Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ranks as the most profitable securities firm on Wall Street -- reflecting its mastery of trading on the world's public markets.
Now Goldman is turning that franchise on its head, creating its own private system to trade the stocks of companies that don't want the scrutiny and regulatory burdens of going public.
The new system, GS TRuE -- short for Goldman Sachs Tradable Unregistered Equity -- was announced two weeks ago and made its debut on Monday with an $880 million sale of a 15% stake in Oaktree Capital Management LLC, an alternative-investment manager.
It is the first of several new, private exchanges like these being considered by Wall Street firms and others. Nasdaq is also planning its own new market for smaller, unregistered securities.
These markets will generally be closed to individual investors. For instance, Goldman's market is open only to large institutional investors with assets of more than $100 million. That is because the stocks traded on GS TRuE aren't registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and issuers aren't subject to SEC regulations designed to protect individual investors.
It represents the latest step in the creeping exclusion of individual investors from a growing proportion of financial-market activity. For instance, giant private-equity firms are busy buying public companies and delisting them from stock exchanges. The growing importance of hedge funds -- which are generally limited to wealthy investors, institutions and endowments -- also excludes individuals.
The new system is "a manifestation of the growth of private-equity relative to public equity," said Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, pointing to the record-setting pace of private-equity buyouts of public companies recently. (For more on Goldman's product, see Breakingviews column.)
Traditional mutual funds -- one of the main investment tools at the disposal of individual investors -- are also limited in the amount of unregistered securities they can buy or sell. Hedge funds, by contrast, have more freedom to buy unregistered stocks and bonds.
Indeed, bankers and capital-markets executives at rival firms say that, at GS TRuE's debut, hedge funds were prominent among buyers for the issue by Los Angeles-based Oaktree.
Some investor advocates criticized the trend of selling more securities faster with less disclosure. "It becomes much more of a buyer-beware marketplace with little regulatory oversight or protection," said Steven B. Caruso, a New York lawyer who represents investors in disputes with Wall Street.
Goldman's move partly reflects a business-community backlash against increased regulation of public-company accounting practices -- a favorite theme, as it happens, of Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., who is also a former Goldman chief executive.
Wall Street executives said the market offers an alternative to companies that don't want to wait for regulators to approve their financial disclosures needed for an initial public offering, which can take 90 days or more.
They also said it offers a haven for firms that don't want to be subject to what Oaktree described as "the full panoply of regulations applicable to publicly traded companies in the United States." In a memorandum describing the stock sale, Oaktree added that staying private would avoid "pressure to describe the company as one capable of steady growth, whereas our underlying business is actually quite variable."
Although the Oaktree offering was sold to only about 50 buyers, it traded at roughly the same multiple of expected 2008 earnings as Fortress Investment Group LLC, a comparable alternative-investment manager that recently sold stock in a conventional initial public offering, according to Wall Street traders.
In other words, the Oaktree stock traded without a price discount that would reflect the lack of a public market with multiple dealers. In that respect, the new market passed an important first test. If stocks traded at too much of a discount, that might dissuade other companies from listing there.
What History Says
Bankers at rival firms -- many of which are developing similar systems -- predict that there will be consolidation among the different platforms.
"History in other markets would indicate that this will converge into a single platform," said Daniel Simkowitz, a managing director in capital markets at Morgan Stanley, which advised Oaktree on the issue.
Indeed, Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. is in the home stretch of getting approval for a similar unregistered trading facility for smaller companies called Portal. Another securities firm, Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc., has sold unregistered stock for numerous companies in real estate, energy and lodging.
Goldman executives said one reason they launched their own system solo, without asking other rival securities firms to participate, was to insure control over the number of investors in any particular security. That is crucial, they said, because any company that goes over 499 investors must register as a public company.
That 499-investor limit, said one executive of a top private-equity firm, is one reason why such buyout firms aren't likely to rush pell-mell into this type of new issue for their portfolio companies. The buyout firms want to attract far more investors to make sure they get the best prices for their stock, he explained.
'New Tool' in the Kit
Rob Pace, a senior capital-markets executive who played a lead role in developing the Goldman system, called such issues "a new tool in the tool kit" for investors, filling out a spot between harder-to-trade traditional private placements and public offerings.
Mr. Pace noted that Goldman still believes "the U.S. public capital markets are the deepest and most liquid," and will continue to represent "a more prevalent way to raise equity capital."
Goldman also said companies that issue stock on its system must promise to issue quarterly, annual and event-related financial reports comparable to those of public companies. However, they don't have the same obligation for widespread dissemination of detailed business information that can be of use to competitors.
Gregg Weinstein, a Goldman trading executive who also worked on the system, said Goldman doesn't "have any expectation that we're going to be able to stand alone in this product forever." But, he said, working with other dealers on the first issue would have risked delays.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15538 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:33 pm Post subject:
Bilderberg's Bankers doing nicely thank you
Even though the rest have cooked the books
The greatest fraud in history plays out
Goldman faces bonus fury as staff rewards top $16bn
Scale of payouts to employees branded 'farcical'. Firm in talks with consultancy to set up new charity
By Stephen Foley in New York
The Guardian - Friday, 16 October 2009
Goldman Sachs, feeling the political and public heat over its multibillion-dollar bonus pool, has scaled back the proportion of revenues that it sets aside for employees, and hired a consultancy specialising in philanthropy in order to consider a big charitable donation.
By putting aside 43 per cent of its revenues in the third quarter, instead of the 49 per cent it earmarked for remuneration earlier this year, Goldman Sachs was able to head off a damaging new round of headlines about record bonuses. It put $5.4bn (£3.3bn) into the 2009 bonus pool yesterday, taking it to $16.7bn for the year to date, compared with $16.9bn at this point in 2007, the record year.
But the swelling size of the pool drew political fire on both sides of the Atlantic, nonetheless. The Liberal Democrats' Treasury spokesman, Vince Cable, described the size of the bonuses as "farcical". He said: "People will be rightly furious to see Goldman Sachs paying out bumper bonuses just 12 months after it was bailed out by the US government. It is farcical that so soon after the reckless greed of bankers brought the world economy to its knees, we are seeing a return to business as usual."
Goldman investors are already planning to mount an attack on the scale of compensation at the company, submitting resolutions demanding an audit of its pay practices which could be considered at the annual shareholder meeting in the spring.
As well as reducing the proportion of revenues diverted to employees, Goldman also highlighted in its earnings statement yesterday that not all of the fund goes to pay bonuses. Some is used to fund healthcare benefits, redundancy cheques and payroll taxes.
And it also made a higher donation than usual into the Goldman Sachs Foundation, a 10-year-old charitable venture which offers money and mentoring to bright youngsters from minorities and low-income backgrounds across the world. The $200m donation represented 1.6 per cent of revenues.
