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Irony isn’t a concept with which President Donald J. Trump is familiar. In his Inaugural Address, having nominated the wealthiest cabinet in American history, he proclaimed, “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished — but the people did not share in its wealth.” Under Trump, an even smaller group will flourish — in particular, a cadre of former Goldman Sachs executives. To put the matter bluntly, two of them (along with the Federal Reserve) are likely to control our economy and financial system in the years to come.

Infusing Washington with Goldman alums isn’t exactly an original idea. Three of the last four presidents, including The Donald, have handed the wheel of the U.S. economy to ex-Goldmanites. But in true Trumpian style, after attacking Hillary Clinton for her Goldman ties, he wasn’t satisfied to do just that. He had to do it bigger and better. Unlike Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, just a sole Goldman figure lording it over economic policy wasn’t enough for him. Only two would do.

The Great Vampire Squid Revisited

Whether you voted for or against Donald Trump, whether you’re gearing up for the revolution or waiting for his next tweet to drop, rest assured that, in the years to come, the ideology that matters most won’t be that of the “forgotten” Americans of his Inaugural Address. It will be that of Goldman Sachs and it will dominate the domestic economy and, by extension, the global one.

At the dawn of the twentieth century, when President Teddy Roosevelt governed the country on a platform of trust busting aimed at reducing corporate power, even he could not bring himself to bust up the banks. That was a mistake born of his collaboration with the financier J.P. Morgan to mitigate the effects of the Bank Panic of 1907. Roosevelt feared that if he didn’t enlist the influence of the country’s major banker, the crisis would be even longer and more disastrous. It’s an error he might not have made had he foreseen the effect that one particular investment bank would have on America’s economy and political system.

There have been hundreds of articles written about the “world’s most powerful investment bank,” or as journalist Matt Taibbi famously called it back in 2010, the “great vampire squid.” That squid is now about to wrap its tentacles around our world in a way previously not imagined by Bill Clinton or George W. Bush.

No less than six Trump administration appointments already hail from that single banking outfit. Of those, two will impact your life strikingly: former Goldman partner and soon-to-be Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and incoming top economic adviser and National Economic Council Chair Gary Cohn, former president and “number two” at Goldman. (The Council he will head has been responsible for “policy-making for domestic and international economic issues.”)

Now, let’s take a step into history to get the full Monty on why this matters more than you might imagine. In New York, circa 1932, then-Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced his bid for the presidency. At the time, our nation was in the throes of the Great Depression. Goldman Sachs had, in fact, been one of the banks at the core of the infamous crash of 1929 that crippled the financial system and nearly destroyed the economy. It was then run by a dynamic figure, Sidney Weinberg, dubbed “the Politician” by Roosevelt because of his smooth tongue and “Mr. Wall Street” by the New York Times because of his range of connections there. Weinberg quickly grasped that, to have a chance of redeeming his firm’s reputation from the ashes of public opinion, he would need to aim high indeed. So he made himself indispensable to Roosevelt’s campaign for the presidency, soon embedding himself on the Democratic National Campaign Executive Committee.

After victory, he was not forgotten. FDR named him to the Business Advisory Council of the Department of Commerce, even as he continued to run Goldman Sachs. He would, in fact, go on to serve as an advisor to five more presidents, while Goldman would be transformed from a boutique banking operation into a global leviathan with a direct phone line to whichever president held office and a permanent seat at the table in political and financial Washington.

Now, let’s jump forward to the 1990s when Robert Rubin, co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, took a page from Weinberg’s playbook. He recognized the potential in a young, charismatic governor from Arkansas with a favorable attitude toward banks. Since Bill Clinton was far less well known than FDR had been, Rubin didn’t actually cozy up to him from the get-go. It was another Goldman Sachs executive, Ken Brody, who introduced them, but Rubin would eventually help Clinton gain Wall Street cred and the kind of funding that would make his successful 1992 run for the presidency possible. Those were favors that the new president wouldn’t forget. As a reward, and because he felt comfortable with Rubin’s economic philosophy, Clinton created a special post just for him: first chair of the new National Economic Council.

It was then only a matter of time until he was elevated to Treasury Secretary. In that position, he would accomplish something Ronald Reagan — the first president to appoint a Treasury Secretary directly from Wall Street (former CEO of Merrill Lynch Donald Regan) — and George H.W. Bush failed to do. He would get the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 repealed by hustling President Clinton into backing such a move. FDR had signed the act in order to separate investment banks from commercial banks, ensuring that risky and speculative banking practices would not be funded with the deposits of hard-working Americans. The act did what it was intended to do. It inoculated the nation against the previously reckless behavior of its biggest banks.

Rubin, who had left government service six months earlier, wasn’t even in Washington when, on November 12, 1999, Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that repealed Glass-Steagall. He had, however, become a board member of Citigroup, one of the key beneficiaries of that repeal, about two weeks earlier.

