wpeF7.jpg (1918 bytes)          TigerSoft News Service    4/6/2009       www.tigersoft.com  



        Goldman Sachs Stock Has Been Rallying Ever
      since Obama Became President.  The AIG CDS
     unwind investigation will show how extensively
     GS has controlled the US Treasury.
   See also Zero Hedge


                                                                    by William Schmidt, Ph.D. 
wpe115.jpg (33263 bytes)  

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              MILLIONS FOR OBAMA'S

by William Schmidt, Ph.D.          

               How would you like to make $7.9  million for a few weeks' part-time work? 
               Could you ever bite the hand that feeds you so well?    That's what Obama's Chief
               Economic Advisor got from a half dozen Wall Street firms in 2008, according to newly
               released financial disclosures from the White House.  Example - Goldman Sachs gave him
               $135,000 to make a single speech. 
Details :  This explains the taxpayer billions for banks
               umder the new Geithner-Summers TARP-II Plan where FDIC Public money is used to guarantee
               private investors against losses in buying the mostly worthless big bank "Toxic Debts".
               It certainly explains the billions in bonuses for Merrill Lyuch, Bank of  America and AIG execs.
               It explains why Obama is bailing out AIG, so that Goldman Sachs will get the billions
               that they are owed by the bankrupt AIG.  It explains why Obama refuses to order a
               high level criminal investigation of Wall Street and says the economic collapse Wall Street
               created as all perfectly legal, even before there is an investigation about economic crimes
               and political corruption.   The subject of excessive Wall Street salaries have recently
               been declared off limits, with Summers insisting the Obama Administration can do nothing
               about AIG giving executives bonues worth more than $200 million from taxpayers  
               Pay reform on Wall Street has very low priority.  This whole affair shows how superficial
               and cowardly much of the media is.  They are infatuated by his eloquence and remain
               blind to how corrupt the Obama Administration looks when closely examined.

                   Has Summers been bribed to oppose a thorough criminal investigation of the Wall Street
               practices that led to the World Financial Collapse in 2007-2009?  Has he been bribed to
               oppose much stricter regulations of Wall Street?  At the international G-20 meeting, Obama
               resisted pressures from Germany and France for all investment funds, including hedge
               funds, to fall under closer governmental scrutiny.  Summers has a long hisrory of opposing
               government regulation of Wall Street.  It was he, as much as Rubin, who got Clinton to
               accept the de-regulation of Credit Default Swaps and other derviatives.  It was he who
               got Clinton to agree to the dismantling of Glass Steagall, so that commercial banks and
               investment banks could combine and mortgages could be packaged and sold to the unsuspecting.
               Wall Street has supported one of own.  That keeps him loyal.  Quid pro Quo?  The money
               was passed to Obama's chief economic advisor to show him how he life could be if he did not
               rock Wall Street's boat.  See also

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Goldman Sachs Stock Has Been Rallying Ever
         since Obama Became President.

              Is it just "pure chance" that Goldman Sachs' stock has been rallying ever since Obama
       became President.  GS men make Obama's financial policies.  Goldman has received
       billions and billions from taxpayers.  In the first instance, it did not need the money,  but
       Bush's Treasury Secretary, Paulson, himself the former CEO of GS, loaned them $20 billion
       in last Fall's TARP payments, with no strings attached.  Then this year, the Obama Administration
       gave failed insurance companay AIG another $50 billion, with very few conditions, and AIG
       promptly paid GS billions that they owed them.   The taxpayer stood 100% behind AIG's private
       debts to GS.  A handful of Congressmen, led by Elijah Cummings of Maryland, have demanded
       that the US Treasury do what it should have been doing all along, find out why GS was paid
       100% on the dollar and there was no attempt to "renegotiate and close out these claims with ‘haircuts?’"
       For more information, click here.    "Competing insurers including Ambac Financial Group Inc.
       and the predecessor of Syncora Holdings Ltd. reached agreements with banks such as Citigroup Inc.
        and Merrill Lynch & Co. to cancel similar contracts at discounts to their expected losses." Source.

