Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

May 10, 2008

Goldman-Sachs

Filed under: capitalist pig — louisproyect @ 9:23 pm

Goldman-Sachs headquarters

In 1988, after about two and a half years on the job at Goldman-Sachs, I received a zero percent salary increase. I heard through the grapevine that if you didn’t get a raise, it would be a good idea to dust off your resume.

Goldman had recently hired a new Information Technology director named Rick Adam and his personnel manager gave a talk to our department outlining a new policy. She reported that Rick wanted to cut costs by replacing experienced, senior developers just like me with recent college graduates who they would train. I regret that I didn’t have a tape recorder going when she spoke to us, since I could have sued the bastards for age discrimination.

Adam was a class A prick who had the reputation for being some kind of genius. I guess the partners at Goldman were impressed with the fact was a triathlete, had graduated from West Point and worked on computer support for Apollo Space Missions. Considering the fiascos at NASA in recent years, I can’t say that I am totally surprised that Adam had to leave Goldman not long after I did.

Adam had hired a deputy director named Jim Burns, who had previously worked for the software consulting arm of Arthur Anderson Consulting (now called Accenture to separate itself from the stench of the defunct accounting division implicated in the Enron scandal.) Shortly after Burns arrived, Goldman was flooded with these snot-nosed kids from Arthur Anderson wearing suspenders and “power ties”. They looked like what central casting had turned up for Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street”. None of them really knew what the hell they were doing, but Arthur Anderson charged Goldman $1000 per day for their services. I always suspected that Burns was getting kickbacks from Arthur Anderson, but could never prove it.

After getting my zero percent increase, I resigned from Goldman and consulted for a couple of years until I crash-landed at Columbia University, where I have been for about 18 years. In my first year at Columbia, I was picking up a coffee and muffin in the Business School cafeteria when I was stunned to see Jimmy Primavera sitting at a table in blue jeans, work boots and a flannel shirt. Jimmy had been the manager of trading systems at Goldman, where he had worked for 20 years or so. Like a lot of Goldman veterans, Jimmy had no college degree and joined the firm right out of the army. Not long after Rick Adam arrived, word went out that they were trying to get rid of managers with last names ending in a vowel. During a job interview at Bear-Stearns, I had run into another manager who had gotten the boot from Goldman and who was there interviewing as well. He was a Greek-American who felt like he had been stabbed in the back. Guys like him and Jimmy used to work 60 hours a week and were gung-ho believers in the firm.

When I asked Jimmy what he was doing at Columbia, he said that he was washing windows and without missing a beat added that he was not kidding. He told me about the bloodbath that had left him and the Greek-American jobless.

One morning they came in and tried to log into PROFS, an IBM mainframe email system that predated the Internet. If the word PROFS rings a bell, that’s because it is what Oliver North used for communications during the Iran-Contra conspiracy. The Senate Investigating Committee subpoenaed the PROFS tapes and got the goods on Reagan’s boys.

Jimmy and about a dozen other managers and senior employees found that their login wasn’t working. What could be wrong? They soon found out. One by one, they were called into personnel to discover that their services were no longer needed and were then escorted back to their desk by security guards. After they put their belongings into cartons, they were escorted out of the building and put into a long string of town cars and driven home.

Robert Rubin ran Goldman at the time. He was responsible for hiring Rick Adam and for giving the green light to fire a bunch of loyal employees because they did not fit the waspy Ivy League image that the firm was trying to project. When Rubin went to work for Bill Clinton, it spoke volumes about the kind of liberalism that was being run out of the White House. What Clinton would do to the American people, Rubin had already done to people like Jimmy Primavera.

The story of the mass firings at Goldman, I should add, ended up in an early issue of Counterpunch. Jeff St. Clair, Cockburn’s partner at the time, read my account on PEN-L and asked me if he could write it up for Counterpunch. Sure, I said. Anything to tarnish their reputation was fine by me.

Every so often I like to check out what ever happened to Rick Adam. Shortly after he left Goldman, he started an aircraft company based in Colorado. He must have gotten a hell of a golden parachute to get something like that going. He had the bright idea to build corporate jets using carbon composite material. Given carbon composite’s light weight, the planes were supposed to use less fuel. Sounds like a good idea in light of the price of fuel today, right?

