Olympus Yakuza connection suspect. Goldman Sachs makes money on the back of Olympus?


Everyday there are more and more true (or false?) news about the Olympus fee scandal. As usual take all news with a grain of salt. It’s so hard to understand what’s REALLY happening behind the scenes. There might be some kind of “obscure” interest that we are not aware of. The only thing I hope is that Olympus can soon take action to stop the never ending negative media reports.

The New York Times (Click here) writes that “In a memo prepared by investigators and circulated at a recent meeting of officials from Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission, the Tokyo prosecutor’s office and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, officials say they are trying to determine whether Olympus worked with organized crime syndicates to obscure billions of dollars in past investment losses and then paid them exorbitant sums for their services.” and “The memo says investigators believe that over half of that amount has been channeled to organized crime syndicates, including the country’s largest, the Yamaguchi Gumi. The memo does not make clear whether Olympus knew about those links. But if confirmed by investigators, an association with organized crime could prompt a delisting of Olympus shares from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, under the exchange’s rules.

There is another huge surprise coming out via Z3n.tv (Click here) reports that Goldman Sachs earned $26 million by short selling “approximately 830,000 Olympus stocks the day before Woodford was dismissed“. As you see there are so many obscure interests behind the story! If we really would put a Lupe on all companies and banks we might discover that the whole finance world is a mess. But as I said many times, I am a small writer living in the middle of the alps. My only hope is that Olympus employees will not be affected by that mess.


  • Robbie

    so the BBC hoax commentator was right
    Goldman Sachs rules the world LOL

  • Bu

    Hardly surprising that organised crime would be involved given the sums of money. What differentiates them from the likes of Goldmans is simply a discussion on semantics.

    • admin


    • CRB

      100% agree………

    • Bob B.

      Short trading in any form should be considered criminal activity.

  • Camajan

    “if Olympus knew”
    What does this mean? Olympus is not a person! No company is!
    There are 2 sides. Did the shareholders knew. Or did the management knew.
    Shareholders might have been in the dark but direscors and people that really run the company knew this for ages. It was in a way they job to implement it into daily business. That is my 2c, at least

    • Yeah. I believe companies are persons when Texas executes one.

  • Olympius

    There has been a lot of very credible evidence of Yakuza involvement in the Olympus fiasco, one of the many reasons why I think it’s a safe bet that Olympus will not survive as we currently know that company.

    Not that I’m happy about it, far from it. But once that stock is delisted, Olympus will be carved up like a Thanksgiving Day turkey. I’m not expecting the unprofitable camera division to survive…

    – Olympius

  • > The only thing I hope is that Olympus can soon take action to stop the never ending negative media reports.

    I would rather hope that Oly wouldn’t try to stop the “negative reports” – rather would concentrate on fixing their book keeping and doing something for a change what would warrant a positive report.

    But first we have to be prepared for the next wave of negative news – when Oly would release revised and correct copy of their books for past 20 years.

    > As you see there are so many obscure interests behind the story!

    I would not be surprised if Goldman Sachs is connected to Japanese Yakuza.

    Most of the Wall Street to me are the white collar crime syndicates, nothing more. They simply lobbied (aka bribed) Washington to make them legal.

    And such, in the world of global economy, it wouldn’t be surprising to find the crime syndicates to be well connected and cooperating with each other.

    > My only hope is that Olympus employees will not be affected by that mess.

    Crossing fingers.

    I wouldn’t want to loose a job in that economy.

    Though Oly’s business (as was reported before) is rather lucrative to many, including Canon and Samsung who want to expand into medical market, thus the folks have pretty good chances. Let’s hope that in worst case some Japanese company would take them over.

    • Napiersabre

      We don’t know what is and isn’t profitable in Olympus. Certainly they couldn’t have carried on with Camera’s if they were not making an operation profit. What the books say after the recent revelations is immaterial. They had to show something wasn’t making a profit to hide the losses on unrelated activities. If that loss had been put against the medical division it would have had a much bigger effect on the shares.

      This will take some time to sort out and could have massive implications for many Japanese companies. This is but the tip of an iceberg that goes far beyond Oly and in time Oly will be but a footnote in the overall saga.

      For those who have already started to dance on the grave of Olympus I say this; watch out for what you wish for, it could strike at the heart of your favourite Japanese company.

