Хулио Борхес, лидер конгресса, контролируемого оппозицией, в письме к главе Goldman Ллойду Бланкфейну написал, что "очевидно, Goldman Sachs решил быстро избавить от страданий венесуэльский народ": "Учитывая сомнительность этой сделки и нелепые финансовые условия, связанные с Венесуэлой и ее народом, Национальное собрание вскоре начнет расследование по этому вопросу. Я также намерен рекомендовать любому будущему демократическому правительству Венесуэлы не признавать эти облигации и не платить по ним".
Senator Elizabeth Warren says there is not too much regulation on the financial industry and explains why the return of Glass-Steagall is important
Last week news emerged that as a result of the deteriorating local economy, coupled with a plunge in hedge fund profits, the capital of Connecticut - Hartford - was preparing for bankruptcy. Among the reasons cited by Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan was that wealthy people are “dramatically less wealthy than they were before.” It turns out that, at least relatively speaking, he was correct. According to the latest annual ranking by Institutional Investor's Alpha magazine, the woes that have plagued hedge fund LPs who have paid 2 and 20 (or 1 and 10 as the case may ) for seven consecutive years of market underperformance have finally spread to management and in 2016 the 25 top paid hedge fund managers made a combined $11 billion. Although that sounds like a lot, it's actually the lowest total since 2005, when the top 25 earned just $9.4 billion. It's also just a little over half of what the top 25 managers earned just three years ago, when they reaped a total of $21.2 billion. The average top earner made $440 million in 2016. The median earner made $250 million, the lowest since 2011, when the median earner made $235 million. Surprisingly, even in 2008, when the stock market and many hedge funds were down by large-double-digit percentages, the highest earners made more money as a group: $11.6 billion. To qualify for the top 25 this year, managers needed to earn "only" $130 million, the lowest floor since 2011, when a manager required $100 million to make the list. Last year's comparatively lower numbers underscore the dichotomy of the hedge fund industry in 2016. And while data scorekeepers like HFR talked up the fact that the average hedge fund had its best year since 2013, that does not accurately portray what really happened on a fund-by-fund level. Rather, there has been a group of managers that enjoyed strong double-digit gains last year. However, looking beyond this top-performing group reveals that a significant proportion of the largest hedge fund firms - those whose principals are more likely to make the most money - either suffered small losses or eked out low-single-digit gains. As has been the case in recent years, in 2016 compensation was led by the quants who have been least impacted by the death of fundamental analysis in a centrally-planned market. RenTec's James Simons topped the table for the second year in a row, earnings $1.6 billion, down only $100 million from the previous year, after his two main funds posted double digit returns. In second place was Bridgewater's Ray Dalio, which manages around $160bn in assets for 350 institutional clients, with earnings of $1.4 billion. As the FT notes, the popularity of the computer-driven funds helped the quants rack up their eighth consecutive year of inflows in 2016, doubling their assets since 2009 to $918 billion, according to Hedge Fund Research. After the top two earners, the ranking amounts drop considerably: two more quants filled out the third and ourth spot: Two Sigma founders John Overdeck and David Siegel, who each made $750 million. Last year their Compass Fund rose by double digits. Continuing a trend from the previous year, quantitatively focused firms, so called because they mostly or totally rely on computers to make their investment decisions, were among the big winners in 2016. The four highest earners on this year's ranking hail from quant firms. A total of13 managers from last year's "Rich List" are among the top 25 earners this year; with several of qualifying even though they posted their worst results in several years. They include Kenneth Griffin of Citadel, the top earner in last year's ranking, who slipped to 6th place after his total earnings fell by about 65%. In 2016, Citadel's main multistrategy funds, Wellington and Kensington, rose a little more than 5 percent, their smallest gain in eight years. Notably, some of the best-known names in the industry, including Bill Ackman, John Paulson and Eddie Lampert failed to make the list. Among those missing in the Top 25 this year but qualified for last year's top ranking, four are from firms headed by so-called Tiger Cubs that lost money on their long-short funds in 2016. They include Chase Coleman of Tiger Global Management, Andreas Halvorsen and Daniel Sundheim of Viking Global Investors, and Stephen Mandel Jr., of Lone Pine Capital. As a result, this is the first time since 2010 that no one with ties to Julian Roberton's Tiger Management qualified for the top 25 ranking. Just to put these earnings in context, even the lowest-ranking manager on Alpha magazine’s expanded top-50 list made more money in 2016 than any big United States bank executive, including Jamie Dimon of J. P. Morgan, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs and James Gorman of Morgan Stanley, all of who have been criticized for their big paychecks.
