mary and Jim swallowed it without any effort to confirm or disprove independently of either side what I have been saying for more than a year.

I have met with most of council on this issue to no avail.

Both Zack and Nancy Hoffmann understood my position, as they worked in the financial industry.

And nothing.

Jim Westmoreland's reply to Tony Wilkins lacks any value.

Jim and Mary betrayed thier own employees.

Shame on them for letting ICMA-RC take one cent more than they should or could, without even trying to find out what could be done.

I was hoping for some signs of humanity, compassion, care and resolve, and all I got was a turd for my efforts to save other people money.

Give those folks you screwed a good look in the eye when you pass them in the halls.

You stole a part of thier future, along with some more money that could have been spent locally instead by Wall Streeet, DC lobbyists and thier purchased polititions.

So now what?

g
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"Any officer, department head or employee who has financial interest, direct or indirect, in any proposed contract with the city or in a proposed sale of any land, material, supplies, or services to the city or to a contractor supplying the city, shall make known that interest and shall refrain from ...participating in the making of such contract or sale.

Any officer, department head, or employee who willfully conceals such a financial interest or willfully violates the requirements of this Section shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position and shall forfeit his office or position.

Violation of this Section with the knowledge expressed or implied of the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the city shall render the contract void."

Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest: Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter
.
.
ICMA-RC conducts business with The City of Greensboro.

Managers and Assistant Managers of other cities have compensation arrangements with ICMA-RC.

Westmorland and Vigue have a Financial Interest, as they could obtain a potential compensation arrangement ICMA-RC as they conduct negotiations/transactions/arrangements between The City of Greensboro and ICMA-RC.

In connection with any actual or possible conflict of interest, Westmorland and Vigue should have disclosed the existence of the financial interest.

Mary Vigue denied the possible conflict at a recent City Council meeting, as Westmorland looked on, prevented City employees from speaking with George Hartzman of the issue, and then lied to George Hartzman about looking into saving City of Greensboro employees money during another Council meeting, and City Council has done nothing.
.
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From: George Hartzman
to: steve drew
date: Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 3:13 PM
subject: City of Greensboro Manager Jim Westmoreland Lying to Tony Wilkins and City Council

For every $100,000 invested in the PIMCO fund in Greensboro's plan, each participant is paying another $270 (0.71% - 0.44% = 0.27%) for no reason other than Jim Westmoreland and Mary Vigue refused to negotiate lower fees.

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2014/12/city-of-greensboro-manager-jim.html
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.
from: George Hartzman
to: Thomas.Carruthers@greensboro-nc.gov
bcc: Tasha.Swann@greensboro-nc.gov, Tiffany.Temple@greensboro-nc.gov, Donald.Turlington@greensboro, Donna Gray @greensboro-nc.gov>, donnie.turlington@greensboro-nc.gov, "Clark, Jim (Legal)" "Jamiah.Waterman@greensboro-nc.gov"
"McCollough, Mary" "Vigue, Mary" , sharon.bell@greensboro-nc.gov, "Schwartz, Sue" , "Mabe, Mike" , "Richardson, Betsey" ,
butch.simmons@greensboro-nc.gov, hfourrier@greensboronc.org, kathi.dubel@greensboro-nc.gov,
"Davis, Larry" , Rick Lusk ,
Andy Scott
date: Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 3:42 PM
subject: City of Greensboro Manager Jim Westmoreland Lying to Tony Wilkins and City Council

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2014/12/city-of-greensboro-manager-jim.html
.
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Thomas,

The logical course of action would be to ask for a retraction or sue for defamation if what I am saying isn't true.

The problem the legal department is going to have, is employees realizing that Jim and Mary Vigue coodinated with ICMA-RC to purposefully keep Greensboro's 457 plan fees high.

And now I have found both Jim and Mary misleading City Council on the subject.

Please determine whether legal action is appropriate for the City.

I believe it would not be, as I am telling truth to power, and those who hire and fire the City Manager have not acted.

Sooner or later, a breach of fiduciary suit will emerge from some in your workforce if nothing is done in before hand.