      • > This will take some time to sort out and could have massive implications for many Japanese companies. This is but the tip of an iceberg that goes far beyond Oly and in time Oly will be but a footnote in the overall saga.

        I certainly hope it would be so.

        But the “massive implications” have failed to even surface in any discussions or comments by the Japanese officials. One would have thought that one month time is enough for politicians to publish a guideline for the companies, a guideline which is ought to become a law in future. Yet silence still persists – and that flies in the face of the large Oly investors who about 3 weeks ago voiced their concern that Japanese officials and business hide too much information about the ongoing crisis.

      • You’re confusing a bunch of things.

        First, operational profit is not profit. Olympus could well have been making an operational profit (sales minus expenses associated with those sales) and losing money. Indeed, we’re almost certain that this is the case. The initial event that provoked the whole 20-year coverup was a loss on speculative investments. The speculative investments were an attempt to make the company look more profitable than it was. Funny how often that actually turns out to make a company look less profitable than it was ;~).

        They weren’t showing something that was unprofitable to hide losses. They were BUYING things for more than they were worth in order to pay back the original loss. Unfortunately, two things appear to be true: (1) the initial acquisitions didn’t pay back the full loss so they kept having to repeat the process over and over (i.e., they got caught on the viggerish); and (2) the things that they acquired were actually unprofitable businesses with no chance of profit but no chance of closing them. It appears that the Gyrus deal was an attempt to finally do a deal big enough to get out from the original losses. But the other three acquisitions are an example of things Olympus has absorbed that continue to drain money out of the company because they couldn’t close them down.

        Other Japanese companies did the same speculative investments that Olympus did. Indeed, most Japanese companies did. But the one clear difference is that most of those didn’t try to hide the losses for 20 years. In the camera-related companies I don’t know of any other company that has clear questionable acquisition issues like Olympus. Most of them seem to have covered their losses with bonds.

  • BDe

    If one trace back the links to the comments about Goldman, it appears that the business publication cited published reports on short selling on the exchange, with the securities firm listed.

    Remember these firms perform brokerage functions, so to say the trade was for Goldman’s benefit is very suspect especially if you read the original report. As a broker-dealer they trade for their customers.

  • As soon as I read the “bad” news and shares fell below 7,00 € I ordered them. Olympus seems to have been much more profitable than anyone knew until now. As I see it: The fraud is unveiled and Olympus is able to earn it´s own money for themselves from now on. Else, they will have claims for damage payments against some obvious Persons/Companies. Which is again much better then what the situation was before. Think of all the money they can earn from now and compare the situation to before what is now known. I may be wrong but I should be right on that. Any thoughts?

    • HB

      I just bought some shares on monday too. It’s “99 percent possibility and 1 percent risk” (to lose everything). I think Oly is too big and to important for japanese economy.
      Maybe camera division is going to be sold (shares should go up then..). Possible Oly is divided, for sure there will be some changes in the company. I’ll wait at least until Dec 14th and we’ll all see what’s happening next…

      • Sorry, but Olympus stock would be highly speculative, and basically the equivalent to the highest risk junk bonds right now. Both your reasonings are incorrect.

        @OlympusFan: you’re mistaking “operational profits” for “profits.” Let’s say I take out a massive for US$10 million with 10% interest (US$1m a year in interest) and have a products that pull in US$900k a year with a 50% profit margin. Operationally, it looks like I make US$450k a year in profit. When I pay back the , I actually have a US$550k loss. Olympus has 5 times as much debt as equity on the books as they’ve been reported. I think we’re about to find out that it was worse than that. Far worse. Sure, if we were able to extract the endoscope business and run it as a separate business with no debt it would be enormously profitable. That’s likely what will happen: Hoya or someone else in the business who has cash will pick it up for a song.

        @HB: Olympus is small compared to other Japanese brands you probably know. While the Japanese won’t likely let the Olympus jobs go away, that doesn’t mean that the company won’t go away. Indeed, the way that jobs are saved is that back room deals get made (mostly by banks) about who’ll pick up the assets and keep them running. Olympus has too much debt to survive without bankruptcy given what’s happened. So one way or another, those holding the debt will determine what happens to the jobs.

