More Political Capture: Goldman Hires Top Republican Fed Transparency Foe; Spends More Time With SEC Than Any Other BankSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/28/2011 12:55 -0400
The name Judd Gregg is not new to Zero Hedge readers. Back in the 2009-2010 battle for Fed transparency, which continues to be only fractionally on the way to being won, Gregg, who then served as the top Republican on the Budget Committee and a member of the Banking Committee, said that "opponents of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's second term are
guilty of "pandering populism"." Odd that these populism panderers, of which Zero Hedge was a proud member, ultimately succeeded in not only getting a one time Fed audit, but also won the legal case initiated by Mark Pittman to expose the Fed's dirty laundry, without which we would not know that not only did the Fed bail out primarily foreign investment banks during the financial crisis, but also that the biggest user of the Fed's somewhat secret Short Term Open Market Operations facility, also known as a 0.01% subsidy, was none other than Goldman Sachs, contrary to the firm's sworn statements that it did not really need bailing out. Gregg continued: "There's a lot of populism going on in this country right now, and I'm tired of it." Gregg warned that the growing tide of populism would threaten some of the most central institutions to the economy's recovery. "What it's going to do is burn down some of the institutions which are critical to us as a nation and as an economy to recover and create jobs," he warned." It was therefore only a matter of time that Gregg, following the end of his political career, has decided to step down, and work for one of these "central institutions to the economy's recovery" - Goldman Sachs. As such we present the list of companies that courtesy of their "top contributor" status with the senator over the years, are about to get preferential treatment from Goldman's sell side analysts, and see a prompt upgrade to Buy and/or Conviction Buy list in the near term. After all there is no such thing as squid-pro-zero in a world controlled by Wall Street's institutions "central to the economy's recovery."
Matt Taibbi does the seemingly impossible: translates the 650-page Levin report "Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse" in simple English, and lays out the criminal case against one Goldman Sachs for everyone to read, comprehend, and scratch their heads how nobody has gone to jail yet: "They weren't murderers or anything; they had merely stolen more money than most people can rationally conceive of, from their own customers, in a few blinks of an eye. But then they went one step further. They came to Washington, took an oath before Congress, and lied about it. When it came time for Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein to testify, the banker hedged and stammered like a brain-addled boxer who couldn't quite follow the questions. When Levin asked how Blankfein felt about the fact that Goldman collected $13 billion from U.S. taxpayers through the AIG bailout, the CEO deflected over and over, insisting that Goldman would somehow have made that money anyway through its private insurance policies on AIG. When Levin pressed Blankfein, pointing out that he hadn't answered the question, Blankfein simply peered at Levin like he didn't understand....This isn't just a matter of a few seedy guys stealing a few bucks. This is America: Corporate stealing is practically the national pastime, and Goldman Sachs is far from the only company to get away with doing it. But the prominence of this bank and the high-profile nature of its confrontation with a powerful Senate committee makes this a political story as well. If the Justice Department fails to give the American people a chance to judge this case — if Goldman skates without so much as a trial — it will confirm once and for all the embarrassing truth: that the law in America is subjective, and crime is defined not by what you did, but by who you are.
The market rallied a bit in the afternoon as rising new claims for unemployment missed analyst guesses by...