One way or another, Greensboro's legal department will have made the choice which to defend.

g

"Fort Worth drops Wells Fargo fund from 457 plan"

"Fort Worth, Texas, is removing the Wells Fargo Stable Value Fund from the lineup of its $161 million 457(b) plan, said a letter to participants posted on the plan’s website.

An effective date was not disclosed. The fund is being removed because “it no longer meets the established performance objectives,” the letter stated.

A spokeswoman for Galliard Capital Management, a subadviser on the Wells Fargo Stable Value Fund, declined to comment.

The fund was added in the spring following the selection of TIAA-CREF as the plan’s bundled provider.

Margaret Wise, human resources assistant director at Fort Worth, could not be reached for additional information by press time."

http://www.pionline.com/article/20141210/ONLINE/141219990/fort-worth-drops-wells-fargo-fund-from-457-plan

12/14/14

Winston Salem Journal's Richard Craver: "Wells Fargo seeks dismissal of lawsuit by former employee"

"...Wells Fargo’s dismissal request was filed Nov. 14.

...Hartzman’s complaint centers on accusations that the bank and defunct Wachovia Corp. violated federal regulatory laws and committed fraud in their handling of the transformational 2008 purchase.

...Hartzman accuses the banks of violating Sarbanes Oxley and Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, of not upholding their fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders, and committing acts of fraud in terms of financial reporting and disclosures.

...Hartzman responded to the Wells Fargo request Dec. 3 with a motion to submit a 144-page amended complaint that he titled “too connected to fail.” That’s even though there is has been no evidence that Wells Fargo was in any threat of financial failure.

The complaint is titled "TOO CONNECTED TO JAIL" on the first page.


...Hartzman leads off the amended complaint with accusations of “covert consent” by the board of governors of the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, among other agencies, of the actions by the two banks that he claims “harmed plaintiff’s reputation, income and financial stability … and put him and his family in physical danger.”

In the amended complaint, Hartzman adds ...examples of Wells Fargo’s business practices and willingness to deploy delaying legal tactics.

Hartzman also revisits documentation about Wachovia receiving 17 short-term emergency loans worth a combined $72 billion from the Federal Reserve’s Term Auction Facility program. It took out $75 billion more after being taken over by Wells Fargo for a grand total of $147 billion in TAF loans.

The loans were not made public at the time. In December 2010, the Fed disclosed details about the program, and 10 other little-known loan sources, after Congress requested more transparency in financial markets.

Congress mandated the disclosures by passing Dodd-Frank,
after Ben Bernanke refused disclosure, 
and the Fed still took it to the Supreme Court;

"At a Senate Budget Committee hearing on March 3,
Sanders asked Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke 
to name the hundreds of banks that took money
 since the financial crisis began. 

Bernanke refused to name any of the financial institutions
and would not say what the banks are doing with the money."

Page 67 of the Amended Complaint

...Hartzman said one point about his raising the issue is “the size of how much could have been borrowed.”

He claimed Wells Fargo “is currently defrauding and recommitting fraud on what appears to be hundreds of thousands of clients.”

Wells Fargo asserted that any securities claim by Hartzman would be barred by the statute of limitations.

...Hartzman said Wachovia and Wells Fargo executives “committed perjury” in the N.C. Business Court cases.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns 8.9 percent of Wells Fargo stock. BH Media Group, which owns and operates the Winston-Salem Journal and The News & Record of Greensboro, is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

http://www.journalnow.com/business/business_beat/wells-fargo-says-lawsuit-based-on-outlandish-conspiracy-theories/article_fa0105b4-808e-11e4-ae79-b3c7e18cf9e2.html
.
.
If Richard would have called and provided a oppurtunity to respond, I would have told him;

Craver;

"Wells Fargo asserted that any securities claim by Hartzman would be barred by the statute of limitations."
.
.
1. It's an ongoing conspiracy as Robert Steel is now being paid by Perella, who Steel gave $25 million to as Wachovia CEO.

And 2., the statute of limitations for wire fraud by a fianancial institution is 10 years.

And 3., as I only found the size of the credit lines in 2014, published by the Fed in 2013, the two year statute of limitations applies.

