Posted by: jhamon | July 7, 2009

Goldman Loses Nuclear Football

The Nuclear Football

The Nuclear Football

From  Bloomberg – Goldman May Lose Millions From Ex-Worker’s Code Theft:

July 7 (Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. may lose its investment in a proprietary trading code and millions of dollars from increased competition if software allegedly stolen by a former employee gets into the wrong hands, a prosecutor said.

Sergey Aleynikov, a 39-year-old ex-Goldman Sachs computer programmer, was arrested July 3 after arriving at Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, U.S. officials said.

At a court appearance July 4 in Manhattan, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Facciponti told a federal judge that Aleynikov’s alleged theft — the largest breach at Goldman Sachs — poses a risk to U.S. markets. Aleynikov transferred the code, worth millions of dollars, to a computer server in Germany, and others may have had access to it, Facciponti said, adding that New York-based Goldman Sachs may be harmed if the software is disseminated.


It is somehow a delicious irony that Goldman, about whom I haven’t much nice to say, has lost control of its nuclear football.  On the other hand as a developer of software trading algorithms, it’s alarming to see how contrary to popular song, one bad apple could indeed spoil the whole bunch (couldn’t resist just because Donny Osmond is still with us, though we’ve bid farewell to the King of Pop).

I especially love how Goldman has been able to re-frame their problem as a National Security Issue and lead the U.S. Attorney General’s office into carrying their water.  These guys are absolutely the best!  Two thumbs up for originality!  And a special commendation for brazenness!

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  1. […] about who has the fastest computer and the cutest algorithm of the week.  (See my previous posts: Goldman Loses Nuclear Football and Why Goldman Will Not Be Our Broker.  I believe this shennanigans is where Goldman has been […]

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