        Olympus hasn’t made any statement about financial solvency, which I find unusual. At this point, they should have made a public statement about covenants (in US filings, it would be required). I’d have to guess that they’ve got s that are callable at this point, and if they get delisted, probably all their debt is callable. That’s exactly how the banks will force the issue: bankruptcy or prearranged asset sales. The problem for you as a stock holder is that the only asset sales that would amount to anything positive are the endoscope business and the camera business, and neither sale at this point would be likely to generate enough money to pay off creditors, let alone stockholders.

        So you’re betting on the following set of things:

        1. That Olympus has no callable debt.
        2. That Olympus does nothing (e.g. miss the Dec 14th filing) that triggers a callable debt event.
        3. That Olympus has completely and totally wiped all previous losses off the books with the last set of bogus acquisitions and payments.
        4. That Olympus has no corporate liability in presenting 20 years of incorrect financial data.
        5. That Olympus has enough cash on hand to sustain itself for the foreseeable future.
        6. That Olympus overall is profitable and cashflow positive.
        7. That Olympus’ creditors have no further leverage over them.

        • tub33

          Are Japananese bankruptcy laws like US bankruptcy laws? At this point I don’t see any option other than bankruptcy and I also don’t see what’s wrong with it. It exists to help wipe the slate clean. Creditors get a fraction owed to them. Shareholders should get wiped out. Some other companies can now buy the assets without assuming any debt. What % of employees would lose their jobs? They should be trying to manage a controlled descent into bankruptcy, not trying to fix the unfixaable.

  • Olympius

    How much do you think that stock will be worth once Olympus is delisted? It’s a bet I would not take, except to make some $$$ on short term fluctuations, which can be rather significant at this time.

    Both the Yakuza involvement and the FACT of 15+ years of fraudulent financial statements is more than enough to get them kicked off the exchange. The fraud is too deep, and has gone on to long for the typical “slap on the wrist” sort of treatment Japanese companies usually get for white collar crime.

    – Olympius

    • The real value of the company (and therefore the value of the shares) should remain the same whether they are listed or not. How much less can a company be worth if they could pay all this senseless money and still have been such an “average” company financially? Yes, they can punish the company. But they would maybe only punish the shareholders if you are right. It is the managers and board who should be punished so they will have to look at this perspective, too. And if I am right, they should not carve the losses in stone but let the company come back with its real values. Maybe then it was just too early too much to throw out the shares. Again, I do not know it, but I want to keep up this perspective because it helps Olympus and its employees … (It all started for me with an OM 2N and the XA …)

      • ckb

        They are not an average company. The company has been losing money for 20 years and has cooked their books to stay afloat. The money flow will dry up. No one will deliver anything to them without money up front. No one will invest in equipment to produce things for olympus needs. Orders will be reduced since they do not have the money to pay up front. Prices of parts will go up since they have to pay for risk of suppliers. Everything costs more for a company that has lost money for 20 years. Without a strong leader and a plan for the core of the company Olympus is worth way more for its parts than as a company.

        There will be even more fallout before this scandal is over. Remember the spectacular scandal and crash of Livedoor.

      • Olympius

        I think what the previous executives have done to Olympus is beyond any help we can give. Buying shares or buying product isn’t going to erase what seems to be 15 to 20 years of financial shenanigans and criminal wrong doing.

        Recent reports I’ve read are now putting the total amount of money UNACCOUNTED for on Olympus’ books at five billion USD!!!!! That’s insane! Put that in context with their massive debt to equity ratio (well in favor of the debt), along with the fact that the debt is most certainly underreported, and you have a company that might just be worthless.

        It’s very sad, as there will be a lot of innocent people hurt by Olympus’ downfall. But such is the case always in politics and business when leaders go rouge.

        – Olympius

        • 1. Wouldn´t these 5 Billion be a claim of the company against those criminals who took the money?

          2. And what company can offord to “lose” money for 20 years and still be there if not by letting the real earnings float through the company to the criminals? If you do not earn anything you can not steal it. Isn´t there some foundation for solid business – immediately once the criminals are sorted out?

          • 1. No. Go ahead and try it. Find a mobster willing to front you US$100. Don’t pay it back for awhile. Finally pay him US$1000 to clear your account. Even though the interest amount violates US law, your complicity in the conspiracy to violate the law makes recovery impossible. You and the mobster might go to jail, but you’re never going to get a legal recovery from him.

            2. Maybe you should look at Olympus’ 20 years of statements a little more closely. Now that we know what to look for, we can answer the question that we’ve had for a long time now: how can Olympus own a lucrative business, lose money, and take on enormous debt? Answer: by trying to hide a bigger debt.