Well, apparently there was a gap between the good idea and the execution:

A single bulk buyer is being touted by trustees as the preferred choice to acquire the assets of bankrupt aircraft developer Adam Aircraft, which are being put up for sale on 4 April.

The lowest auction bid for the Denver, Colorado-based start-up which entered Chaper 7 bankruptcy last month, is $10 million. Each interested party must place $250,000 into an escrow account managed by trustee Jeffrey Weinman before bidding starts on 3 April.

General Capital Partners is soliciting interest, and Weinman’s hired attorney John Smiley says the trustees favour “an enterprise sale of this entire business. If that doesn’t produce satisfactory results, then the trustees will sell the assets on a piece or lot-sale basis,” he says. Assets do not include buildings or property, as all three manufacturing sites were leased. The sale is of aircraft, aircraft parts, intellectual property licences and patents, customer and vendor contracts, aircraft certifications, manufacturing equipment and backlog orders.

–Flight International, March 25, 2008

And I took even greater pleasure in reading this soon afterwards:

Bankrupt Adam Aircraft Industries Inc. is revving up its jet engines once again now that a Russian private equity firm has been cleared to restart its business.

The defunct maker of ultralight business jets won approval Wednesday, April 9, from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado in Denver to sell its assets to AAI Acquisition Inc.

AAI is identified in court papers as being affiliated with Moscow-based private equity firm Industrial Investors and was formed solely for the acquisition of Adam Aircraft. AAI was the only qualified bidder to step forward by Adam Aircraft’s bidding deadline, winning the assets with a $10 million offer.

–Daily Deal, April 11, 2008 Friday

The new owners did not retain Rick Adam’s dubious services. He got his walking papers right after the Rooskies took over and he has now started a new software company with Jim Burns, his old number two at Goldman, at his side once again. The company, called Recondo, is involved with setting up database systems to guard against indigent people getting hospital care using invalid Medicaid identification, just the ticket for a creep like Rick Adam.

I look back at the time I spent at Goldman and am amazed how corrupted I was by that experience. I spent a ton of money on fancy Paul Stuart suits and shoes that I gave to a thrift shop not long after starting at Columbia. The only “yuppie” artifact of my time spent there is a Mount Blanc ballpoint pen that I never use since the refills are so expensive.

The only thing that mattered to me at the time was the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. By day I worked at Goldman and by night I helped to organize Tecnica, a technical aid project, out of my living room. At one point, Newsday did a big article on Nicaragua solidarity in New York and the reporter came to visit me at Goldman. This is what he wrote:

Lou Proyect works in a Wall Street investment bank, one of 25 “database administrators” who sit in a numbing row of fluorescent-blanched cubicles and stares at computers until the end of the day. It is the latest variation on the kind of job he has held for 19 years. Tacked to the wall of his cubicle is the latest article cut out from PC Week, a personal computer trade magazine: “IBM’s PS/2s aren’t all that revolutionary.” Neither, he says, is Lou Proyect.

I can’t even remember what point I was trying to make at the time. Was I trying to say that I was not some stupid sectarian blathering about revolution? Or was I just trying to make sure that Goldman did not decide to fire me after the article appeared?

At any rate, they did get rid of me not long afterwards but not because of my politics. Looking back at my miserable but well-paid experience there, I have to say that it is the biggest favor that they could have done for me.

UPDATE

http://cbs4denver.com/local/adam.aircraft.pueblo.2.699343.html

Apr 14, 2008

Pueblo Pursues $2M After Adam Aircraft Bankruptcy

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) ― Pueblo officials say they will continue to pursue $2 million they say the city is owed after small-plane maker Adam Aircraft filed for bankruptcy.

Adam Aircraft shut down its operations at Pueblo, Englewood and Ogden, Utah, this year. AAI Acquisition Inc. won approval from a bankruptcy judge to buy the company last week.

AAI says the company will reopen at Centennial but has no immediate plans to restart operations in Pueblo or Ogden.