And 4., a current, ongoing fraud is also covered under the statute of limitations, as Richard's prior sentence stated "He claimed Wells Fargo “is currently defrauding and recommitting fraud on what appears to be hundreds of thousands of clients.”
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How Warren Buffett's newspapers serve Warren Buffett instead of the truth, Hartzman edition

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/12/how-warren-buffetts-newspapers-serve.html

12/11/14

How Warren Buffett's newspapers serve Warren Buffett instead of the truth, Hartzman edition

Warren Buffett owns about 9% of Wells Fargo through Berkshire Hathaway.

Berkshire Hathaway also owns the News and Record and the Winston Salem Journal.

I am suing Wells Fargo.

I was contacted on Tuesday by the Winston Salem Journal's Richard Craver on an article put up last night on the Journal's website, which was taken down after I contacted the News and Record in Greensboro's Jeff Gauger and the Journal's Managing Editor John Miller concerning how the story was innacurate and due diligence was not rendered by Richard Craver.

John Miller told me this morning the story will run tomorrow as is.
.
.
from: Craver, Richard N. 
to: George Hartzman
date: Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 7:12 PM
subject: What is at essence of your amended complaint?

Picking up wells response for story for Thursday and trying to avoid downloading the 144-page amended complaint for the sake of cost since we have reported your allegations already

Thanks

Richard Craver
.
.
I responded to Richard with my phone number at 7:23 PM.

Richard Craver never called me, but asked "Please email your comments", none of which or the subjects of which were reported in the story taken down last night which included;

"...Former Wachovia CEO Robert Steel, with the help of former Goldman Sachs colleauge Peter Weinberg, misled Wachovia's board of directors to sell Wachovia to Wells Fargo for a $50 million commission of which Goldman Sachs recieved half of, without telling Wachovia shareholders of massive Federal Reserve credit lines, with the help of key Bush and Obama administration personel.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf knew and went along with the merger, signing false SEC certifications in the process."

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/12/too-connected-to-jail-short-short.html
.
.
And;

"After paying Peter Weinberg's Perella Weinberg Partners $25 million and Weinberg and Steels' former employer Goldman Sachs $25 million to advise Wachovia on the merger with Wells Fargo, Steel became CEO of Perella Weinberg Partners in 2014, after which Plaintiff asserts Steel earned some of the money he allocated to Perella Weinberg Partners as Wachovia's CEO."

"On December 22, 2008, Wachovia borrowed $10 billion at 0.528% from the Federal Reserve for 17 days with $76.280 billion in Unencumbered Collateral representing an undisclosed credit line with the Fed more than six times the size of Wachovia's market capitalization, none of which was disclosed to Wachovia's shareholders or the public before, during and after the merger with Wells Fargo. (Loan maturity - January 8, 2009, after the merger)"...

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/12/too-connected-to-jail.html
.
.
After which I recieved:

"from: Craver, Richard N.

I can note what you have mentioned below in the update –all of which has been reported on before and did not seem, as far as I can tell, raise a legal red flag even after it was disclosed to Congress in 2010"
.
.
And I replied;

"The size of the credit lines were never reported.

The only one was by bloomberg on Morgan Stanley that was about tapped out.

The Perrella/Goldman Sachs connection has not been reported.

The link to the entire Amended Complaint is at the post.

The bloomberg spread sheets didn't show the size of the credit lines

The fed spreadsheet only showed up in 2013 on the Fed's website.

The size of Wells Fargo and Wachovia's credit lines have never been reported.
.
.
And;

http://www.journalnow.com/business/business_beat/wells-fargo-says-lawsuit-based-on-outlandish-conspiracy-theories/article_fa0105b4-808e-11e4-ae79-b3c7e18cf9e2.html

If this runs withouit taking note of the new news, you will have misled the public again.
.
.
After which, I contacted Jeff Gauger;

from: George Hartzman to: Jeff Gauger

Once again, no direct contact with the reporter before he put this story up.

Ignored new news.

Ignored the Robert Steel connection.