It emerged yesterday that Goldman has been working with Bridgespan Group, a Boston-based philanthropy consultancy and recruiting firm, about a potential new charitable scheme. Only a few senior executives are involved in the talks, and no decision has been reached about what, if anything, will be set up ahead of the actual payment of bonuses at the end of this year.
Goldman executives are increasingly frustrated that the fury over huge bonuses is swamping other discussion of the firm. On a conference call with reporters yesterday, David Viniar, Goldman's chief financial officer, said he "would prefer people were focused on the performance of the business". No decision about the size of bonuses will be taken until after the year-end, he said.
So far, Goldman has put aside the equivalent of $527,000 per employee for salary, bonus and benefits this year, with one quarter still to go. The equivalent figure at this stage in 2007 was $566,000.
The firm made a profit of $3.19bn in the third quarter, it said yesterday, up from $845m in the same period last year, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers took the financial system to the edge of catastrophe – and Goldman itself to the brink of collapse.
Its swift rebound has been driven by the strong performance of its trading division, particularly its fixed income trading, where several major competitors have been taken out of the market by the turmoil.
The Goldman performance stood in contrast yesterday to continuing woes at Citigroup, which – unlike Goldman – has been unable to pay back taxpayer bailout funds and is now 34 per cent-owned by the US Treasury. Vikram Pandit said bad loans on the company's retail banking side were continuing to drag down results. _________________ www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org www.rethink911.org www.patriotsquestion911.com www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org www.mediafor911truth.org www.pilotsfor911truth.org www.mp911truth.org www.ae911truth.org www.rl911truth.org www.stj911.org www.v911t.org www.thisweek.org.uk www.abolishwar.org.uk www.elementary.org.uk www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149 http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
The only silver lining is Citibank's "problems" - Citibank was the financiers for Enron's Debt-as-Income scam. No doubt when Citibank goes belly up we will have another 2008 "plunge". The "plunge" being the investments in pension funds and private investors - the smart money having already walked off...
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15538 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:28 am Post subject:
ooooh-eeeeeer - volcanic eruptions at the heart of the conspiracy - a biggie this
London Goldman Sachs boss in the dock on toxic mortgages
By David Gardner and Lucy Farndon - Daily Mail - 17th April 2010
Goldman Sachs bank and one of its bosses were charged with fraud last night for selling customers sub-prime mortgages as the U.S. housing market collapsed.
A senior vice president in the investment bank's London office, Fabrice Tourre, was named in court papers as the architect of the scheme.
He is accused of colluding with a billionaire trader to launch toxic products that the bank then sold on to unsuspecting customers.
The move caused Goldman's shares to £7.7billion off its stock market value in the U.S. - and sent shockwaves throughout the financial world.
Sub-prime mortgages such as those traded by Goldman are blamed for causing the credit crunch that brought the financial system to its knees and forced governments to inject trillions of pounds of taxpayers' money to support it.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), America's tough financial watchdog, announced the civil fraud charges against Goldman and Tourre last night.
It is the first time that government regulators anywhere have sued a bank for seeking to capitalise on the housing crash - despite widespread public anger over suspicions that banks were running riot in the lead-up to the global financial meltdown.
The FTSE 100 Index fell on the news, tumbling by 1.7 per cent at one stage and closing down 81 points at 5825.
The SEC revealed that Goldman's own clients lost more than £645million when the value of their investments plunged as the mortgage markets collapsed.
It accuses Goldman of creating sub-prime mortgage investment deals that were secretly devised to fail.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15538 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:29 am Post subject:
FSA act at the last possible moment
It is thought Goldman was keen to avoid an embarrassing showdown and wanted to pre-empt any decision by the FSA to strike Tourre off its list. The bank said it 'deregistered him with the FSA' yesterday, adding that Tourre 'is on paid leave with no end date'.
Tourre and Goldman are being sued in a civil lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission after allegedly misleading clients on a sub-prime investment deal. But, as the bank unveiled bumper first-quarter earnings yesterday, it also signalled there could potentially be other worrying claims or lawsuits lurking.
Goldman's top lawyer Greg Palm refused to tell investors whether the SEC has launched any other 'Wells Notices' to warn Goldman of further potential civil action.
Palm said: 'Our priority is to disclose anything we believe to be material. We do not disclose every Wells we get, simply because that doesn't make sense.'
This won't offer much comfort to investors. Goldman failed to disclose the notice it received over Tourre and his Abacus transactions last summer because it did not believe it was 'at all significant'. Yet when the SEC lawsuit came to light last Friday, it knocked £7.7bn off Goldman's stock market value.
"According to Sparks, that business is totally dead, and the poor little subprime borrowers will not last so long!!!" Mr. Tourre wrote in a March 2007 email to his girlfriend, referring to Goldman mortgage executive Dan Sparks.
In January 2007, he described creating a thing "which has no purpose, which is absolutely conceptual and highly theoretical." He added, "It sickens the heart to see it shot down in mid-flight … it's a little like Frankenstein turning against his own inventor."
At the time, Mr. Tourre was putting together a synthetic collateralized-debt obligation called Abacus 2007-AC1. Unlike securities that are backed by actual mortgages, the synthetic CDO represented a bet on a set of "reference" mortgage-backed securities. The SEC alleges Mr. Tourre didn't tell clients including a German bank that hedge fund Paulson & Co. helped select the reference securities and was betting against them.
In a June 2007 email, Mr. Tourre told his girlfriend he had just landed in Belgium where he managed to "sell a few abacus bonds to widows and orphans that I ran into at the airport."
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15538 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sat May 01, 2010 6:24 pm Post subject:
Darling is urged to stop all UK government deals with Goldman Sachs and refuses. What a moron.
Gordon Brown attacks 'morally bankrupt' Goldman Sachs over its dealings
Scotsman - 19 April 2010
By DAVID MADDOX
GORDON Brown has condemned leading investment bank Goldman Sachs for being "morally bankrupt" and called for an immediate investigation into its dealings.
The anger of the Prime Minister was provoked when it emerged over the weekend that Goldman Sachs was intending to pay £3.5 billion in bonuses despite facing claims of a $1bn fraud in the US.
The billions in bonuses to its staff worldwide announced over the weekend includes almost £600 million to its 5,500 London-based staff – for just three months' work.
The saga has reignited concerns about the practices of banks in the international markets and the bonus culture that appears to be persisting despite efforts to stop it.
Among the claims being made against Goldman Sachs is that it collaborated with hedge fund manager Paulson & Co to create the subprime mortgage-backed product and lied about the mortgages in a package to investors which led to it allegedly defrauding the Royal Bank of Scotland.
