Open Question Thread

How much money has Obama taken from Goldman Sachs? Should he return it?

Bonus current thematic follow-up: What level of the dimensional chess is the move by Goldman Sachs to hire Obama's former personal White House counsel during the first year of his presidency?

My my, what the revolving doors lead to nowadays.

Tags: GS, obama (all tags)



The least Obama should do

is ban everyone, encluding himself in the Executive branch from having any contact with this guy! Thats what Barney Frank did to one of his ex-staffers.

by eddieb 2010-04-20 08:52AM | 0 recs
RE: The least Obama should do

They've already got an EO to that end; but it must have no teeth at all, with this the case.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-20 08:56AM | 0 recs
RE: The least Obama should do

I'm also angry at and ashamed of Gregory Craig. These revolving door characters will sell their souls in  N.Y. minute. Has anyone challenged him on his ethics here? After all he was part of Obama's administration and what he is doing now reflects directly on Obama. Has he no shame?

by eddieb 2010-04-20 11:44AM | 0 recs
RE: The least Obama should do

But his departure from the Obama admin was not particularly cordial. Second this is not a case of a revolving door, i'm not sure where that claim came from.

by vecky 2010-04-20 11:51AM | 0 recs
RE: The least Obama should do

It's simple -- that claim came from Jerome's bitterness about the Dark Usurper's victory.

by johnsonlong 2010-04-20 07:15PM | 0 recs
RE: The least Obama should do

Is there a hole missing you?

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-20 07:55PM | 0 recs
RE: The least Obama should do

No, as my deleted comment made clear.  Should I say something witty at this point?

by johnsonlong 2010-04-21 06:20PM | 0 recs
My guess is around 2 million

This kind of thing really pisses me off.

by Trey Rentz 2010-04-20 09:13AM | 0 recs
Are you actually suggesting

Goldman Sachs contributed money to President Obama's campaign to buy influence to insure it could be sued by the justice department?

Or are you suggesting  Goldman Sachs's money failed to keep the Obama administraton from settling the suit; and if so, are you complaining that the Obama administration wouldn't stay bought? 

Have I missed something about this? 


by molly bloom 2010-04-20 09:41AM | 3 recs
RE: Are you actually suggesting

Good point. If the money they gave him is having an influential impact, what might it be?  I wonder what kind of real trouble GS is NOT being charged with because of the money it paid?

by eddieb 2010-04-20 11:49AM | 0 recs
RE: Are you actually suggesting

No, I think you've got about 7 dimensions to go to figure it out.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-20 01:55PM | 0 recs
RE: Are you actually suggesting

I am all for legitimate criticism, however, there is a lack of logic here that you are ignoring in your postulate that the Obama campaign received money from GS and the fact that the Obama administration has elected to purse a securities fraud case against GS, therefore something is wrong. 

If they throw the case, or some other untoward response is made by the Obama administration, then you may be on to something. 

At this point you don't have much and if this retort of yours is the best you can do... 



by molly bloom 2010-04-20 03:18PM | 2 recs
RE: Are you actually suggesting

Molly, the SEC is not part of the Justice Dept.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-20 04:37PM | 0 recs
RE: Are you actually suggesting

True, but not relevant. The SEC is part of the executive branch and its curent head was appointed by President Obama. 

You still don't have much here. You may be on firmer ground in your criticism of Craig. There is an appearance of impropriety, though I suspect the bar would not find it sufficient to act on. 

by molly bloom 2010-04-20 10:48PM | 1 recs
Regardless of who

Goldman Sachs hires to defend themselves, and how brilliantly they execute their legal strategies, they have the problem that their actions simply do not pass the smell test with ordinary Americans.  Looking at the letters to the editor in the NYT today, and listening to the callers to the Warren Olney NPR program last night, it is clear GS has zero sympathy in the nation.