I have not spoken to Craver.
.
.
Craver shot back "We reported on the size of the credit lines with Wachovia in December 2010", which isn't true and I asked "where?" and "Could you call?" and;

"Did you go through the Amended Compliaint linked at the post?"

and "Where did you report the size of the credit lines?"

and "Have you reported Robert Steel was the only board member who actually worked at Wachovia?"

and "Have you ever reported the Steel connections to Wachovia's advisors?"

and "Are you going to report Steel is now the CEO of the firm he had Wachovia pay $25 million to?"

and "Are you going to call?".
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Craver's reply;

"Those interested in your amended complaint now know about it beyond your blog and can research it for themselves for your new allegations and evidence"
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from: Miller, John X. to: George Hartzman
date: Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 6:12 PM

"Richard did talk with you about the story, though he didn’t call you. Nowadays, emails suffice and talking to a source."
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from: George Hartzman
to: "Miller, John X."   Jeff Gauger

He didn't report any of the new information I provided, nor did he seek any clarification of what he clearly doesn't understand.

Doesn't look like he went through the amended complaint.

He clearly didn't do much more than copy and paste prior work...

The prior suits said Wachovia ruined the company via poor decision making.

I am saying they had huge undisclosed Fed credit lines that if made public, would have saved the company.

I am saying Robert Steel bought stock, not sold it.

The emails below show I informed Richard of the information in September, including the still nationally unreported story of the credit lines;
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Craver;

"In February 2011, a N.C. Business Court judge dismissed two shareholder lawsuits against Wachovia, including one in Forsyth County, in which the plaintiffs claimed they were misled by management during the bank’s collapse...

In both lawsuits, the plaintiffs claimed Wachovia and executives were negligent and misrepresented the financial status of the bank, therefore breaching the duty of a corporate director or officer...
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An email "from: George Hartzman to: "Craver, Richard N."
date: Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 10:06 AM
subject: Wells article

I am saying Robert Steel bought Wachovia stock knowing about the loans and the credit lines thinking he would make a profit.

Same with the execs at Wells Fargo.

The dismissed suits say execs sold stock knowing the company was in trouble.

I am saying the opposite.

If the markets knew about the credit lines and fed backing, I believe Wachovia would have made it."
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...from: George Hartzman to: "Craver, Richard N."
date: Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 10:56 AM
subject: Re: Wells article

The Bloomberg story didn't disclose the "unencumbered collateral" held at the Fed which represented the credit lines.
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from: George Hartzman
to: "Craver, Richard N."
date: Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 2:49 PM
subject: Re: Wells article

Are we going to speak before the story runs?
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from: George Hartzman to: "Richard N. Craver"
Jeff Gauger
mbanks
Joe Killian
Joe Gamm
ajohnson
Morgan Glover
Marquita Brown
Amanda Lehmert

Please tell me what's happening.

I Haven't Heard from anyone from the news and record on a story that is currently inaccurate.
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from: Gauger, Jeff
to: George Hartzman
date: Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 10:27 AM
subject: RE: What's the plan?

George,
Your beef is with John Miller and Richard Craver, and it's with them you'll have to resolve it. You're not going to get coverage that makes your case for you. That's for you to do in court.
Jeff
Jeff Gauger
Editor and Publisher
News & Record | News-Record.com
Greensboro, N.C.

12/9/14

Concerning the contents of an information request concerning Greensboro's 457 plan.

From what I have found so far, Mary Vigue and Jim Westmoreland amongst others, betrayed City of Greensboro employees by regurgitating ICMA-RC's message of leave the plan fees and options unchanged.

Westmorland and Vigue, both members of ICMA (International City/County Management Association), have been running interference for ICMA-RC (International City/County Management Association Retirement Corporation), in violation of Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest: Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter.

Even after Zack and Tony asked, city staff towed ICMA's line, and told city employees to refer any contact from me to Mary Vigue.

Mary told me about a month ago she was getting a fund line up with lower fees that could replace the current from ICMA-RC.

There is no record of anyone from the city asking for it, which means Mary lied to my face in the middle of a Council meeting.

There has been no movement on the part of city executives to act in the best interest of the city's employees, even after I identified the funds Winston uses and showed how even with the extra 0.34% fee, they are paying much less, even though Greensboro's plan is three times bigger.