Глава инвестиционного банка Goldman Sachs Ллойд Бланкфейн выступил с предупреждением от том, что процесс выхода Британии из ЕС может затянуться и столкнуться с серьезными трудностями. «По его словам, банк, насчитывающий в Британии 6,5 тысяч сотрудников, располагает планами по переводу их в другие страны в зависимости от исхода переговоров по "брекситу".Как сказал Бланкфейн, он хотел бы сохранить присутствие банка в стране и надеется, что эти планы не придется осуществлять. В беседе с корреспондентом Би-би-си Бланкфейн признал, что его компания вела переговоры с властями в различных европейских городах и рассматривала возможность переезда в новые более крупные помещения в ряде мест, в том числе в Дублине и Франкфурте. …Более миллиона человек заняты сейчас в финансовом секторе Британии, который приносит в виде налогов в казну 11,5% от всех поступлений, или более 70 млрд. фунтов стерлингов в год. "Ясно, что многие деловые люди стремятся к концентрации своей деятельности в одном месте, а для крупнейшей экономики мира таким местом является Британия - в смысле культуры, языка, особых отношений, и наш банк является примером этого", - сказал Бланкфейн,- Британия имеет давнюю историю в области управления рынками, особенно в финансовой сфере, но не только, и это делает страну очень привлекательным местом для деловых людей.
US investment bank does not as yet have ‘big plans’ to move UK operations
US investment bank does not as yet have ‘big plans’ to move UK operations
Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein says London's financial services industry will stall because of Brexit.
Финансовый центр Лондона может приостановить свою работу из-за потрясений, которые несет в себе Brexit для финансовых компаний, заявил глава Goldman Sachs Ллойд Бланкфейн в интервью BBC.
Финансовый центр Лондона может приостановить свою работу из-за потрясений, которые несет в себе Brexit для финансовых компаний, заявил глава Goldman Sachs Ллойд Бланкфейн в интервью BBC.
По мнению Ллойда Бланкфейна, генерального директора инвестбанка Goldman Sachs, из-за сложностей вокруг выхода Великобритании из ЕС роль лондонского Сити может уменьшиться и продолжавшийся три десятилетия рост лондонского сектора финансовых услуг затормозиться. «Этот процесс замедлится, может даже чуть пойти назад, это зависит от многих вещей, о которых мы пока не можем судить, и я знаю, что на данный момент уверенности нет. Но я не думаю, что все полностью изменится на противоположное»,— заявил господин Бланкфейн.В марте стало известно, что Goldman Sachs изучает возможности переноса части рабочих мест из Лондона на континент на случай непредвиденных обстоятельств. В лондонском отделении банка работает 6 тыс. человек. По словам господина Бланкфейна, Goldman Sachs уже ведет переговоры со многими городами Европы, включая Франкфурт и Дублин.О планах международных финансовых компаний перевести своих лондонских сотрудников в другие города читайте в материале «Ъ» «Британские финансисты…
Главный исполнительный директор второго по величине в мире инвестиционного банка Goldman Sachs Ллойд Бланкфейн предупредил, что развитие Лондона как экономического центра "застрянет" из-за рисков, связанных с процессом Brexit. "Я думаю, процесс выхода из ЕС будет долгим и предпочел бы получить это право, действовать быстро. Речь идет о долгосрочной стабильности огромных экономик с сотнями миллионов людей", - сказал Бланкфейн. "Если вы не можете пользоваться выгодами доступа в ЕС из Великобритании, и при этом никто не знает, какими будут эти правила и условия, существует риск того, что будут внесены определенные изменения, которые приведут к тому, что некоторые уменьшат свое присутствие в Соединенном Королевстве", - объяснил он. Ллойд Бланкфейн сказал, что Goldman Sachs, в котором работает 6500 людей в Великобритании, будет "действий в соответствии плана по чрезвычайным ситуациям" для перемещения людей в зависимости от результатов переговоров по выходу из ЕС. Он не назвал конкретные города, отметив только, что банк уже имеет, в частности, представительства в Дублине и во Франкфурте-на-Майне. Бланкфейн при этом выразил надежду на то, что банк, по возможности, сохранит большую часть своей деятельности в Великобритании. Информационно-аналитический отдел TeleTrade c ссылкой на BBCИсточник: FxTeam
Американский инвестиционный банк Goldman Sachs может сократить свое представительство в Лондоне и перевести часть сотрудников в другие города в странах ЕС. Об этом в интервью BBC сообщил глава Goldman Sachs Ллойд Бланкфейн.
Print section Print Rubric: Time to loosen the reins, say America’s banks. Not so fast, say regulators Print Headline: After Dodd-Frank Print Fly Title: American banks UK Only Article: standard article Issue: A decade after the financial crisis, how are the world’s banks doing? Fly Title: After Dodd-Frank Main image: 20170506_SRD004_1.jpg “LEFT TO OUR own devices,” said Lloyd Blankfein, boss of Goldman Sachs, in February, “we wouldn’t hold as much capital as we are holding.” He is not alone. “It is clear that the banks have too much capital,” wrote Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, America’s biggest bank by assets, in a letter to shareholders last month. American banks, both big and small, are chafing. Since 2009 the 33 banks deemed to be “systemically important”, which are subject to stress tests by the Federal Reserve, have added $700bn in common equity. ...
