Saturday, August 11, 2012

Someboby Loves Goldman Sachs


Yesterday we asked what Wall Street wants in return for switching allegiance to the GOP this cycle. The Obama Administration certainly just handed them a good reason to not switch, or to not switch entirely-- although it was probably a major mistake that will backfire from all cylinders. The Justice Department is letting a bunch of crooked banksters get off scott free... again. It was announced on Thursday in an unsigned Justice Department memo that there will be no criminal charges for the firm or any of it's shady employees in a subprime mortgage scam called Abacus. Goldman got a wrist slap two years ago, settling with the SEC for $550 million, without admitting wrongdoing.

As for who loves Goldman Sachs... it shouldn't be the American public, but Goldman takes good care of our political elites. Not even counting lobbying-- so just, basically the legalistic bribes big companies pay politicians-- Goldman is the #1 donor in the entire Financial/Isrance/Real Estate sector. So far this cycle they've paid out $4,947,604 to politicians. Goldman and it's employees have given 6 times more money to Romney, the top recipient of their largesse this cycle, than to Obama and their big bets are on a mix of pro-Wall Street shills from both sleazy parties, though mostly to the Republican sleazy party:
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)- $72,200
Bob Corker (R-TN)- $67,500
Chris Murphy (D-CT)- $66,860
Scott Brown (R-MA)- $60,550
Marco Rubio (R-FL)- $51,000
Ted Cruz (R-TX)- $37,750

Their biggest bribes to House incumbents went to Boehner (R-OH- $28,000), Cantor (R-VA- $26,000), Crowley (New Dem-NY- $25,850), Jim Himes (New Dem-CT- $25,300), Peter Roskam (R-IL- $21,000), Rick Berg (R-ND- $18,500) and Kevin McCarthy ($17,500), all among the most notoriously corrupt Members of Congress, especially when it comes to Wall Street. And this cycle Goldman is the #1 biggest single contributor to 145 Members of Congress, including most of the sleaziest Members-- a few examples of Members owned by Goldman Sachs: Aaron Schock (R-IL), Adam Schiff (Blue Dog-CA), Allyson Schwartz (New Dem-PA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dave Camp (R-MI), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Ed Royce (R-CA), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN), Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT), John Boehner (R-OH), Joe Crowley (New Dem-NY), Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm (R-NY), Miss McConnell (R-KY), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Rick Berg (R-ND), Scott Brown (R-MA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Steve Israel ("ex"-Blue Dog-NY)... you get the picture? Goldman Sachs, the key to American economic meltdown and subsequent bankster bailout is the #1 donor to these heavy hitters. And you wonder why the system doesn't function for ordinary working families? Goldman is also the #1 contributor this cycle to the RNC, the DNC, the NRCC and the NRSC.

But it doesn't end there. Goldman also has a PAC and that's been handing out bribes to our political elites like there's no tomorrow. So far this cycle the Goldman Sachs PAC gave $336,000 to House Republicans and $275,500 to House Democrats. They tend to favor the most corrupt Members with the highest contributions, so no surprises here. These are all big bribe recipients (over and above what they got from Goldman executives) and each is a notorious Wall Street whore:
John Boehner (R-OH)- $10,000
Rick Berg (R-ND)- $10,000
Dave Camp (R-MI)- $10,000
Eric Cantor (R-VA)- $10,000
Joe Crowley (New Dem-NY)- $10,000
Robert Dold (R-IL)- $10,000
Nan Hayworth (R-NY)- $10,000
Greg Walden (R-OR)- $9,500
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- $9,500
Patrick McHenry (R-NC)- $9,000
Terri Sewell (New Dem-AL)- $9,000
Ed Towns (D-NY)- $9,000

So why doesn't the media report on this kind of grotesque corruption? Meet the financial media:
Adam Davidson is the co-creator and host of the popular economic news radio program Planet Money. On air, Davidson plays the role of an earnest, brainy reporter who’s doing his best to make sense of the complicated, jargon-filled world of finance to report business news in a way that NPR listeners can understand. However, behind the dweeby, faux-naive facade Adam Davidson presents to his listeners is a shrewd propagandist with a long, consistent history of shilling for powerful and destructive interests-- and failing to disclose his financial ties to the companies and industries he reports on.

Over the years, Davidson has boosted for the Iraq War and whitewashed the occupation of Iraq, praised sweatshop labor and "experimenting on the poor," attacked the idea of regulating Wall Street, parroted libertarian propaganda about the government’s inability to directly create jobs, argued for "squeezing the middle class," and shamelessly fawned over Wall Street for allegedly blessing Americans with "just about anything that makes you happy."