As Treasury Secretary, Rubin also helped craft the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He subsequently convinced both President Clinton and Congress to raid U.S. taxpayer coffers to “help” Mexico when its banking system and peso crashed thanks to NAFTA. In reality, of course, he was lending a hand to American banks with exposure in Mexico. The subsequent \$25 billion bailout would protect Goldman Sachs, as well as other big Wall Street banks, from losing boatloads of money. Think of it as a test run for the great bailout of 2008.

A World Made by and for Goldman Sachs

Moving on to more recent history, consider a moment when yet another Goldmanite was at the helm of the economy. From 1970 to 1973, Henry (“Hank”) Paulson had worked in various positions in the Nixon administration. In 1974, he joined Goldman Sachs, becoming its chairman and CEO in 1999. I was at Goldman at the time. (I left in 2002.) I remember the constant internal chatter about whether an investment bank like Goldman could continue to compete against the super banks that the Glass-Steagall repeal had created. The buzz was that if Goldman and similar investment banks were allowed to borrow more against their assets (“leverage themselves” in banking-speak), they wouldn’t need to use individual deposits as collateral for their riskier deals.

In 2004, Paulson helped convince the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to change its regulations so that investment banks could operate as if they had the kind of collateral or backing for their trades that goliaths like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase had. As a result, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns, to name three that would become notorious in the economic meltdown only four years later (and all ones for which I once worked) promptly leveraged themselves to the hilt. As they were doing so, George W. Bush made Paulson his third and final Treasury Secretary. In that capacity, Paulson managed to completely ignore the crisis brewing as a direct result of the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the one I predicted was coming in Other People’s Money, the book I wrote when I left Goldman.

In 2006, Paulson was questioned on his obvious conflicts of interest and responded, “Conflicts are a fact of life in many, if not most, institutions, ranging from the political arena and government to media and industry. The key is how we manage them.” At the time, I wrote, “The question isn’t how it’s a conflict of interest for Paulson to preside over our country’s economy but how it’s not?” For men like Paulson, after all, such conflicts don’t just involve their business holdings. They also involve the ideology associated with those holdings, which for him at that time came down to a deep belief in pursuing the full-scale deregulation of banking.

Paulson was, of course, Treasury Secretary for the period in which the 2008 financial crisis was brewing and then erupted. When it happened, he was the one who got to decide which banks survived and which died. Under his ministrations, Lehman Brothers died; Bear Stearns was given to JPMorgan Chase (along with plenty of government financial support); and you won’t be surprised to learn that Goldman Sachs thrived. While designing that outcome under the pressure of the moment, Paulson pled with Nancy Pelosi to press the Democrats in the House of Representatives to support a staggering \$700 billion bailout. All those taxpayer dollars went with the 2008 Emergency Financial Stability Act that would save the banking system (under the auspices of saving the economy) and leave it resplendently triumphant, bonuses included), even as foreclosures rose by 21% the following year.

Once again, it was a world made by and for Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Back in the (White) House

Running for office as an outsider is one thing. Instantly inviting Wall Street into that office once you arrive is another. Now, it seems that Donald Trump is bringing us the newest chapter in the long-running White House-Goldman Sachs saga. And count on Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn to offer a few fresh wrinkles on that old alliance.

Cohn was one of the partners who ran the Fixed Income, Currency and Commodity (FICC) division of Goldman. It was the one that benefited the most from leverage, trading, and the complexity of Wall Street’s financial concoctions like collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) stuffed with derivatives attached to subprime mortgages. You could say, it was leverage that helped propel Cohn up the Goldman food chain.

Steven Mnuchin has proven particularly adept at understanding such concoctions. He left Goldman in 2002. In 2004, with two other ex-Goldman partners, he formed the hedge fund Dune Capital Management. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Dune went shopping, as Wall Street likes to do, for cheap buys it could convert into big profits. Mnuchin and his pals found the perfect prey in a Pasadena-based bank, IndyMac, that had failed in July 2008 before the financial crisis kicked into high gear, and had been seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). They would pick up its assets on the cheap.

At his confirmation hearings, Mnuchin downplayed his role in throwing homeowners (including members of the military) out of their heavily mortgaged homes as a result of that purchase. He cast himself instead as a genuine hero, the guy who convened a cadre of financial sharks to help, not harm, the bank’s customers who, without their benevolence, would have fared so much worse. He looked deeply earnest as he spoke of his role as the savior of the common — or perhaps in the age of Trump “forgotten” — man and woman. Maybe he even believed it.

But the philosophy of swooping in, attacking an IndyMac-like target of opportunity and converting it into a fortune for himself (and problems for everyone else), has been a hallmark of his career. To transfer this version of over-amped 1% opportunism to the halls of political power is certainly a new definition of, in Trumpian terms, giving the government back to “the people.” Perhaps what our new president meant was “the people at Goldman Sachs.” Think of it, in any case, as the supercharging of a vulture mentality in a designer suit, the very attitude that once fueled the rise to power of Goldman Sachs.

