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« Should I Stay With Buy And Hold? (Song) | Main | Dylan Ratigan: Fix The Banking System In 4 Steps »
Thursday
Nov052009

Goldman Whistleblower Nomi Prins Talks Banking Heist With Tavis Smiley

You know Nomi.  The former Goldman Managing Director turned journalist-author is a whistleblower of sorts, who seems to relish spitting in the face of the Vampire Squid.  Just who gets busted in this clip?  That would be Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Bernanke and Paulson, for starters.  This one is enjoyable.  We have the transcript and video.  Runs 8 minutes.

  • There's been a tremendous subsidy for the banking industry from Washington and a lot of it, I feel, has kind of been extorted on the back of public money in order to prop up a lot of the risk and a lot of the trading activities that Wall Street did then and is doing now, after the fact and after trillions of dollars of money from the government.
  • And I think that is a pillage, when you take from the public to support your risk, that's not right. That's not the way things should be, and I think that is what has been accomplished by a lot of Wall Street.
  • But TARP was only a small portion of trillions of dollars, literally trillions of dollars made available to the industry primarily from the Federal Reserve and the New York Federal Reserve, backing from the FDIC for certain money to be raised in Wall Street, not just what they usually do, which is back depositors and our deposits, and a lot of this therefore can't come back.
  • We're talking about literally almost $13 trillion worth of subsidies to that industry, and that's not coming back, even if some of TARP gets paid back.

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Watch on PBS

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  • Right now, for example, one of the key economic advisers in the Obama White House is Larry Summers, and Larry, of course, Summers was Treasury secretary back in 1999 and that was a very important year. We're almost coming up on the 10th anniversary of the repeal of something called the Glass-Steagall Act, and he was officiating that ceremony as Treasury secretary.
  • He's in the White House now and he came on the heels of, Summers did, of Robert Rubin, who was a fellow who was a Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton who happened to have been a CEO before that at the firm I used to work for, Goldman Sachs.
  • And so there's a sort of switchover into this very important administrative position as Treasury secretary to do that. Both of them had the idea that you had to deregulate the banks, you had to mix these commercial banks and these investment banks together in order to be sort of competitive in the global economy and that the U.S. would fall behind if that wasn't the case.
  • Tavis: I was just reading an article the other day, and there have been any number of these articles that have pointed out the relationships not just born of these individuals around or on the Obama economic team, but articles about their relationships with Wall Street. Is the Obama administration in terms of this economic team too cozy with Wall Street?
  • Prins: It absolutely is, because the other part of Obama's economic team is of course Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and he, and there was just a report out a few weeks ago, he has the number one person on his speed dial, the amount of calls he makes is to Lloyd Blankfein, who's the current CEO of Goldman Sachs.
  • Tavis: We're referencing the same article.
  • Prins: Exactly. Actually, on the back of that article I did another analysis looking at the prior Treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, who was the Treasury secretary when the bailout was being formulated, at the same time that Tim Geithner was head of the New York Fed.
  • The New York Fed is part of one of the 12 Federal Reserve banks that is closes to Wall Street, like, day-to-day that's what goes on. The chairman of the New York Fed at the time was Stephen Friedman, who happened to have been also on the board at the same time of Goldman Sachs. He was sort of working with Tim Geithner, who had many calls.
  • In fact, more communication with Hank Paulson, the Treasury secretary, was had with Tim Geithner, who's now the Treasury secretary, when he was head of the New York Fed as Paulson had with Ben Bernanke, who's chairman of the Fed.
  • So there was this really tight relationship. Paulson came from Goldman, Stephen Friedman came from Goldman, Tim Geithner was working with them on the bailout, he's now the Treasury secretary. So not only is it a cozy relationship with Goldman, which represents a lot of Wall Street as well as the rest of Wall Street, but it's also we are in a situation where Geithner can't possibly say any of that was a mistake because he was involved in putting it together.

Read the rest of the transcript HERE

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Reader Comments (5)

I always wondered why Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro and all those other dictators were so worried about criticism. No one ever really listens to the critics anyway. People just want to have fun. Even in India, where about a third of the population faces starvation every year, they can't start an uprising for peace, freedom, equality, justice and all those other good things.
Life at the top is boring and so time consuming anyway that it leaves no real time for happiness and most people probably know it even if they wont admit it.
But the mad rush for money continues and continues and continues and if the poor and the middle class fall below a certain level, the house of cards will collapse.
Economists don't understand America because they think it is mathematical and analytical but it is really just the old human condition of privilege and power becoming stupider, more arrogant and more out of touch with common sense or decency until it falls of its own accumulated weight of privilege and power. At that time a summer breeze will cause the whole edifice to collapse and violence wont be necessary, only pity.
Nov 5, 2009 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Street
Nomi is great, great post James Street.

The more things change, the more they stay the same... Change the names, but it is still the same old game...


What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9
Nov 5, 2009 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
She seriously rocks.
Nov 5, 2009 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterSonic Ninja Kitty
Hmmmmmmmmm, let’s see if I get this……..

There’s a big ole’ stick.

The manipulated and bilked homeowner has one end.

The similarly financially ruined investor has the other end.

There’s a bunch of Wall Streeters, middle men, bent over picking up the money that flowed out of the the pockers of homeowners and investors during the shakedown.

Shocked by the dive in home values, these middle men then got bailed out 'cause they shorted these homes of millions of Americans after deliberately overinflating the appraisal values.


So, what are we left with? Bailed out con men in the middle of two deeply damaged parties.

Hmmmmmmm……….big stick…………bent over middle men………

I dunno.

What to do seems pretty obvious to me!

Lisa E
www.ForeclosureHamlet.org
Nov 7, 2009 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterLisa E
I always wondered why Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro and all those other dictators were so worried about criticism. No one ever really listens to the critics anyway. People just want to have fun. Even in India, where about a third of the population faces starvation every year, they can't start an uprising for peace, freedom, equality, justice and all those other good things.
Life at the top is boring and so time consuming anyway that it leaves no real time for happiness and most people probably know it even if they wont admit it.
But the mad rush for money continues and continues and continues and if the poor and the middle class fall below a certain level, the house of cards will collapse.
Economists don't understand America because they think it is mathematical and analytical but it is really just the old human condition of privilege and power becoming stupider, more arrogant and more out of touch with common sense or decency until it falls of its own accumulated weight of privilege and power. At that time a summer breeze will cause the whole edifice to collapse and violence wont be necessary, only pity.

**************************

Terrific comment James S....very well stated...
Nov 9, 2009 at 11:50 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

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