Get Goldman Sachs Out Of Our Government!
When the people of Massachusetts made their profound statement on Tuesday by voting for Scott Brown as their Senator, I couldn't help recall reading the testimony of Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, when she appeared before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC). Ms. Madigan let the Commission know that many Attorney Generals across the country tried to stop the crisis we are all experiencing today. They were fighting it way back in 2006. (You can read her testimony here: http://www.fcic.gov/hearings/pdfs/2010-0114-Madigan.pdf)
Here is how she said it:
I recall attending a meeting with federal regulators in 2006 at which I expressed my concerns about the oncoming crisis and the urgent need to implement tighter affordability standards for all home loans. At that time, Wall Street was still making tremendous amounts of money on mortgage-backed securities. The federal regulators did not share my concerns.
That is quite a statement. She said more than 30 States were involved in this fight. Massachusetts was one of them:
In May 2009, the Massachusetts Attorney General announced a settlement with Goldman Sachs, stemming from the office’s investigation of the investment bank’s role in originating and securitizing subprime loans in the state. In settlement of any potential claims against the bank, Goldman Sachs agreed to provide loan restructuring worth approximately $50 million to Massachusetts subprime borrowers.
Now I understand there were many reasons the vote went to Mr. Brown this week, one of them was the healthcare bill which hangs in the balance with all of its favors and pork which will put more stress on we-the-taxpayers and on our already feeble economy. The point of my writing here is to focus on Goldman Sachs and to alert more people of what is really going on as we deal with this terrible economy. I want us all to be heard just like the fine citizens of Massachusetts.
Do note, this is not about being a Democrat or a Republican. This is about being a citizen of America and doing what is right for our country. We all share the road here but our politicians, along with Wall Street, want what is best for them and not what is best for us.
Here is another gem by Ms. Madigan:
And it soon became clear that there were problems with the largest subprime lender in the country at the time, the California-based lender Ameriquest. Ameriquest received its funding line from Wall Street firms. Those same firms bought and securitized the subprime loans Ameriquest sold. For those of us on the state level, the Ameriquest investigation marks the moment when we began to see the underwriting practices of mortgage lenders erode at a disturbingly accelerated pace.
It is clear to me, that our country is being run by and for big business. President Obama said he was going to change things. He talked about hope. Well, that did not happen. That is why I believe the state of Massachusetts spoke up. I firmly believe we all need to speak up. Do understand, if we are stuck with a two party system, we need to keep both parties in office to at least give us some checks and balances and a better balance of power. I prefer a third party that does not kowtow to Wall Street and big business but rather serves we-the-people. How do we fight all the money and power of big business?
Now let's focus on Goldman Sachs. To show I am not picking on one political party, I remind all that President Bush's pick for United States Treasury Secretary was Henry Paulson. Mr. Paulson previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs contributed nicely to Mr. Bush's inaugural party. President Bush sent out BAILOUT #1.
The third day President Obama was in office, he appointed Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief of Staff (see the book "Obamanomics" by Timothy P. Carney). Mr. Emanuel was paid handsomely ($53,000 in 2008 dollars) by Goldman Sachs while pumping Goldman for campaign money. According to Timothy Carney, Goldman said it paid Mr. Emanuel to analyze "local political races for the firm". It is an interesting statement using the word local. Mr. Carney writes, "That's a hefty retainer for a guy who's also working full time as a campaign fundraiser for a presidential campaign - and it was an important stream of income, considering the [Bill] Clinton campaign only paid him $60,000."
So we see a steady stream of Goldman Sachs associates infesting our government. Here in New Jersey we voted out Jon Corzine as Governor. One reason was because of his ties to Goldman Sachs. I recommend all people vote out any politician who worked for Goldman Sachs or who appoints people from Goldman Sachs. I know it isn't an easy task but Goldman Sachs is not good for we-the-people.
It is my opinion that Goldman Sachs fingerprints are all over the mortgage fraud the FBI is currently investigating. Notice the definition of fraud, it appears to me that it fits Goldman Sachs well:
Fraud - n.
