The Panama Papers opened yet another window on the global system of financial corruption, showing how political leaders and businesses use shell companies in secrecy havens like the British Virgin Islands and many US states to evade taxes and hide corruption and other crimes. Yet the system of corruption depends on another factor beyond secrecy, one that is perhaps even more important: impunity. Impunity means that the rich and powerful escape from punishment even when their malfeasance is in full view.
– As Jeb Bush Pounces On The Hillary Email Scandal, The Real Winner Is… Goldman Sachs (ZeroHedge, March 3, 2015):
While the Clintons have had their share of funding snafus in recent history exposing the former “not truly well off” first lady as not only a puppet of not only Wall Street but also America’s mega corporations, Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email accounts as America’s former top diplomat is a far more serious issue as it touches directly on accountability, and rational decision-making while in a top position of government power. To say that it impairs her image as a presidential candidate who puts the country ahead of her own interests, would be an understatement.
– Which Firm Controls “The World’s Most Powerful Address”? (ZeroHedge, March 23, 2014):
For the answer of which firm is responsible, and has the largest number of current and former tenants occupying the building located at 15 CPW which we profiled before, and which Bloomberg TV defines as the “world’s most powerful address” – a location whose residents control nearly half a trillion in assets under management – fast forward to 3:20 in the clip below. Hint: listen for the “dog whistle.”
For those curious, here are some additional facts about 15 CPW courtesy of Curbed.
– Jamie And Lloyd Visit Obama (ZeroHedge, Oct 2, 2013):
Five years ago today, the CEOs of the big banks visited one US president with one goal in mind: get billions in taxpayer dollars to get bailed out. Today, the same bank CEOs are once again at the White House, this time invited by a different president, “as part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing efforts to mend relations with the financial services sector and woo their support for White House policy.” One can assume that in addition to the trite generalities surrounding the shut government and the debt ceiling, one topic of conversation is how Wall Street can accentuate the severity of the ongoing governance crisis and most certainly includes such demands by Obama as “stop sending stocks higher when the only catalyst is my inability to create any sort of compromise.”
So here they are:
Lloyd Blankfein ‘doing God’s work‘!
– Lloyd Blankfein’s $21m haul makes him the world’s best paid banker (Guardian, April 12, 2013):
Goldman Sachs paid its chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, $21m last year – and granted him a further $5m in bonus shares in January.
The Wall Street bank handed Blankfein $13.3m (£8.7m) in restricted shares and a $5.7m cash bonus on top of his $2m annual salary last year.
His total 2012 pay was $9m more than in 2011, and the highest since the $68m he received in 2007, before the financial crisis struck.
– Obama to meet with Goldman’s Blankfein, other CEOs Tuesday (Reuters, Feb 5, 2013):
President Barack Obama will meet with chief executives from 12 companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s Lloyd Blankfein and Yahoo Inc’s Marissa Mayer on Tuesday to discuss immigration and deficit reduction.
“The president will continue his engagement with outside leaders on a number of issues – including immigration reform and how it fits into his broader economic agenda, and his efforts to achieve balanced deficit reduction,” a White House official told Reuters on Monday.
Other chief executives include Arne Sorenson of Marriott International Inc, Jeff Smisek of United Continental Holdings Inc, and Klaus Kleinfeld of Alcoa Inc.
– Presenting The S&P500’s 50 Point Surge Courtesy Of The Illegal “Geithner Leak” (ZeroHedge, Jan 19, 2013):
Yesterday we broke the news of what is prima facie evidence, sourced by none other than the Federal Reserve’s official August 16, 2007 conference call transcript, that then-NY Fed president and FOMC Vice Chairman Tim Geithner leaked material, non-public, and very much market moving information (the “Geithner Leak”) to at least one banker, in this case then Bank of America CEO Ken Leiws, in advance of a formal Fed announcement – an act explicitly prohibited by virtually every capital markets law (and reading thereof). It was refreshing to see that at least several other mainstream outlets, including Reuters, The Hill and the NYT, carried this story which is far more significant than Season 1 of Lance Armstrong’s produced theatrical confession and rating bonanza. It is notable that Richmond Fed’s Jeff Lacker who made the inadvertent (or very much advertent) disclosure has not backed down from his prior allegation and told the NYT yesterday that “My understanding was that President Geithner had discussed a reduction in the discount rate with these banks in connection with these initiatives.” What, however, the mainstream media has not touched upon, yet, is just how profound the market response to the Geithner Leak was, and by implication, how much money those who were aware of what the Fed was about to do made. Perhaps, it should because as we show below, the implications were staggering. But perhaps what is even more relevant, is why the Fed’s previously disclosed details of Mr. Geithner’s daily actions at the time, have exactly no mention of any of this.