            What Olympus has done is not a lot different than what a lot of US consumers did. They borrowed from Peter to pay Paul.

        • Napiersabre

          You haven’t been reading very carefully have you. They lost money on investments they made, not on operations of the imaging division or the medical company. They hid these losses by pretending to make a loss on their operations. But details are non existent so we have to wait and see.

          If Olympus didn’t make a profit it would have disappeared long ago. It could be they are highly profitable and were trying to hide this fact, but made a huge error that backfired. You just never know and some of the comments here is just ludicrous

          • ckb

            I have read carefully. No auditor has stated that any part of the company has been profitable(the books have been cooked for 20 years). It is all a shell game at this point in time that has been going on for 20 years. Someone has ed them a boat load of money off the books that still needs to be paid. Good luck.

            If you think its just investments gone bad then they would have come clean 11 years ago when the accounting rules changed. It was a get out of jail free card however they chose not to do it because the money they were working with had antisocial strings attached.

            • DonParrot

              That’s what you claim. You haven’t got the slightest proof for this, just an NYT article full of could be’s.

              • Actually, at this point we don’t need proof because we have multiple admissions of guilt. The only thing that’s not known–and apparently not even by Olympus themselves–is what the final number will turn out to be. The fact that each revelation so far has been worse than the one before it suggests that they’re still uncovering bits and pieces of the deed.

                Note that Olympus still owns many loss-creating companies that were part of the cover-up scheme. The number gets bigger every day.

      • physguy88


        IF the stock is delisted it could be worth nothing.

        Part of the value of the stock is the liquidity of being able to sell the stock to a large number of different counterparties on a public exchange. With the stock delisted, you have essentially no counterparties for trading except the company itself and private parties. Essentially, private individuals such as yourself lose the ability to sell the stock, and its only value would stem from your share of dividends.

        However, Oly is unlikely to give dividends in the current situation:
        – enormous debt load relative to the value of the company
        – hidden investment losses that now have to be accounted for
        – underworld connections still uncut
        – management chaos

        In this situation, Olympus shareholders are unlikely to get any dividends in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile:
        – de-listing will destroy OLY’s ability to borrow s and raise operating capital.
        – past shareholders will sue to recover investment losses due to illegal activity
        – banks will call in s

        IN this situation, OLY has to go to bankruptcy to save itself. Since debt holders and defrauded shareholders will have higher priority for claims on OLY assets, and since OLY’s net assets will not be larger than its net debt, current shareholder’s will get nothing. Your stock will be worth exactly zero.

        THIS WILL HAPPEN EVEN IF THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO SAVE OLY. As we saw with GM, what happens in that case is that the government puts up financial backing to reorganize the company. The share value of the previous company is zeroed out, and new stock would be reissued to the debt holders.

        Not a good time to buy OLY stock, IMO.

      • You do realize that their debt to equity ratio is over 1, right? It’s 5:1 if I’m not mistaken. So that pile of assets that Olympus has that’s worth 100 has 500 worth of debt against it. You have to be insanely profitable and cashflow positive to buy your way out of that hole. It can be done, but there are a lot of things stacked against Olympus right now, one of which is not having a set of books that are accurate.

  • observer

    Hmmm I smell a conspiracy here.

    There is a great Evil plot to bring down the good name of Goldman Sucks and the honorable Yakuza by linking them both to the Olympus Scandal. ;)

  • Esa Tuunanen

    > If we really would put a Lupe on all companies and banks we might discover that the whole finance world is a mess.
    Let’s start from the fact that these big banks can make money from nothing by ing “money” and then charging interest for it despite of them never having had any money in the first place. (it’s all just ones and zeroes and not even symbolic money like cash)

    Need to have money in the first place to be able to it to someone is just for ordinary citizens…

    • Terry

      That is precisely how even the smallest community bank makes money it has nothing to do with big vs. small good versus evil.

      Take deposits. Make s. Get paid on s more than you pay out on deposits. Very simple business.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        Sorry to burst your fantasy bubble but fractional reserve banking is politically correct synonym for banks being allowed to more credit than they have real money created by government. (aka cash)
        So while technically legal it’s as little fraudulent as if you started printing counterfeit money and used those to pay bills.

        And that’s why nations (and individuals under them) will get going deeper and deeper into debt.