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                        The following article is by Glenn Greenwald.  It comes from
               http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/04/summers/index.html    I would have
               much preferred not to post it en masse here, but I am busy doing my taxes.  How ironic!
               Most of what follows I have previously written about.  But it makes me feel like I'm not
               crazy.   Obama's false populism is a total masquerade.  He is in office to protect Wall
               Street insiders, the very people who have caused so much misery around the world. 
               Here are links to some of the articles I have written about the Obama's false populism
               and hypocrisy.

March 25, 2009       Why Is The Stock Market Rallying?  Wall Street Now Sees That Obama's
                                       Populist Rhetoric Is Designed To Fool The Angry Public.

       March 23, 2009
      Monopoly Finance Obama

March 19, 2009
     Obama Protects and Defends Wall Street Crooks
                                       Should We Trust Him with Billions and Billions More?

March 18, 2009
    Obama's Back-Door AIG Bonuses.
                    Caught in A Big Fat Lie, Obama Feigns Anger.
                    But Look at All The Money He Got in Campaign Contributions from Wall Street. 

     Rhetoric Aside, The Real Obama Is A Friend of Wall Street.

       February 25, 2009
   Obama's "Pro-Zombie Bank" Policies Will Cost Americans Trillions.
                                       Lessons of Japan Stagnation: 1990-2003.

        February 10, 2009
  Nationalization is Not A Four-Letter Word.
                                         It Will Help in Many Key Ways.

Janaury 27, 2009  A Guide To Obama's Orwellian "Double Speak" about
                                       "Good Banks" and "Bad Banks".
                                         Obama's TARP Is Part Trap and 100% Crap.

November 23, 2008       Bankers Flex Their Control over US Government.
                                               Citigroup Gets Another $20 Billion without Promising New Loans,
                                        Obama's Appointments Should Satisfy Wall Street Cry Babies   


Lawrence H. Summers "collected roughly $5.2 million in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw over the past year and was paid more than $2.7 million in speaking fees by several troubled Wall Street firms and other organizations.   Financial institutions including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch paid Summers for speaking appearances in 2008. Fees ranged from $45,000 for a Nov. 12 Merrill Lynch appearance to $135,000 for an April 16 visit to Goldman Sachs, according to his disclosure form.  That's$135,000 paid by Goldman Sachs to Summers -- for a one-day visit.  And the payment was made at a time -- in April, 2008 -- when everyone assumed that the next President would either be Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton and that Larry Summers would therefore become exactly what he now is:  the most influential financial official in the U.S. Government (and the $45,000 Merrill Lynch payment came 8 days after Obama's election). Goldman would not be able to make a one-day $135,000 payment to Summers now that he is Obama's top economics adviser, but doing so a few months beforehand was obviously something about which neither parties felt any compunction. It's basically an advanced bribe.  And it's paying off in spades.  And none of it seemed to bother Obama in the slightest when he first strongly considered naming Summers as Treasury Secretary and then named him his top economics adviser instead (thereby avoiding the need for Senate confirmation), knowing that Summers would exert great influence in determining who benefited from the government's response to the financial crisis.

          Last night, former Reagan-era S&L regulator and current University of Missouri Professor Bill Black was
          on Bill Moyers' Journal and detailed the magnitude of what he called the on-going massive fraud, the role
          Tim Geithner played in it before being promoted to Treasury Secretary (where he continues to abet it), and --
          most amazingly of all -- the crusade led by Alan Greenspan, former Goldman CEO Robert Rubin (Geithner's
          mentor) and Larry Summers in the late 1990s to block the efforts of top regulators (especially Brooksley
           Born, head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission) to regulate the exact financial derivatives
           market that became the principal cause of the global financial crisis.  To get a sense for how deep and
           massive is the on-going fraud and the key role played in it by key Obama officials, I highly recommend
          watching that Black interview (it can be seen here and the transcript is here).

           This article from Stanford Magazine -- an absolutely amazing read -- details how Summers, Rubin and
           Greenspan led the way in blocking any regulatory efforts of the derivatives market whatsoever on the ground
            that the financial industry and its lobbyists were objecting:

As chairperson of the CFTC, Born advocated reining in the huge and growing market for financial derivatives. . . . One type of derivative—known as a credit-default swap—has been a key contributor to the economy’s recent unraveling. . .