Carl Levin To Refer Goldman To Justice Department, SEC For Misleading Investors And Committing PerjurySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/13/2011 20:23 -0400
Yesterday JPMorgan, today Goldman (again) and Deutsche Bank. Following the completion of a two-year report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee of Investigations into the role of Goldman and other banks in the housing collapse, the FT reports that "US Senate investigators probing the financial crisis will refer evidence about Wall Street institutions including Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank to the justice department for possible criminal investigations, officials said on Wednesday." According to Carl "Shitty Deal" Levin, head of the subcommittee, "banks mis-sold mortgage-backed securities and misled investors and lawmakers. “We will be referring this matter to the justice department and to the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission],” he said. “In my judgment, Goldman clearly misled their clients and they misled Congress.” Bloomberg further clarifies: "At a briefing today, Levin said he believed Goldman Sachs executives weren’t truthful about the company’s transactions in testimony before the subcommittee at an April 2010 hearing. He said he would refer the testimony to the Justice Department for possible perjury charges...In my judgment, Goldman clearly misled their clients and they misled the Congress.” Levin said. And Deutsche Bank's Greg "I am short your house" Lippmann was not spared either: "Republicans and Democrats signed off on the report, which said Greg Lippmann, Deutsche’s top CDO trader, referred to assets underlying the securities as “crap” and “pigs” at the same time as his bank was selling them to clients. Prior to the crisis, Mr Lippmann built a short position in CDOs, betting that they would fall in value, even though Deutsche had a large long position on the securities." Just more smoke and mirrors? Or are we getting to a critical mass where even the very corrupt judicial system will have to respond?
Goldman Goes For The Trifecta: Lowers 2011 Copper Price Target From $11,000 To $9,800/mt; Gold, Silver Next?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/12/2011 21:05 -0400
Following two consecutive commodity downgrades which killed crude and all commodities, which led many to wonder just how many pictures of Lloyd Blankfein at Scores does Bill Dudley have locked up in his office, the bank, whose primary M.O. is to push inflation, has gone for one more deflationary report, this time cutting the last man, er doctor, standing: copper. From Goldman: "We are pushing out our $11,000/mt target to 2Q2012 and lowering our 2011 year-end copper price target to $9,800/mt from $11,000/mt. Accordingly, we recently closed our long December 2011 copper trade recommendation – first opened on October 4, 2010 – for a gain of $1,872/mt. We are also raising our 3-month forecast to $9,300/mt, and 6-month forecast to $9,600/mt." And with this we can now scratch Scores, and move on to The Bunny Ranch. Incidentally, this means gold and silver are next. You have been warned.
Final Count: Pittman Wins, Fed Loses, As Supreme Court Refuses To Grant Confidential Data Disclosure Appeal Sought By BanksSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/21/2011 10:43 -0400
In a crushing blow against the Fed and the banks that own it, in this case represented by the Clearing House Association, the Supreme Court rejected an industry appeal set forth by the CHA, that sought to keep critical bailout data from going public. The lawsuit was originally started by the great and late Mark Pittman, who tragically passed away around Thanksgiving 2009: we are confident we would be delighted to learn that his unprecedented act of suing the Fed in order to generate more transparency has finally succeeded. From Matt Winkler: " "At some point long before the credit markets seized up in 2007, financial markets collapsed and the economy plunged into the worst recession since the 1930s, the Federal Reserve forgot that it is the central bank for the people of the United States and not a private academy where decisions of great importance may be withheld from public scrutiny. As only Congress has the constitutional power to coin money, Congress delegates that power to the Fed and the Fed must be accountable to Congress, especially in disclosing what it does with the people's money."
Holy fucking shit. It is not often Money McBags wakes up to such a far reaching news story...
Top Economists: Trust is Necessary for a Stable Economy ... But Trust Won't Be Restored Until We Prosecute Wall Street FraudSubmitted by George Washington on 03/07/2011 20:59 -0400
"You put Lloyd Blankfein in pound-me-in-the-ass prison for one six-month term, and all this bullshit would stop, all over Wall Street," says a former congressional aide. "That's all it would take. Just once."
The political class and their mouthpieces in the corporate controlled mainstream media are desperately trying to spin the oil price surge as a temporary inconvenience that will not derail their phony recovery story. Brent crude closed at $116 per barrel yesterday. West Texas crude closed at $104 per barrel. Unleaded gas has risen by 22% in the last month and 60% since September 1, 2010. I’m sure this slight increase hasn’t impacted Ben Bernanke or Lloyd Blankfein. Their limo drivers just charge it to their unlimited expense accounts. Joe Sixpack, driving his 15 mpg Dodge RAM pickup, is now forking over an extra $1,200 per year in gas expenditures, not to mention more for everything impacted by oil such as food, utilities, and anything transported to their local Wal-Mart by truck (everything). Luckily, the Federal Reserve and crooked politicians only care about their comrades in the top 1% elitist society, for whom oil is an investment, not an expense.