        • Sorry to now burst your bubble but I’m fully aware of fractional reserves, reserve requirements and the money multiplier. That doesn’t change anything I’ve said unless your reserves are coming from something other than deposits.

  • Olympus seems to be in very deep and very sh-t. Goldman Sachs just sold off their shares, they are not the culprit here. Maybe they found out and did not want to be part of that. I had a few shares in a company and learned they were in arms trade and then immediately sold them.
    Seems Olympus management are the culprits, focus on their deeds instead. It may be that this cannot be recovered. Stock market dislikes being fooled and the punishment is severe.
    Admin – I recommend you stay out of business economy and criminal stuff, definately not your area of competence!

    • MichaelKJ

      If Goldman was told that Woodford was going to be fired before it was announced, then it is guilty of insider trading.

    • CKDexterHaven

      I’m shocked, shocked!, to find that GS is implicated in insider trading here!

  • Ben Y

    Don’t hope that Olympus can stop the never ending negative media reports, if criminal activity is happening it should be reported. Instead hope that the higher ups in Olympus haven’t done anything to deserve further negative media.

  • Jurek Ugarow


    Please educate yourself about short selling.


  • No wonder why some accessories are expensive. Sachs of Gold makes money on everything no surprise if they had their hand in this mess. Any financial institution that posts record earnings while the world economy suffers is suspect to be the source of the decline.

  • The timing of Goldman’s action tells me that it was legit. Woodman was fired at a board meeting, and it seems likely that Goldman was expecting bad results. And since Goldman runs a very large proprietary trading desk, it seems very likely it was for their own benefit.

    As to whether or not Olympus is otherwise profitable, I have no idea. The books are entirely opaque, and the book cooking was weird because it was inflating expenses (eg, ridiculously large payments to consultants), instead of exaggerating results. Right now I wouldn’t buy Olympus stock on a dare, although depending on what the operating picture really is there may be hope. The worst result would be bankruptcy, and the selling off of the parts. This also means I could pick up a E-P3 + VF-2 for a song (which is about all I can afford right now ;-).

    Regardless, this sort of behavior seems like it would allow the corporate veil to be pierced, resulting in criminal and civil action against the board members and executives involved, at least if Japanese laws are anything like American ones.

  • Hola

    Woodman = Jew
    Goldman Sachs= Mega Jew

    There’s your obvious conspiracy.

  • ExOlympus

    No 1: It’s Woodford, not Woodman
    No 2: He’s not Jewish

  • Miroslav

    Organized crime, illegal stock trading, madness!

    “approximately 830,000 Olympus stocks the day before Woodford was dismissed”

    And somebody told me I was watching too much TV when I said there’s a third party involved that brings stock price down on purpose?!

  • steve burns

    Goldman Sachs makes money on the backs of us all, not just Olympus…

  • Hhom Togan

    They were involved in subprime mortages scandal in the US
    They were involved in the greek debt hiding too
    And now with involved on this?

    Goldman Sachs should be stormed by the US and NATO forces for international market terrorism.

    • I don’t appreciate people using anonymous names trying to pretend they’re me on a bad typing day, especially when they then go on to make ridiculous logical arguments. You might want to look inward the next time you start accusing people/businesses of doing things that aren’t exactly beneficial.

      As to your logic: The Internet was used to transact mortgage business. It was used to transact Greek debt investment. The Internet is a terrorist. Heck, it’s more of a terrorist than Goldman Sachs since the Internet has directly participated in the overthrow of governments. Shut it down before it acts again.

  • DingieM

    Goldman Sachs took over the power in Italy and Greece and want to do that in other core European countries. As HalfPastHuman.org is saying, THEY want to suck 16 trillion dollars out of the market.
    Look at what happened with MF Global. 100’s of millions are locked, customer’s can’t get their money because JP Morgan sucked it up. Massive fraud! Gerald Celente is one of those customers: he wanted to exchange the paper gold for real physical gold (stand for delivery) in december. Gone!
    Now JP Morgan can suppress the price of gold and especially silver without so much resistance except physical metal. At the end we will win because the physical market is tapped only slightly. Watch when the majority wants physical metals: the REAL price will skyrocket.

    Take all your electronic money out of the system. Its rigged. You will very soon find out more of this. Buy physical metal, lock and load up by the buckets.
    There is no alternative!

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