Back in the 1990s, however, Born’s proposal stirred an almost visceral response from other regulators in the Clinton administration, as well as members of Congress and lobbyists. . . . But even the modest proposal got a vituperative response. The dozen or so large banks that wrote most of the OTC derivative contracts saw the move as a threat to a major profit center. Greenspan and his deregulation-minded brain trust saw no need to upset the status quo. The sheer act of contemplating regulation, they maintained, would cause widespread chaos in markets around the world.

Born recalls taking a phone call from Lawrence Summers, then Rubin’s top deputy at the Treasury Department, complaining about the proposal, and mentioning that he was taking heat from industry lobbyists. . . . The debate came to a head April 21, 1998. In a Treasury Department meeting of a presidential working group that included Born and the other top regulators, Greenspan and Rubin took turns attempting to change her mind. Rubin took the lead, she recalls.

“I was told by the secretary of the treasury that the CFTC had no jurisdiction, and for that reason and that reason alone, we should not go forward,” Born says. . . . “It seemed totally inexplicable to me,” Born says of the seeming disinterest her counterparts showed in how the markets were operating. “It was as though the other financial regulators were saying, ‘We don’t want to know.’”

She formally launched the proposal on May 7, and within hours, Greenspan, Rubin and Levitt issued a joint statement condemning Born and the CFTC, expressing “grave concern about this action and its possible consequences.” They announced a plan to ask for legislation to stop the CFTC in its tracks.

           Rubin, Summers and Greenspan succeeded in inducing Congress -- funded, of course, by these same
           financial firms -- to enact legislation blocking the CFTC from regulating these derivative markets. 
           More amazingly still, the CFTC, headed back then by Born, is now headed by Obama appointee Gary Gensler,
          a former Goldman Sachs executive (naturally) who was as instrumental as anyone in blocking any regulations
          of those derivative markets (and then enriched himself by feeding on those unregulated markets).

           Just think about how this works.  People like Rubin, Summers and Gensler shuffle back and forth from the
           public to the private sector and back again, repeatedly switching places with their GOP counterparts in
           this endless public/private sector looting.  When in government, they ensure that the laws and regulations are
           written to redound directly to the benefit of a handful of Wall St. firms, literally abolishing all safeguards
           and allowing them to pillage and steal.  Then, when out of government, they return to those very firms and
           collect millions upon millions of dollars, profits made possible by the laws and regulations they implemented
           when in government.   Then, when their party returns to power, they return back to government, where they
           continue to use their influence to ensure that the oligarchical circle that rewards them so massively is protected
           and advanced.  This corruption is so tawdry and transparent -- and it has fueled and continues to fuel a fraud
           so enormous and destructive as to be unprecedented in both size and audacity -- that it is mystifying that it
          is not provoking more mass public rage.

           All of that leads to things like this, from today's Washington Post:

The Obama administration is engineering its new bailout initiatives in a way that it believes will allow firms benefiting from the programs to avoid restrictions imposed by Congress, including limits on lavish executive pay, according to government officials. . . .

The administration believes it can sidestep the rules because, in many cases, it has decided not to provide federal aid directly to financial companies, the sources said. Instead, the government has set up special entities that act as middlemen, channeling the bailout funds to the firms and, via this two-step process, stripping away the requirement that the restrictions be imposed, according to officials. . . .

In one program, designed to restart small-business lending, President Obama's officials are planning to set up a middleman called a special-purpose vehicle -- a term made notorious during the Enron scandal -- or another type of entity to evade the congressional mandates, sources familiar with the matter said.

          If that isn't illegal, it is as close to it as one can get.  And it is a blatant attempt by the White House to
          brush aside -- circumvent and violate -- the spirit if not the letter of Congressional restrictions on executive
          pay for TARP-receiving firms.  It was Obama, in the wake of various scandals over profligate spending by 
          TARP firms, who pretended to ride the wave of populist anger and to lead the way in demanding limits on
          compensation.  And ever since his flamboyant announcement, Obama -- adopting the same approach that seems
          to drive him in most other areas -- has taken one step after the next to gut and render irrelevant the very
          compensation limits he publicly pretended to champion (thereafter dishonestly blaming Chris Dodd for doing so
          and virtually destroying Dodd's political career).   And the winners -- as always -- are the same Wall St. firms
          that caused the crisis in the first place while enriching and otherwise co-opting the very individuals Obama
          chose to be his top financial officials.

