Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein's Criminal Defense Attorney Is Eric Holder's Best Friend
CRONYISM REVEALED: Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein's Criminal Defense Attorney Is Eric Holder's Best Friend
Say hello to Reid Weingarten.
The worst part of the Eric Holder, Covington & Burling, Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, MF Global, Jon Corzine non-functioning Department of Justice is that the one group capable of forcing this issue onto the front pages and into the mainstream spotlight, seems to have no interest in doing so.
Congressional Republicans (and Democrats for that matter) are consistently silent on the failure of Obama to prosecute Wall Street. The opposition party seems quite content with the status quo.
By Wynton Hall from Big Government
Reprinted with permission.
Blankfein's Attorney Is Eric Holder's Best Friend
The crony connections just keep on coming over at Eric Holder’s Department of Justice. Last week, the Justice Department announced that it will not prosecute Goldman Sachs or any of its employees in a financial probe. Could that be because the attorney for Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was none other than Attorney General Eric Holder’s “best friend” and former personal attorney, Reid Weingarten?
Or because in 2008, Goldman Sachs employees donated $1,013,091 to Barack Obama?
Or because Goldman Sachs is the former client of Eric Holder’s and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer’s law firm, Covington & Burling?
The conflicts of interest and cronyism at Holder’s Department of Justice are so many that it took a 27-page report by the Government Accountability Institute to catalog them all.
And lest one forget: Holder's best friend Reid Weingarten--who previously represented child rapist Roman Polanski--is also the lawyer for former MF Global treasurer Edith O’Brien. On Thursday, the New York Times reported that Holder's Justice Department will not be criminally charging Jon Corzine or any MF Global executives in that case either.
Weingarten, who calls himself a “hard-core child of the ‘60s,” apparently has a soft spot for Wall Street fat cats. "I feel like I'm in the French Revolution, defending the nobility against the howling mob," Weingarten told Bloomberg in 2002.
So, to recap, Goldman Sachs, which donated $1,013,091 to Barack Obama in 2008 and whose CEO is represented by Holder's best friend, will not face prosecution. Nor will Obama bundler Jon Corzine, who raised at least $500,000 for Barack Obama.
Indeed, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice has not charged, prosecuted, or convicted a single top Wall Street executive.
Just let me know how Kevin Bacon fits in to this.
A bull($#!t) market
The Dow is back, long live the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But what about us?
What about the 7 million who lost their jobs since the equity index last visited the 14,000 level? Or the 20 million additional Americans who are on food stamps since October 2009? Are they not the economy, too?
Truth is, the stock market is setting new highs daily, extending what is now the sixth-largest bull market move since the Great Depression, only because of master matador Ben Bernanke. The Dow has soared 128 percent since the first hint that the Federal Reserve would start its quantative easing in March 2009.
Despite all the grandstanding, podium pounding and prognosticating coming out of Washington about how the fiscal cliff and sequestration were going to hurt America, the benchmark index laughed right through it, knowing that Fed chief Bernanke was going to provide on average $4 billion a day of liquidity to the markets.
Citigroup could be considered the poster child of the “bifocal economy.”
The bank took in $45 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program money and got an additional $45 billion line of credit from the Treasury Department along with a government guarantee of $300 billion for its own troubled assets. And to this day, Citi struggles to find its footing.
The bank continues to lay off people by the thousands. Citi, which at its height in 2007 had 357,000 employees, today only has 260,000 and announced three months ago that an additional 11,000 cuts are to come. And new Chief Executive Michael Corbat has forewarned that if the bank’s businesses do not grow, things will get even worse.
But you wouldn’t know things were so dire looking at Citi’s share price, which has risen nearly 200 percent on split-adjusted basis since March 2009. Investors know that, just like the millions of unemployed, the bank lives off Uncle Sam’s largess.
TARP may have saved Citi, American International Group (AIG), Fannie Mae and others, but Bernanke’s QE and zero interest-rate policy is what bolsters the balance sheets.
Wall Street banks profit most by having the cost of capital — their lifeblood — at near zero while lending at 12 percent to 18 percent on credit cards and 3 percent to 5 percent on mortgages.
The banks can and have survived on this, but they cannot thrive — just like the economy.
On Citibank’s balance sheet, interest rate-based assets rise in value as the Fed just keeps buying up Treasuries and mortgage bonds. The profits keep coming as long as the Fed sustains the impetus.
In a recent research piece, BTIG’s Dan Greenhouse aptly pointed out that corporate earnings were up 128 percent from the lows of March 2009 — and so is the market!
Profits are what move the equity markets, not the quality of those profits. If you cut payroll or avoid taxes by leaving money overseas, the markets pay no mind. And the 30 Dow stocks and the 500 in the Standard & Poor’s index have the most flexibility to execute such moves.
Typically, stock markets and economies work in sync: A strong economy drives a strong market and vice versa. Ordinarily, you don’t get earnings to rise in weak, stagnant economies like this one — unless there’s some mischievous meddling going on like ultra-low interest rates for a protracted period, which forces pension funds and annuities to abandon the bond market and pitch into the stock market.
In Spain, every once in a while a spectacular fighting bull is spared in the ring due to his vigor and cunning, and is returned to his native ranch to breed.
Only time will tell if the snorting bull sent to markets by Bernanke will live a long, full and enriching life.
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