Before we get into the prime of today’s narrative, a quick detour.
– Is JPMorgan About To Take Over America, Again? (ZeroHedge, Nov 27, 2012):
Great and wondrous things seem to be afoot among the righteous bankers of the world. A few months ago Matt Zames was named to get JPMorgan’s CIO office out of trouble – and also happens to be the Chairman of the all-powerful Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee. Just yesterday, Mark Carney completed Europe’s full-house of ex-Goldman Sachs alum running the region’s monetary policy. Today we hear Lloyd Blankfein will be sidling up to Obama tomorrow. And now this; from the never-crony-capitalist himself, billionaire Warren Buffett has publicly blessed Jamie “apart from the failure of control” Dimon as the best man for the top job at the Treasury. “If we did run into problems in markets, I think he would actually be the best person you could have in the job,” Buffett added (sounding more like the ‘we’ meant he) and dismissed the London-Whale “failure of control” with sometimes “people go off the reservation.” With Zames running the Shadow Treasury and Dimon running the Real Treasury, is it any wonder that inquiring minds are asking who really runs America (and for whom)? Of course, in the pre-Fed era – over 100 years ago, JPMorgan Sr. ‘bailed-out’ America before…
YouTube Added: 30.10.2012
– New York tests social impact bond investing with Goldman Sachs (Reuters, Aug 2, 2012):
Goldman Sachs will invest nearly $10 million in a New York City jails program, using an innovative financial instrument in which private investments fund public social services, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday.
Goldman will create one of the nation’s first “social service bonds” to help fund a New York City program that aims to lower the 50 percent recidivism rate among youthful offenders jailed at the Rikers Island correctional facility.
Unlike similar proposals being developed elsewhere, most of Goldman’s ‘Rikers bond’ will be guaranteed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the mayor’s philanthropic group, which will back $7.2 million of the $9.6 million investment the bank plans.
YouTube Added: 24.07.2012
– News Blankfein Hires Prominent Defense Attorney Send GS Stock Tumbling, Gold Futures Soaring Over $1900 (ZeroHedge, Aug 22, 2011):
For a perfect ending to a schizophrenic day we go to Reuters which has just reported that Goldman’s CEO has hired high profile defense attorney Reid Weingarten. The market is not waiting to find out the details, and GS stock is tumbling. What has alos happened is that gold futures punched through $1900 for the first time ever. $2000 is the next target, and will likely be taken out within the week.
Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein has hired Reid Weingarten, a high-profile Washington defense attorney whose past clients include a former Enron accounting officer, according to a government source familiar with the matter.
Blankfein, 56, is in his sixth year at the helm of the largest U.S. investment bank, which has spent two years dodging accusations of conflicts of interest and fraud.
The move to retain Weingarten comes as investigations of Goldman and its role in the 2007-2009 financial crisis continue.
“Why do you bring in someone like that?” said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly. “It says one thing: that they’re taking it seriously.”
Blankfein has not been charged in any civil or criminal case, and it was not immediately clear why he hired Weingarten.
David Wells, a spokesman for Goldman, declined to comment.
Weingarten did not respond to requests for comment.
Something big is about to hit the tape, and this time Goldman won’t be able to put the whole blame on a twenty-year old Frenchman.
UPDATE: Goldman says Blankfein hired the lawyer in conjunction with the DOJ lawsuit, according to CNBC’s Kate Kelly. The firm also said it’s common for a CEO who’s about to be interviewed to hire counsel.
– Goldman Sachs TANKS After CEO Lloyd Blankfein Hires Famous Defense Lawyer (Business Insider, Aug. 22, 2011):
Is the Goldman Sachs CEO facing a new lawsuit?
The market seems to think so. Goldman Sachs just tanked in minutes before the close after news that Lloyd Blankfein hired a lawyer famous for defending vilified execs. It’s back up a bit since dropping over 5%, but the news is still concerning.