A Fed whistleblower on Goldman's conflicts² ProPublica’s Jake Bernstein reports on the intriguing tale of Carmen Segarra, a former Goldman Sachs bank examiner at the New York Federal Reserve who was fired for determining—and then insisting, after being told from superiors to say otherwise—that the bank’s conflict-of-interest policies were sorely lacking. Finding conflicts of interest at Goldman Sachs, of course, is like finding gambling in the casino. Conflicts are part of its raison d’être. As Bernstein points out, the old joke on Wall Street is that the firm’s motto is “If you have a conflict, we have an interest.” But Segarra’s was a very specific bureacratic mandate: Find out whether Goldman’s conflicts policies conformed with Fed rules issued amidst the financial crisis. Segarra’s notes of an initial meeting read like farce: Goldman said it didn’t have a company-wide conflicts policy. “Our eyes were open like saucers,” she said. In other words, even Goldman’s conflicts-of-interest oversight had conflicts baked in!
John Sperling John Glen Sperling (born January 9, 1921) is an American businessman who is credited with leading the contemporary for-profit education movement in the United States. His fortune is based on his founding of the for-profit University of Phoenix for working adults in 1976, which is now part of the publicly traded Apollo Group. For ventures ranging from pet cloning to green energy, he has widely been described as an "eccentric" self-made man by the Washington Post and other media. Early life and education Sperling was born into a poor sharecropper family in the Missouri Ozarks. His father worked for the railroad and his mother was a fundamentalist Christian. He spent several years as a sailor in the merchant marine, and even as a wandering 1950s beatnik. Entrepreneurship Apollo Group Apollo Group (NASDAQ: APOL) is an S&P 500 corporation based in the South Phoenix area of Phoenix, Arizona. University of Phoenix Activism Bio-medical projects
Michael K. Clifford Michael K. Clifford is an American businessman who is credited with leading the first regionally accredited non-profit university to convert to a for-profit company in American history. He is viewed by some as an education entrepreneur, finance strategist, and catalyst for creating high growth education companies, specifically in the online education sector. Early life Formative relationships In 1981, Clifford became a Christian; his decision to commit to a personal relationship with Christ marked a significant new direction in his life. Clifford's relationship with Bill Bright sparked his interest in for-profit education. Career roles Clifford is an entrepreneur. Clifford is the CEO of Significant Federation, a holding company for several for-profit educational institutions, including L.A. Business philosophy Clifford's business approach included the following pillars: knowledgeable investors, seasoned management, and niche platform companies. References
Jack Welch John Francis "Jack" Welch, Jr. (born November 19, 1935) is an American business executive, author and chemical engineer. He was chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. During his tenure at GE, the company's value rose 4000%. In 2006, Welch's net worth was estimated at $720 million. When he retired from GE he took a severance payment of $417 million, the largest such payment in history. Early life and education Jack Welch was born in Peabody, Massachusetts to John, a Boston & Maine Railroad conductor, and Grace, a homemaker. He received a MS and PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1960.[verification needed] General Electric Welch joined General Electric in 1960. Welch was named a vice president of GE in 1972. CEO Through the 1980s, Welch sought to streamline GE. Each year, Welch would fire the bottom 10% of his managers, irrespective of absolute performance. In 1986, GE acquired RCA. Criticism
University of Phoenix Patents Adaptive Activity Stream for Its Learning Platform The University of Phoenix recently was awarded a patent (#8341148 B1) for an adaptive activity stream related to its online learning platform. From an initial reading of the patent, it appears very broad to me (deja vu all over again). From the press release: Apollo Group (APOL), the parent company of University of Phoenix®, today announced that it received a United States patent related to its innovative online classroom platform. This patent is the next step in the “Learning Genome Project” – UoP’s major investment in a next-generation online learning platform. Techniques are described herein for implementing an activity stream. The specific patent claim #1 (most other claims refer to claim #1): The patent lists several “embodiments” of the concept – examples of approaches that could be pursued to implement the activity stream. Figure 2 shows an example user interface (very poor quality): Discussions here or in the Google+ post. Google+ Comments
University of Phoenix’ plot to corner the cheap education market The University of Phoenix played a key role in defeating legislation that would have allowed community colleges in Arizona to offer low-priced bachelor’s degree programs, interviews and state records show. The for-profit college, which is one of the state’s biggest employers, provided research and political muscle for a multi-year lobbying campaign against “community college baccalaureate degrees” – out of concern that those programs would undercut its business model. For-profit schools and community colleges generally serve the same working, non-traditional student demographic, but tuition rates at community colleges are often much lower. Historically, community colleges have offered two-year associate’s degrees, with students then transferring to other schools to earn a bachelor’s degree – also known as a baccalaureate degree. The company also sponsored research, circulated a letter, and published an op-ed opposing the programs. The ad doesn’t mention the tuition price difference. Dr.
Goldman Sachs and the privatisation of the university In a posting on Pearson and the privatisation of academic labour I noted that the acceleration of privatisation inside and against the higher education sector was re-structuring universities as: an architecture is opened-up that threatens the public funding, regulation and governance of HE. The profitability of HE partnerships for companies like Pearson Education highlights how educational technology is developed as a way-in both to the extraction of value from universities, and to the recalibration of the purpose of universities to catalyse such extraction further. Partnerships and leverage are enforced, in-part, because academic labour is shackled inside the demands of performativity revealed in the research evaluations or student satisfaction scores. Engaging with external partners like Pearson for service-driven efficiencies make sense for universities that are being recalibrated as businesses. a recent complaint from the U.S. We might ask, then, what is to be done?
Willetts seeks private finance for overseas expansion The universities and science minister has appealed to private investors to support overseas expansion for UK universities and stated that investment bank Goldman Sachs is “keen to investigate this possibility”. David Willetts delivered a speech on international higher education at the Goldman Sachs-Stanford University Global Education Conference on 20 June. His call for universities to seek alternative financing for expansion overseas comes amid a drive for every government department to identify sources of economic growth. The minister is also seeking ways for UK universities to maximise the number of overseas students they teach abroad. Mr Willetts said: “Our universities are internationally recognised: they are a great British brand. The minister hopes that Goldman Sachs will be able to identify private investors willing to finance developments such as overseas branch campuses and distance-learning operations. firstname.lastname@example.org