1. A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.
Notice the words in Ms. Madigan's testimony: originating, securitizing, funding. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein wants to point fingers and shift the blame when his company was involved every step of the way. And why wouldn't they be? The Feds had their back. The Feds relaxed regulation and would not work with 30 State Attorney Generals to stop it. Goldman Sachs worked to get as many bad loans as possible, packaged them as investment vehicles and then went knocking on doors of people who manage our pension plans. Goldman had no risk. And to add fuel to their financial fire, they insured these bad loans because they knew they were bad and somehow talked AIG into over insuring them. AIG insured them so much they could not possibly pay all the claims. And Goldman knew they were bad investments because Goldman shorted them in the stock market. Shorting a stock means you are convinced the stock is going down. Why would Goldman bet against stocks they peddled to our pension plan managers? Goldman deliberately hurt our pensions! They wanted us to pick up the tab here.
Here's the deal as it appears to me: Goldman wanted poor people to financially strap themselves with houses they could not afford. Goldman wanted pension fund managers to invest in a bundle of these loans. Goldman wanted AIG to insure these loans. What risk did Goldman have here? The poor home owners had to foreclose. The pension fund managers had to tell us our pension plan went down because they made bad investments. AIG needed our tax dollars because they insured more than they could afford to cover. And Goldman Sachs made even more money by shorting the investment vehicles on the way down which they knew was going to happen. We all paid for Goldman Sachs to do this while our government watched. Our tax dollars, our pension dollars, a loss of salaries, a loss of homes, etc. And Goldman Sachs has the nerve to give out bonuses to these "talented" people who dreamed up this scam and ripped off their fellow Americans?
Right now we have them in from of the FCIC. Let's charge them with fraud. Let them disgorge all of their bonuses and income and make things right here. We-the-people got screwed big time.
I was watching CNBC today. They were discussing this year's Goldman Sachs bonuses. David Faber said Goldman got no TARP. Well that may be true, Mr. Faber, but it raped AIG and AIG got some of the TARP. And it isn't like AIG is innocent. AIG set up a shop in England to escape Federal regulation. We had to pay for that because our government sent some of our bailout tax dollars to the banks in England. Since when are we supposed to pay taxes to foreign banks and to a company that deliberately sets up shop to avoid our country's regulation?
Erin Burnett chimed in with wanting to know how long we-the-people will be angry every time Goldman Sachs gives out bonues. Well Ms. Burnett, until some of these Goldman Sachs thieves are arrested for fraud, kicked out of our government, and their ill-gotten gains are taken back.
Mark Haines wants the contracts honored. The fraudulent mortgage contracts, Mr. Haines? Did you teach your kids to fall for signing a loan which they did not totally understand as predatory lendors smiled at them across the desk? And don't forget, Mr. Haines, some of these loans were given without credit checks, employment checks, etc. It was all fraudulent. Here, Mr. Haines, a definition for you to ponder:
Unfair Business Practice - encompasses fraud, misrepresentation, and oppressive or unconscionable acts or practices by business, often against consumers and are prohibited by law in many countries.
Later in the day, the carnival barker of CNBC, Jim Cramer, weighed in. He made the stupid statement, Goldman didn't cost the taxpayers. Once again, like Faber, he fails to recognize the chain-reaction. Goldman sandbagged AIG and as a result cost the taxpayers. In addition, Goldman wrecked pension plans and put its fellow citizens out on the street. The financial crisis spiraled out of control and its fellow citizens lost their jobs.
One last item. George W. Mantor wrote a very good article about this crisis (you can read it here: http://rismedia.com/2010-01-18/bankers-testimony-nsf-non-sufficient-facts/#ixzz0d0nYjunT). He gives a good recommendation to the FCIC.
Here’s my question to the banksters:
Isn’t it true that you made as many loans as you could to as many people as you could, for any reason imaginable because it was the money of investors and not your own? And, that you knew from your own underwriting these borrowers would default. Knowing the loans were risky, you bought insurance for multiple times the loan amount. The insurer never had the reserves to cover all of these “designed to default” loans and, in order to pay you your winnings, the Taxpayers had to bailout AIG. Isn’t that what really happened?
We don’t need to spend months or years getting to the bottom of this. Just put them under oath and ask them that question. The threat of prison time for perjury, and knowing from the question that we now get it, ought to loosen their tongues a little.
The FCIC would like to hear your comments or any tips you may have in regards to this mess (Go to: http://www.fcic.gov/contact/). Let them know if you were one of the investors who fell for the package of bad loans. Let them know if you were one who got tricked into a bad mortgage. We-the-people need to keep fighting to take our country back, especially from Goldman Sachs. Enough of the nonsense. Charge those who committed this fraud by originating, funding and securitizing these bad loans from the very beginning and get Goldman Sachs out of our government.