It's official. Through the persistence of Bloomberg's lawyers and the teeth of the Freedom Of Information Act we can now all add "Saint Omo" to our list of cool crisis acronyms that can impress (or scare away) people on the cocktail party circuit.
Saint Omo stands for the far less fun Short Term Open Market Operations, which was a lending entity dreamed up in the throes of the financial crisis, when Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke were secretly bailing out a fleet of sinking ships as fast as they possibly could, and in ways and amounts never seen before.
The latest revelation in this story is that Goldman Sachs (GS), enemy of the common man and vampire squid atop a cowering nation, imbibed itself on a $15 billion life line -- the single biggest gulp of them all -- and, of course, courtesy of Saint Omo, the Fed and therefore, us taxpayers.
Are you mad yet?
Depending on which version of this story you read, you are at least a little miffed but probably for different reasons. At least that's how it played out in our special joint session discussion, including our friend and Daily Ticker brother Aaron Task.
While the Goldman angle is certainly notable, for us it wasn't that important. At least compared to the fact that the entire process was done in secret and kept in secret like some sort of high level military operation. And also, while the Goldman loan was the largest, it was not the largest borrower in total. (In fact, Goldman's lump was smaller than the St. Omo borrowings of several foreign banks, including Deutsche Bank (DB), Credit Suisse (CS) and BNP Paribas (BNP.PA).
This is not a defense of Goldman Sachs any more than it is an indictment. If anything, our anger is more pointed toward the process than the players. While it is easy and maybe even justified to get angry about it, to me at least, it all just feels a little old and stale.
What about you? Let us know what you think in the comments section below or you can reach me on Twitter @MattNesto
- Tim Geithner
- Hank Paulson
- Open Market Operations
- BNP Paribas
- Goldman Sachs
- Ben Bernanke
- Credit Suisse