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March 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Scrutiny of Goldman’s Role in Greek Debt Crisis Intensifies in US

By Kevin Connor • Feb 27, 2010 at 14:33 EST
Goldman Sachs appears to be testing the limits of its special talent for avoiding all accountability following revelations of its role in exacerbating the Greek debt crisis.
The bank has come under heavy criticism from European political officials over its role in helping Greece hide its debts, and on Wednesday, Greek labor unions staged a historic strike that shut down the country’s national infrastructure in response to economic policies urged by bankster elites. The European turmoil has forced US officials to take notice, and scrutiny of the bank is now coming from the unlikeliest of quarters, with Ben Bernanke telling Congress on Thursday that the Federal Reserve is looking into Goldman and questions surrounding the bank’s swap transactions with Greece.
Bernanke was vague about what, exactly, the Fed is investigating, and it is possible that the inquiry will go nowhere. But the fact that the Fed chair would make remarks that amplify concerns about Goldman’s role in Europe is a sign that the political winds have shifted significantly since Matt Taibbi’s “vampire squid” metaphor first captured the public imagination last summer. The populist outcry against bankster fraud and collusion finally shows signs of steering the authorities towards a more oppositional, watchdog role.

The truly scandalous story with respect to Goldman Sachs and Greece — that the bank may have been speculating heavily in the Greek debt markets at the same time it was trying to help the country hide its debt — is also starting to gain traction. During his testimony, Bernanke raised concerns about speculative activity in the Greek debt markets and said that the SEC was investigating, and Phil Angelides, chair of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, said that he was particularly concerned about Goldman’s role in betting against securities that it had helped create.
On Thursday the New York Times published a story with the headline “Banks Bet Greece Defaults on Debt They Helped Hide.” The article reported that a company backed by Goldman and other banks set up a new index in September of this year that investors could use to bet on the likelihood that Western European countries like Greece would default on their debt.
This is history repeating itself: the very same company that created this index set up a similar index in early 2006 that allowed investors to bet on the likelihood of defaults in the subprime bond market. That index was a collaboration between Markit and CDS IndexCo, a consortium of 16 banks, including Goldman Sachs, which has since been acquired by MarkIt. The acting chairman of CDS IndexCo was Goldman Sachs managing director Bradford S Levy, suggesting that Goldman has significant power within Markit now.
Guess which investors cleaned up on that index in 2006 and 2007? Goldman Sachs and partner-in-crime John Paulson, the hedge fund manager who made billions betting against the subprime sector.
The sovereign index and its subprime predecessor would be less troubling if there was some transparency around Markit, the pricing mechanisms it uses, its owners (including Goldman Sachs), and so forth, given the critical informational role it plays in markets which threaten global financial stability quite frequently. The Department of Justice opened an investigation of the company for possible anti-trust violations last summer.
If Goldman is, in fact, using swaps to bet heavily on the likelihood of a Greek default at the same time that it is helping the country hide its debts, the parallels to its corrupt, cynical, and incredibly greedy housing bubble investment strategy extend beyond the Markit index. The game plan is fairly simple: stuff some entity full of hidden liabilities by devising securities that mask true levels of exposure, collect enormous fees for doing it, then find ways to make enormously profitable bets against the financial carcass created in the process.
Goldman Sachs and John Paulson did this with AIG, devising complex securities known as “synthetic CDOs” which were composed entirely of bets on a set of mortgage pools. Paulson (not to be confused with former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson) picked the mortgage pools, selecting the ones that were most likely to experience high levels of foreclosure. Goldman then created the securities and sold them to investors like AIG. The bets were essentially designed to fail, with Paulson (and Goldman) on the winning end. The hidden exposure was massive enough to take down AIG, threaten the world financial system, and necessitate a government bailout. These bailout funds were then passed through to Goldman Sachs.
Carolyn Maloney has noted these parallels and is now calling for a Congressional hearing on Goldman’s involvement in the Greek crisis.
Greece is far less likely to implode than AIG, and the liabilities that Goldman tucked into its national accounts are less severe. But now that the country is dealing with the prospect of financial ruin, Paulson and Goldman appear to share the same vulture flight pattern, once again. Paulson & Co is reported to have been speculating heavily in Greek debt markets with a team of 20-30 traders focused on the country. Goldman is also rumored to have been one of these speculators.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Paulson has since exited his large bearish bet on Greek debt. But in a sign that Paulson’s Greek adventures haven’t ended, Goldman recently took representatives of his hedge fund on a “field trip” to Greece:

