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Goldman Sachs is quite the player in politics. In fact, it would be fair to say that Goldman and politics are joined at the hip.
"Goldman Sachs, one of Wall Street’s most prestigious investment banks, was also among the many banks in 2008 and 2009 to receive billions of dollars in taxpayer money to help it stay afloat. Like others in the securities industry, Goldman Sachs advises and invests in nearly every industry affected by federal legislation. The firm closely monitors issues including economic policy, trade and nearly all legislation that governs the financial sector. It has been a major proponent of privatizing Social Security as well as legislation that would essentially deregulate the investment banking/securities industry. The firm tends to give most of its money to Democrats. A number of high-ranking government officials in recent years have spent part of their careers at Goldman Sachs." (Source)
The company was one of the biggest recipients of bailout money in 2008 (10 Billion). "Goldman Sachs sent $4.3 billion in federal tax money to 32 entities, including many overseas banks, hedge funds and pensions" (Source)
The company gave as good as it got. In 2011 alone, it donated $4,350,000 to various politicians and political causes. The main cause, it seems, was one Mitt Romney. The Mittster pulled in $517,680. The OBamination only captured a paltry $65,974 during that same time period. To call Mitt Romney a "Goldman" Boy is an understatement.
Interestingly enough Jon Corzine, one of Mitt Romney's close, personal friends was the former CEO of the firm and donated almost 1 million dollars to its lobbying efforts personally. The relationship between MF Global and Bain Capital could prove to be an interesting one, if we could ever get the Democrats to hold public hearings on Bain Capital's involvement in the economic collapse. Don't hold your breath.
While most Americans were losing their 401K and IRA money to unscrupulous Banksters, Romney was making money on his investments with, you guessed it, Goldman Sachs:
"His 2007 disclosure, filed before his first presidential run, showed Goldman investments valued at between $18.2 million and $51.5 million.... Romney and his wife, Ann, have investments in nearly three-dozen various Goldman funds together valued at between $17.7 million to $50.5 million, according to a financial disclosure form (PDF) filed in August 2011. (Source)
While most Americans saw their portfolios cut in half during that same time period, Mitt Romney's investments apparently went unscathed. Lest the reader credit this amazing feat to an act of Romney financial wizardry, its important to remind the reader that almost all of this money was kept in a Blind Trust. Accordingly, Romney is not permitted by law to manage these assets.
Apparently, not all clients are treated the same at Goldman Sachs. Some are granted the gift of wealth preservation and growth, others are relegated to the role of a common "mark". This makes Greg Smith's resignation op-ed from GS more interesting. Greg was a high muckety muck with the company.
He states that plundering some clients of their wealth is a basic part of Goldman Sach's culture:
"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...."
Apparently, there are winners and losers in the great game of predatory capitalism. So, Mitt Romney is not one of the little guys after all. Even when he rolls his shirt sleeves up high and talks about hominy grits and hunting varmints. No, he is the new kind of capitalist predator drone. Invisible, sleek and silent, flying high above the notice of the average Joe.
You can rest assured that, should he end up in any political position, he will only use it to further enrich himself and his silent partners at Goldman Sachs. Predatory Capitalism and Mitt Romney go together like, well, hominy and grits.
From: Z A N
Comment No: 57019
Dear CFTC Staff,
Hello, I am a current JPMorgan Chase employee. This is an open letter to all commissioners and regulators. I am emailing you today b/c I know of insider information that will be damning at best for JPMorgan Chase. I have decided to play the role of whistleblower b/c I no longer have faith and belief that what we are doing for society is bringing value to people. I am now under the opinion that we are actually putting hard working Americans unaware of what lays ahead at extreme market risk. This risk is unnecessary and will lead to wide-scale market collapse if not handled properly. With the release of Mr. Smith’s open letter to Goldman, I too would like to set the record straight for JPM as well. I have seen the disruptive behavior of superiors and no longer can say that I look up to employees at the ED/MD level here at JPM. Their smug exuberance and arrogance permeates the air just as pungently as rotting vegetables. They all know too well of the backdoor crony connections they share intimately with elected officials and with other institutions. It is apparent in everything they do, from the meager attempts to manipulate LIBOR, therefore controlling how almost all derivatives are priced to the inherit and fraudulent commodities manipulation. They too may have one day stood for something in the past in the client-employee relationship. Does anyone in today’s market really care about the protection of their client? From the ruthless and scandalous treatment of MF Global client asset funds to the excessive bonuses paid by companies with burgeoning liabilities. Yes, we at JPMorgan that are in the know are fearful of a cascading credit event being triggered in Greece as they have hidden derivatives in excess of $1 Trillion USD. We at JPMorgan own enough of these through counterparty risk and outright prop trading that our entire IB EDG space could be annihilated within a few short days. The last ten years has been market by inflexion point after inflexion point with the most notable coming in 2008 after the acquisition of Bear.
I wish to remain anonymous as of now as fear of termination mounts from what I am about to reveal. Robert Gottlieb is not my real name; however he is a trader that is involved in a lawsuit for manipulative trading while working with JPMorgan Chase. He was acquired during our Bear Stearns acquisition and is known to be the notorious person shorting in the silver future market from his trading space, along with Blythe Masters, his IB Global boss. However, with that said, we are manipulating the silver futures market and playing a smaller (but still massively manipulative) role in manipulating the gold futures market. We have a little over a 25% (give or take a percentage) position in the short market for silver futures and by your definition this denotes a larger position than for speculative purposes or for hedging and is beyond the line of manipulation.
On a side note, I do not work directly with accounts that would have been directly impacted by the MF Global fiasco but I have heard through other colleagues that we have involvement in the hiding of client assets from MF Global. This is another fraudulent effort on our part and constitutes theft. I urge you to forward that part of the investigation on to the respective authorities.
There is something else that you may find strange. During month-end December, we were all told by our managers that this was going to be a dismal year in terms of earnings and that we should not expect any bonuses or pay raises. Then come mid-late January it is made known that everyone received a pay raise and/or bonus, which is interesting b/c just a few weeks ago we were told that this was not likely and expected to be paid nothing in addition to base salary. January is right around the time we started increasing our short positions quite significantly again and this most recent crash in gold and silver during Bernanke's speech on February 29th is of notable importance, as we along with 4 other major institutions, orchestrated the violent $100 drop in Gold and subsequent drops in silver.
As regulators of the free people of this country, I ask you to uphold the most important job in the world right now. That job is judge and overseer of all that is justice in the most sensitive of commodity markets. There are many middle-income people that invest in the physical assets of silver, gold, as well as mining stocks that are being financially impacted in a negative way b/c of our unscrupulous shorts in the precious metals commodity sector. If you read the COT with intent you will find that commercials (even though we have no business being in the commercial sector, which should be reserved for companies that truly produce the metal) are net short by a long shot in not only silver, but gold.
It is rather surprising that what should be well known liabilities on our balance sheet have not erupted into wider scale scrutinization. I call all honest and courageous JPMorgan employees to step up and fight the cronyism and wide-scale manipulation by reporting the truth. We are only helping reality come to light therefore allowing a real valuation of our banking industry which will give investors a chance to properly adjust without being totally wiped out. I will be contacting a lawyer shortly about this matter, as I believe no other whistleblower at JPMorgan has come forward yet. Our deepest secrets lie within the hands of honest employees and can be revealed through honest regulators that are willing to take a look inside one of America's best kept secrets. Please do not allow this to turn into another Enron.