Pueblo City Attorney Tom Jagger says the city gave Adam Aircraft $1.4 million in exchange for a pledge to create 440 jobs in the city. Pueblo also bought and remodeled a building for the company.

Jagger says the city will try to recoup the money in court.

19 Comments »

  1. Dear Louis,

    Thank you for writing this biographical information.It’s always good to know the values and experiences of companions on this long trip. It’s encouraging to know that you are one of my trustworthy companions. Art Kunkin

    Comment by Art Kunkin — May 10, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

  2. So what happened to Jimmy Primavera and the Greek-American later on?

    Comment by Jim Farmelant — May 10, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

  3. Jayzuss Christ and I thought the bastards at Queensland University of Technology, who did me in, were bad. But these blokes are like the number one mothers…

    We have been trekking now for nearly three decades through the “Weak Labour Era” that Volcker initiated and horror stories are everywhere.

    When will it end I wonder?

    regards

    Gary

    Comment by Gary MacLennan — May 10, 2008 @ 10:23 pm

  4. Art Kunkin!?

    Talk about a blast from the past! I remember reading the L.A. Free Press as a lonesome 15-year-old radical in Phoenix, AZ. Later on when I moved to Los Angeles I ran into you a couple of times – once when you spoke at a Miltant Labor Forum in 1972 or 1973 at the SWP headquarters at Western Ave. & Santa Monica Blvd. The subject was “the Underground Press” or “the alternative press.” You recounted there how you had been a member of the SWP youth group in NYC in the late ’40s. You said you left the organization because they were just too square for you.

    The Freep was a great paper. Your greatest achievement, of course, was printing that list of all of the undercover cops in L.A. County.

    Good times, good times!

    Comment by John B. — May 10, 2008 @ 11:29 pm

  5. UHC would wipe out Rick Adam again.

    Comment by Renegade Eye — May 10, 2008 @ 11:48 pm

  6. for those who haven’t yet read it, I recommend “Liar’s Poker” By Michael Lewis. He was at Salomon Bros. in ’84-’86.

    Comment by m.c. — May 11, 2008 @ 8:57 pm

  7. Another useful book about the results of the general vileness of the Reagan era is White-collar sweatshop : the deterioration of work and its rewards in corporate America by Jill Andresky Fraser. She has a chapter in which she describes the way corporations in the 1980’s moved away from the long term employment system for their managerial employees and started the tradition of “clean out your desk and be gone in one hour” system of firing them at will (can’t recall the title of that chapter just now and I lent my copy out a while back). Fraser delicately mentions the possibility of white collar unions towards the end of her book, but also observes that there would be considerable resistance to the idea in the office cubicle.

    I think of that resistance, especially as it manifests itself in programmers and software engineers, as “the liberty trap”. By refusing the modest amount of mutual coercion (mutually agreed upon, one would hope) that belonging to a union and engaging in collective bargaining entails, they find themselves in a position of isolation and weak bargaining power vis-a-vis the executive suite, and must put up with longer work hours, less good working conditions, and the abuse of older employees that Louis talks about above in his tale of Goldman-Sachs. It seems to me, actually, that one might reasonably want to point to a loss of freedom in the worst cases as well.

    Comment by Feeder of Felines — May 13, 2008 @ 3:32 am

  8. Glad to see the C.P. feature back, Louis – another great post.

    Comment by Paul — May 15, 2008 @ 11:11 am

  9. Hello – I read your article regarding your Goldman Sachs experience with a lot of interst. I must be anonymous, but will tell you what I know as well. Adams went on to found NEON – New Area Age of Networks in Colorado. It failed – stockholders were builked out of millions because of false information and artifically overinflating stock prices. NEON went down hard. Then he starts this new company Recondo in Colorado to do the same thing, it is a software product that can tell you yes or no if the person is eligible with a high degree of inaccuracy. This product is already installed in at least one hospital. What product ? They did not have a full blown product ready to install if they were still doing analysis a month ago. Neon sold off the connectiy to Sungard, who sold it to Oppenheimer, that was the failed piece of a massive project in 1992. Neon is now defunct. Recondo is the new Neon.

