FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Trump and Goldman’s Revolving Door

Photo by Ninian Reid | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Ninian Reid | CC BY 2.0

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in recent history because no matter who was elected, America was getting a presidential cabinet filled with millionaire and billionaires rife with conflicts of interest.

Donald Trump’s Administration picks thus far have proven his populist campaign founded on “making America great again” for working and middle class Americans was a Trojan horse to further spread oligarchy and continue the pervasive trend of pawning off political power and influence to dubious corporate and wealthy entities, including Goldman Sachs.

Gary Cohn is now Trump’s third Goldman Sachs executive to be offered an administrative position, to head the National Economic Council. Cohn is a former prolific donor to the Democrats before transitioning donations to the GOP a few years ago. When Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, he also selected a former Goldman Sachs banker for the exact same position, Robert Rubin, who would later serve as Clinton’s Treasury Secretary.

Former Goldman Sachs Investment Banker Stephen Bannon was appointed as Trump’s Chief Strategist, and Goldman Sachs Partner Steven Mnuchin was nominated for treasury Secretary. Trump Economic Adviser Anthony Scaramucci worked for Goldman Sachs as a VP of Wealth Management. Overall, Trump’s Administration picks have embodied the insider elitist status quo his outsider campaign marketed themselves against.

The tradition of providing Goldman Sachs alums with political power and influence in every newly elected White House Administration is being continued by Trump contrary to his rhetoric against Wall Street and Hillary Clinton’s strong ties to it.

One of Barack Obama’s top donors was Goldman Sachs, and the Wall Street firm and other big banks unduly influenced in his administration. Former Goldman Sachs employee Elena Kagan was appointed Solicitor General when Obama took office, and she was also speculated as a possible Supreme Court nominee. From the bailout of the big banks during Obama’s Administration, Goldman Sachs received $20 billion in taxpayer cash, which it used to provide their top execs with $5 billion in bonuses during the first few months of 2010. Obama’s Treasury Secretary appointed former Goldman Sachs Chief Economist as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Obama’s former Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel received $3,000 a month to introduce people to Goldman Sachs while serving as Bill Clinton’s Chief Fundraiser. Goldman Sachs Partner Gary Gensler was appointed as Obama’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission Head. Tom Donilon, Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, received $4 million representing Goldman Sachs as an attorney.

Former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson served as George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary. Former Deputy Secretary of State and U.S. Trade Representative under George W. Bush, Robert Zoellick, served as a managing director for Goldman Sachs before Bush’s appointment. He is currently the chairman of Goldman Sachs’ international advisors. Goldman Sachs bankers were Jeb Bush’s most prolific donors during his failed presidential campaign this past election.

At least 30 ex-government officials are registered as lobbyists for Goldman Sachs, including a staffer of former Congressman Barney Frank, co-author of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which Wall Street firms heavily invested in to water down.

“It is amazing to me the degree to which, say, Goldman Sachs is intertwined with the Treasury, and how they’re — there don’t seem to be any independent voices in the thick of the decision-making,” said former Wall Street trader and author of “Liar’s Poker” during an interview with CNN regarding the government’s rescue efforts of Wall Street after the 2008 economic recession they caused. “The decision-making is all being done by people who one way or another might expect to make a lot of money from Goldman Sachs in the future.”

Goldman Sachs is one of the most heavily invested financial firms in the federal government, whether it manifests in the form of campaign donations, hiring former government officials as lobbyists, or having former employees receive appointments to powerful cabinet positions. This revolving door is a severe impediment to enacting meaningful financial regulations and reining in Wall Street’s greed and excess because those placed in charge of leading these reforms are deeply imbedded in Goldman Sachs’ World.

More articles by:

Michael Sainato’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Buffalo News, the Hill, Alternet, and several other publications . Follow him on twitter: @MSainat1

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

April 25, 2019
Marc Levy
All My Vexes Are in Texas
Jim Kavanagh
Avoiding Assange
Michael D. Yates
The Road Beckons
Julian Vigo
Notre Dame Shows the Unifying Force of Culture, Grenfell Reveals the Corruption of Government
Ted Rall
Democratic Refusal to Impeach Could Be Disastrous
Tracey Harris
Lessons Learned From the Tiny House Movement
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Human Flourishing (Eudaimonia): an Antidote to Extinction?
Dana Johnson
Buyer Beware: Hovercraft Ruling Deals a Major Blow to Land Conservation in Alaska
Norman Solomon
Joe Biden: Puffery vs. Reality
Jen Marlowe
The Palestine Marathon
Binoy Kampmark
Lethal Bungling: Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings
Michael Slager
“Where’s Your Plan?” Legalized Bribery and Climate Change
Jesse Jackson
Trump Plunges the US Deeper Into Forgotten Wars
George Wuerthner
BLM Grazing Decision Will Damage the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness
April 24, 2019
Susan Babbitt
Disdain and Dignity: An Old (Anti-Imperialist) Story
Adam Jonas Horowitz
Letter to the Emperor
Lawrence Davidson
A Decisive Struggle For Our Future
John Steppling
The Mandate for Israel: Keep the Arabs Down
Victor Grossman
Many Feet
Cira Pascual Marquina
The Commune is the Supreme Expression of Participatory Democracy: a Conversation with Anacaona Marin of El Panal Commune
Binoy Kampmark
Failed States and Militias: General Khalifa Haftar Moves on Tripoli
Dean Baker
Payments to Hospitals Aren’t Going to Hospital Buildings
Alvaro Huerta
Top Ten List in Defense of MEChA
Colin Todhunter
As the 2019 Indian General Election Takes Place, Are the Nation’s Farmers Being Dealt a Knock-Out Blow?
Charlie Gers
Trump’s Transgender Troops Ban is un-American and Inhumane
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Just Another Spring in Progress?
Thomas Knapp
On Obstruction, the Mueller Report is Clintonesque
Elliot Sperber
Every Truck’s a Garbage Truck
April 23, 2019
Peter Bolton
The Monroe Doctrine is Back, and as the Latest US Attack on Cuba Shows, Its Purpose is to Serve the Neoliberal Order
David Schultz
The Mueller Report: Trump Too Inept to Obstruct Justice
Geoff Beckman
Crazy Uncle Joe and the Can’t We All Just Get Along Democrats
Medea Benjamin
Activists Protect DC Venezuelan Embassy from US-supported Coup
Patrick Cockburn
What Revolutionaries in the Middle East Have Learned Since the Arab Spring
Jim Goodman
Don’t Fall for the Hype of Free Trade Agreements
Lance Olsen
Climate and Forests: Land Managers Must Adapt, and Conservationists, Too
William Minter
The Coming Ebola Epidemic
Tony McKenna
Stephen King’s IT: a 2019 Retrospective
David Swanson
Pentagon Claims 1,100 High Schools Bar Recruiters; Peace Activists Offer $1,000 Award If Any Such School Can Be Found
Gary Olson
A Few Comments on the recent PBS Series: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
April 22, 2019
Melvin Goodman
The NYTs Tries to Rehabilitate Bloody Gina Haspel
Robert Fisk
After ISIS, a Divided Iraq, Wounded and Grief-Stricken
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange as Neuroses
John Laforge
Chernobyl’s Deadly Effects Estimates Vary
Kenneth Surin
Mueller Time? Not for Now
Cesar Chelala
Yemen: The Triumph of Barbarism
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail