The pattern of illegal conduct has actually increased since the 2008 crash.
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens of Wall Street on Parade.
Yesterday, the nonprofit Wall Street watchdog, Better Markets, released an in-depth and scathing analysis of the past 20 years at Goldman Sachs. A bold headline summed it up as follows: “$874 Billion in Bailouts, 36 Major Legal Actions,
$9.8 Billion in Fines and Settlements with Billions More Coming.” One key takeaway from this crime spree, write the authors, is this:
“Goldman Sachs has amassed a RAP sheet showing that the financial crash of 2008 did little if anything to slow the pace of illegal activity that was well underway in the years leading up to the crash. Goldman Sachs was heavily engaged in illegal activity before the crash; they reached new heights of lawlessness in connection with the crash; and they continued to violate the law in the post-crash era….”
Senator Bernie Sanders has repeatedly stated that the business model of Wall Street is fraud. We’ve refined that to the business model of Wall Street is monetizing fraud. And based on this latest report, Goldman Sachs takes the top prize for its panoply of innovations in monetizing fraud.
The Better Markets report raises serious concerns on multiple fronts. First, it traces the Goldman Sachs’ crime wave from 1998 through 2019. Three separate CEO’s served during that period, all of whom became obscenely rich and none of whom curbed the crime wave. Despite all of the federal and state investigations that arose as a result of the Wall Street corruption that brought on the crash of 2008, the report found that the pattern of illegal conduct actually increased at Goldman Sachs after the 2008 crash.
Henry (Hank) Paulson was the CEO at Goldman Sachs from 1999 until he took his seat as U.S. Treasury Secretary under President George W. Bush in 2006. (His full career at Goldman Sachs spanned 32 years.) Failing up is the new normal today on Wall Street. (See Goldman Sachs: The Vampire Squid’s Alum Control Two Fed Banks, the U.S. Treasury, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.)
Paulson could not have timed his exit any better. Goldman’s role in shorting subprime debt that it was selling to its customers as a solid investment had yet to be exposed so its publicly traded stock had not yet collapsed. Right after Paulson’s confirmation as U.S. Treasury Secretary by the Senate, he filed to sell approximately $500 million of his Goldman stock. Under rules established for private sector persons having to sell their stock holdings to take a position in the federal government and avoid conflict of interest concerns, Paulson was going to be able to potentially save upwards of $200 million in capital gains taxes on that $500 million stock sale…