The Work

July 16, 2009 12:44 PM

Goldman Sachs Backs Down in Legal Battle With Blogger

Posted by Brian Baxter

Mike Morgan, a Florida-based investment adviser who started the controversial blog, has prevailed in a case he brought against the investment bank in April.

Goldman, which exceeded expectations by reporting $3.4 billion in second quarter profits this week, quietly agreed to several stipulations last month in order to dismiss the case.

The Am Law Daily previously reported that Goldman had sought to muzzle Morgan's Web site and its conspiracy-tinged blog posts via a cease-and-desist letter sent by Chadbourne & Parke IP practice cochair John Squires in April. (Squires served as Goldman's chief in-house IP counsel before leaving for Chadbourne in January.)

Morgan responded by hiring Joseph Beckman from The Intellect Law Group in Palm City, Fla., filing a complaint against Goldman in federal court in Florida later that month seeking a declaratory judgment that he was not infringing on the bank's trademarks.

The suit wasn't Morgan's first court battle with a corporation he was crusading against on the Internet, but he appears to have emerged victorious in the Goldman matter provided he maintains a prominently displayed disclaimer on his Web site disavowing any affiliation with the investment bank.

In turn, Goldman agreed to refrain from interfering with Morgan's use of Squires and Chadbourne IP litigation counsel Peter Bucci represented Goldman in the litigation. Squires declined an Am Law Daily request for comment.

But Morgan, who recently told a British newspaper that he'd had a heart attack during the spat and was stepping down from the day-to-day operations of his site, did take some time to crow. In a blog post earlier this month, he wrote that "Lord [sic] Blankfein and his Band of Merry Thugs blinked, and we sliced their heads off."

While Morgan's rants might seem off-the-wall, if a recent feature story by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi is any indication, some of Morgan's ideas are starting to receive mainstream attention. Taibbi compares Goldman to a "vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity" in a scathing indictment of the investment bank that has Wall Street buzzing.

A Goldman spokesman told Reuters that "Taibbi's article is a compilation of just about every conspiracy theory ever dreamed up about Goldman Sachs . . . We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance of being a force for good."

Goldman's charitable endeavors aside, the firm's surging profits and repayment of government loans have allowed compensation to return to 2007 levels.

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Is only a conspiracy of greed. If you are unemployed Goldman was a factor in it. Whether usurping profits for 30 year old multi-millionaires, or wallpapering the world with over-rated mortgage derivatives or creating a trillion dollar credit default swap market that serves no significant economic purpose other than legal gambling they are it. They are a major factor in the house of cards that the US economy has become.

They don't make money financing growth, they make money creating esoteric instruments and trading strategies that are so divorced from main street that they really no longer serve a valid purpose. Gordon Gecko would be proud.

$3.4 billion in profits while the economy is in shambles and even super educated people like myself are out of work. As the poster above me aptly said, they are in the business of fleecing the citizens of the country by coming up with complex and ridiculous financial instruments in order to create markets through which they can essentially rip people off, e.g. Auction Rate Securities. Even when their greed topples the house, the government steps in to bail them out. And then they claim they need to give out big bonuses to "retain top talent"--the same "talent" that destroyed the company and the market and robbed the country??? How can they even get away with even stating such non-sense?

In the real world, when you do a bad job you get fired, oh wait, you get fired / laid off even if you do a good job. But on Wall Street and upper levels of the Corp. world, you get millions of dollars regardless of your performance or whether you even did any work, e.g. work for a few month or a year and get $30 million

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