On Jan. 28 and 29, analysts from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. took a group of investors on a field trip to meet with banks in Greece. The group included representatives from about a dozen different money managers, say attendees, including Chicago hedge-fund giant Citadel Investment Group, the New York hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management, and Paulson, which sent two employees, say people who were there. Eton Park declined to comment.
During meetings with the Greek deputy finance minister and executives from the National Bank of Greece, among other banks, some investors raised tough questions about the state of the country’s economy, according to these people.

Greece appears to have been negotiating for its economic future with Goldman Sachs and its network of hedge fund colluders, many of whom have taken large speculative positions on Greek debt.
This amounts to an unofficial diplomatic mission, a negotiation between a sovereign country and the sociopathic financiers who hold sway over its economic fortunes. Is Europe really ok with that?
The Wall Street Journal article goes on to report on a Manhattan dinner party where a group of hedge fund managers discussed their bearish bets on the Euro. The article suggests that the funds are partnering on their trades, and includes a somewhat confusing sentence: “There is nothing improper about hedge funds jumping on the same trade unless it is deemed by regulators to be collusion.” So it isn’t collusion unless regulators have “deemed” it as such? And Madoff wasn’t actually running a Ponzi scheme before the SEC noticed?
The growing turmoil in Europe and Bernanke’s comments may signal that we’ve reached a tipping point — that these financial firms will no longer be able to avoid all substantial inquiries into their business practices, and that they’ll no longer hold sway over economic policies here and abroad. Not that Bernanke himself will follow through. But the need for a significant, public investigation of these individuals and their firms has become so pressing that even the most compromised US officials are paying it lip service.
Whether it happens here or in Europe, Goldman’s day in court is drawing near.

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ΟΜΟΣΠΟΝΔΙΑΚΗ ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ FED 22 ΝΟΕΜΒΡΙΟΥ

November 21, 2009 Leave a comment

46 χρόνια ακριβώς (22 Νοεμβρίου 1963) μετά την ανεξιχνίαστη δολοφονία του προέδρου Τζών Κέννεντυ, και μετά απο πολύμηνες μάχες σε όλα τα επίπεδα στην Ουάσιγκτον, η ομάδα των Αμερικανών πολιτικών (και οχι μόνον) που πίεζε για εξονυχιστικό και βαθύ λογιστικό έλεγχο της Ομοσπονδιακής Τράπεζας -ιδιωτικής- FED, κέρδισε την πρώτη ιδιαίτερης σημασίας νίκη της. Παρά τις αυξημένες αρμοδιότητες που εκχώρησε ο πρόεδρος Ομπάμα στον Διοικητή της FED κ.Μπέν Μπερνάνκε πρίν λίγους μήνες και την πρόσφατη ανανέωση της θητείας του, η κατάσταση φαίνεται να παίρνει πλέον μια τελείως διαφορετική τροπή μετά την ψήφιση του H.R.1207.
Η αλλαγή αυτή στην εκατονταετή ειδική σχέση της Αμερικανικής Διοίκησης και της Ομοσπονδιακής Τράπεζας -ιδιωτικής- FED, εαν φυσικά ολοκληρωθεί και εφαρμοστεί, προβλέπεται να φέρει τα ανω κάτω στις ισορροπίες (και ανισορροπίες) της Αμερικανικής μακροοικονομικής εσωτερικής και εξωτερικής πολιτικής καθώς και της παγκόσμιας γεωστρατηγικής μεθοδολογίας. Οι εξελίξεις έχουν ήδη δρομολογηθεί, και το αποτέλεσμα της διαμάχης θα είναι καθοριστικό για το μέλλον του παγκόσμιου οικονομικού και τραπεζικού μηχανισμού, της Αμερικής ως ιστορικού κυρίαρχου έθνους σε βαθειά κρίση, και εν τέλει του μέλλοντος του ανθρώπινου είδους.
Με την Ευρωπαική Κεντρική Τράπεζα και τον γνωστό μας κ.Τρυσέ και την Τράπεζα της Αγγλίας να έχουν στενότατες και πολυεπίπεδες σχέσεις με την FED, μάλλον πλησιάζει η ώρα που θα περάσουν μοιραία οι ελεγχτές και απο αυτήν την πλευρά του Ατλαντικού για μία αντίστοιχη διαδικασία. Οι Βρυξέλλες και το Λονδίνο δεν θα μπορέσουν να μείνουν στο απυρόβλητο, η βλάβη ειναι ενιαία και συστημική. Το παγκόσμιο καζίνο της Wall Street “έσπασε την μπάνκα”…