RBS paid out £841m to Goldman Sachs to get it to walk away from an insurance policy on the mortgages set up by the Dutch bank ABN Amro which the Scottish bank took over in 2007. RBS has yet to confirm that it will be taking legal action.
But yesterday a furious Mr Brown insisted the city watchdog, Financial Services Authority (FSA), should join its American equivalent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in investigating Goldman Sachs.
In an interview he said that the case was the worst one he had heard yet and suggested that there needed to be a deeper look into the activities of banks as a whole, describing them as "still a risk to the economy".
He added that the case underlined the need for further reform of the international banking system: "I am shocked at this moral bankruptcy. This is probably one of the worst cases that we have seen.
Alistair Darling resists calls to ban Goldman from Treasury
The Chancellor has been forced to defend Goldman Sachs against demands that the Government should strike-off the bank as an official adviser while it is under investigation for fraud by American and UK regulators.
By Louise Armitstead, Chief Business Correspondent
Published: 6:00AM BST 21 Apr 2010
Labour's high-command has faced a barrage of criticism from opposition politicians and trade unions who argued that Gordon Brown should not employ a bank he described as "morally bankrupt".
Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said: "The Government should not be paying for the services of a bank that is being investigated on both sides of the Atlantic. The allegations made against Goldman Sachs are extremely serious. Not a penny of taxpayers' money should be paid while these allegations hang over [the bank]."
By now, you probably think your opinion of Goldman Sachs and its swarm of Wall Street allies has rock-bottomed at raw loathing. You're wrong.
There's more. It turns out that the most destructive of all their recent acts has barely been discussed at all. Here's the rest. This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world.
It starts with an apparent mystery. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn't afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, calls it "a silent mass murder", entirely due to "man-made actions."
Earlier this year I was in Ethiopia, one of the worst-hit countries, and people there remember the food crisis as if they had been struck by a tsunami. "My children stopped growing," a woman my age called Abiba Getaneh, told me. "I felt like battery acid had been poured into my stomach as I starved. I took my two daughters out of school and got into debt. If it had gone on much longer, I think my baby would have died."
Most of the explanations we were given at the time have turned out to be false. It didn't happen because supply fell: the International Grain Council says global production of wheat actually increased during that period, for example. It isn't because demand grew either: as Professor Jayati Ghosh of the Centre for Economic Studies in New Delhi has shown, demand actually fell by 3 per cent. Other factors – like the rise of biofuels, and the spike in the oil price – made a contribution, but they aren't enough on their own to explain such a violent shift.
To understand the biggest cause, you have to plough through some concepts that will make your head ache – but not half as much as they made the poor world's stomachs ache.
For over a century, farmers in wealthy countries have been able to engage in a process where they protect themselves against risk. Farmer Giles can agree in January to sell his crop to a trader in August at a fixed price. If he has a great summer, he'll lose some cash, but if there's a lousy summer or the global price collapses, he'll do well from the deal. When this process was tightly regulated and only companies with a direct interest in the field could get involved, it worked.
Then, through the 1990s, Goldman Sachs and others lobbied hard and the regulations were abolished. Suddenly, these contracts were turned into "derivatives" that could be bought and sold among traders who had nothing to do with agriculture. A market in "food speculation" was born.
So Farmer Giles still agrees to sell his crop in advance to a trader for £10,000. But now, that contract can be sold on to speculators, who treat the contract itself as an object of potential wealth. Goldman Sachs can buy it and sell it on for £20,000 to Deutsche Bank, who sell it on for £30,000 to Merrill Lynch – and on and on until it seems to bear almost no relationship to Farmer Giles's crop at all.
If this seems mystifying, it is. John Lanchester, in his superb guide to the world of finance, Whoops! Why Everybody Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay, explains: "Finance, like other forms of human behaviour, underwent a change in the 20th century, a shift equivalent to the emergence of modernism in the arts – a break with common sense, a turn towards self-referentiality and abstraction and notions that couldn't be explained in workaday English." Poetry found its break with realism when T S Eliot wrote "The Wasteland". Finance found its Wasteland moment in the 1970s, when it began to be dominated by complex financial instruments that even the people selling them didn't fully understand.
So what has this got to do with the bread on Abiba's plate? Until deregulation, the price for food was set by the forces of supply and demand for food itself. (This was already deeply imperfect: it left a billion people hungry.) But after deregulation, it was no longer just a market in food. It became, at the same time, a market in food contracts based on theoretical future crops – and the speculators drove the price through the roof.
Here's how it happened. In 2006, financial speculators like Goldmans pulled out of the collapsing US real estate market. They reckoned food prices would stay steady or rise while the rest of the economy tanked, so they switched their funds there. Suddenly, the world's frightened investors stampeded on to this ground.
So while the supply and demand of food stayed pretty much the same, the supply and demand for derivatives based on food massively rose – which meant the all-rolled-into-one price shot up, and the starvation began. The bubble only burst in March 2008 when the situation got so bad in the US that the speculators had to slash their spending to cover their losses back home.
When I asked Merrill Lynch's spokesman to comment on the charge of causing mass hunger, he said: "Huh. I didn't know about that." He later emailed to say: "I am going to decline comment." Deutsche Bank also refused to comment. Goldman Sachs were more detailed, saying they sold their index in early 2007 and pointing out that "serious analyses ... have concluded index funds did not cause a bubble in commodity futures prices", offering as evidence a statement by the OECD.
How do we know this is wrong? As Professor Ghosh points out, some vital crops are not traded on the futures markets, including millet, cassava, and potatoes. Their price rose a little during this period – but only a fraction as much as the ones affected by speculation. Her research shows that speculation was "the main cause" of the rise.
So it has come to this. The world's wealthiest speculators set up a casino where the chips were the stomachs of hundreds of millions of innocent people. They gambled on increasing starvation, and won. Their Wasteland moment created a real wasteland. What does it say about our political and economic system that we can so casually inflict so much pain?
If we don't re-regulate, it is only a matter of time before this all happens again. How many people would it kill next time? The moves to restore the pre-1990s rules on commodities trading have been stunningly sluggish. In the US, the House has passed some regulation, but there are fears that the Senate – drenched in speculator-donations – may dilute it into meaninglessness. The EU is lagging far behind even this, while in Britain, where most of this "trade" takes place, advocacy groups are worried that David Cameron's government will block reform entirely to please his own friends and donors in the City.
Only one force can stop another speculation-starvation-bubble. The decent people in developed countries need to shout louder than the lobbyists from Goldman Sachs. The World Development Movement is launching a week of pressure this summer as crucial decisions on this are taken: text WDM to 82055 to find out what you can do.
The last time I spoke to her, Abiba said: "We can't go through that another time. Please – make sure they never, never do that to us again."
