After sucking the life out of our near-death economy nearly four years ago, former Goldman Sachs executive vampires are on the loose. One in particular has nested in the camp of Darrell Issa, the Republican congressman from California. And this one is a crafty one.
He goes by the name of Peter Haller and he is a former Vice President of Goldman Sachs. And for nearly three years no one noticed the pasty-faced, soul-sucking, Nosferatu lurking in the halls of Congress. Wonder why?
You probably don’t. It’s the halls of Congress for Christ sake but I’ll tell you anyway.
It’s because Mr. Peter Haller legally changed his name from Peter Simonyi to Peter Haller in 2008, shortly after leaving the investment bank.
Not to worry, said the New York Times, who was apparently glamoured by the sinister, undead not-Twilight-but-Twilight-Zone-type vampire.
Well, as it turns out, the story on Mr. Haller isn’t so scandalous after all. In an e-mailed statement, Mr. Haller told DealBook that he is a descendant of a Transylvanian count, and that he changed his name in 2008 to honor a long-held family promise.
Yes, right. According to Haller, his Transylvanian count ancestor was his grandfather who was killed in Budapest in 1944 while he was attempting to save children from being conscripted into the military. Truly very noble. His grandfather’s last request was that if his mother remarried that her husband and children would carry on the Haller name.
Well when she got married, she didn’t. She took her husband’s name, Simonyi. And it wasn’t until 2008 when Peter and his sister were “adults” that they were mature enough to come to the decision to take their grandfather’s name.
Here is how Mr. Peter Haller explains it in part:
My mother, whose maiden name is Theodora Maria Theresia haller-koi gr Haller (in the U.S., Dora Haller), married Imre Gabor Simonyi and took his name. Her father Alfred haller-koi gr Haller was killed in Budapest in 1944 by fascists as he attempted to prevent children from being conscripted into the military. Prior to his return to Hungary in 1944, he served under Regent Miklos Horthy, as a Hungarian diplomat stationed in England supporting the British in opposition to Germany. His last request was that if Theodora marries, her husband and children would carry on the Haller name.
As my sister and I became adults, at some point discussions began that we should carry on the name of my mother’s family, which had lived in Transylvania, up until it was granted to Romania under the Treaty of Trianon after World War I. During a period of unemployment following my time at Goldman Sachs, I found the time to proceed with the name change, as did my sister. Please note my father and mother remain happily married to this day.
You might be wondering what the big deal is about having a Goldman Sachs vampire on Capitol Hill. As noted earlier Peter Haller works with Darrell Issa, but more specifically he was hired by Issa as Senior Council for House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (HOGR).
Additionally, as Talking Points Memo reports:
In July, Issa sent a letter to top government regulators demanding that they back off and provide more justification for new margin requirements for financial firms dealing in derivatives. A standard practice on Capitol Hill is to end a letter to a government agency with contact information for the congressional staffer responsible for working on the issue for the committee. In most cases, the contact staffer is the one who actually writes such letters. With this in mind, it is important to note that the Issa letter ended with contact information for Peter Haller, a staffer hired this year to work for Issa on the Oversight Committee.
So time to whip out the garlic, holy water and sunshine. But we might want to be careful if we shine too much sun on Capitol Hill all of Congress might disintegrate.
- Goldman Sachs VP Changes His Name, Goes To Work For Issa Protecting…Goldman Sachs! (crooksandliars.com)
- Issa staffer helping to protect Goldman Sachs from scrutiny is ex-Goldman Sachs VP (dailykos.com)
- Former Goldman Sachs executive who changed name now trying to ease bank regulation (telegraph.co.uk)
- Former Goldman Sachs Vice President Changed Name, Went To Work As Top Staffer To Darrell Issa (huffingtonpost.com)