Dear Trump Voters: Goldman Wins Again.
To the Trump voters scratching their heads at the PEOTUS' recent appointments. This is the nexus of finance influencing politics in real time. Here is your chance to save yourselves years of denial, cognitive dissonance, regret, and therapy when you are forced to confront the reality that you were lied to.
Why Trump Voters are Stupid
Via Soren K and Marketslant Once we cast our votes our egos have a stake in the outcome. Many become enamored with their "identity" decision. Like Obama voters before, some people actually believe things will be different this time under Trump. This bias only lets in facts corroborating their opinion. We see only what fits the identity narrative adopted. In an emergency, there are plenty of "safe spaces" we can find online to perpetuate the illusion.
And come on, Trump is the car salesman dripping in gold that attracts a certain type of car buyer, the status seeker. Maybe if I buy from him, I'll be like him. Hillary is worse. At least Trump is transparent about his narcissism.
Here's the thing, people are slowly catching on to the lies that systems perpetuate on people by co-opting leaders. The people know now that Wall Street is about money first, and service second. People are beginning to sense that Obama was not an instrument of change. The Hillary and DNC emails should have stripped voters' political delusions. Sadly that didn't happen. The power of denial is strong
Liberals are now the new bitter-clingers. They hug their idealistic but inflexible beliefs in globalism and a premature Kumbaya world. This is exactly how Obama described the right. He called them bitter-clingers to guns and G-d.
Meanwhile a whole generation of Republicans actually thinks Trump is the answer to their prayers of hope and change. Wake up. Trump is so happy he's on the inside now. He's the Howard Stern of finance/politics. Ranting to be let in. Then kissing the ring of the ones who made campaign contributions to Hillary.
Trump Now has 6 Goldman Appointees
- Bannon – Sr. Adviser
- Scaramucci – Adviser
- Mnuchin – Treasury
- Powell – Counselor
- Cohn – NEC
- Clayton – SEC
Goldman Sachs is a fraternal culture. You never really "leave" Goldman, just like there are no EX-Marines. So the question any reasonable person should be asking is "Why so many Goldman people?" The answer is we believe right now Trump and GS are building a symbiotic relationship. They are trading debt for influence via soft dollar transactions. But we have no factual evidence. We are not journalists with the resources to prove this. But there is plenty of history to tell. If there is a real journalist out there who isn't worried about getting fired for taking the time to investigate a conflicted POTUS and an opportunistic bank with an amoral behavioral pattern now is the time to look. Not 4 years from now.
Trump Org has a Lot of Debt
As of Dec 12th here were 2 of Trump's biggest corporate creditors and a simplified look at the issue each has with Trump.
1- Deutsche Bank: $364 million
- ?DB has DOJ issues in the amount of a $14 billion claim, major balance sheet problems and is in litigation with Trump on his debt.
- DB's DOJ issues are a huge conflict of interest if Trump is POTUS while the DOJ is investigating them
2- Ladder Capital: $282 million
- Trump is personally liable for $26MM
- a POTUS who is personally liable for a debt has an enormous conflict of interest
So, you can see that it is in Trump's best interest to restructure these loans because of conflicts that could impede his objectivity as President. DB is in no position to risk more headlines that drive its stock even lower as it negotiates with the DOJ on a better settlement. And Ladder is reportedly struggling under the weight of its own balance sheet.
Deutsche, Ladder, and Trump Need Help
What we need here is someone who can do DB a favor and take the debt off their hands which would: alleviate them of Trump litigation, shrink their systemically risky balance sheet, and reduce chances of more DOJ headline risk tied to the new administration.
For Ladder Capital, that hero must buy the debt and remove Trump's personal liability. Ladder had hired Citibank to help it find a buyer for the Trump debt according to Mother Jones.
Meanwhile, Trump needs to divest himself of potential interest conflicts as well as make sure he is not a sitting president who can be sued by a creditor. What would be even cooler would be if somehow Trump could get his deals renegotiated at better terms. But how to reciprocate if someone did such a favor?
Enter Goldman Sachs?