While we doubt anything material will emerge for various obvious reasons, the NY Post reports that the DOJ is probing Goldman Sachs for alleged Treasury auction rigging: the charge is that Goldman, one of the 23 US primary dealers, won almost all Treasury bond auctions from 2007 to about 2011 even after the Treasury department established safeguards to maintain competitiveness. The case is said to center on chats and emails showing Goldman traders sharing price information with traders at other banks: Chats and emails believed to show Goldman traders sharing sensitive price information with traders at other banks are at the center of the case, according to sources familiar with the investigation. “They didn’t lose many bids,” one person who has seen the bid data told The Post. The prices Goldman offered for Treasury bonds “would be very close” but just above offers from other banks, and typically arrived “at the end of the auction.” While not the first time we have had news of a DOJ probe into Treasury market rigging - the Post itself reported last March virtually the same story, namely that "Goldman Sachs probed in alleged Treasury rigging", and prior that in June of 2015 - the details are new, and suggest that collusion between the banks reaches far beyond merely FX. Also notable is the deference to Goldman by other banks, raising questions what was the quid pro quo. The timing is also notable, coming at a time when at least half a dozen Goldman Sachs alumni are in high levels of the executive branch. Which is perhaps why Goldman feels compelled to clarify that "No one has accused any bank, or Mnuchin or Cohn, of any wrongdoing." Some more details: The investigation is currently focusing on Goldman’s interactions with the bedrock of the US financial system: the Treasury’s auctions for debt in the form of bonds and notes. Those bonds, which are sold in about 300 auctions a year, not only finance the government’s operations, but also help set rates for everything from home mortgages to credit cards. Goldman is one of 23 primary dealers that bids directly with the government and then distributes Treasury bonds to their clients. In the auctions, those primary dealers submit secret ballots before 11 a.m. for as much as 35 percent of the share of the offering. The bank with the highest bid wins. The Post adds that the Treasury was aware of Goldman’s disproportionate winning streak at the time but "assumed that the bank was just better at pricing the bonds." Perhaps, or maybe Goldman was just looking to frontrun other bidders: think of it as high frequency trading in one of the world's slowest markets. Treasury officials were aware that other major investors, including some central banks, had concerns that banks were front-running their own customers in order to make more money off of them. “There had been some nervousness on the part of large buyers,” the person said. “They were worried about being front-run sometimes.” That concern contributed to a surge in direct bidders — investors who bypass the bank and try to get a chunk of the bonds through the auction process—around 2010, the source said. At the time, big investors wanted “to put their money to work in the government-bond market without revealing their intentions to the primary dealers,” noted a January 2010 Wall Street Journal article about the rise in direct bidders. “When you see a surge in direct bidders, you have to ask what it means,” the person said. Confirming that Primary Dealers felt trapped after the Post first broke news of the investigation in 2015, they promptly changed how they bid on auctions, according to the suit. "At the time that the rigging is believed the have happened, Cohn was the No. 2 person at Goldman, behind CEO Lloyd Blankfein. In Cohn’s position as president and co-chief operating officer — a position he later ran by himself — he oversaw the unit of the bank that submitted the bids to Treasury." Which is likely why if and when the DOJ finally cracks down on the responsible parties, Goldman's name, despite its dominance in TSY auctions in the 2007-2011 period, will not be named. Conveniently for the bank that has spawned more central bankers and politicians in the modern era than anyone else, at least four other banks are being investigated for colluding with Goldman traders: Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, and BNP Paribas. Treasury officials under former secretary, Jacob Lew, told the Post they found the investigation highly embarrassing, and pressed for a quick resolution of the probe. At least four other agencies—the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the New York Department of Financial Services, as well as the European Commission—are looking into the alleged rigging. And at least when it comes to Goldman, they will find nothing wrong.
Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, There is no reason for the Democratic Party to exist.– Jimmy Dore I’ve been surprised by the number of people who lived in total denial about who Barack Obama actually was throughout his entire administration, suddenly pointing out the ethical and demoralizing implications of his recent decision to accept $400,000 for a speech to Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. For myself and countless others, the writing was on the wall from virtually day one when he appointed Wall Street sycophants Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers to senior positions within his administration. Then came the policies, which were even more generous to Wall Street than any cynic could imagine. I posted countless pieces on Obama’s cronyism throughout his Presidency, constantly referring to him as an oligarch-coddling fraud, which his record unquestionably confirms. It wasn’t just Wall Street either. Although his protection and empowerment of that industry was particularly shameless, he coddled and elevated corporatism and cronyism generally throughout his eight years. As I observed in the 2015 post, Cronyism Pays – Eric “Too Big to Jail” Holder Triumphantly Returns to His Prior Corporate Law Firm Job: Trying to determine Barack Obama’s most corrupt, crony appointee presents a virtually impossible task. Every single person he’s appointed to a position of power over the course of his unfathomably shady, violent and unconstitutional presidency, has been little more than a gatekeeper for powerful vested interests. Obama’s job was to talk like a marxist, but act like a robber baron. In this regard, his reign has been an unprecedented success. So why am I writing about Barack Obama? He’s no longer President, and we once again face many of the exact same issues under President Trump. I’m addressing it because I think the fact so many people are finally having this conversation is a very good thing. We can’t have an honest dialogue about such an existential issue without admitting to ourselves the sad truth about who Barack Obama is. While I certainly understand it would’ve been far more beneficial had many of these people faced reality years ago, we don’t get to decide when people come around to admitting to themselves the truth about a person they worshipped (as my screaming into the wilderness for eight years can attest). Denial is an extremely powerful thing, and tens of millions of Democrats were completely bamboozled by Obama due to their personal obsession with the man. This is precisely why cult of personality worship is so dangerous and counterproductive when it comes to politics. We need to grow up as a culture and start supporting policies over people, logic over emotion. If you become attached to a politician or a political party like a sports team, that individual or institution can very easily manipulate and betray you. We see this over and over again, and until we move to a higher level of understanding about the world around us, we will continue to be victimized by disingenuous, opportunistic shysters. Today’s post will highlight two excellent exposes of the real Barack Obama by two individuals who were not fooled by Obama’s soaring rhetoric and false promises, Matt Stoller and Jimmy Dore. Let’s start with excerpts from Matt’s recent Medium piece, Obama the Hamiltonian: Obama, like Bush, is a Hamiltonian. He believed that those at the top of large concentrated financial institutions are experts, with top-tier credentials, and, therefore, rightful rulers. As Mr. Obama put it, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, and Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, were just “smart businessmen.” Behind this is a deep moral debate that goes back hundreds of years, to the days of Hamilton and Nicholas Biddle. Since the Boston Tea Party revolt against the British East Indies Company’s attempted monopolization of the tea trade in 1773, Americans understood local commercial institutions as enabling key decisions to be made closer to the people who bore the costs of those decisions. Advocates of centralization, like Hamilton, believed that this was an unstable and weak model for how to craft a nation-state, and that a quasi-aristocratic class should rule. The policy path of the Obama administration, like the Bush and Clinton administrations before it, and in some ways like Hamilton’s Treasury Department, was largely construed around aiding the big, and hurting the small. Local banks lost out during the crisis, as did community-oriented banks. Black-owned banks, for example, were ten times less likely to receive bailout money than non-black-owned banks. This hit at the individual level as well. People in foreclosure were treated with one set of rules, while large Wall Street firms with significant debt were treated with another. As all of you must know by now, my personal convictions and philosophical leanings call for the exact opposite approach. This Hamiltonian process of concentrating power was most obvious in the banking sector, but it is also part of an overall trend towards the monopolization of our commercial society and increasing control over our lives, our liberties, and our democracy by private financiers. Some within the Obama administration noticed problems towards the end of the administration. His administration challenged the Comcast-Time Warner merger and issued an executive order on monopoly. Antitrust chief Renata Hesse made a speech explicitly rejecting the modern pro-concentration treatment of antitrust. But this was far too little, loo late. The open markets in which entrepreneurs thrive, in which workers have bargaining power, in which business is conducted honestly and effectively for the benefit of society, was fundamentally weakened during the eight years of the Obama administration, just as they had been during the Bush administration before it. The result is a bipartisan corrosive cynicism towards democracy, Americans have been saying no to this for ten years. In 2006 and 2008, Americans threw the governing Republican Party out of power. In 2010 and 2014, they did the same to the Democrats, installing Obama in power. Then, in 2016, Donald J. Trump beat both 16 Republican candidates, and then Hillary Clinton. It’s hard to see these electoral tremors as anything other than a rejection of the moral framework of both party establishments. For virtually his whole Presidency, President Obama operated according to a Hamiltonian worldview in which social justice and concentrated capital went hand-in-hand, where technocracy was seen as superior to democracy. It is that same moral vision that animated Obama in accepting nearly half a million dollars in speaking fee money. Obama was the damn President?