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Learning From the Goldman Sachs Debacle

Harvey L. Pitt | June 29, 2010

I’m pleased to be participating—for the fifth time—in Compliance Week’s annual conference. Saying that makes me feel a bit like Phil Connors, the weatherman played by Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog Day,” who had to repeat the same day over and over again, until he finally got it right. In my case, I hope the folks at Compliance Week keep inviting me back, based on their assumption that, while I still haven’t gotten it right, I eventually might!

“Groundhog Day” also provides an apt analogy for the events of the past decade, continuing into the present one. If we look no further back than the start of this millennium, we’ve witnessed a parade of tragic, but clearly similar, events, including:

  • Financial services firms’ converting research into sales literature;

  • IPO “hot issues,” where firms took kickbacks before allowing their best clients to participate;

  • ...
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