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McClatchy Investigation Exposes Goldman Sachs Corruption And Influence Over Treasury Dept

by on Monday, December 7, 2009 at 5:29 pm EDT in Politics

Greg Gordon of McClatchy Newspapers conducted a five-month investigation into the shady corrupt dealings of Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, and here is some of what he found:

McClatchy’s inquiry found that Goldman Sachs:

  • Bought and converted into high-yield bonds tens of thousands of mortgages from subprime lenders that became the subjects of FBI investigations into whether they’d misled borrowers or exaggerated applicants’ incomes to justify making hefty loans.
  • Used offshore tax havens to shuffle its mortgage-backed securities to institutions worldwide, including European and Asian banks, often in secret deals run through the Cayman Islands, a British territory in the Caribbean that companies use to bypass U.S. disclosure requirements.
  • Has dispatched lawyers across the country to repossess homes from bankrupt or financially struggling individuals, many of whom lacked sufficient credit or income but got subprime mortgages anyway because Wall Street made it easy for them to qualify.
  • Was buoyed last fall by key federal bailout decisions, at least two of which involved then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former Goldman chief executive whose staff at Treasury included several other Goldman alumni.

The firm benefited when Paulson elected not to save rival Lehman Brothers from collapse, and when he organized a massive rescue of tottering global insurer American International Group while in constant telephone contact with Goldman chief Blankfein. With the Federal Reserve Board’s blessing, AIG later used $12.9 billion in taxpayers’ dollars to pay off every penny it owed Goldman.

These decisions preserved billions of dollars in value for Goldman’s executives and shareholders. For example, Blankfein held 1.6 million shares in the company in September 2008, and he could have lost more than $150 million if his firm had gone bankrupt.

With the help of more than $23 billion in direct and indirect federal aid, Goldman appears to have emerged intact from the economic implosion, limiting its subprime losses to $1.5 billion. By repaying $10 billion in direct federal bailout money — a 23 percent taxpayer return that exceeded federal officials’ demand — the firm has escaped tough federal limits on 2009 bonuses to executives of firms that received bailout money.

Goldman announced record earnings in July, and the firm is on course to surpass $50 billion in revenue in 2009 and to pay its employees more than $20 billion in year-end bonuses.

The fact that Henry Paulson,  Lloyd Blankfein, and other Goldman officials are still walking around as free citizens — and will undoubtedly continue to do so — just demonstrates how we have one rule of law for the elites in this country, and then an entirely other one for everyone else.  President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder will NEVER allow an independent investigation into the Treasury Department’s dealings in the matter.

America may be a lot of things, but it is NO LONGER a nation of laws.

The Redistribution of Wealth In America Continues …

by on Monday, November 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm EDT in Politics

The fleecing of the American Taxpayer continues unabated (as reported by Bloomberg):

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment bank, survivors of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, are set to pay record bonuses this year.

The firms — the three biggest banks to exit the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) — will hand out $29.7 billion in bonuses, according to analysts’ estimates. That’s up 60 percent from last year and more than the previous high of $26.8 billion in 2007. The money, split among 119,000 employees, equals $250,400 each, almost five times the $50,303 median household income in the U.S. last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country continues to suffer from the highest unemployment rate since 1983.

UPDATE:

Ed Schultz rips Congressman Barney Frank a new one tonight for his dereliction of duty on Wall Street Reform.   Frank tries to deflect the inexcusable $30 billion in bonuses (mentioned above) by stressing that he’ll be able to tax them on this income:

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Why Obama’s Policies Put Wall Street’s Interests Ahead Of Main Street’s

by on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm EDT in Politics

Dan Froomkin at Huffington Post connects the dots:

Many of [Obama’s] chief financial advisers have pocketed extraordinary amount of money from banks and Wall Street, and presumably intend to do so again. They are part of the banker class, and their loyalties have been bought and paid for.

Examples?

Obama’s top economic adviser, Larry Summers:

was paid $5.2 million for his part-time work for a massive hedge fund in 2008. He also took in more than $2.7 million in fees for speaking engagements at such places as Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs — including one visit alone that netted him $135,000 from Goldman Sachs.

Deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, Michael Froman:

received $7.4 million from Citigroup between January 2008 and January 2009 — including a year-end bonus of $2.25 million that he received just days before coming to work at the White House for a man who was at that very moment calling just such bonuses “shameful”.

Froomkin breaks down the speaking fees and millions made by each of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s closest aides as recent as this year.  It really is a corrupted pack of wolves that Obama has put together to guard the hen house:  READ MORE HERE