Has Former Goldman Sachs President, Gary Cohn, Gone Rogue on Glass-Steagall?

There are a few important things to know about Gary Cohn. Until Donald Trump tapped him to be the Director of the National Economic Council, he had worked at Goldman Sachs for a quarter century, rising to the position of President of the firm and second only to its CEO, Lloyd Blankfein. Cohn walked out of Goldman in December with approximately $285 million, comprised mainly of Goldman stock, some of which had been granted early vesting. Since his exit from Goldman, Cohn has wasted no time in selling large chunks of his Goldman shares according to his financial disclosures. While this serves to reduce his conflicts of interest with Goldman, it also provides a face-saving means of exiting a massive position in a Wall Street bank without the appearance of panic or disloyalty.
Against this backdrop comes the widely reported news that on April 5 Cohn met with Senators serving on the Senate Banking Committee and expressed support for bringing back a modern-day version of the depression era Glass-Steagall Act – legislation which was passed as a result of the Wall Street collapse of 1929 to 1933, which erased 90 percent of the market’s value. (Yes, 90 percent.) That legislation created Federally-insured deposits and barred insured commercial banks from being affiliated with Wall Street investment banks. It protected the U. S. financial system for 66 years until its repeal in 1999 under the Bill Clinton administration. It took only nine years after its repeal for Wall Street to implode in the same epic fashion as the ’29 crash.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on April 17, 2017.

45 Trillion Reasons Why Gary Cohn Has Recused Himself From All Goldman Matters

Goldman’s former President and COO, who was recently picked to be Trump’s chief economic advisor as head of the National Economic Council, will recuse himself from any matters directly involving his former employer, the White House told the Financial Times.
The topic emerged when the FT learned that the former “#2” at Goldman was spearheading Goldman’s lobbying at the US derivatives regulator on rules prompted by the role swaps contracts played in the 2008 financial crisis. As president of Goldman Sachs, Cohn attended four meetings in 2015 and 2016 with top officials at the CFTC to discuss the swaps rules mandated by the sweeping Dodd-Frank reforms, according to meeting records.
As the FT adds, Cohn’s most recent CFTC meeting as a Goldman representative was on February 19 2016, according to the records. On the same day Trump was campaigning in South Carolina, where he mocked Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton by saying Goldman Sachs had ‘total control’ over them. He ended his campaign by airing an anti-Wall Street ad that displayed an image of Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein as Mr Trump talked of ‘a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class’.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 23, 2017.

Trump Concerned There Are Too Many “Goldman Guys” On His Team

Two days after democratic senators Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin sent a letter to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, asking if Goldman effectively runs the country through its extensive alumni links at the Trump administration, and requesting details on “lobbying” activities in the bank related to review of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Obama-era fiduciary rule on financial advice, as well as asking for any communication between the bank’s employees and Cohn, Mnuchin, nominee for the SEC chair Jay Clayton and chief strategist Steve Bannon, Bloomberg reported overnight that yet another Goldman banker, Jim Donovan, was under consideration for the No. 2 job at the Treasury Department, however it appears he has “got one big thing working against him.”
That “thing” is the overdue realization by the new president that his cabinet openly appears to have been created and staffed by populism arch nemesis #1, Goldman Sachs. Besides Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary, former Goldman officials working for the new administration include former president Gary Cohn, now director of the National Economic Council; Stephen Bannon, the chief White House strategist; and Dina Powell, formerly the bank’s head of philanthropic investment, who’s an assistant to the president and senior counselor for economic initiatives.
So just like Goldman would staff every central bank’s core positions prior to Trump, after the US election, the world’s most influential investment bank has shifted all of its attention on just one person, and he is finally starting to realize that that may not be a good thing.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 12, 2017.