          Worse still, what is happening here is an exact analog to what is happening in the realm of Bush war crimes --
          the Obama administration's first priority is to protect the wrongdoers and criminals by ensuring that the criminality
          remains secret.  Here is how Black explained it last night:

Black:  Geithner is charging, is covering up. Just like Paulson did before him. Geithner is publicly saying that it's going to take $2 trillion — a trillion is a thousand billion — $2 trillion taxpayer dollars to deal with this problem. But they're allowing all the banks to report that they're not only solvent, but fully capitalized. Both statements can't be true. It can't be that they need $2 trillion, because they have masses losses, and that they're fine.

These are all people who have failed. Paulson failed, Geithner failed. They were all promoted because they failed, not because...

Moyers:  What do you mean?

Black: Well, Geithner has, was one of our nation's top regulators, during the entire subprime scandal, that I just described. He took absolutely no effective action. He gave no warning. He did nothing in response to the FBI warning that there was an epidemic of fraud. All this pig in the poke stuff happened under him. So, in his phrase about legacy assets. Well he's a failed legacy regulator. . . .

The Great Depression, we said, "Hey, we have to learn the facts. What caused this disaster, so that we can take steps, like pass the Glass-Steagall law, that will prevent future disasters?" Where's our investigation?

What would happen if after a plane crashes, we said, "Oh, we don't want to look in the past. We want to be forward looking. Many people might have been, you know, we don't want to pass blame. No. We have a nonpartisan, skilled inquiry. We spend lots of money on, get really bright people. And we find out, to the best of our ability, what caused every single major plane crash in America. And because of that, aviation has an extraordinarily good safety record. We ought to follow the same policies in the financial sphere. We have to find out what caused the disasters, or we will keep reliving them. . . .

Moyers: Yeah. Are you saying that Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury, and others in the administration, with the banks, are engaged in a cover up to keep us from knowing what went wrong?

Black: Absolutely.

Moyers: You are.

Black: Absolutely, because they are scared to death. . . . What we're doing with -- no, Treasury and both administrations. The Bush administration and now the Obama administration kept secret from us what was being done with AIG. AIG was being used secretly to bail out favored banks like UBS and like Goldman Sachs. Secretary Paulson's firm, that he had come from being CEO. It got the largest amount of money. $12.9 billion. And they didn't want us to know that. And it was only Congressional pressure, and not Congressional pressure, by the way, on Geithner, but Congressional pressure on AIG.

Where Congress said, "We will not give you a single penny more unless we know who received the money." And, you know, when he was Treasury Secretary, Paulson created a recommendation group to tell Treasury what they ought to do with AIG. And he put Goldman Sachs on it.

Moyers: Even though Goldman Sachs had a big vested stake.

Black: Massive stake. And even though he had just been CEO of Goldman Sachs before becoming Treasury Secretary. Now, in most stages in American history, that would be a scandal of such proportions that he wouldn't be allowed in civilized society.

This is exactly what former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson warned about in his vital Atlantic article:  "that the finance industry has effectively captured our government -- a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises."   This is the key passage where Johnson described the hallmark of how corrupt oligarchies that cause financial crises then attempt to deal with the fallout:

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique -- the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large. . . .

As much as he campaigned against anything, Obama railed against precisely this sort of incestuous, profoundly corrupt control by narrow private interests of the Government, yet he has chosen to empower the very individuals who most embody that corruption.  And the results are exactly what one would expect them to be.

* * * * *

I was on the Moyers program last night after the Black interview -- along with Amy Goodman -- discussing the media's role in this establishment corruption (that segment can be viewed here), and yesterday morning I was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal with the primary topic being this blatant, sleazy oligarchical control of both the Executive and legislative branches (which can be seen here).


UPDATE:  Just to get a sense for how propagandistic, sycophantic and fact-free are the most extreme Obama worshippers in our "journalist" class, consider this recent article from The New Republic's Noam Scheiber in which he urged the White House to "free its economic oracle" -- Summers -- and defended and praised Summers on the ground that "his exposure to Wall Street over the years has been limited."  As Jonathan Schwarz asks, citing the massive compensation on which Summers engorged himself by feeding at the Wall Street trough last year:  "I wonder what would have constituted 'significant' exposure to Wall Street? Maybe if he'd worked for D.E. Shaw full time? (Amazingly, Summers was paid $5.2 million for a part-time position.)"



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