    With this Adam Aircraft, they seemed to be doing fine, had back orders, and stated high earnings until one day they just declared bankruptcy – a chaper 7 and floored everyone. HOWEVER – most of the Adam Executives still run this new company “AAI” – By the way do you know what AAI stands for ? And the new AAI company resumed operations ONE FLOOR BELOW Recondo. SHHHHHH! It is a secret. And None-other than the former governor Bill Owens is one of their CEO’s to this new company “based in Russian oil and gas exploration”, (this is in the Wikipedia) but unfortunately erased from the Adam Website very soon after this information appeared.

    There is more to this story than meets your eye. But you are on to something, just from a feeling you had. I would recommend that you keep an eye on this story – some surprising things will come out of it shortly. (Please do not publish my email,) but you are welcome to contact me if you wish. I am a person kind of like you who found the same things out about this individual as well. And I also check for my own interest to see what else has happened. There are two words that fit “Serial CEO”.

    Thanks for listening,
    Bridgette

    Comment by Bridgette — June 3, 2008 @ 5:11 am

  10. test email

    Comment by Bridgette — June 3, 2008 @ 5:27 am

  11. I had that job from 1966 to 1981. When I retired there were one or two before Rick Adam whom I’ve never met. He actually owned an apartment very close to where I live but we never met. When Mike Morea, a 20 year GS veteran was fired, I wrote a nasty letter to the late John Weinberg. I’m not sure that John ever saw it as he was always friendly thereafter. The letter was probably processed by his assistant Jon Cohen. I will post that letter if I can find a copy.

    Comment by Steve Goldenberg — June 13, 2008 @ 4:24 am

  12. Couldnt get ur email but thought you could be interested in this
    article!

    The World Wild Fund For Nature (WWF), corporations and modern-day eugenics projects

    By Kwa Ali

    A detailed study, by the Multinational Monitor in 1990, listed that 29 individuals from the World Wild Fund For Nature (WWF ) board of directors and National Councils were affiliated at the highest rank to corporations such as “Union Carbide, Exxon Chemical Co and Monsanto”. In the same year, the WWF director was an ex-president of Exxon Chemical Co, the same company “accused of dumping illegally 2.9 million pounds of toxic material in a 1987 lawsuit”. Currently, WWF International president, since 2001, is Chief Emeka Anyaoku1, an honorary member of the Club of Rome and the Chairman of the Orient Petroleum board. Previously, he held the position of Secretary General of the British Commonwealth, a servant then of to the Queen Elizabeth of England.

    In 2000, WWF signed a 5 year contract worth £3.5 million with Lafarge Aggregates, a French multinational (fined in 1994 and 2008 for boosting profits through a cement cartel). In 2003, Lafarge Aggregates used the partnership with WWF to persuade local communities and environmental organisations on the benefits of the construction of a massive quarry in Harris, Scotland. As a WWF conservation partner, the company was assured: “a unique relationship that […] enhance brand image and add value to (your) marketing and communications strategy.” (Source: WWF Web-site).

    Another environmental organisation, Friends of the Earth called for an immediate cessation of such partnership. This was by no means the first WWF illegitimacy crisis as the WWF International’s first president was a German-born count, later known as Prince Bernhard of Holland2, organiser of the first Bilderberg meeting and linked to Nazis groups (IG Farben, the manufacturer of Zyklon B). In 1976, after the Lockheed bribery scandal and “operation Lock”, Prince Bernhard resigned and was replaced by John H. Loudon, a financial advisor to the Rockefeller Group3, a former CEO of Royal Dutch Shell and chairman of Shell Oil Co board. Since its creation, the WWF was funded by the 1001 Club, a club whose members comprise of the establishment with a long list of royal entities, powerful families and members of the business elite, with an entrance member fee, set at $10,000.