Sources: GS had been buying Trump's debt up from Deutsche and Ladder with totals so far around $400 mm. This is yet not confirmed, and we are not in the business of empty conjecture. So lets see if there is a trade here.
Like most people, we are kept in the dark fact-wise and fed a lot of crap by our elitist bettors. Some decision analysis is warranted.
- Who Benefits?- Trump, DB, Ladder, and whoever buys the debt
- Who has the ability to do it?- any Financial institution with good lawyers and weak ethics (all of them)
- Who has done it in the past?- all of them
- How do Trump and the Debt Buyer materially benefit?
- Trump benefits because the debt terms under GS (or other bank) are probably better for him. (Lower rates, personal liability removed etc)
- Trump Rewards GS (or other bank) with positions that afford policy influence, "first to know", status, etc
- How does the Debt Buyer avoid conflict with Trump?
- be squeaky clean with the DOJ- a white knight at the Buffet table always helps
- have off balance subsids it can put debt in- e.g. former employees who run hedge funds that the former employer invests in
- securitize debt and sell to client base- like subprime loans
- must be sharp with a flat hierarchy and low bureaucratic latency- a firm that aggregates risk but decentralizes decision making (Marines, not Army)
Here is your chance right now to acknowledge what your gut is already telling you before 4 years go by. Trump is full of shit and out for himself only. If something good comes of his administration it will not be because of him. It will likely be in spite of him. Intervention in markets and economies only helps in the direction of the trend.
Why We Feel Goldman is Buying the Debt
So empirically speaking, not as politicians who claim objectivity in their process but use rhetoric to manipulate facts, we can say 2 things:
- Based on evidence, belief, and past behaviors it is highly likely that some firm is going to accumulate Trump's debt.
- And based on Trump's appointees, GS culture and acumen, we put Goldman Sachs at the top of that list.
When the data suggests or drifts in another direction we will adjust our opinion. We are careful to test our own biases and acknowledge them
So we don't know if Goldman is running around collecting Trump's chits. But we damn sure expect someone is because there is a need for it on both sides of the equation. DB and Ladder need out, and Trump needs out. And we don't see 10 guys from DB or CITI being hired. We see Goldman guys getting jobs.
And if we are wrong, that's ok too. Because someone is buying that debt. DB and Ladder definitely do not want it.
Goldman and the Emolument Clause
There is one other large loan that already directly involves Goldman Sachs. It's the one discussed in context of the Constitution's emolument clause.
Time: "It appears that Trump’s largest debt obligation is tied up with his 30% stake in the building at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, which is near Rockefeller Center. The financial obligation on that building is $950 million. Trump is responsible for 30% of that debt. It is, by far, the single biggest debt obligation among his signature properties. Were it to become a troubled asset for any reason, it would cause an immense and immediate problem for the bottom line of his business. There are two big lenders involved with the complicated debt structure on this asset, the Times reported. One of them is the state-owned Bank of China. The other is Goldman Sachs."
Legally, we are sure Trump will have a defendable argument. But biased and objective in his duties as POTUS? Doubt it.
There is no Conclusive Proof, and There Never Will Be Again
The brilliance of society's embracing deductive reasoning banished opinions without facts being represented as truth. But unethical people find a way to pervert it now. They say things like: No body, no murder... "f they don't have proof, just deny it... and "What is the definition of IS?" Facts are only the purview of higher ups. Its kind of a class warfare thing.
The result is, no-one asks ( or is afraid to ask) the questions anymore that lead to the facts that prove or dismiss the intuition. Everyone is a fucking lawyer now. Did you see your child take the cookie? Then you can't be sure, can you? Nothing gets investigated unless we have metaphysical certitude now. The Gold and Silver manipulation case is an example. The perpetrators do not care. They are off shearing sheep in Asia now after manipulating metals for 20 years.
No-one will call that yellow thing with the orange beak a duck until it: drinks the water, lays an egg, and bites you on the face these days.
So when something cannot be proven factually, but the consilience of accumulated data using different measuring methods points to a likelihood of truth, adjust your behavior accordingly. We do not know if Trump is cutting deals that compromise his status, but we believe he is and will act accordingly. We will stay away from the thing that looks like a duck until proven otherwise.