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15538 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:25 pm Post subject:
What she did encounter, she said, were testosterone-fuelled displays of male bonding. Her supervisor was a former US navy special forces and "Goldman's management team often challenged him to do push-up contests on the trading floors and to engage in other displays of masculinity", she said in court papers.
She recounted how a male managing director hired female escorts for the 2007 Christmas party who "arrived wearing black shorts, strapless tops and Santa hats and socialised with male guests". On another occasion, her boss invited every man in the department to a golf outing, but passed her over, even though she had played the sport since childhood.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15538 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:15 pm Post subject:
The US economy has become very cartoon-like these days. I say that because it doesn't seem real anymore. Nobel economists all seem to be chiming in on what's wrong with it. Keynesians keep advocating the need to spend and borrow and spend some more...... Hmmm "Keynesian" --- marvelous name, sounds as if they have the key that unlocks the monetary mysteries of the universe. Personally, I think they opened Pandora's box instead. Economics is known as the Dismal Science ---- so I've housed Ben in appropriate surroundings. Goldman Sachs has been associated with uncommon greed ...... so I have accommodated Lloyd as well. All comments welcome ..
Eurozone crisis: It makes you really quite tired of being told you can't do things because 'the markets' won’t like it, even though the markets only like things that make them rich
Independent - Wednesday, 28 September 2011
It's quite hard, when you're lying in the dentist's chair, with a funny mould thing in your mouth, to shriek. It's quite hard, in fact, to make any kind of noise when your jaws are stuck in what feels like cold clay. But on Monday, to my dentist's surprise, I did. I shrieked not because the mould was cold, or because being told not to move always makes me want to. I shrieked because a man on the TV monitor above me was saying things you couldn't possibly hear and keep your mouth shut.
The man, who was wearing a pink tie, was an "independent trader". He was being asked about the latest eurozone rescue plan. "It's not going to work," he said, "because this problem can't be solved". The euro, he said, was "going to crash". But when the interviewer asked what he thought might work, he looked confused. "I'm a trader," he said. "We don't care whether they're going to fix the economy. Our job is to make money from it." And then he offered us all some advice: "The 1930s depression wasn't just about a market crash," he said. "There were some people who were prepared to make money from that crash. I think anyone can do that. It is," he said, "an opportunity!". His advice was simple: "be prepared". This was "not a time" to think that governments would sort things out. "Governments," he said, "don't rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world."
Certainly, as the euro crisis unfolds on our TVs, it's beginning to look as though it's not absolutely clear that governments do rule the world, or at least that they're all that sure what they're doing. Here's Obama, telling Europe that it needs to find a "more effective strategy" for dealing with the crisis. Here's David Cameron calling for "leadership". Here are pretty much all the world leaders, in fact, calling for other people to lead. As models of leadership go, it's less "be prepared", and more "after you".
On Newsnight on Monday, even Jeremy Paxman admitted that he was struggling to understand what was going on. In a studio full of flashing screens, which made you feel that you were in the control room of a James Bond villain plotting the overthrow of the Western world (which now seems like a touching, wasted effort) Paul Mason explained how a group of "movers and shakers" (but not world leaders) had taken part in a "war game" looking at possible solutions to the euro crisis. The "war game" was organised by a think tank called Bruegel. The "movers and shakers" went to a chateau in Chantilly. What they came up with – in a document that is, apparently, now doing the rounds in Washington – was a $3-5 trillion fund to be used to rescue European countries, and banks. A $3-5 trillion fund donated largely by the European taxpayer.
While some of us were still thinking about the chateau, and wondering what exactly a war game was, and worrying about how we were going to pay the dentist the £400 he was charging for a tiny bit of work, Jeremy Paxman asked various men whether they thought the plan would work. An American economist called Austan Goolsbee said we'd had two years to raise capital, and it was all a bit late. A Tory MP called Sajid Javid, who used to be an investment banker, said it couldn't work because the euro was "a bankruptcy machine, and a fiddle". And Jim O'Neill, who's the Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said that "to work all this stuff out" was "not easy". We were, he said, "talking big numbers".
When one of the top people at the company which some people think "rules the world" thinks that you, as a European taxpayer, could be paying for something for the rest of your life that might well not work, it doesn't really cheer you up. It makes you think of the way that the company they work for helped to create the global economic crisis by selling sub-prime mortgage debt, and how that company made even more money by betting on a collapse in the sub-prime market, and of how it made money by underwriting bonds, and later advised other clients to short those bonds. It makes you think of the $60m it agreed to pay to end an investigation into unfair home loans in Massachusetts, and of "fabulous" Fabrice Tourre, and the "highly leveraged, exotic trades" he created and said he didn't understand.
It makes you think of Greek debt, which is a very big part of the euro crisis, and of how some people said that Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government hide the true scale of it for years. And it makes you think of all the Goldman Sachs people who have become very senior advisers to governments, or even very senior members of them, or even Secretary of the Treasury of the most powerful country in the world.
What it also makes you think is that you're really quite tired of being lectured by these people, and being told that you can't ask them to pay even 50 per cent tax on annual incomes that are often paid in millions, and that you can't do things because "the markets" won't like it, even though the only things that markets like is things that make them rich. And it makes you think that when a shadow Chancellor gives a long list of apologies that don't sound at all like apologies, and says that his party "didn't regulate the banks toughly enough", that that (although you've never heard the word "toughly") is certainly true, but doesn't begin to do justice to the monster that has been created, and unleashed.
Now, we all live with this monster, which gobbles up jobs, and hopes, and dreams. We all live, as the shadow Chancellor's boss said yesterday, with the "fast buck economy", a "fast buck economy" that seems to be destroying the Western world. We didn't need to. We didn't need to make finance Britain's biggest industry, and Britain's biggest net export. We didn't need to live in a bubble made out of debt. But we did what we did, and the banks did what they did, and the traders did what they did, and here we are.
Unlike that "independent trader", I hope that the euro bail-out works. I hope that we don't have another recession, or a depression, or a crash, and I hope that we, and the other countries that have made the same mistakes as us, get the chance to build an economy that's made less of hot air, and more of things you can see and touch. It was Brueghel, by the way – the painter not the think tank – who painted Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. He knew all about flying too close to the sun.
Le Monde: The European Freemasonry of Goldman Sachs
Former leaders, counselors and even traders of the U.S. bank, a symbol of the excesses of finance, they find themselves in power in the key European countries to manage the financial crisis
They are serious and competent, weighing the pros and cons, student records thoroughly before deciding. The economy is their guilty pleasure. They did find that very rarely, the son of light entered the Temple after a long and fussy recruitment process. It is both a lobby, a friendly gathering of information, a network of mutual aid. They are companions, teachers and masters led to "spread the truth in the universe acquired houses."
