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Friday, May 29, 2009

10 Sleazy Ways That Goldman Sachs Distracted Us While Pocketing Billions from the Treasury

The best illusionists deflect audience focus away from the heart of the trick until the final moment of revelation. The way Goldman Sachs has worked its multi-prong bailout is like that. During last week's chatter about submitting their TARP payback application, the firm deftly diverted attention away from all the real money they took from the public.

But, let’s focus on the ten steps of Goldman’s big public rip-off: (Or keep $42 billion give back $10 billion and see your stock price double)

1) Enlist assistants. a) The Treasury department -- under both former Goldman Sachs CEO, Henry Paulson, and Wall Street-mentored Tim Geithner -- has worked really hard at ensuring our (and Congress’s) attention is on the measly $700 billion of TARP money that Congress approved last fall, and not on the other $12.3 trillion of cheap Fed loans, FDIC backed guarantees and other favors the banks got. And, it kept going last week, as Geithner told Congress, “While TARP is proving effective at improving the immediate stability of the financial system, the scope of the issues that the [Obama Administration and the Treasury] face extend beyond TARP to include striking the delicate balance between intervention and allowing market participants latitude to operate; devising a new financial regulatory structure for the future; and working through the tough problems of what form our government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, should take as we emerge from this difficult period." Translation: focus away from the Wall Street banks, while we try not to open them to any uncomfortable new restrictions.b) The FED, which has kept a cloak of secrecy around its $7.5 trillion giveaways (they call them facilities) including which bank got what deal. This is to “protect” us from the truth.

2) Become a bank. On Sunday night, September 21st, while Paulson and Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke were talking global catastrophe, Goldman and Morgan Stanley sidestepped the standard 5-day antitrust waiting period to receive instant Fed approval to become bank holding companies. Did they ever make consumer loans or take deposits like other bank holding companies? No. Have they since? No.


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