While Adam Davidson has recently come under increasing scrutiny for using his NPR platform to promote the narrow interests of the super-wealthy in this country, little attention has thus far been given to Davidson's corruption-- his numerous financial conflicts of interest that seriously undermine his claims to being a journalist, and instead reveal Davidson as a glorified product spokesman for his Wall Street sponsors.

...As a piece of journalism, Davidson's report on the subprime fraud was a failure bordering on journalistic malpractice. By absolving the role of rampant predatory criminality and spreading blame in a grand false equivalency, Davidson provided a narrative frame that comforted the American Establishment at a time when it badly needed comforting, and was duly rewarded for his services. The mainstream media joined Timothy Geithner in lavishing praise on Davidson's subprime fraud whitewash, and awarded him and his partner with the prestigious "Peabody Award" while New York University's Journalism Institute named the segment one of the "Top Ten Works of Journalism of the Decade."

Thanks to this broad acceptance and praise of Davidson's whitewash, he was given his own show, which launched just as the entire financial system began to melt down.

The new show, called Planet Money, was a partnership between NPR and Chicago Public Media's This American Life, and was molded on Davidson’s successful subprime episode. Not surprisingly, Planet Money was compromised almost from the very start.

In early 2009, just a few months after Planet Money was launched, NPR announced it had secured Ally Bank (formerly GMAC) as the show's exclusive sponsor. It was an unusual setup for NPR, and unusual (and highly dubious) for anything that called itself journalism, because it meant that a major troubled financial institution was the only source of money for a news program about finance. At the time that the unusual agreement was signed, Planet Money was the only NPR program underwritten by a single exclusive sponsor. The arrangement raised eyebrows and would have been unthinkable before the crisis-- but even by post-crisis funding arrangements, Planet Money's deal with Ally Bank stood out as such an obvious violation of basic journalism standards that even Ad Age, the advertising industry's trade publication, was taken aback by the "close alignment of message and news program."

To understand why Davidson's arrangement with Ally Bank is so odious, a little background is needed. Ally Bank is a subsidiary of Ally Financial, a giant financial services company formerly known as GMAC. There's a good reason why GMAC would have wanted to change its name to "Ally Financial" after the financial collapse: The bank is one of the biggest mortgage servicers in the country, and has been one of the very worst offenders in foreclosure fraud and in the very same subprime fraud that Davidson whitewashed as a "blameless" phenomenon. GMAC deserves far more blame-- and jail time-- than any of the subprime borrowers it fleeced and ruined. Since GMAC collapsed in late 2008, it has received more than $17 billion taxpayer bailout funds in a series of bailouts. As of August 1, 2012, 74% of Ally Financial was still owned by the U.S. Government.

At the time Ally signed its sponsorship agreement with Planet Money, the bank was being investigated across the country for foreclosure fraud, robo-signing fraud, and student loan fraud. Even as bad bailed-out banks go, GMAC/Ally is considered one of the worst, most tainted of them all.

Planet Money's relationship with Ally is a textbook example of a “conflict of interest" of the sort every journalist is taught to shun. The bank had a clear and demonstrable interest in Planet Money's coverage of the financial industry, especially issues that affected the bank’s bottom line. As Planet Money's sole sponsor at a time when NPR funds were falling, Ally obviously wielded considerable power.

After Davidson sprang a vicious and bizarre smear-attack on Elizabeth Warren in 2009, some NPR listeners started to get wise to Planet Money's corruption problem, and made their concerns known. Following months of complaints from readers pointing to the conflict of interest and the way Planet Money's segments dovetailed with the banking lobby's own propaganda-- and with Ally's interests-- NPR’s Ombudsman was forced to issue a public statement on the Ally-Planet Money relationship. Perhaps not surprisingly, the NPR Ombudsman decided that listeners' concerns over the conflict-of-interest were "cynical"-- as if the problem lay in listeners' psychology, rather than in Planet Money's violation of basic journalism ethics. The NPR Ombudsman went further, arguing essentially that if listeners who complained about corruption weren't cynical, then they were ignorant.

Ignorant... so now we know. Democrats running the ad below think it will horrify normal American voters. But to banksters, it's like pornography. They get woodies and beat off to their photos of Ayn Rand when they look at it:

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At 5:49 AM, Anonymous me said...

Yeah, Obama sucks. We knew that already.

Too bad he didn't throw all those rotten bastards into prison like I recommended. If he had, they wouldn't be giving him grief now.

Instead, he gave them all the taxpayers' money and kissed their asses up one side and down the other. If Obama had had any brains at all, he would have known from watching Bill Clinton's experience that that tactic DOES NOT WORK.

BTW, it's "scot" free, not scott free.

At 2:48 AM, Blogger geogramma said...

Hi from Athens Greece!

I'd love to share a song I wrote about GS. Hope you can enjoy


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