His critics accuse the network of European influences woven by the U.S. bank Goldman Sachs (GS) to act as a Freemason. To varying degrees, the new President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, the chairman of the board appointed Italian Mario Monti, the new Prime Minister of Greece Loukas Papademos are totemic figures of this dense network.
The first was vice president of Goldman Sachs International in Europe between 2002 and 2005. He was "associated" in charge "companies and sovereign countries," the department who had, shortly before his arrival, helped Greece to disguise his was the first vice president of Goldman Sachs International in Europe between 2002 and 2005. He was "associated" in charge "companies and sovereign countries," the department who had, shortly before his arrival, helped Greece to make up his accounts with financial product "swap" of sovereign debt.
The second was international adviser to Goldman Sachs from 2005 to his appointment as head of the Italian government. According to the bank, its mission was to advise "on European affairs and major issues of global public policy." Mario Monti was a "door opener" whose task was to penetrate the heart of European power to defend the interests of GS.
The third, Loukas Papademos, was governor of the Central Bank Hellenic between 1994 and 2002. As such, he played a role in the operation unsolved makeup Public Accounts perpetrated with the help of Goldman Sachs. The debt manager is in any Greek Petros Christodoulos, former trader of the U.S. bank in London.
Two other heavyweights Goldman network in Europe were also on display in the crisis of the Euro: Otmar Issing, former member of the Executive Board of the Bundesbank and former chief economist of the European Central Bank, the Irishman Peter Sutherland, a director of Goldman Sachs International, which participated in the wings to rescue Ireland.
How the network of followers and procurers was it made? In the U.S., the magic circle is made up of former officials of the institution moved bag and baggage at the highest level of public service. In Europe, however, Goldman Sachs became the apostle of capitalist relations. But unlike its competitors, the bank is not interested or the retired diplomats, or to both national and international officials and even less to former prime ministers and finance ministers. Goldman is aimed primarily at central bankers and former Commissioners.
A little background is necessary at this stage. It was in London as European adventure of GS began in the wake of the "Big Bang" of 1986, the full liberalization of the City. Goldman Sachs International, the first company abroad, was born. The first non-American consultants are hired. These missi Dominici must use their address book to inform the bank, which is a partnership at the time of medium on the continent, provide information on the customs of business life and the political .
In the late 1980s, the group extends to the rest of Europe, especially France, Italy and Germany. In the Hexagon, Jacques Mayoux, former chairman of Societe Generale, which was also the patron of Sacilor steel group, is appointed vice president of Goldman Sachs Europe. In 2004, Charles de Croisset, former head of Credit Commercial de France (CCF), succeeded him.
Many of these appointments were overseen by former EU Commissioner Peter Sutherland. The Irishman knows to return the favor. In May 2010, he co-opted to replace Mario Monti on the EU Presidency of the Trilateral Commission, one of the most prestigious circles of the international elite.
Their primary task is to gather information legally on future operations or policy interest rates by central banks. The bank likes to put his men never to drop the mask. That is why his henchmen hide this relationship when they give an interview or conduct an official mission. Although introduced, the "ex" to chat about this and that with their interlocutors. People are talking to the characters of this caliber. They "feel the wind" as the saying goes. Proprietary information then circulate in the trading rooms of the bank.
A former partner at Goldman Sachs to the ECB, a former matchmaker at the head of the Italian government, a close to power in Greece for its detractors, the bank now has a fantastic relay in Frankfurt, Rome and Athens could be useful in these turbulent times.
Still, beyond appearances, the government Goldman in Europe, the height of his power before or during the financial turmoil of 2008, may have eaten the white bread.
Indeed, the old accomplices maintained by the former senior central bankers mobilized to pull the strings, proved less useful today facing politicians sensitive to the unpopularity of financial professionals held responsible for the crisis. Where Goldman Sachs could easily exercise their talents, a series of cases he has alienated the public. The address book is not enough of a complex and technical financial world, facing a new generation of industrial least steeped in respect for the establishment. The European managers set out to conquer the world have emancipated the Crusaders of high finance style GS. The quest for enhancement of shareholder transparency requirements and activism against-power (media, NGOs, institutional investors) tend to blunt the "network effect".
"The World" 16 Novembro 2011
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 15538 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:45 pm Post subject:
this is the talk of the town tonight - London based Goldmine Sachs manager spills the beans to the New York Times
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
By Greg Smith - Published: March 14, 2012 - Op-Ed Contributor
TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.
It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.
But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.
I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.
When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.
Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.
How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.
What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.
Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.
It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.
It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.
These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about “muppets,” “ripping eyeballs out” and “getting paid” doesn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.
When I was a first-year analyst I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a derivative was, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.
My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.
I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients - for very much longer. _________________ www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org www.rethink911.org www.patriotsquestion911.com www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org www.mediafor911truth.org www.pilotsfor911truth.org www.mp911truth.org www.ae911truth.org www.rl911truth.org www.stj911.org www.v911t.org www.thisweek.org.uk www.abolishwar.org.uk www.elementary.org.uk www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149 http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
When I asked Wells about the Forum’s role in influencing US mass surveillance, he responded only to say he would prefer not to comment and that he no longer leads the group.
As Wells is no longer in government, this is to be expected — but he is still connected to Highlands. As of September 2014, after delivering his influential white paper on Pentagon transformation, he joined the Monterey Institute for International Studies (MIIS) Cyber Security Initiative (CySec) as a distinguished senior fellow.
Sadly, this was not a form of trying to keep busy in retirement. Wells’ move underscored that the Pentagon’s conception of information warfare is not just about surveillance, but about the exploitation of surveillance to influence both government and public opinion.
The MIIS CySec initiative is now formally partnered with the Pentagon Highlands Forum through a Memorandum of Understanding signed with MIIS provost Dr Amy Sands, who sits on the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board. The MIIS CySec website states that the MoU signed with Richard O’Neill:
“… paves the way for future joint MIIS CySec-Highlands Group sessions that will explore the impact of technology on security, peace and information engagement. For nearly 20 years the Highlands Group has engaged private sector and government leaders, including the Director of National Intelligence, DARPA, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Singaporean Minister of Defence, in creative conversations to frame policy and technology research areas.”
Who is the financial benefactor of the new Pentagon Highlands-partnered MIIS CySec initiative? According to the MIIS CySec site, the initiative was launched “through a generous donation of seed funding from George Lee.” George C. Lee is a senior partner at Goldman Sachs, where he is chief information officer of the investment banking division, and chairman of the Global Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) Group.