According to ICMA-RC's 2012 IRS form 990, Robert O'neal, ICMA's Executive Director, serves as a paid director of ICMA-RC.

San Antonio’s Assistant City Manager and ICMA member Frances Gonzalez serves on ICMA-RC's board. San Antonio has $254,377,728 of City employee funds with ICMA-RC.

Decatur, Georgia’s City Manager and ICMA member Peggy Merriss serves on ICMA-RC's board as Decatur offers an overpriced ICMA-RC 457 retirement plan.

If both San Antonio’s Assistant City Manager and Decatur, Georgia’s City Manager are ICMA members are paid board members of ICMA-RC, while Decatur and San Antonio do business with ICMA-RC, Westmorland and Vigue, both members of ICMA, could be paid ICMA-RC board members.

I told you some truth, and you asked the folks who are making money off of not telling the truth for there side, and swallowed it without any effort to confirm or disprove what I have been saying for more than a year independently of either side.

I have met with most of council on this issue to no avail.

Both Zack and Nancy Hoffmann understood my position, as they worked in the financial industry.

And nothing.

Jim Westmoreland's reply to Tony Wilkins lacks any value.

You betrayed your own employees.

Shame on you for letting ICMA-RC take one cent more than they should or could, without even trying to find out what could be done.

I was hoping for some signs of humanity, compassion, care and resolve, and all I got was a turd for my efforts to save other people money.

Give those folks you screwed a good look in the eye when you pass them in the halls.

You stole a part of thier future, along with some more money that could have been spent locally instead by the lobbyists in DC.

So now what?

g
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"Any officer, department head or employee who has financial interest, direct or indirect, in any proposed contract with the city or in a proposed sale of any land, material, supplies, or services to the city or to a contractor supplying the city, shall make known that interest and shall refrain from ...participating in the making of such contract or sale.

Any officer, department head, or employee who willfully conceals such a financial interest or willfully violates the requirements of this Section shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position and shall forfeit his office or position.

Violation of this Section with the knowledge expressed or implied of the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the city shall render the contract void."

Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest: Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter
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ICMA-RC conducts business with The City of Greensboro.

Managers and Assistant Managers of other cities have compensation arrangements with ICMA-RC.

Westmorland and Vigue have a Financial Interest, as they could obtain a potential compensation arrangement ICMA-RC as they conduct negotiations/transactions/arrangements between The City of Greensboro and ICMA-RC.

In connection with any actual or possible conflict of interest, Westmorland and Vigue should have disclosed the existence of the financial interest.

Mary Vigue denied the possible conflict at a recent City Council meeting, as Westmorland looked on,  prevented City employees from speaking with George Hartzman of the issue, and then lied to George Hartzman about looking into saving City of Greensboro employees money during another Council meeting, and City Council has done nothing.

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2014/11/george-hartzman-believes-city-of.html
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Greensboro ICMA-RC 457 plan fund alternatives which City management refuses to look into

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/11/greensboro-icma-rc-457-plan-fund.html

401k, 457, 403b's and the Federal Government's Thrift Savings Plan

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/11/401k-457-403bs-and-federal-governments.html

"Workers Furious at Association of Counties" and "A Billion-Dollar Retirement Rip-Off"

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/11/workers-furious-at-association-of.html

"Most of the 401K space is captured by high fee funds."

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/11/most-of-401k-space-is-captured-by-high.html

12/8/14

Too Connected to Jail; The Short, Short Version

Former Wachovia CEO Robert Steel, with the help of former Goldman Sachs colleauge Peter Weinberg, misled Wachovia's board of directors to sell Wachovia to Wells Fargo for a $50 million commission of which Goldman Sachs recieved half of, without telling Wachovia shareholders of massive Federal Reserve credit lines, with the help of key Bush and Obama administration personel.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf knew and went along with the merger, signing false SEC certifications in the process.