    The top executive positions at WWF seem to be reserved to those who come directly or have had experience in the corporate world, and more particularly the gas, mining or oil industries. Maurice Strong, first president of CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) and adviser to the World Bank Group on environmental matters was also a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation- which funded the first UN Earth Summit in 1972- over which he presided. He was working for Stronat, owner of ProChemCo and AZL (conglomerate with ventures in land, gas and oil, lead also by Adnan Khashoggi) when he became the Vice President of WWF Canada in the 1970’s.

    A strange event occurred in 2007 at the WWF office in Toronto, Canada which was investigated by the Medias and the police with great care to tell the “obvious facts” and hide the “crucial facts”. In 2007, Glen Davis, one of the wealthiest and largest donor to WWF was murdered at the basement of a garage, after a meeting. Glen Davis, heir to a Canadian mining giant (NM Davis corporation), had joined WWF in the early 1980’s and was sitting at the WWF-Canada board along with representatives from Manitou Investments, AGF Management, Catalyst Paper Corp, JP Morgan (big players in the banking and resource extraction industries) at the time of his death. His assassination has been linked to the trial of another Canadian (and ex-British lord) millionaire, Conrad Black, an ex-associate of his father Neil Davis from whom he had inherited.

    Recently, in January 2008, with very little inquisition from fellow environmental and conservation organisations; George Bourne brought his experience as an ex-senior executive to British Petroleum (BP) to WWF Australia. The relationship between WWF and oil companies (and the mining industry) is a close and durable one; Chevron made a very public donation of $ 4 million to WWF while the company was extracting oil in Papua New Guinea in 1999. These oil developments operations provoked much anger and criticism from the local population. By 2000, reports pointed to negative environmental and social spillages; corruption cases of officials linked to pressures by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group on the Government of Papua New Guinea to exchange natural resources for the repayment of the debt. Also, leaked documents from Chevron, during its oil drilling deals, facilitated by World Bank loans, stated “WWF will act as a buffer for the joint venture against environmentally damaging activities in the region, and against international environmental criticism”.

    Deals such as the one WWF made with Chevron, American Express, Inco Limited (tar extracting company), Canon and Unilever (the Marine Stewardship Council), CitiGroup, Kodak, Bank of America, DuPont (manufacturer of chemical products, with “a record of pollution, communities sickness and workers hazards”); are seen by multinationals as a cheap form of advertising as those “donations” to non-profit organisations are tax-exempt. Furthermore, this “cover-up” strategy by multinationals is part of a long list of image control tactics such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which perpetuates profits but with less negative public scrutiny.

    This attention to public criticism serves also as a diversion from the root problems; the development of economies of scale and its consequences on the environment, the ever-increasing concentration of corporate power in the hands of fewer companies, namely economic globalisation.

    Recent examples of such “image control tactics” through the use of Non Governmental Organisations have been largely developed for the “eco-friendly” stamps on products, certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Round Table for Sustainable Soy (RTSS). The RSPO and RSS agendas are controlled by companies among which, some have a record violation of human rights for the control of large lands by the expulsion of local indigenous communities, price fixing and tax evasions (e.g. Cargill)4. The participation of WWF5 in all the Roundtables was heavily criticized by more than 100 organisations who rejected the farce of certifications schemes, with no enforcement or compliance mechanisms to environmental and societal behavioural change for those multinationals causing deforestations, rural migrations and the loss of biodiversity.

    In 2006, the WWF board of the trustees was made up by representatives of telecom and Public Relations companies, investment banks, British tourism authorities, ex-officers of the British army, British intelligence officers and companies linked to Group 4. Group 4 is also known by grass-roots environmental organisations as the British private security firm- working on behalf of powerful arm dealers- to stop criticism by spying on activists.

    Hence, WWF does not only serve as “the green card” for multinationals but it serves also as an intermediary between government’s officials and those companies in the North interested in gathering intelligence for investment plans (oil drilling, tourism or mining) in the South.

    In present days, WWF is present all over the world with offices in 100 countries. Among the 2000 current projects, one is in the biosphere of Luki (Congo) with the partnership of the Belgian Cooperation, WWF-Belgium is making an evaluation and plan to implement a project for the exploitation of those reserves; which multinational will partnership for socially and environmentally damaging activities in Luki ? At the same time, WWF-Belgium in Congo is also accessing environmental/socio-economic indicators and promoting eco-tourism.

