Ex-Lehman CEO Lobbies for Little Guy; Banks Are Ugly Ducklings: Finance Winners & Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Thursday was a day of deja vu in the finance world, from the return of Dick Fuld -- who didn't want to talk about his tenure as CEO of Lehman Brothers -- to yet another executive moving from Goldman Sachs (GS) to a government post.


How long does it take for a disgraced CEO to re-enter the public eye? Approximately seven years. Dick Fuld, the former CEO of the defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers made a rare public appearance at the Marcum MicroCap Conference on Thursday.

Though he addressed his time at Lehman and the bank's demise in the financial crisis of 2008, Fuld's purpose was to lobby on behalf of small companies without access to credit who represent "the belly of America." 

While Fuld's remarks were widely circulated on Twitter, Bloomberg reported that few of the conference attendees knew who Dick Fuld was

"Asked about Fuld, several attendees said they didn't know who he is. Vincent Genovese, chief executive officer of NAC Global Technologies (NACG), said the name didn't ring a bell, then pulled out one of his company's 'harmonic gears' to demonstrate the technology," Bloomberg reported.

But don't feel sorry for Fuld: He told the crowd that his 96-year-old mother still loves him.


If there's one thing to know when following the banking industry, it's that there are many moving parts. 

Last week, Citigroup (C) was fined over $1 billion for it's role in rigging the euro-dollar exchange rate. On Wednesday, Euromoney Institutional Investor reported that Citigroup is the largest bank by volume in foreign-exchange trading. On Thursday, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat told a group at Bernstein's 31st Annual Strategic Decisions Conference that trading volume had slowed since the first quarter.

Of course, all of these things make sense together: As the largest bank by volume in forex-trading, one can assume that any wrongdoing would be proportionately large and deserving of a proportionately larger fine. As for declining trading volumes, markets are fickle and cyclical. 

Still, reconciling the three can sometimes make the mind reel.

Citigroup stock closed down 32 cents to $54.44.


Another thing the banking industry has is revolving doors -- especially between Wall Street and government financial oversight bodies.

The latest Wall Street defection to the public sector comes from Goldman Sachs. Andrew Donohue will be leaving his post in Goldman Sach's asset management unit to become an aide for SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

Donohoe has worked for the SEC before and also served as global general counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

Goldman Sachs stock closed up 7 cents to $208.48.


Finally, despite the snark in financial news, U.S. Bancorp (USB) CEO Richard Davis wants investors to give banks a chance.

"It's like a teenager with bad pimples and bad hair," Davis said Thursday during Bernstein's 31st Annual Strategic Decisions Conference. "In a couple of years they will be really attractive. Hang with us, keep dating us, we'll come around."

While banks have been hampered by low rates, regulations, and fines, Davis says that they are not in an "Armageddon scenario" and that banks are poised to do well when the economy normalizes.

U.S. Bancorp stock closed down 16 cents to $43.70.

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