—?he’s a smart guy, and yeah, this is who he should be spending time with and naturally this transfer of wealth is a just reward for him to live the lifestyle to which the virtuous class is entitled. Obama’s good society was one in which a few actors in this class organize our culture using their power over our lives and liberties, because their virtue has enabled them to have the capital or credentials to do so. It’s why his policy agenda on the challenges of today’s political economy was education, early childhood education, and a higher minimum wage, rather than any means to liberate us from the concentrated financiers that organize our markets and our communities. They are doing this for our own good, for one day, maybe not you or me, but perhaps our children might be able to scratch and claw into this rarefied class. If, of course, they have the virtue and intelligence to do so. Many people believe in this system. Many don’t. But now we can actually have the argument in an honest way. The entire post is excellent and you should read it in full and share. He makes the very critical point that we as a people cannot move forward until we admit to ourselves what this country has actually become. Perhaps a shattering of the Obama illusion for the millions of those who were until recently somehow still clinging on to the dishonest “hope and change” rhetoric can serve as a starting point for some real change. Finally, I want to share Jimmy Dore’s latest rant on the topic. Readers know how much I love his show based me consistently highlighting it on these pages, but this might be his best one yet. Before you take a watch, I want to note that this week has been a little slow on the Liberty Blitzkrieg donation front, so if you enjoy my work and have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Ad revenue from the likes of Google has completely plummeted this year, and no longer represents a remotely reasonable source of revenue. I will have to depend on readers much more going forward. Here’s how to: Support Liberty Blitzkrieg
The following article by David Haggith was first published on The Great Recession Blog: President Trump, how’s that swamp drainage project going? Another big move in the last couple of weeks has been the sidelining of Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon as the Goldman-Sachs group wins more influence in the White House. Bannon has been the guardian of the anti-establishment hopes that put Candidate Trump in office. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the president’s most vocal backers on Capitol Hill, said he’s been disheartened by the chief strategist’s isolation. “A lot of us look at Steve Bannon as the voice of conservatism in the White House,” said King, who has known Bannon for years. (Politico) As Newsmax reports, In a White House marked by infighting, top economic aide Gary Cohn, a Democrat and former Goldman Sachs banker, is muscling aside some of President Donald Trump’s hard-right advisers to push more moderate, business-friendly economic policies…. More than half a dozen sources on Wall Street and in the White House said Cohn has gained the upper hand over Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, the former head of the right-wing website Breitbart News…. White House sources say he will lead the charge for Trump on top domestic priorities such as tax reform, infrastructure and deregulation…. Crucially, Cohn also has the trust of Jared Kushner, Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, and his wife Ivanka, Trump’s daughter. The family business Cohn and Kushner met at Goldman Sachs when Kushner was an intern there. Jared Kushner is, of course, the president’s son-in-law, married to Ivanka Trump. It was Kushner who paved the way for Cohn to meet Donald Trump after Trump became president-elect. Trump and Cohn did not know each other during the campaign. Kushner and Bannon, on the other hand, largely butted heads in the months that followed the election. In a family business, it doesn’t pay to run at odds with the family, and the White House seems to be running as a family business. While Trump seems to thrive on chaos and conflict as a leadership principle, the conflict became too much even for him, so two weeks ago he ordered Bannon and Kushner to find a way to “knock it off” and make it work. Trump moved Bannon out of his involvement in intelligence affairs and then began to undercut him publicly in interviews. “I am my own strategist,” Mr. Trump told the New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin in an interview on Tuesday, a pointed reference to what aides described as his growing irritation that Mr. Bannon’s allies are calling him the mastermind behind Mr. Trump’s victory…. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Mr. Trump made clear Mr. Bannon’s subordinate role, calling him “a guy who works for me.” (The New York Times) Of course, the New York Times hates Bannon, who has attacked The Times, and would love to see him lose his office. They refer to him as … the self-proclaimed deconstructor of the “administrative state” and field general in the war against the “opposition party” news media. “Opposition party news media.” That would be the NYT. Nevertheless, the diminishing words about Bannon did come from Trump’s mouth. When asked if he still has confidence in Bannon, Trump’s refusal to endorse him was readily apparent: I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late. I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary…. Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will. (The New York Post) Damned by faint praise. According to White House gossip reported in Axios, Bannon allies inside and outside the White House were taken by surprise when Goodwin’s column posted, and are distraught. Bannon allies are bitter about the role they believe economic adviser Gary Cohn has played in undercutting their guy to POTUS. In private conversations, they call him “Globalist Gary.” Axios … is told that President Trump didn’t like the stories about Bannon as the Svengali, or leaks against Jared and Ivanka, or planted stories that he blamed Bannon for. It was less than 10 weeks ago that Bannon appeared on the cover of TIME as “THE GREAT MANIPULATOR,” with the inside story asking if he was “the Second Most Powerful Man in the World.” Bannon got crosswise with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who are pushing for a more competence- and results-driven focus for the West Wing. In their view, Bannon is too inclined to want to burn things down and blow things up. (“Trump plans centrist push and Priebus is on board“) I call it gossip because sources are, as is standard journalism now, nameless. It seems likely as several news outlets have said that Bannon is losing Trump’s support because Trump’s most-botched moves, such as the Obamacare repeal and the immigrant travel ban, have been the ones Bannon orchestrated, and the president doesn’t like losing or losing face. That much we know from Trump’s public history. By undermining Bannon publicly, Trump has given Kushner the dominant role in the background at the White House. (People follow the flow of power. You can be sure everyone in the White House has figured out where the power portal to POTUS is.) Goldman sacks the White House The increase of Goldman-Sachs influence also progressed when GS executive and friend of Ivanka, Dina Powell, was upgraded a couple of weeks ago to deputy national security advisor after former Fox News personality K.T. McFarland was “promoted” to become Ambassador to Singapore. (Trump is on both his second national security advisor, after Michael Flynn was removed, and second deputy national security advisor in three months.) Powell is also a senior advisor for economic initiatives. (The latter has nothing to do with her official office, but those Goldman Gals can’t keep their fingers out of White House economic policy.) Goldman patriarch Lloyd Blankfein keeps the Goldman Gang together with occasional reunions with Cohn at the Four Seasons. All told, five former Goldman execs have taken major government positions. This is a much better season of influence for Goldman than its usual two or three high placements. All in the family As equally concerning as Goldman’s deeply embedded positions in the Administration is Jerad Kushner, himself. At the risk of presenting what may be more gossip (but certainly appears to match what can be observed): Kushner has taken aggressive action to micro-manage the NSC, overshadowing even recently installed National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, according to sources both inside and outside the White House who described Kushner’s behavior as highly unusual and damaging to the country’s national security infrastructure. Never before has a White House permitted such a figure to intervene in the NSC, which is traditionally given leeway to investigate foreign policy matters and bring advice to the president. Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon described wide-ranging frustration at the NSC over Kushner’s influence over some of the most important foreign policy portfolios, such as Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and China, among others. Senior NSC staff are finding their hands tied when it comes to performing even perfunctory duties, such as talking points and statements on high profile issues that must go through Kushner for approval.Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon described this level of involvement as kneecapping the NSC and contributing to its difficulties formulating policy.” (The Washington Free Beacon) Jared Kushner’s experience is in commercial real estate. He has absolutely no experience with national security and intelligence gathering, yet he seems to be micromanaging all aspects of both, and he seems to have assumed Reince Priebus’s role as Chief of Staff in deciding what information and what people go before the president. Like his friend Cohn, he’s also a Democrat. Officials working at the NSC, State Department, and Department of Defense “are not happy that Jared is so powerful in foreign policy,” said one White House official. “They are expected to implement the president’s agenda, but have no input or ability to get ideas in front of Jared. It’s a one-man show and that’s creating a lot of frustration.” The installation of Dina Powell [who also has no national security experience], a confidant of Kushner’s wife Ivanka, to the NSC is said to have been orchestrated by Kushner in order to solidify his power over the foreign policy organization, sources said. This helps Kushner keep tabs on the NSC’s day-to-day operations It seems the White House has become a family business, and those in the most powerful positions are liberal Democrats! Most of the chief economic advisors are from Goldman Sachs. I even note that Jared Kushner has been acting like a surrogate for the Secretary of State with his international meetings. None of that seems like a business structure that naturally leads to looking out for the middle class or that sounds like there is anyone, other than the increasingly isolated Bannon, looking out for all of Trump’s conservative campaign promises, but it may help explain why we’re seeing so much slippage from those promises after the inauguration. Looks to me like the president drained the swamp into the White House; but, hey, at least that means the rest of Washington should be getting better. For those who are convinced that Trump is just playing an elaborate game of 4D chess, I’m sure he’s just brilliantly using the White House as a corral to round up the worst of Wall Street into one place so he can shoot them all. He’ll be making a really big announcement shortly about how he defeated Goldman Sachs, the banksters he ridiculed during his campaign when crooked Hillary was making big money just for speaking to them.
