Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Mystery Wrapped in a Mystery: Zero Hedge Files FOIA with Treasury

The mysterious Tyler Durden's Zero Hedge (There is no definitive public information as to who he/she/they really are that write under the pen name Durden.) has filed a Freedom of Information Act with the U.S. Treasury seeking information on elements of the mysterious, President's Working Group on Financial Markets, a.k.a., the Plunge Protection team.

Specifically, the FOIA filing is focused on the PPT committee of Asset Managers that was formed in on September 25, 2007. The committee is headed by (you guessed it) a former Goldman Sachs alum, named Eric Mindich. Durden writes:
...Eric Mindich, best known for his Goldman Sachs wunderkind status, who at 27, was the youngest Goldmanite ever to be promoted to partner. In 2004, Eric split off from Goldman, nonetheless maintaining a favorable relationship with the mothership through its "Fund of Funds" division (we jest), and its various Prime Brokerage client platforms, by starting Eton Park, which with its starting capital of $3 billion, is still likely a record of highest AUM at a fund's inception.
The committee's members are:

Eric Mindich, Chair, Eton Park Capital Management
Anne Casscells. AETOS Capital, LLC
James S. Chanos, Kynikos Associates LP
Anne Dinning, D. E. Shaw & Co., L.P.
Jonathon S. Jacobson, Highfields Capital Management
Marc Lasry,Avenue Capital Group
Edward A. Mulé, Silver Point Capital
Daniel S. Och, Och-Ziff Capital Management
Daniel H. Stern, Reservoir Capital Group
William Von Mueffling, Cantillon Capital
Michael Vranos, Ellington Management Group LLC

The Zero Hedge filing is seeking to find out what they were up to around the time of the Lehman Brothers collapse. Writes Zero Hedge:

Zero Hedge is submitting a FOIA request to the US Treasury to disclose any and all information, records, emails, telephone conversations, with and amongst members of the committee and specifically focusing on former Goldman Sachs employee and Chair of the Asset Managers' Committee Eric Mindich, at and around the time of the Lehman collapse. We expect nothing but heavily redacted pages at best. Yet with recent scrutiny of latent Goldman interests in virtually every segment of the executive branch, Zero Hedge does find it oddly convenient, that in those dark (for Goldman Sachs) days, the two key people making capital markets related decisions were yet another two Goldman Sachs alumni: Hank Paulson and Eric Mindich. And we believe in the spirit of fake transparency so heavily endorsed by the President, it is worth at least attempting to get some additional information on the deliberations by the proxy entities that truly run this country's economy and capital markets.

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