Sunday, July 12, 2009

The United States of Goldman Sachs

"They exist, and others don't, and taxpayers made it possible."
-- anonymous "industry consultant," quoted by the New York Times, reporting that Goldman Sachs is expected to post record profits Tuesday, nine months after getting $12.9 billion in last fall's bailout

"The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."
-- Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone


  1. Finally you picked up on the Taibbi article. About damn time you got on this one. The problem is as much with FRB New York as it is with the Board of Governors in D.C.

    If you can get anyone to talk to you, it would be interesting to look at FRB New York, where Geithner served as president.

    This really started with

    According to the Wapo, the Federal Reserve of New York knew about the whole AIG thing, including the bonuses five months before we did. In fact, Treasury Secretary Geithner, president of the Fed New York, knew about it before he was tapped to be Treasury Secretary. When he became Secretary of the Treasury, surprise, surprise, AIG handed out the bonuses, and everyone was happy until word got out.

    This isn’t the first time that the Fed New York was the deal maker for a Wall Street meltdown. In 1998, Long Term Capital Management, a hedge fund, collapsed, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York managed the $3.6 billion bailout. One of the partners was David Mullins, Jr., a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    Now a detour into wierdsville.

    Watch this video of Maxine Walters grilling Geithner on the role of Goldman Sachs in the Obama “recovery” program. At the time, I thought it was beyond bizarre that she spent so much time on the subject. I really thought she was rambling on about some Jewish banker plot to control the economy. It was late, and maybe I had one glass too many. But when I read the WaPo article about Geithner and AIG, lights went off, bells rang, and whatnot like that.

    Then I remembered why. Another former Federal Reserve Bank of New York president, Gerald Corrigan is a partner at Goldman Sachs. Wierdsville, no? Too many glasses of wine on an empty stomach? Maybe so. Incidentally, Gerald Corrigan left his wife because of an affair with the then-president of the Boston Fed, Cathy Minehan, also married at the time.

    And just before I went downstairs to empty the wine bottle, I remembered that the only bank that is having major trouble with Treasury these days, that is, the only big non-New York bank, is Bank of America. Strangely enough, they failed the stress test and had to take more TARP money. And fire their CEO.

  2. Continued. sorry to use your bandwidth and storage but,hey, you're blogspot, so it's free, right?

    Some things you may not know about the Fed. Most people think of the Fed as the Board of Governors, who are part of the government. The 12 districts are not exactly part of the government, but serve in various regulatory capacities. These districts hire the bank examiners who were probably going to impose Paulson’s threat to the 12 large banks.

    The New York Fed is the most powerful of the 12 districts. For years they have been hosting the Treasury auction that finances the deficit. The New York Fed manages the money side of the business, regulating the big banks in New York. The Board of Governors manages the political side of the business, Washington, D.C. Since the New York Fed is in, well, New York, they have fingers in many pies. Their close connection with Goldman Sachs and the New York banks seems to have born fruit in Geithner’s appointment to Treasury. And the information they have on the New York banks probably made Paulson’s threat to force the banks to accept the bailout money easier. Plus the New York banks are corporate socialists, much like Bloomberg, so the marriage between FRB New York and the big banks is a marriage of convenience.

    It would be very interesting to know how many Goldman Sachs employees and management started out at the New York Fed. The gnomes of Zurich now live at the New York Fed and Goldman Sachs.

    Feel free to delete this. I would prefer it.

  3. "relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

    Wait a minute: is this a claim that G.S. is the Federal Government? Who knew?

  4. On the other hand, the future Mrs. Suderman says Taibbi is full of shit, although since this is Megan we're talking about here, she's much more polite about it. Since Taibbi is a writer for Rolling Stoned and McArdle is an actual economist who has actually worked in the private sector, I think her take on it is more accurate than his.