Authored by Gaius Publius via Down With Tyranny blog, "We don't want a unified Korean peninsula ... We [also] don't want the North Koreans to cause more trouble than the system can absorb." —Hillary Clinton, 2013, speech to Goldman Sachs Our policy toward North Korea is not what most people think it is. We don't want the North Koreans to go away. In fact, we like them doing what they're doing; we just want less of it than they've been doing lately. If this sounds confusing, it's because this policy is unlike what the public has been led to assume. Thanks to something uncovered by WikiLeaks, the American public has a chance to be unconfused about what's really going on with respect to our policies in Korea. This piece isn't intended to criticize that policy; it may be an excellent one. I just want to help us understand it better. Our source for the U.S. government's actual Korean policy — going back decades really — is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She resigned that position in February 2013, and on June 4, 2013 she gave a speech at Goldman Sachs with Lloyd Blankfein present (perhaps on stage with her) in which she discussed in what sounds like a very frank manner, among many other things, the U.S. policy toward the two Korea and the relationship of that policy to China. That speech and two others were sent by Tony Carrk of the Clinton campaign to a number of others in the campaign, including John Podesta. WikiLeaks subsequently released that email as part of its release of other Podesta emails (source email with attachments here). In that speech, Clinton spoke confidentially and, I believe, honestly. What she said in that speech, I take her as meaning truthfully. There's certainly no reason for her to lie to her peers, and in some cases her betters, at Goldman Sachs. The entire speech reads like elites talking with elites in a space reserved just for them. I'm not trying to impugn Clinton or WikiLeaks by writing this — that's not my intention at all. I just want to learn from what she has to say — from a position of knowledge — about the real U.S. policy toward North Korea. After all, if Goldman Sachs executives can be told this, it can't be that big a secret. We should be able to know it as well. What Clinton's Speech Tells Us about U.S. Korea Policy The WikiLeaks tweet is above. The entire speech, contained in the attachment to the email, is here. I've reprinted some of the relevant portions below, first quoting Ms. Clinton with some interspersed comments from me. Then, adding some thoughts about what this seems to imply about our approach to and relations with South Korea. The Korea section of the Goldman Sachs speech starts with a discussion of China, and then Blankfein pivots to Korea. Blankfein's whole question that leads to the Clinton quote tweeted by WikiLeaks above (my emphasis throughout): MR. BLANKFEIN: The Japanese -- I was more surprised that it wasn't like that when you think of -- all these different things. It's such a part of who they are, their response to Japan. If you bump into the Filipino fishing boats, then I think you really -- while we're in the neighborhood [i.e., discussing Asia], the Chinese is going to help us or help themselves -- what is helping themselves? North Korea? On the one hand they [the Chinese] wouldn't want -- they don't want to unify Korea, but they can't really like a nutty nuclear power on their border. What is their interests and what are they going to help us do? Clinton's whole answer is reprinted in the WikiLeaks tweet attachment (click through to the tweet and expand the embedded image to read it all). The relevant portions, for my purposes, are printed below. From the rest of her remarks, the context of Blankfein's question and Clinton's answer is the threat posed by a North Korean ICBM, not unlike the situation our government faces today. MS. CLINTON: Well, I think [Chinese] traditional policy has been close to what you've described. We don't want a unified Korean peninsula, because if there were one South Korea would be dominant for the obvious economic and political reasons. We [also] don't want the North Koreans to cause more trouble than the system can absorb. So we've got a pretty good thing going with the previous North Korean leaders [Kim Il-sung and Kim Jung-il]. And then along comes the new young leader [Kim Jung-un], and he proceeds to insult the Chinese. He refuses to accept delegations coming from them. He engages in all kinds of both public and private rhetoric, which seems to suggest that he is preparing himself to stand against not only the South Koreans and the Japanese and the Americans, but also the Chinese. Translation — three points: The U.S. prefers that Korea stay divided. If Korea were to unite, South Korea would be in charge, and we don't want South Korea to become any more powerful than it already is. We also don't want the trouble North Korea causes South Korea to extend beyond the region. We want it to stay within previously defined bounds. Our arrangement with the two previous North Korean leaders met both of those objectives. North Korea's new leader, Kim Jung-un, is threatening that arrangement. It appears that China has the same interest in keeping this situation as-is that we do. That is, they want South Korea (and us) to have a Korean adversary, but they don't want the adversary acting out of acceptable bounds — coloring outside the lines laid down by the Chinese (and the U.S.), as it were. Clinton: So the new [Chinese] leadership basically calls him [Kim Jung-un] on the carpet. And a high ranking North Korean military official has just finished a visit in Beijing and basically told [him, as a message from the Chinese]: Cut it out. Just stop it. Who do you think you are? And you are dependent on us [the Chinese], and you know it. And we expect you to demonstrate the respect that your father and your grandfather [Kim Jung-il, Kim Il-sung] showed toward us, and there will be a price to pay if you do not. Now, that looks back to an important connection of what I said before. The biggest supporters of a provocative North Korea has been the PLA [the Chinese People's Liberation Army]. The deep connections between the military leadership in China and in North Korea has really been the mainstay of the relationship. So now all of a sudden new leadership with Xi and his team, and they're saying to the North Koreans -- and by extension to the PLA -- no. It is not acceptable. We don't need this [trouble] right now. We've got other things going on. So you're going to have to pull back from your provocative actions, start talking to South Koreans again about the free trade zones, the business zones on the border, and get back to regular order and do it quickly. Now, we don't care if you occasionally shoot off a missile. That's good. That upsets the Americans and causes them heartburn, but you can't keep going down a path that is unpredictable. We don't like that. That is not acceptable to us. So I think they're trying to reign Kim Jong in. I think they're trying to send a clear message to the North Korean military. They also have a very significant trade relationship with Seoul and they're trying to reassure Seoul that, you know, we're now on the case. Clinton ends with a fourth point: From the U.S. standpoint, the