Monday, November 21, 2011

Goldman rules the world

I've never exactly tried to hide my feelings about Goldman Sachs (see here, here, here, and... you know what, there's a lot of it), but I've gotta hand it to them--they're experts at expanding their global domination. While you were sleeping, it turns out Goldman's been busy completely taking over Europe.

I've already mentioned here before (in this blog post) that there's a ridiculous revolving door between Goldman Sachs and Washington, to the point where it's literally impossible to determine where Goldman ends and the federal government begins. Now, it seems that the revolving door dynamic has jumped across the Atlantic, and gone to work on the European governments, one by one. Per The Independent:

The author (Stephen Foley) goes on to write that:
Even before the upheaval in Italy, there was no sign of Goldman Sachs living down its nickname as "the Vampire Squid", and now that its tentacles reach to the top of the eurozone, sceptical voices are raising questions over its influence. The political decisions taken in the coming weeks will determine if the eurozone can and will pay its debts – and Goldman's interests are intricately tied up with the answer to that question.
Simon Johnson, the former International Monetary Fund economist, in his book 13 Bankers, argued that Goldman Sachs and the other large banks had become so close to government in the run-up to the financial crisis that the US was effectively an oligarchy. At least European politicians aren't "bought and paid for" by corporations, as in the US, he says. "Instead what you have in Europe is a shared world-view among the policy elite and the bankers, a shared set of goals and mutual reinforcement of illusions."
This is The Goldman Sachs Project. Put simply, it is to hug governments close. Every business wants to advance its interests with the regulators that can stymie them and the politicians who can give them a tax break, but this is no mere lobbying effort. Goldman is there to provide advice for governments and to provide financing, to send its people into public service and to dangle lucrative jobs in front of people coming out of government. The Project is to create such a deep exchange of people and ideas and money that it is impossible to tell the difference between the public interest and the Goldman Sachs interest.
Now, I'd be going a little too far if I were to suggest that Goldman deliberately brokered deals that saddled these incompetent governments with too much debt so that they could later roll into town when the inevitable crisis hit and "save" the governments with their financial genius, thereby ensuring that their devilish plan of taking over the world would proceed on schedule... wouldn't I? That is far-fetched, right? Wait, is it? Jesus, I don't even know anymore...

I've gotta say, if this is indeed all part of an evil master plan (and you know what, even if it isn't), I really just have to hand it to them--these guys are good. Welcome to the Goldman universe.

[The Independent]

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