We read that GS employees are "rallying" to defend Blankfein, but frankly, if I were given a bonus of $750,000k on average I would defend him, too.


by Bob H 2010-04-20 11:12AM | 0 recs
by Steve M 2010-04-20 12:16PM | 5 recs
RE: Heh

You can see by the timestamps that I posted the q here first... but if you are just looking for excuses, I guess you got yours.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-20 02:00PM | 0 recs
RE: Heh

I can see you posted before Dave Weigel, sure.

by Steve M 2010-04-20 03:00PM | 2 recs
Can you? Wow, impressive.

But at least you found out the amount for me. Almost a million, goes a long way...

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-20 03:11PM | 0 recs
Positively Shakespearean

That's how Josh Marshall characterized the hiring of Greg Craig by Goldman. But beyond the optics of that, we do have major problems with this bill in the Senate, a lot of it can be attributed to the craveness of politicians on both sides of the aisle. While this bill does nothing to limit bank bailouts, what the Republicans point to is a red herring, a dishonest talking point aimed to save money for their Wall St paymasters. I mean which bank wants to fork out $50 billion as a deposit for their liquidation?

Robert Reich on the other hand points out that the Dodd bill contains enough loopholes to perpetuate the risky endeavors of big banks. One would have assumed that the administration and Senate Democrats would use this unified stand by Republicans against bank "bailouts" to write a much stronger bill that would break-up the big banks and reinstate Glass-Steagall act. Unfortunately that will NEVER happen. The fight now is between limited token regulation and no regulation. Whatever the outcome, Wall Street money will win.

by tarheel74 2010-04-20 12:26PM | 0 recs
RE: Positively Shakespearean

Well, part of the problem here is that the Obama folks pretend like they are the only ones that can play hardball. Obviously, GS got a huge ROI of its placement inside the Obama Gov't for the past 16 or so months. Now, while trying to sell us on the barn door after the cows have been stolen, there's more than a few problems that are going to be encountered.

Yea, your assumptions are right no, but we've been here before. I'm not sure why anyone would want to get behind another round of so-called reform here, in any partisan sense. Unless you are in it for the mere cheerleading of the blue aspect....

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-20 01:59PM | 0 recs
RE: Positively Shakespearean

Well it's always good to play politics with the SEC slapping a fine against Goldman. Goldman has strong defenders and no harm in making the administration out to be the bad guy here. And hell, if we can make the issue less about Goldman and more about Obama, that's just great too! 

by vecky 2010-04-20 02:51PM | 0 recs
There is a larger point here that is being missed

Recently, I heard a fairly unique (and insightful, in my opinion) description of the problem by a very savvy tech investor from HongKong.


The crux of the problem is that there is a huge mismatch of savings between the US and the far-east (overconsumption/undersaving in the US, underconsumption/oversaving in China etc).  This gives rise to a giant pool of (saved up) money that will wreak havoc, no matter how tight the regulations are, and how good the regulators are.  Money does not like to sit around without collecting interest, so this money will find clever (i.e., financial innovation that is always one step ahead of the regulations) ways to securitize things that will result in "sham" growth. 


The growth is sham because at the end of the day, you cannot create value in excess of GDP growth; it is far easier to create sham value (i.e., bubbles) and pull out before the markets collapse.


And so, while firing the regulators and tightening up the regulations may make us feel good, it will not do one bit to alter the underlying problem...

by Ravi Verma 2010-04-20 03:30PM | 0 recs
RE: There is a larger point here that is being missed

There is too much money in the system, that's partly the result of low interest rates & low taxes on unearned income among other things.

by vecky 2010-04-20 03:39PM | 0 recs
RE: There is a larger point here that is being missed

Good points, the whole cyclical nature of investing has been steroided.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-20 04:38PM | 0 recs
Wait Wait

Wasn't this the guy who everyone said was fired because he wanted to close Gitmo and the President secretly wanted to keep Gitmo open, so they fired him?

My, my when the heroes fall...

by ND22 2010-04-20 09:58PM | 0 recs
RE: Wait Wait

No, you don't understand. It's clear the Obama admin pressured the SEC to file fraudulent fraud charges against Goldman so Goldman could hire the conveniently fired Craig and pay him a princely sum so as to make full use of the revolving door meets 11th dimensional chess.

by vecky 2010-04-20 11:02PM | 3 recs


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