    When we go back to the creation of the World Wildlife Fund, we do not see the infamous Prince Bernhard but a biologist, known by the common public as the brother of Aldous Huxley and less known as an eminent Darwinist and eugenicist scientific who worked as a scientific adviser in the colonies of East Africa of the British empire in the 1930’s.

    Before creating the WWF with fellow conservationists, Julian Huxley6 saw into the creation of national parks in Kenya, used for tourists and stole from the tribal communities. A member of the British Eugenics Society7, he had previously studied the importance of non-human settlements for the need of animal conservation habitats and made often the less than “humanist” aphorism: “no-one doubts the wisdom of managing the germ-plasm of agricultural stocks, so why not apply the same concept to human stocks?”

    Population growth has been decried as a problem through its pressure on land, by WWF, since its inception. This recurrent theme of WWF (a reminder, perhaps, of its eugenicist creator) serves for the purpose of the construction of protected “natural parks”, designed for foreign tourists and implemented though massive expulsions of local communities, for the great interests of the mining, gas, oil and tourism industries.

    With the great efforts of a conservation group such as WWF allied with price-fixing multinationals, the problem of over-consumption of the world poor who “are reproducing too fast” will be resolved through the rise of prices of food commodities and environmental standards will be set through roundtables to commercialise green energies such as biofuels. (continued quote: “Therefore… they [the poors] must not have too easy access to relief or hospital treatment lest the removal of the last check on natural selection should make it too easy for children to be produced or to survive; long unemployment should be a ground for sterilisation.” (Julian Huxley, Man in the modern world,1947)

    The latest alliance of WWF with multinationals against the needs of the communities in the South has been expressed in its endorsement for “biofuels”. With a similar viewpoint, the UN and World Bank experts called for Third World countries to seek into the opportunities of economic development through “biofuels”, as a way of reviving their moribund agricultural sector, before denouncing in a convenient and timely manner the danger of such investments amid world food riots8.

    Between the first meeting of UNCTAD (United Nations Conferences on Trade And Development) on “partnership for development of the international community”, the “Biofuels Initiative” in 2005, sponsored by UNICA (Sugar Cane Industry Union) and the Convention on Biological diversity in 2008; the number of people, in the world, dying of hunger or malnutrition increased from 17 million in 1978 (0.3% of world population) to the predicted 150 million for 2008 (2.2% of world population).

    Global food crisis are not a new phenomenon, solely linked to the transformation of food crops into fuel, but have been linked since the 1970’s to the integration of world food markets in one market; in which small poor farmers in the South have to compete with the subsidized rich farmers of the North. The current trade system is at the roots of the continuing impoverishment of southern countries; as the system is dictated in the North by corporations against the needs of the common people. As a former WTO official described the institution: “This is the place where governments collude in private against their domestic pressure groups”.

    In going in line with the interests of transnational companies, WWF USA gave its unequivocal support to the North American Free Trade Agreements (NAFTA). This is the same agreement that brought hunger, epitomized during the “Tortilla crisis” to Mexico, important job losses in both the US and Mexican camp.

    In “Green politics and the Global Trade: NAFTA and the future of environment”, author John Audley gives an account on the access to institutions (US highest official positions) and the presence at the signature of NAFTA of United States Trade Representatives (USTR) advisors and WWF trustee founder of the WWF Russell E.Train and Kathryn Fuller, president of WWF (1989-2005), also a former USTR and current director of Alcoa.Inc. To know this particular point, explains the incapacity of the WWF to denounce the World Trade regime and its free-trade acolytes, causing global warming by repeatedly banning the practise of environmental policies, seen as barriers to trade.

    It is then urgent to ask WWF for whom the organisation works: the business elite? On which grounds can the conservation organisation claim to defend the environment when it is in partnership with the biggest polluters in the world? Can a Not-for-Profit organisation run a budget surplus of more than US$100 million (accounts are protected by the banking secret as the WWF headquarter is in Switzerland) and still call itself a Non-Profit organisation? Can, we, the defenders of social justice let an organisation linked with so many corporate and elite interests control and operate in such a vast areas of lands in the Third World, as a defender of neo-colonialists and eugenicists projects?