But here’s the kicker. In 2011, it was Lee who engineered Facebook’s $50 billion valuation, and previously handled deals for other Highlands-connected tech giants like Google, Microsoft and eBay. Lee’s then boss, Stephen Friedman, a former CEO and chairman of Goldman Sachs, and later senior partner on the firm’s executive board, was a also founding board member of In-Q-Tel alongside Highlands Forum overlord William Perry and Forum member John Seely Brown.
In 2001, Bush appointed Stephen Friedman to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, and then to chair that board from 2005 to 2009. Friedman previously served alongside Paul Wolfowitz and others on the 1995–6 presidential commission of inquiry into US intelligence capabilities, and in 1996 on the Jeremiah Panel that produced a report to the Director of the National Reconnaisance Office (NRO) — one of the surveillance agencies plugged into the Highlands Forum. Friedman was on the Jeremiah Panel with Martin Faga, then senior vice president and general manager of MITRE Corp’s Center for Integrated Intelligence Systems — where Thuraisingham, who managed the CIA-NSA-MDDS program that inspired DARPA counter-terrorist data-mining, was also a lead engineer.
In the footnotes to a chapter for the book, Cyberspace and National Security (Georgetown University Press), SAIC/Leidos executive Jeff Cooper reveals that another Goldman Sachs senior partner Philip J. Venables — who as chief information risk officer leads the firm’s programs on information security — delivered a Highlands Forum presentation in 2008 at what was called an ‘Enrichment Session on Deterrence.’ Cooper’s chapter draws on Venables’ presentation at Highlands “with permission.” In 2010, Venables participated with his then boss Friedman at an Aspen Institute meeting on the world economy. For the last few years, Venables has also sat on various NSA cybersecurity award review boards.
In sum, the investment firm responsible for creating the billion dollar fortunes of the tech sensations of the 21st century, from Google to Facebook, is intimately linked to the US military intelligence community; with Venables, Lee and Friedman either directly connected to the Pentagon Highlands Forum, or to senior members of the Forum.
Fighting terror with terror
The convergence of these powerful financial and military interests around the Highlands Forum, through George Lee’s sponsorship of the Forum’s new partner, the MIIS Cysec initiative, is revealing in itself.
MIIS Cysec’s director, Dr, Itamara Lochard, has long been embedded in Highlands. She regularly “presents current research on non-state groups, governance, technology and conflict to the US Office of the Secretary of Defense Highlands Forum,” according to her Tufts University bio. She also, “regularly advises US combatant commanders” and specializes in studying the use of information technology by “violent and non-violent sub-state groups.”
Dr Itamara Lochard is a senior Highlands Forum member and Pentagon information operations expert. She directs the MIIS CyberSec initiative that now supports the Pentagon Highlands Forum with funding from Goldman Sachs partner George Lee, who led the valuations of Facebook and Google.
Dr Lochard maintains a comprehensive database of 1,700 non-state groups including “insurgents, militias, terrorists, complex criminal organizations, organized gangs, malicious cyber actors and strategic non-violent actors,” to analyze their “organizational patterns, areas of cooperation, strategies and tactics.” Notice, here, the mention of “strategic non-violent actors” — which perhaps covers NGOs and other groups or organizations engaged in social political activity or campaigning, judging by the focus of other DoD research programs.
As of 2008, Lochard has been an adjunct professor at the US Joint Special Operations University where she teaches a top secret advanced course in ‘Irregular Warfare’ that she designed for senior US special forces officers. She has previously taught courses on ‘Internal War’ for senior “political-military officers” of various Gulf regimes.
Her views thus disclose much about what the Highlands Forum has been advocating all these years. In 2004, Lochard was co-author of a study for the US Air Force’s Institute for National Security Studies on US strategy toward ‘non-state armed groups.’ The study on the one hand argued that non-state armed groups should be urgently recognized as a ‘tier one security priority,’ and on the other that the proliferation of armed groups “provide strategic opportunities that can be exploited to help achieve policy goals. There have and will be instances where the United States may find collaborating with armed group is in its strategic interests.” But “sophisticated tools” must be developed to differentiate between different groups and understand their dynamics, to determine which groups should be countered, and which could be exploited for US interests. “Armed group profiles can likewise be employed to identify ways in which the United States may assist certain armed groups whose success will be advantageous to US foreign policy objectives.”
In 2008, Wikileaks published a leaked restricted US Army Special Operations field manual, which demonstrated that the sort of thinking advocated by the likes of Highlands expert Lochard had been explicitly adopted by US special forces.
Lochard’s work thus demonstrates that the Highlands Forum sat at the intersection of advanced Pentagon strategy on surveillance, covert operations and irregular warfare: mobilizing mass surveillance to develop detailed information on violent and non-violent groups perceived as potentially threatening to US interests, or offering opportunities for exploitation, thus feeding directly into US covert operations.
That, ultimately, is why the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, spawned Google. So they could run their secret dirty wars with even greater efficiency than ever before.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has hired Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark and ex-NATO chief, to help tackle the political hurdles the bank has encountered since buying into a state utility last year.
Rasmussen, who governed Denmark from 2001 until 2009 and stepped down from NATO last year, is being brought on as a consultant at the Wall Street bank as the government prepares to release a series of confidential documents on Goldman’s purchase of a stake in Dong Energy A/S.
Michael Ulveman, who works with Rasmussen in their newly formed consultancy, confirmed the appointment after it was reported by local newspaper Berlingske. Sebastian Howell, a spokesman for Goldman, declined to comment.
Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said this week he will grant access to documents on the bidding process for Dong that his predecessor, Bjarne Corydon, said were too sensitive to share with a parliament committee appointed to oversee the deal. Goldman’s merchant banking unit paid about $1.5 billion in 2014 for an 18 percent stake in Dong. Danish pension funds ATP and PFA A/S also invested in the utility as part of the same accord.
The agreement caused a rift in the former Social Democrat-led coalition, culminating in the departure of a junior member, the Socialist People’s Party. The administration was ousted in June elections, paving the way for a Liberal government led by Lars Loekke Rasmussen. He served as finance minister under Fogh Rasmussen and was also prime minister from 2009 until 2011.
Rene Christensen, a spokesman for the Danish People’s Party which lobbied to have the documents released, said there’s no risk their contents might trigger political demands that a new deal be negotiated.
“Altering the deal isn’t really what it’s about,” Christensen said by phone. “It’s about having had a finance minister who said he couldn’t trust the committee.” Denmark’s lawmakers deserve to know “what was so important about this deal that we weren’t allowed to see more details,” he said.
Martin Hintze, a partner at Goldman who sits on the board of Dong, was quoted by Berlingske as saying the bank has no objections to having the documents made public.
PFA, Denmark’s biggest commercial pension fund, said on Wednesday it sees no reason to keep the documents secret.