current problem is now on the Chinese to fix. Clinton: So they want to keep North Korea within their orbit. They want to keep it predictable in their view. They have made some rather significant statements recently that they would very much like to see the North Koreans pull back from their nuclear program. Because I and everybody else -- and I know you had Leon Panetta here this morning. You know, we all have told the Chinese if they continue to develop this missile program and they get an ICBM that has the capacity to carry a small nuclear weapon on it, which is what they're aiming to do, we cannot abide that. Because they could not only do damage to our treaty allies, namely Japan and South Korea, but they could actually reach Hawaii and the west coast theoretically, and we're going to ring China with missile defense. We're going to put more of our fleet in the area. So China, come on. You either control them or we're going to have to defend against them. The four bullets above (three, and then one) give a very clear definition of longstanding U.S. policy toward the two Koreas. I think the only surprise in this, for us civilians, is that the U.S. doesn't want the Korean peninsula unified. So two questions: Why not? And, do the South Koreans know this? I'll offer brief answers below. The "Great Game" In East Asia — Keeping the Korean "Tiger" in Check South Korea is one of the great emerging nations in East Asia, one of the "Asian tigers," a manufacturing and economic powerhouse that's lately been turning into a technological and innovative powerhouse as well. For example, one of just many, from Forbes: Why South Korea Will Be The Next Global Hub For Tech Startups American business has long led the way in high tech density or the proportion of businesses that engage in activities such as Internet software and services, hardware and semiconductors. The US is fertile ground for tech start-ups with access to capital and a culture that celebrates risk taking. Other countries have made their mark on the world stage, competing to be prominent tech and innovation hubs. Israel has been lauded as a start-up nation with several hundred companies getting funded by venture capital each year. A number of these companies are now being acquired by the likes of Apple, Facebook and Google. Finland and Sweden have attracted notice by bringing us Angry Birds and Spotify among others. But a new start-up powerhouse is on the horizon – South Korea. [...] In other words, South Korea has leaped beyond being a country that keeps U.S. tech CEOs wealthy — it's now taking steps that threaten that wealth itself. And not just in electronics; the biological research field — think cloning — is an area the South Koreans are trying to take a lead in as well. It's easy to understand Ms. Clinton's — and the business-captured American government's — interest in making sure that the U.S. CEO class isn't further threatened by a potential doubling of the capacity of the South Korean government and economy. Let them (the Koreans) manufacture to their heart's content, our policy seems to say; but to threaten our lead in billionaire-producing entrepreneurship ... that's a bridge too far. Again, this is Clinton speaking, I'm absolutely certain, on behalf of U.S. government policy makers and the elites they serve: We don't want a unified Korean peninsula, because if there were one, an already-strong South Korea would be dominant for obvious economic reasons. As to whether the South Koreans know that this is our policy, I'd have to say, very likely yes. After all, if Clinton is saying this to meetings of Goldman Sachs executives, it can't be that big a secret. It's just that the South Korea leadership knows better than the North Korean leader how to handle it. [Update: It's been suggested in comments (initially here) that Clinton's "we" in her answer to Blankfein's question was a reference to China's policy, not our own. I'm doubtful that's true, but it's an interpretation worth considering. Even so, the U.S. and Chinese policies toward the two Koreas are certainly aligned, and, as Clinton says, "for the obvious economic and political reasons." (That argument was also expressed in comments here.) I therefore think the thrust of the piece below is valid under either interpretation of Clinton's use of "we." –GP]
Пока основное внимание средств массовой (дез)информации сосредоточено на перетягивании каната республиканцами и демократами в американском конгрессе, вчера в США состоялось не менее значимое, но гораздо менее заметное для широкой публики событие. Пятнадцать ведущих американских банкиров, среди посетителей были руководители банков GoldmanSachs, JPMorgan и так далее, 02 октября посетили президента США и доступным для понимания языком постарались объяснить ему, чем может закончиться технический дефолт американских казначейских облигаций. Несмотря на то, что среди посетителей были руководители гораздо более крупных банков, чем GoldmanSachs, именно его руководитель Ллойд Бланкфейн высказал общую позицию банкиров по этому вопросу. Вкратце это выглядело следующим образом: «Вы можете спорить по политическим вопросам или даже выносить их для публичного обсуждения, но не надо использовать в качестве дубины угрозу отказа США погашать долг по своим обязательствам. Прецеденты с остановкой правительства были, прецедентов с дефолтом пока не было. Мы такого раньше не видели, и я не горю желанием оказаться свидетелем этого процесса.» Поскольку банкиры вполне ясно представляют себе, во что может вылиться отказ США расплачиваться по своим обязательствам, в том числе и для них лично, то они донесли до президента США всю серьезность происходящего, предварительно выслушав его позицию. Каких-либо дебатов о том, что США всерьез решат не оплачивать долги, не было. Этот визит был довольно показательным с разных точек зрения. Фактически представители истинных хозяев или, иными словами, совет директоров ООО «Соединенные Штаты Америки» посетил единоличный исполнительный орган данной лавочки и публично вручил ему черную метку. Вряд ли президент США рискнет ослушаться такой рекомендации. На мой взгляд, это может случиться лишь в одном единственном случае: если хозяевами Америки было принято политическое решение полностью сменить правила игры, и ответственными за надвигающийся крах было решено назначить Федеральный резерв и приближенные к нему банки. Хотя это и выглядит крайне маловероятным, но богатые люди – это особые люди, и полностью исключать такого развития событий все-таки не стоит.