27 Jan

Goldman Sachs is in the eye of the campaign storm


The McGlynn: Goldman Sachs paid Hillary Clinton $675,000 for speeches in one year. They bought her favor. It is called bribery.

Hopefully this bribery will backfire and Bernie Sanders will be our next President, and the battle will be fought against the coin-operated government that has bought a Free Trade policy, off-shoring our productive economy (and our sovereignty via treaty law and international tribunals).

And for what?

For the windfall profits of the globalized banks and corporations that staff the revolving door in Washington. The 1% have staked their fortunes and fate on these globalized banks and corporations that have zero loyalty to the USA.

Vote for Bernie Sanders and let us begin the battle!

Goldman Sachs is in the eye of the campaign storm

Investment bank has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans

Hillary Clinton got $675,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs

Ted Cruz is under fire for his links to Goldman, his wife’s employer

Goldman sends more to Washington than contributions.

“Goldman Sachs has given this country two secretaries of treasury, one on the Republicans, one on the Democrats,” Sanders said.

Indeed, Henry Paulson, a former Goldman chairman and chief executive officer, was treasury secretary under President George W. Bush, and Robert Rubin, a former co-chairman of Goldman, served under President Bill Clinton.

Goldman Sachs, like all financial institutions, wants to influence legislation and regulation, and it opposes additional taxes and the regulation of financial instruments.

Sanders often calls for reinstituting Glass-Steagall, the 1933 act that separated banking and investment in financial institutions. It was partially repealed in 1999.

Still, Goldman Sachs is not the only financial institution to contribute to politicians or to be a Washington player. So what is it about Goldman?

“It’s a metaphor for the highly aggressive investment bank. It’s the brand name for that kind of banking,” said Gerald Benjamin, a political science professor at State University of New York at New Paltz. “It’s been around a long time. When you attack Goldman Sachs, you can attack all of Wall Street.”

Benjamin added that there is also an undercurrent with some people of anti-Semitism. “The names are identifiably Jewish,” he said, and there is still a tendency to refer to “Jewish bankers” in a way that suggests Jews have undue influence. Benjamin said he was sensitive to the point because he, too, was Jewish.

The candidates deny any quid pro quo.

Cruz has said he filed the information about the loan on his Senate personal financial-disclosure form and it was an oversight that he missed it on Federal Election Commission campaign forms.

In an interview in the Des Moines Register, Clinton defended taking the fees from Goldman Sachs. “Anybody who thinks they can buy me doesn’t know me,” she said.

Sanders uses the fees to suggest that Clinton, a former New York senator, is beholden to Goldman.

“By the way, without naming any names, Goldman Sachs also provides very, very generous speaking fees to some unnamed candidates,” Sanders told an Iowa crowd. “Very generous. Now I know that some of my opponents are very good speakers, very fine orators, very smart people, but you gotta be really, really, really good to get $225,000 a speech. That’s all I’ll say.”

Goldman Sachs is publicly, at least, not engaging in the debate about its outsized influence.

“Overall, I would say that we here at Goldman Sachs try not to let the noise of the campaign get in the way of getting our jobs done,” Andrew Williams, Goldman Sachs’ vice president of media relations, said in an interview. He had no comment on charges that the firm is looking to acquire influence with politicians. As for paying over $200,000 per speech, he said, “We all want speakers who will interest our clients.”

Lesley Clark contributed to this report.

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