Ten days ago, when we first looked at the Libyan investment authority (its sovereign wealth fund), we asked "Which US Banks Are Managing Billions For The $32 Billion Libyan Sovereign Wealth Fund?" Based on Wikileaks data, it was disclosed that various US banks manage billions for the country which has just seen $30 billion of its assets largely frozen (although this is merely half of its total deposits). Obviously, we had "some" banks in mind, most of the variety whose directors believe they are above the law and can share inside information with criminal intent with utter disdain for the law. Now, courtesy of Marcus Baram of the Huffington Post we find that the usual suspects are, naturally, all here: among the key banks that serve as advisors and asset managers are Goldman Sachs (and not just anyone, but Jim "Revolutions are Bullish" O'Neill's GSAM, Citi and JP Morgan. The only question now is how long before we get some sort of public statement out of the likes of Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon: on the 22nd we said: "perhaps it is time for the US banks who manage billions in capital for the LIA, to step up." Now that they have been exposed by a third party, the CEOs should really take the hint before this escalates into a full blown PR disaster.
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced insider trading charges against a Westport, Conn.-based business consultant who has served on the boards of directors at Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble for illegally tipping Galleon Management founder and hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam with inside information about the quarterly earnings at both firms as well as an impending $5 billion investment by Berkshire Hathaway in Goldman.The SEC’s Division of Enforcement alleges that Rajat K. Gupta, a friend and business associate of Rajaratnam, provided him with confidential information learned during board calls and in other aspects of his duties on the Goldman and P&G boards. Rajaratnam used the inside information to trade on behalf of some of Galleon’s hedge funds, or shared the information with others at his firm who then traded on it ahead of public announcements by the firms. The insider trading by Rajaratnam and others generated more than $18 million in illicit profits and loss avoidance. Gupta was at the time a direct or indirect investor in at least some of these Galleon hedge funds, and had other potentially lucrative business interests with Rajaratnam.
A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a [Samurai] poet--Orson Welles...
Lets hear it for Inside Job!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest Post: Analysis of the Global Insurrection Against Neo-Liberal Economic Domination and the Coming American RebellionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/26/2011 21:53 -0400
In previous Revolution Roundups, before we were knocked offline, we featured mass protests by the people of Ireland, Italy, Britain, Austria, Greece, France and Portugal, as the Global Insurrection contagion spread throughout Europe. And now, as we have seen over the past month, North African and Middle Eastern nations have joined the movement as the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco, Gabon, Mauritania, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Palestine, Iraq, Sudan and Algeria have taken to the streets en masse. The connection between this latest round of uprisings and the prior protests throughout Europe is one the mainstream media is not making. We are witnessing a decentralized global rebellion against Neo-Liberal economic imperialism. While each national uprising has its own internal characteristics, each one, at its core, is about the rising costs of living and lack of financial opportunity and security. Throughout the world the situation is the same: increasing levels of unemployment and poverty, as price inflation on food and basic necessities is soaring...The global banking cartel, centered at the IMF, World Bank and Federal Reserve, have paid off politicians and dictators the world over — from Washington to Greece to Egypt. In country after country, they have looted national economies at the expense of local populations, consolidating wealth in unprecedented fashion – the top economic one-tenth of one percent is currently holding over $40 trillion in investible wealth, not counting an equally significant amount of wealth hidden in offshore accounts. IMF imperial operations designed to extract wealth and suppress populations have been ongoing for decades. As anyone researching economic imperialism will know, a centrally planned Neo-Liberal aristocracy controls the global economy.
Libya is in the same predicament, as is Sudan, Algeria, Nigeria, Angola... What happens when people are starving while they see their leaders living lives of luxury? They get pissed! They demand CHANGE.
Stocks ended higher for the third consecutive week as protests throughout the Middle East continue to spread like misinformation during a political campaign or