Goldman's Blankfein and Treasury's Paulson - one hand washes the other
from the nyt via raw story...
Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson wasn’t on Goldman Sachs’ payroll when the US government bailed out his former employer, but he may as well have been.
That’s the implication in a New York Times article, published Saturday, that shows President George W. Bush’s last treasury secretary, a former CEO of investment bank Goldman Sachs, had frequent conversations with the current CEO of Goldman during the week of Sept. 16, when the US government handed over $85 billion to rescue the troubled insurance giant AIG.
AIG’s outstanding debts to Goldman Sachs meant that $13 billion of the money handed over to AIG went directly to Goldman Sachs.
“During the week of the AIG bailout alone, Mr. Paulson and [Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd] Blankfein spoke two dozen times … far more frequently than Mr. Paulson did with other Wall Street executives,” the Times reports.
The revelation is sure to fuel further claims that the $700-billion Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, passed by Congress last fall with the support of both major presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, was “gamed” by Paulson in order to help out his colleagues at Goldman — and preserve his own reputation, which he made as the bank’s CEO.
Paulson spoke with Goldman’s CEO in an official capacity a total of 26 times before the treasury secretary was granted an “ethics waiver” that allowed him to be in far closer contact with his former employer than would have otherwise allowed, Reuters notes.
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