σχετικά δημοσιεύματα εδω, εδω, εδω, εδω,εδω, εδω

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-515319560256183936&hl=el&fs=true
http://s.wsj.net/media/swf/main.swf

House Financial Services Committee approves Bill to Audit the Fed (Rejecting Watt’s Fake Alternate) and Votes to Rein In Foreign Currency Swaps
Congressman Watt tried to de-rail the bill to audit the Federal Reserve (H.R. 1207) with a fake alternate bill. Fortunately, the House Financial Services Committee approved H.R. 1207 by 43-26, and rejected Watt’s bill.
In addition, Congressmen Grayson and Paul’s bill requiring written concurrence by the Treasury Secretary prior to the Federal Reserve engaging in a foreign currency swap passed the House Financial Services Committee by a voice vote today.

The list of voters

AL-06 Rep. Spencer Bachus yay, CA-12 Rep. Jackie Speier yay, CA-22 Rep. Kevin McCarthy yay, CA-27 Rep. Brad Sherman yay, CA-35 Rep. Maxine Waters nay, CA-40 Rep. Edward R. Royce yay, CA-42 Rep. Gary G. Miller nay, CA-43 Rep. Joe Baca nay, CA-48 Rep. John Campbell yay, CO-07 Rep. Ed Perlmutter yay, CT-04 Rep. Jim Himes nay,
DE-01 Rep. Michael N. Castle yay, FL-08 Rep. Alan Grayson yay, FL-12 Rep. Adam Putnam yay, FL-15 Rep. Bill Posey yay, FL-22 Rep. Ron Klein nay, FL-24 Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, GA-06 Rep. Tom Price yay, GA-13 Rep. David Scott yay, ID-01 Rep. Walt Minnick yay, IL-04 Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez nay, IL-08 Rep. Melissa L. Bean nay, IL-13 Rep. Judy Biggert yay, IL-14 Rep. Bill Foster nay, IL-16 Rep. Donald A. Manzullo yay,
IN-02 Rep. Joe Donnelly nay, IN-07 Rep. Andre Carson nay, KS-02 Rep. Lynn Jenkins yay, KS-03 Rep. Dennis Moore nay, MA-04 Rep. Barney Frank nay, MA-08 Rep. Michael E. Capuano nay, MA-09 Rep. Stephen F. Lynch nay, MI-09 Rep. Gary Peters yay, MI-11 Rep. Thaddeus McCotter yay, MN-03 Rep. Erik Paulsen yay, MN-05 Rep. Keith Ellison nay, MN-06 Rep. Michele Bachmann yay, MO-01 Rep. William Lacy Clay yay, MO-05 Rep. Emanuel Cleaver nay, MS-01 Rep. Travis Childers yay, NC-03 Rep. Walter B. Jones yay, NC-10 Rep. Patrick T. McHenry yay, NC-12 Rep. Melvin L. Watt nay, NC-13 Rep. Brad Miller nay, NH-02 Rep. Paul W. Hodes yay, NJ-03 Rep. John Adler yay, NJ-05 Rep. Scott Garrett yay, NJ-07 Rep. Leonard Lance yay, NY-03 Rep. Peter King yay, NY-04 Rep. Carolyn McCarthy yay, NY-05 Rep. Gary L. Ackerman nay, NY-06 Rep. Gregory W. Meeks nay, NY-12 Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez yay, NY-14 Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney nay, NY-25 Rep. Dan Maffei yay, NY-26 Rep. Christopher Lee yay, OH-01 Rep. Steve Driehaus yay,
OH-06 Rep. Charles Wilson nay, OH-15 Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy nay, OK-03 Rep. Frank D. Lucas yay, PA-06 Rep. Jim Gerlach yay, PA-11 Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, SC-03 Rep. J. Gresham Barrett yay, TX-05 Rep. Jeb Hensarling yay, TX-09 Rep. Al Green nay, TX-14 Rep. Ron Paul yay, TX-15 Rep. Rubén Hinojosa yay, TX-19 Rep. Randy Neugebauer yay,
TX-24 Rep. Kenny Marchant yay, WI-04 Rep. Gwen Moore nay, WV-02 Rep. Shelley Moore Capito nay

If you haven’t already seen it, watch Congressman Grayson grill Bernanke about foreign swaps:

Αλαν Γκρέυσον, ελπίδα και ανθρωπιά στην Αμερικανική πολιτική σκηνή. Μέλος της ΦΒΚ (Phi Beta Kappa) (ΦΒΚ, Φιλοσοφία Βίου Κυβερνήτης or philosophia biou kybernētēs)

Αναγκαία βιβλιογραφία :

SURVIVING THE CATACLYSM NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME AS A PRINTED BOOK, JUNE 2009

…here is the indispensable handbook for the present breakdown crisis and disintegration of the world financial, currency, and banking system. Tarpley builds on his prophetic work of 1999, which showed the world heading for a financial cataclysm and economic depression due to deregulated derivatives speculation, the destruction of modern productive industry, the collapse of the US standard of living, and a globalized hot money casino run by a tiny financier oligarchy.
Tarpley calls for a return to the American System of political economy as exemplified by such figures as Hamilton, Clay, Lincoln, FDR, and JFK. Tarpley shows the criminal futility of the Bush-Paulson-Bernanke bailout of the $1.5 quadrillion derivatives bubble, now continued under cynical and demagogic left cover by the Obama-Geither-Summers-Bernanke clique. Obama is exposed as the worst Wall St. puppet in recent US history, an anti-FDR peddling a New Deal in reverse for the benefit of zombie bankers, while the American people get the crumbs.
The book advances a benchmark program for world economic recovery, full employment, scientific and technological progress, third world development, and the defense of our threatened civilization.
Tarpley calls for wiping out derivatives, banning foreclosures, and nationalizing the failed Federal Reserve System.
Cheap no-interest Federal credit for production can build 1,000 hospitals, 100,000 miles of high-speed maglev rail, 100 fourth-generation high-temperature pebble bed nuclear reactors, while rebuilding the interstates and water systems – creating tens of millions of high-paid, capital-intensive modern jobs in the process. Tarpley makes the case for science drivers in exploration, colonization, and industrialization on the moon and Mars; high-energy physics; and biomedical research. A special chapter discusses ways individuals and families can survive the crisis.
If you read one book on economics, let it be this one.

There is only one nation on this planet able to reverse the global human tragedy we all live in. That nation has to have the will to magnify the energy from the eternal flame that is burning over JFK’ grave in Arlington cemetery, has to self correct, self heal, and avert the global catastrophy by providing the peoples of the world the lond awaited antropocentric global geopolitical and exopolitical system and realismus for the 21st century and beyond (-ed)…