Acc. to Rothschild´s website, Rothschild & Sons is financial adviser to the Danish government on capital structure and the recapitalisation of 43 Danish money institutions. And no wonder. In 1813, Denmark went bankrupt due to debt to Rothschild – the creditor of all European countries, which were also in financial dire straits during the Napoleonic wars. Nathan Rothschild had hoped to thereby take control of all of Europe´s indebted countries through “Europe´s United States” at the Congress of Vienna. Czar Alexander of Russia prevented it – Rothschild has ever since seen Russia as his arch enemy. Denmark introduced a private (Rothschild) bank in 1818, a precondition to borrow more Rothschild money, – and even today it is impossible to learn who all the shareholders of this money printing machine/indebtedness are.
Goldman Sachs is Jacob Rothschild´s bank.
It is notorious for its grain deals: Buy and store so as to make prices skyrocket. This is reinforced by their “replication” trick: Hold 100 dollar grain futures with only 5 dollars. Thereby they are creating famine – and the deaths of millions in poor countries. Furthermore, Goldman Sachs “helped Greece into the Euro-zone by deception, thereby robbing Greece of her state revenues. In fact, Goldman Sachs is practising something like financial world governance: Goldman Sachs director and then prime minister Papademos gave Greece the last push into insolvency – and ECB President, Draghi, is former European Goldman Sachs. Debt structure of EU countries shows the Stability Pact/ESM is the basis for perennial, total tax-looting to pay Goldman Sachs´ever increasing debt interest.
Most Danes think, that at the Bilderberg meeting in 2014 in Copenhagen, the Bilderbergers told Corydon (right), an internationally unknown Danish finance minister, to sell decisive equities in our crown jewell, DONG, the Danish oil extraction company, to Goldman Sachs far below their market value. J. Michael Evans, Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co., was also an attrendee at that meeting.
The sale was very mysterious, since a Danish pension fund had offered more than Goldman Sachs. The word corruption was uttered.
Zero Hedge 10 Aug. 2015: Back in Jan. 2014, Goldman’s merchant banking unit rushed to buy an 18% in Denmark’s DONG Energy company for $1.5 billion.
The result was an immediate grassroots resistance campaign, as hundreds of thousands of Danes refused to hand over their DONG to the vampire squid for various reasons, not the least of which was granting Goldman veto rights over changes to DONG’s leadership and strategy, a right usually reserved for buyers of 33% of an entity.
Left: Former Minister for taxation, Finance Minister and Foreign Minister, now Chairman of the Danish Parliament, multiple Bilderberger attendee, Mogens Lykketoft – and multiple DONG attendee CEO Anders Eldrup. Eldrup was sacked because he opposed the ridiculous selling price for DONG.
At the time the Danish government sold the 18 percent stake of Dong to Goldman Sachs, the Finance Ministry calculated the company’s value at 31.5 billion kroner ($4.6 billion).
But just three months later, Dong was granted the rights to instal a massive offshore wind park supported by the United Kingdom. According to the newspaper “Politiken”, that deal shot Dong’s value over 50 bn. kroner. And that deal was well known to DONG and beyond but was not calculated into the Goldman Sachs sale despite both Dong and the investment firm being fully aware of it.
A shaken Denmark refuses to let Goldman fully off the hook when recently the government decided to let lawmakers see secret documents on Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s purchase of the 18% stake in DONG. Bjarne Corydon, who was finance minister at the time, said “the information contained in the transaction papers was too sensitive even for the parliament committee.”
(Or too emabarrassing for him).
Right: Chairman of Dong´s Board, Fritz Schur – Bilderberger 2008 – alongside with Prime Minister – later NATO´s Secretary General – Anders Fogh-Rasmussen, Bilderberger 2001 and 2014.
It is unlikely that the deal would be unwound if it is discovered that Goldman had conspired and manipulated (with significant kickbacks) the government of Helle Thorning-Schmidt:
Rene Christensen, a spokesman for the Danish People’s Party which lobbied to have the documents released, said there’s no risk their contents might trigger political demands that a new deal be negotiated.
(This party has always promised the population a lot – but never kept one single promise. How much is Rene Christensens promise worth in cash?).
Which is why Goldman decided to go for the “sure thing” jugular, and just to make absolutely sure it controls the DONG process, Goldman hired none other than Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Danish prime minister who governed Denmark from 2001 until 2009 “to help tackle the political hurdles the bank has encountered since buying into a state utility last year.” The present Danish prime minister is Lars Lökke Rasmussen, who was Fogh-Rasmussen´s finance minister (with desperately bad private economy!) .
Anders Fogh-Rasmussen showing the Masonic 666 hand sign of the Antichrist.
If buying current and former government leaders to control the decision-making process works in the US and every other developed nation, why not in Denmark?
But that’s not all: in this particular case, Goldman gets bonus influence points because in addition to purchasing the former Danish PM, and by implication, the current PM and his former fin-min protege, and assuring the DONG scandal quietly goes away, Goldman just hired the former head of NATO: from 2009 to 2014 Anders Fogh Rasmussen served as the 12th Secretary General of NATO.
October 09, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "The Intercept" - Excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s remarks during paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, and other groups were leaked online Friday afternoon by WikiLeaks. Clinton, who was paid upwards of $225,000 per speech, earned more than $22 million on the paid speaking circuit after resigning as secretary of state.
The excerpts are revealed in an email from Tony Carrk, the research director of the Clinton campaign, to John Podesta, the campaign chairman, and other top campaign officials. Carrk, who did not respond to a request for comment, highlighted in the memo the most politically damaging quotes from each paid speech, under headers including “CLINTON ADMITS SHE IS OUT OF TOUCH,” “CLINTON SAYS YOU NEED TO HAVE A PRIVATE AND PUBLIC POSITION ON POLICY,” and “CLINTON REMARKS ARE PRO KEYSTONE AND PRO TRADE.”
The wealth Clinton accumulated was a topic at the paid events.
Discussing middle class economic anxieties, Clinton told a crowd at a Goldman Sachs-sponsored speech that she is now “kind of far removed because the life I’ve lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven’t forgotten it.”
But the discussions were also an opportunity for Clinton to speak candidly about policy, politics, and her approach to governing.
Touching on her view of developing financial regulations, Clinton declared to a crowd of Goldman Sachs bankers that in order to “figure out what works,” the “people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.”
At the Goldman Sachs Builders and Innovators Summit, Clinton responded to a question from chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, who quipped that you “go to Washington” to “make a small fortune.” Clinton agreed with the comment and complained about ethics rules that require officials to divest from certain assets before entering government. “There is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives,” Clinton said.