    Comment by Elga — September 1, 2008 @ 8:37 pm

  13. Recondo Technology is working to change the way we pay for heatlhcare. They want to see us all pay up-front, before receiving care, and they assist healthcare providers in calculating how much to collect before they provide the care. The idea is to eliminate the costs associated with collecting patient balances and the subsequent bad debt that is written off.

    I worked for the company and was amazed that people so in the dark about the healthcare industry could find the funding to build a product other companies, some of the largest in healthcare, had already developed. I have never worked with smarter idiots in my life!

    I tolerated Jim Burns with his ADD and knee jerk management style. I tolerated Rick Adam and his completey idiotic statements about healthcare, which only proved how little he understood about the industry he says Recondo will change. I tolerated the BS I was required to communicate to all prospects and clients. I would not tolerate the fradulant use of one client’s private information for the purpose of implementing a second client.

    That was my end. Glad I’m not crazy and there are others who can relate.

    Comment by Maj — February 27, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

  14. For some reason today, I decided to Google around to find out what if anything to Rick Adam and his family (his first family, that is). I guess I had come across a reference to Baxter International where he was an executive in the early 1980s. That’s when I knew him and his family. He had a wife, who, by the way, worked for Arthur Anderson, and two sons, a teenager and a younger boy. They lived in one of the posh suburbs north of Illinois (Glencoe). I remember he had a bright red Porsche and he was seen as a rising star at Baxter (maybe that’s where his heath care “expertise” comes in). He was youngish, handsome, athletic, gung-ho. Rick and his first wife split up. It’s interesting to see that a few years later he moved to New York, right, to work at Goldman Sachs. Now he’s ended up in Colorado, in a very posh suburb there. I knew something about his military and West Point background. One glowing article about him, when he was launching his aircraft company, mentioned that he now had SEVEN children. I wonder with how many wives. He and his first wife, I think, married pretty young, and started having babies. Just very interesting to find out what happened to him. If you have any more background information, I’d love to hear it, and I can tell a bit more about my acquaintance with the family.

    Comment by MSterns — April 13, 2009 @ 11:48 pm

  15. “…Shortly after Burns arrived, Goldman was flooded with these snot-nosed kids from Arthur Anderson wearing suspenders and “power ties”. They looked like what central casting had turned up for Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street”. None of them really knew what the hell they were doing, but Arthur Anderson charged Goldman $1000 per day for their services.”

    One of the snot-nosed Anderson consultants who worked at Goldman during that era was Jonathan Egol (whose father was a partner at the accounting firm). Egol eventually became a full time employee of Goldman and today is Managing Director. He was the boss of Fabrice Tourre (aka Fabulous Fab of Abacus fame.

    Professor William Black discusses the concept of the “criminogenic” workplace, and Goldman sure seems to be a case study in this.

    Comment by Agustin.Puechredon — August 7, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

  16. […] in 2008 I wrote about my experiences at Goldman-Sachs after the 1987 financial crisis left me in a precarious situation not unlike these […]

    Pingback by The Company Men « Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — January 2, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

  17. […] Toward the end of my stint there, a new EDP chief came in, a real prick named Rick Adam that I have written about before. I documented his sleazy past at an aircraft company he launched after leaving Goldman but I did […]

    Pingback by Debt, deadbeats, death, and deliverance « Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — May 4, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  18. I know this is way late to the party, but I googled Rick Adam today after reading this article: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/recent-business/speculators-exploit-iraq-to-spike-oil-and-gas-prices and came across your blog. Fascinating but not surprising information about Rick. Anyway, I was at Adam Aircraft from the start and saw his douchebaggery first hand. I shared some of my experiences here: http://www.reddit.com/r/flying/comments/1uvy02/a_few_frightening_tales_of_adam_aircraft_from/. There’s so much more that I could not share because it would be very easy to identify who I was in the company and then get directly sued.

    Comment by Barry Eilerson — June 26, 2014 @ 7:17 pm


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