How You Become a Crony

Trump Bump
BALTIMORE – Who’s the biggest winner so far? ‘Government Sachs!’ Fortune magazine reports that the winningest person since Trump’s election is Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Goldman’s stock price is back to where it was just before the last crash in 2008. And Blankfein is back in high cotton, too; his holdings in the firm have gained $140 million in the last four weeks.
Donald Trump pledged to take the elite down a notch. So far, they’re going in the opposite direction. Worldwide, they’re up about $4.4 trillion, as their stocks have soared in the ‘Trump Bump.’
Many of America’s best investors – including Carl Icahn and Ray Dalio – think this is just the beginning. And with some of the nation’s most successful moneymen at his side, including a former Goldman guy in the Treasury, many people are betting that Trump will bring a sustained boom.
We’ve been looking at crony capitalism. Our hypothesis is that it is funded by the feds’ fake money and enabled by their regulations. So far, we’ve looked at ex-Goldman banker Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for secretary of the Treasury.
While he was making a fortune at Goldman, a major Main Street company, Sears was turned into a Wall Street victim. Its stock is down quite a bit. And it is expected to declare bankruptcy in a few months. Wilbur Ross, Trump’s new man for the Department of Commerce, used federal regulation of imports to make a billion dollars in the steel industry.

This post was published at Acting-Man on December 22, 2016.

A Look Inside Iceland’s Kviabryggja Prison: The One Place Where Criminal Bankers Face Consequences

What do Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, James Gorman, John Thain, Jimmy Cayne, and any of the revolving door of AIG CEO’s have in common? Three things come to mind rather quickly: 1) All were financial executives during the 2008 global financial crisis. 2) All of their firms received massive public bailouts. 3) None of them went to jail for their firm’s involvement in said crisis. As a matter of fact, most are still plugged in somewhere on Wall Street, presumably helping to facilitate the next great financial crisis.
While everyday Americans were (and still are) quite disgusted with the fact that absolutely nobody was actually held accountable for the creation of the financial crisis, it’s safe to say that most have given up hope that anyone will be convicted. As a matter of fact, US Attorney General Eric Holder once said thatbanks are so large that it would be difficult to prosecute anyone.
That’s nice.
Enter Iceland, a small country of roughly 330,000 residents, where as Bloomberg reports, bank executives are actively being prosecuted and sent to jail for their negligent actions.
Unlike the jellyfish in the US, Iceland appointed Olafur Hauksson as special prosecutor to investigate bankers and their roles in the financial crisis. The result? 26 convictions of bankers and financiers since 2010. In upholding the convictions, Iceland’s Supreme Court said that actions were ‘thoroughly planned’, and ‘committed with concentrated intent’ – refreshingly different than Holder’s let’s just let them get away with it because it’s hard to figure out verbiage.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 04/03/2016 –.

Charlie Munger On Trump As President: “Anyone Who Makes Money Running A Casino Isn’t Morally Qualified”

It’s amazing, but nearly a year into the Trump campaign the pundits still don’t get it: the louder established members of the broken, crony capitalist status quo rail against Trump, the higher his popularity. And there are few more entrenched crony capitalists than the partner of Barack Obama’s “tax advisor”, the person who singlehandedly crushed the Keystone XL pipeline project so it would generate more profits for his oil trains, Hillary’s number one supporter (perhaps tied with Lloyd Blankfein), Warren Buffet’s sidekick Charlie Munger.
Earlier today Munger, the vice chairman at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., dismissed Republican Donald Trump’s qualifications to be president, during the annual meeting of his Daily Journal Corp. As reported by Bloomberg, Munger, 92, responded to a question whether a person who couldn’t make money in the gaming industry would be a good fit for the top office in the U. S.
‘Well, he did make money for quite a while,’ Munger said. ‘My attitude is that anybody who makes money running a casino is not morally qualified.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 02/10/2016.

The “Revolving Door” Goes Full Retard: SEC Hires Goldmanite Who Previously Worked At The SEC

Just when you thought the US regulators may have finally become less tone deaf to the shame of the revolving door, especially following last year’s latest scandal confirming Goldman runs the New York Fed (and every other central bank), here comes the SEC with an absolute shocker, not only proving once and for all that when it comes to regulatory capture, there is nobody in charge quite like Lloyd Blankfein, but unveiling what may have been the first ever double revolving door in SEC history, after the SEC announced it had hired as its new chief of staff a former Goldman worker who had previously worked at… the SEC. And with that the we have gone not only full circle but full retard as well.
From the SEC:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/28/2015.