At a speech for Morgan Stanley on April 18, 2013, Clinton praised the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan — which would reduce corporate tax rates while raising the Social Security age. “But Simpson-Bowles — and I know you heard from Erskine earlier today — put forth the right framework. Namely, we have to restrain spending, we have to have adequate revenues, and we have to incentivize growth. It’s a three-part formula,” she said.
Clinton also told a housing trade group in 2013 that on certain issues, she has “a public and a private position.” “If everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least,” said Clinton. “So, you need both a public and a private position.”
The Intercept was the first media outlet to ask Clinton directly if she would release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. When approached at an event in Manchester, New Hampshire, Clinton laughed off the question.
The issue was raised again during the Democratic primary debates and in other media events. In February of this year, the New York Times editorial board called for Clinton to release her speech transcripts, declaring that voters “have every right to know what Mrs. Clinton told these groups.”
According to reports, the campaign reviewed the speech transcripts but decided against releasing them out of fear that she would appear too friendly to banks and other donor interest groups.
But there are signs in the emails released by WikiLeaks that she also took a fairly progressive stance on certain topics, including health care reform.
During a talk in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2013, Clinton praised the single-payer model for health care reform. “If you look at the single-payer systems, like Scandinavia, Canada, and elsewhere, they can get costs down because, you know, although their care, according to statistics, overall is as good or better on primary care,” she said, adding that there were some drawbacks. “They do impose things like waiting times, you know.”
But during the campaign this year, she dismissed the idea, declaring that single payer will “never, ever” happen in the U.S. Audio obtained by The Intercept last week showed Clinton dismissing the concept of free health care during another private event with donors.
Podesta emails show excerpts of Clinton speeches to Goldman
By Julianna Goldman
October 08, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "CBS" - Potentially problematic excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches were flagged for her campaign in an email that was sent to chairman John Podesta and other senior staff this past January.
The email was released Friday by Wikileaks, part of a batch of what it says were 2,060 emails hacked from an account belonging to Podesta. The Clinton campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of the emails.
“Team, attached are the flags from HRC’s paid speeches we have from HWA. I put some highlights below. There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with policy,” a staffer wrote on January 25, 2016.
Harry Walker Agency is the speaker’s bureau that arranged Clinton’s lucrative speech circuit after she left the State Department, which included $3 million dollars from speeches to banks and financial firms -- $675,000 came from three speeches from Goldman Sachs. The 25 flagged excerpts likely point to why Clinton and her campaign have refused to release the transcripts, despite coming under fire from Senator Bernie Sanders during the primary.
Less than two weeks after the email was sent, on February 4, Clinton was asked during a debate whether she’d release the transcripts of all her paid speeches and she said, “I will look into it. I don’t know the status, but I will certainly look into it.”
When asked again during an April 4 debate, Clinton said she would release them if Sanders and Donald Trump released their tax returns. “You know, let’s set the same standard for everybody,” Clinton said. “When everybody does it, OK, I will do it, but let’s set and expect the same standard on tax returns.”
The first flagged email is headed “Clinton Admits She Is Out of Touch.” In a February 4, 2014 speech to what was referred to as “Goldman-Black Rock”, Clinton said “And I am not taking a position on any policy, but I do think there is a growing sense of anxiety and even anger in the country over the feeling that the game is rigged…We had our little, you know, one-family house that, you know, he saved up his money, didn’t believe in mortgages. So I lived that. And now, obviously, I’m kind of far removed because the life I’ve lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven’t forgotten it.”
Another flag came from a speech to the National Multi-Housing Council on April 24, 2013: “Clinton Says You Need to Have a Private and Public Position on Policy.”
“I mean, politics is like sausage being made,” she said in the speech according to the excerpt. “It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”
In an October 23, 2013 speech to the Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium, “Clinton Talks About Holding Wall Street Accountable Only for Political Reasons.”
Clinton said she started traveling in February of 2009 “so people could, you know, literally yell at me for the United States and our banking system causing this everywhere. Now, that’s an oversimplification we know, but it was the conventional wisdom. And I think that there’s a lot that could have been avoided in terms of both misunderstanding and really politicizing what happened with greater transparency, with greater openness on all sides, you know, what happened, how did it happen, how do we prevent it from happening?”
Other excerpts from the internal email are flagged as “CLINTON SUGGESTS WALL STREET INSIDERS ARE WHAT IS NEEDED TO FIX WALL STREET, *CLINTON ADMITS NEEDING WALL STREET FUNDING”, “CLINTON TOUTS HER RELATIONSHIP TO WALL STREET AS A SENATOR”, “CLINTON TALKS ABOUT THE CHALLENGES RUNNING FOR OFFICE”, “CLINTON IS AWARE OF SECURITY CONCERNS AROUND BLACKBERRIES”, “CLINTON REMARKS ARE PRO KEYSTONE AND PRO TRADE”, “CLINTON IS MORE FAVORABLE TO CANADIAN HEALTH CARE AND SINGLE PAYER”
A Clinton campaign official did not immediately respond to a request for comment. _________________ --
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
The European Central Bank (bank President Mario Draghi used to be vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International)
U.S. Federal Reserve, New York branch (William Dudley is the head of the Fed’s largest member bank and also spent 21 years at Goldman Sachs)
Bank of England (Governor Mark Carney spent 13 years at Goldman)
National Government of Greece (Former Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was an adviser at Goldman)
Italian Government (former Prime Minister Mario Monti used to be an adviser to Goldman)
U.S Intelligence Oversight Board (Stephen Friedman served on this board for George W. Bush and also spent 30 years at Goldman Sachs)
The Egyptian Government (Ziad Ahmed Bahaa-Eldin served as Deputy Prime Minister of Egypt and was also an “adviser” at Goldman)
The Czech Republic Government (Vladimír Dlouhý was the nation’s first Minister of Industry and Trade and was also an advisor to Goldman Sachs)
Swedish Government (Erik Åsbrink was Sweden’s Minister for Finance and was also an international advisor for Goldman Sachs)
The U.S. State Department (Robert Zoellick, a former Goldman Managing Director, was the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State from 2005-2006)
The U.S. Treasury Department (Two Goldman alums—Robert Rubin and Hank Paulson—served as Treasury Secretaries)
Australia’s Central Bank (Ian Macfarlane was the head of the bank for ten years and also was an advisor to Goldman Sachs)
White House (former chief of staff Joshua Bolten served as Goldman’s Executive Director of legal and government affairs from ’94-’99)
But, with Wall Street, there’s more going on than just old-fashioned corruption and a ‘revolving door.’ Much more.
As you will see, the big banks control the vital juice – the credit – that makes the whole system work.
You will also see how this credit has brought the entire system – our whole economy – to the brink of an inevitable collapse.
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