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.
However, depending on just how aggressive the US DOJ is, it may have criminal implications as well: according to the Weekly Standard, citing CNN conversations with "experts", Hillary Clinton broke the law by using her personal email account to conduct official State Department business while she was secretary of state.
"This is a very big deal," Brianna Keilar said to host Chris Cuomo. "And you said she may have broken laws or rules here, Chris, well a lot of experts say that she did by using only a personal account while she was secretary of state. This is a huge development, especially as Hillary Clinton is just perhaps weeks from declaring her candidacy for president." Keilar went on to suggest other Democrats might be tempted to run for president after this latest revelation.
One person who was obviously delighted by the latest development was Clinton's main Republican competitors, Jeb Bush, whose camp on Monday was quick to pounce on the email scandal, while also invoking the farcical IRS Lois Lerner "excuse" that emails were lost due to failed hard drives. To wit from Politico:
"A potential rival of Clinton in the presidential campaign, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), called on the former secretary of state to make the collection of emails public. “Hillary Clinton should release her emails. Hopefully she hasn’t already destroyed them,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said. “Governor Bush believes transparency is a critical part of public service and of governing.”
As Bloomberg adds, "The revelation is an opportunity for Bush, a likely Republican presidential candidate, to contrast himself with Clinton, the presumed Democratic frontrunner, on the issue of transparency. Bush, a famously active e-mailer as governor of Florida, in December said he intended to release about 250,000 messages from his time as governor, to accompany an e-book"
Overnight, Bush added on Twitter:
But while one could ascribe victory to the Florida republican in this latest scrimish, the real victor of this spat between the so-called "left" and "right" is the firm that stand to benefit no matter who wins: Goldman Sachs.
Why? Because both Bush and Clinton are desperate to be courted by the bank that made bloodsucking molluscs infamous, and to have the opportunity to return the favor in spades once either of the two moves to occupy the oval office.
As Politico reports in the "Goldman Sachs Primary", one can "forget the Democratic and Republican primaries: The two biggest names in the 2016 presidential race are competing directly against each other in an elite forum, the halls of Goldman Sachs."
Which means that the FDIC-backed hedge fund which understands hedging better than anyone, is about to insure that whoever wins the now largely irrelevant presidential election in a world in which central banks call all the shots, Goldman will remain in control.
Enter Bush, who this week will enjoy not one but two Goldman-organized fundraisers:
Jeb Bush will be back in New York raising money next week with his sights set on Goldman, the wealthiest and most successful bank in Wall Street history. He has a pair of events scheduled for next Wednesday with current and former Goldman executives, sources familiar with Bush’s plans said.
Bush’s first Goldman event next Wednesday will take place at the Ritz Carlton and is being organized by Dina Powell, who heads the Goldman Sachs Foundation and served in the White House under George W. Bush. Other organizers include John Waldron, co-head of investment banking, Alison Mass, a senior investment banker, and Faryar Shirzad, a Goldman executive in Washington who also served in the George W. Bush administration. The $5,000 per head event is expected to include younger Goldman executives.
The events signal that Bush hopes to go head to head for Goldman money and support with Hillary Clinton, who also has strong ties to the bank and is expected to raise large sums from its executives to help fund her likely presidential campaign. And it means the nation’s richest investment bank is increasingly putting its money on the two best-known candidates, both of whom are viewed across Wall Street as centrists who could cool some of the scorching anti-banker rhetoric and policies emanating from the Elizabeth Warren wing on the left and the tea party movement on the right.
The former Florida governor will rake in much larger checks of $50,000 per head later in the evening at a more exclusive affair organized by Jim Donovan, a senior Goldman executive who was a key fundraiser and adviser for Mitt Romney and is now playing the same role for Bush. It will also feature John Thain, a former Goldman president who went on to serve as CEO of the New York Stock Exchange and now heads middle-market lender CIT. Other organizers include Scott Kapnick, a former co-head of investment banking at Goldman who is now chief executive of Highbridge Capital along with Ed Forst, a former co-head of Goldman’s investment management division. Muneer Satter, a former Goldman executive who was a co-chair of Romney’s finance committee in 2012, is another organizer.
In addition to at least achieving parity with Clinton in the Wall Street money race, Bush is looking to muscle out other GOP candidates for financial services industry cash, especially New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. So far, Bush has succeeded in this effort on his way to what supporters hope will be a war chest as large as $100 million by the end of the first quarter for Bush’s Right to Rise political action committees. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker draws significant interest from Wall Street. But the other potential GOP candidates including Senators Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, whose wife works at Goldman, have drawn much less support.
But the fight to dislodge Clinton as Goldman's favorite future president will be an uphill one:
The battle for the hearts and wallets of Goldman Sachs titans goes right to the top. Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein is close to Clinton and has held fundraisers for her. The former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state gave a well-paid speech to Goldman executives in 2013.
She and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have both raised huge sums from Goldman and all across Wall Street for their campaigns and charitable foundation. But Blankfein has also made warm comments about some in the Republican field including Bush. Blankfein has indicated he would be fine with either a Bush or Clinton presidency.
Of course he would: it's called "hedging" after all.
Then again, perhaps Goldman's televised infatuation with leaning left has ended: 'Goldman, along with the rest of Wall Street, steered much of its cash to then-Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential cycle, helping him raise $16 million. But they abandoned Obama for favorite son Mitt Romney in 2012. Clinton is expected to draw Wall Street cash back to the Democratic Party in 2016. And Bush is moving early to make sure the former first lady does not establish any kind of dominance in the financial sector."
One thing is clear: both candidates are desperate to get access to Goldman's check book: "Executives at Goldman and other Wall Street banks are even more vital in 2016 because they can write giant checks to so-called super PACs backing individual candidates. And as long as Bush is not an announced candidate he can personally attend super PAC events like the one hosted by Kapnick. Once Bush is officially in the race, he will no longer be able to coordinate with his super PAC."
So what is the Goldman strategy here? All too simple: shower both candidates with money (money which was recently printed by the same Fed, whose all important New York branch is controlled by a former Goldmanite), and in return expect protection from the very top to assure nothing can ever touch the vampire squid.
“Goldman likes to play both sides of the fence and that’s especially true of a race like this where either of these two candidates — Bush and Clinton — could ultimately be helpful to them,” said Charles Geisst, a Wall Street historian at Manhattan College.
Campaign finance experts say Goldman is hoping another President Bush or President Clinton would both push for Wall Street-friendly policies and draw on Goldman’s executive ranks for expertise, a practice that has fallen out of favor in the years following the financial crisis.
“Goldman is a behemoth that invests in everything and advises every industry and what it wants is literally everything,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “It’s concerned about tax reform, Dodd-Frank implementation, energy and nuclear power and everything else. It will be interesting to see who wins this Goldman Sachs sweepstakes because it is such an influential player.
It will be, and in the meantime, Goldman will make sure it is providing enough funding to both candidates just so when the time comes to callin a favor or two, either Hillary or Jeb pick up the phone.
In the meantime, the perfectly naive US public continues to believe in such quaint, long refuted, ideas as "democracy", "representation" and "left vs right", all of which have long since been LBOed (at record low rates) by Wall Street's FDIC-backed hedge fund, pardon, banking titans.