For a long time now, it has been clear to any thinking person that the transnational global financial elite runs the world for its own benefit and that seems to be still true, despite all the railing against them during the last election, For all his populist talk of taking on the Wall Street bankers and criticisms of Hillary Clinton for being so cozy with them, Donald Trump has now appointed people from Goldman Sachs, the firm at the heart of American financial excess and greed, that Matt Taibbi memorably described as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”, to top posts in his administration.
Jon Schwarz writes that irrespective of which party wins the White House, it seems like Goldman Sachs is the real winner.
It’s now time for us, as a nation, to come together and congratulate the winner of the 2016 presidential election: Goldman Sachs.
Many Donald Trump voters likely believed his victory would be a loss for Goldman. At the Republican convention, a man who seemed to take Trump’s twitter attacks on Goldman seriously screamed “Goldman Sachs!” at Ted Cruz’s banker wife as she fled the convention floor. Trump’s own final campaign video declared that he would do battle against the “global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations” — as personified on screen by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
But that was then. As Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge fund manager and top adviser to Trump, as well as a former Goldman Sachs banker himself, put it Thursday: “I think the cabal against the bankers is over.”
The headlines on Friday were that the director of Trump’s National Economic Council will be Gary Cohn, the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs. Meanwhile, Trump’s pick for treasury secretary is Steven Mnuchin, a one-time Goldman Sachs partner whose father was also a Goldman partner. Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, also once worked for Goldman.
Of course, a Hillary Clinton win would have been a victory for Goldman Sachs too. She was paid $675,000 by Goldman for three speeches, had previously received large campaign donations from Blankfein, and her son-in-law runs a hedge fund whose investors include Blankfein.
Schwarz goes on to describe how Goldman Sachs won each of the previous elections back to 1992 when Bill Clinton, like his wife a devoted servant of that bank, appointed Goldman Sachs’ Robert Rubin to be his treasury secretary and who presided over the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act that resulted in the casino like activities that led to the housing crash of 2007.
Trump’s team is trying to spin their betrayal by saying that “inviting the Goldman crew aboard the Trump Train was his way of helping heal America’s wounds” and that they “really want to bring the country together”. Really? It is Goldman Sachs that is responsible for causing much of America’s wounds and the ever-widening gap between a tiny wealthy elite and an increasingly impoverished mass of people.
We know that Trump voters are willing to ignore pretty much any reversal by their much-adored candidate. The real question is whether there is any limit at all to their willingness to be taken for suckers.
The value of Goldman Sachs stocks has gone up 33% since the election. As Schwarz says, “So have all the elections you want. Democrats and Republicans can lose; it happens all the time. But Goldman Sachs always wins.”