The following was filed with the Middle District of North Carolina United States District Court on December 3, 2014 in an Amended Complaint;

https://casetext.com/briefs/E5uSKe_lC40RKJR2UOBB6LJc50s.
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Robert Steel served as Under Secretary for Domestic Finance of the United States Treasury under Hank Paulson until October 10, 2006, before becoming CEO of Wachovia on July 9, 2008, after working at Goldman Sachs from 1976 to 2004 with former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Perrella Weinberg Partners' Peter Weinberg, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Stephen Friedman (January 2008 - May 7, 2009) and current CEO Lloyd Blankfien.
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Steel was very close to Paulson at Goldman Sachs;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/11/AR2008021102915.html?sid=ST2008021102958
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Bloomberg News reported that "[Robert] Steel, 62, who had previously worked with Peter Weinberg at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., considered joining Perella Weinberg when the firm opened its doors in 2006... Instead he went to work for the government, where he was a Treasury under secretary before he became CEO of Wachovia in July 2008".

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-28/perella-weinberg-names-ex-treasury-official-robert-steel-ceo.html
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As Robert Steel served as CEO of Wachovia as Stephen Friedman served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, they both currently work together at the Aspen Institue;

Robert K. Steel

http://www.aspeninstitute.org/people/robert-steel

Stephen Friedman

http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/aspen-strategy-group/about-aspen-strategy-group/group-members/stephen-friedman
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"Timothy Geithner helped design and run the central bank’s lending programs", and was the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2003 to 2009, after which he became Treasury Secretary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Geithner

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-28/secret-fed-loans-undisclosed-to-congress-gave-banks-13-billion-in-income.html

During Steel's tenure at the U.S. Treasury, he revived the President's Working Group, the core group to respond to the global economic crisis of 2008.

http://www.pwpartners.com/our-team/partners/biography?id=2475

Steel "revived the President's Working Group" under Paulson, which included Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke and SEC Chair Christopher Cox.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_Group_on_Financial_Markets
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Before arriving at Wachovia, Steel was in a "need to know position" concerning massive undisclosed material borrowing by many financial firms administered by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, most of which occured under Stephen Friedman and Tim Geithner's tenure, that overwhelmingly most firms did not provide details of within required SEC filings, especially the size of credit lines available to Wachovia and Wells Fargo;

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/reform_taf.htm

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-23/fed-s-once-secret-data-compiled-by-bloomberg-released-to-public.html
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From 2006 through 2008, current SEC Chair Mary Jo White's husband John served as Director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees disclosure and reporting by public companies in the United States.  Mr. White was head of the SEC division which oversees disclosure and reporting by public companies.  "[Mr. White] played an integral role in the SEC’s response to market turmoil throughout 2008, ensuring that the Division acted swiftly to facilitate strategic transactions and access to capital for public companies."

http://www.cravath.com/jwhite/
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Stephen Friedman, while administering undisclosed loans to most of Wall Street as Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York purchased Goldman Sachs stock when it traded at historical lows in the fourth quarter of 2008 without being arrested and prosecuted for insider trading by Obama's Justice Department.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldman_Sachs
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On March 27, 2008, Wachovia borrowed a not disclosed $3.5 billion from the Federal Reserve’s Term Auction Facility (TAF), unencumbered Assets, representing assets free and clear of any encumbrances such as creditor claims or liens, showed that Wachovia had available unreported Federal Reserve credit line worth $53.652 Billion, as discovered by Plaintiff in 2014 posted on the Federal Reserve's website as of August 2, 2013 as confirmed by Federal Reserve Public Affairs officer Cecelia Bradshaw on November 20, 2014.

On 6/30/2008, Wachovia's outstanding Federal Reserve provided Term Auction Facility borrowings totaled $10 billion, representing a material 29.82% of the company's market capitalization.

Wachovia Corporation's June 30, 2008 form 10-Q certified by Robert Steel did not disclose the type, terms, interest charges, dates, collateral, values or amounts of financial assistance provided by the Fed.

http://www.otcmarkets.com/edgar/GetFilingHtml?FilingID=6092516

On July 22, 2008, Mr. Steel personally purchased 1,000,000 shares of Wachovia’s stock as the company’s undisclosed Federal Reserve Term Auction Facility (TAF) borrowing reached $12.5 billion, representing a material 34.85% of the company's market capitalization.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/26728133#

On September 23, 2008, Goldman Sachs announced Warren Buffett, who owned 9.2% of Wells Fargo in 2007, purchased $5 billion of Goldman Sachs perpetual preferred stock warrants to purchase $5 billion of Goldman Sachs common stock.

"We view it as a strong validation of our client franchise and future prospects," said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.”

On 9/25/2008, when Wachovia borrowed an undisclosed $5 billion from the Fed's Term Auction Facility, Unencumbered Assets, representing the Fed credit line available to Wachovia was $56.848 Billion.  The $12.5 billion outstanding borrowings by Wachovia on 9/25/2008 represented a material 42.26% of the companies market capitalization of $29.576 billion.

Wachovia's $56.848 Billion in Unencumbered Assets with the Fed represented almost twice the company's market capitalization.

Wachovia CEO Robert Steel falsely certified Wachovia's Quarterly Report as of September 30, 2008, as the $12.5 billion borrowed by Wachovia on 9/30/2008 represented a material 165.43% of the companies market capitalization;

"I, Robert K. Steel, certify that:  I have reviewed this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2008 of Wachovia Corporation;  Based on my knowledge, this report does not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary to make the statements made, in light of the circumstances under which such statements were made, not misleading with respect to the period covered by this report."

http://www.taxpayer.net/user_uploads/file/Bailout/BankBios/WellsFargo/Finance/WACHOVIACORP%2010Q%203rd%20qtr%202008.pdf

The Federal Reserve unanimously approved Wachovia's merger with Wells Fargo on October 12, 2008, as Wachovia's Fed Discount Window borrowings were a material 449.72% of the company's market capitalization.

On October 31, 2008, the Federal Reserve was aware Wachovia and Wells Fargo CEO's Robert Steel and John Stumpf lied in a merger related SEC filing.

"Wachovia's financial advisors (Goldman Sachs and Perella Weinberg) informed Wachovia that the type of analysis customarily performed was not meaningful for Wachovia because of the extraordinary circumstances faced by Wachovia and its severe liquidity crisis..."

http://www.ncbusinesslitigationreport.com/uploads/file/Young%20Affidavit.pdf

Wachovia's stock price on date of first TAF loan: 3/27/2008 - Last Trade: 27.07

Wachovia price on date of completed merger with Wells: 12/31/2008 - Last Trade: 5.54

As of January 31, 2008, there were 1,981,983,990 Wachovia shares outstanding.

27.07 - 5.54 = 21.53 x 1,981,983,990 = $42,672,115,304.70 Wachovia market capitalization lost between the first undisclosed TAF loan and Wells Fargo merger.

Items 24 - 52;

https://casetext.com/briefs/E5uSKe_lC40RKJR2UOBB6LJc50s
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Following the merger, Steel was invited to join the board of Wells Fargo and served on the firm's credit and finance committees.  In 2010, upon being appointed Deputy Mayor for Economic Development of New York City, Steel resigned his seat on the Wells Fargo board.

On June 22, 2010, Steel was appointed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve as Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.

On August 22, 2011, Bloomberg's Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz wrote "Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Secret Loans" which only mentions collateral and securities pledged for Morgan Stanley; "...Morgan Stanley borrowed $61.3 billion from one Fed program in September 2008, pledging a total of $66.5 billion of collateral". 

Bloomberg News failed/declined to report massive available credit lines for tens of other firms including Wachovia and Wells Fargo, after Robert Steel went to work for Michael Bloomberg.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-21/wall-street-aristocracy-got-1-2-trillion-in-fed-s-secret-loans.html

After paying Peter Weinberg's Perella Weinberg Partners $25 million and Weinberg and Steels' former employer Goldman Sachs $25 million to advise Wachovia on the merger with Wells Fargo, Steel became CEO of Perella Weinberg Partners in 2014.

Robert Steel earned some of the money he allocated to Perella Weinberg Partners as Wachovia's CEO, after he sold Wachovia to Wells Fargo for substantially less than it was worth, with the help of his former collegues from Goldman Sachs at the New York Fed and the Treasury Department, along with current SEC chair Mary Jo White's husband without being prosecuted by the Obama Administration's Justice Department and without Bloomberg News or any other mainstream news outlet reporting the story.

George Hartzman