Mnuchin repeatedly blamed the FDIC and other government agencies for not helping him help homeowners. “In the press it has been said that I ran a ‘foreclosure machine,’” he said, “On the contrary, I was committed to loan modifications intended to stop foreclosures. I ran a ‘Loan Modification Machine.’ Whenever we could do loan modifications we did them, but many times, the FDIC, FNMA, FHLMC, and bank trustees imposed strict rules governing the processing of these loans.” Nothing, that is, was or ever is his fault — reflecting his inability to take the slightest responsibility for his undeniable role in kicking people out of their homes when they could have remained. It’s undoubtedly the perfect trait for a Treasury secretary in a government of the 1% of the 1%.

Mnuchin also blamed the Federal Reserve for suggesting that the Volcker Rule — part of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 designed to limit risky trading activities — was harming bank liquidity and could be a problem. The way he did that was typically slick. He claimed to support the Volcker Rule, even as he underscored the Fed’s concern with it. In this way, he managed both to make himself look squeaky clean and very publicly open the door to a possible Trumpian “revision” of that rule that would be aimed at weakening its intent and once again deregulating bank trading activities.

Similarly, at those confirmation hearings he said (as Trump had previously) that we needed to help community banks compete against the bigger ones through less onerous regulations. Even though this may indeed be true, it is also guaranteed to be another bait-and-switch move likely to lead to the deregulation of the big banks, too, ultimately rendering them even bigger and more dangerous not just to those community banks but to all of us.

Indeed, any proposition to reduce the size of big banks was sidestepped. Although Mnuchin did say that four monster banks shouldn’t run the country, he didn’t say that they should be broken up. He won’t. Nor will Cohn. In response to a question from Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, he added, “No, I don’t support going back to Glass-Steagall as is. What we’ve talked about with the president-elect is that perhaps we need a twenty-first-century Glass-Steagall. But, no I don’t support taking a very old law and saying we should adhere to it as is.”

So, although the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall was part of the 2016 Republican election platform, it’s likely to prove just another of Trump’s many tactics to gain votes — in this case, from Bernie Sanders supporters and libertarians who see too-big-to-fail institutions and a big-bank bailout policy as wrong and dangerous. Rest assured, though, Mnuchin and his Goldman Sachs pals will allow the largest Wall Street players to remain as virulent and parasitic as they are now, if not more so.

Goldman itself just announced that it was the world’s top merger and acquisitions adviser for the sixth consecutive year. In other words, the real deal-maker isn’t the former ruler of The Celebrity Apprentice, but Goldman Sachs. The government might change, but Goldman stays the same. And the traffic pile up of Goldman personalities in Trump’s corner made their fortunes doing deals — and not the kind that benefited the public either.

A former Goldman colleague recently asked me whether it was just possible that Mnuchin was a good person. I can’t answer that. It’s something only he knows for sure. But no matter how earnest or sympathetic to the little guy he tried to be before that Senate confirmation committee, I do know one thing: he’s also a shark. And sharks do what they’re best at and what’s best for them. They smell blood in the water and go in for the kill. Think of it as the Goldman Sachs effect. In the waters of the Trump-Goldman era, don’t doubt for a second that the blood will be our own.

Nomi Prins, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of six books. Her most recent is All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power (Nation Books). She is a former Wall Street executive. Special thanks go to researcher Craig Wilson for his superb work on this piece.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
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  1. I do know one thing: he’s also a shark.

    But you also worked for Goldman, does it mean you’re also a shark?

    In any case, no one is expecting the next four years to bring a workers’ paradise. There’s a very clear objective: to roll back the globalist momentum, and to steer towards a more national interest-focused economy. And there’s going to be fierce resistance, so perhaps a shark is exactly what the doctor ordered…

    • Replies: @JGarbo
    , @Ram
    , @Sergey Krieger
  2. anon • Disclaimer says:

    What is a ‘heavily mortgage home’? Sounds to me like a house which the ‘owner’ has yet to pay. How little can one pay towards a house in order to become 100% entitled?

    And do the laws of ownership bend when it comes to military? I suspect that they lure you with promises of money galore, but do these promises include an unlimited protection for what is essentially theft?

    • Replies: @Forbes
  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I do know one thing: he’s also a shark. And sharks do what they’re best at and what’s best for them. They smell blood in the water and go in for the kill. Think of it as the Goldman Sachs effect. In the waters of the Trump-Goldman era, don’t doubt for a second that the blood will be our own.

    Great article.
    But it’s a little surprising that the author worked in banking for many years.
    It’s about winning, and to win you have to make others lose.
    This idea that your wins should “benefit others” is so odd (coming from a banker).

  4. KA says:

    Anybody writing about banking ( not about our regular mom and pop type old county bank and they are gone anyway ) has to breathe and live there for a while to rat them out . Their reasons could run into thousands I just need the fact, correct information and the operative mechanics.

  5. JGarbo says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Your logic’s off, unless you’re implying that only working at Goldman makes one a shark. It may not. Mnuchin seems to have been a “shark” all along. So Prins has nothing to answer for.
    As for sharks being “what the doctor ordered”, Prins warns that the Trump crew look set to strip the economy bare not fix it.

    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
  6. @Anonymous

    it is precisely because nomi prins worked for those big banks that he is qualified to write about this.

    you want some retard who knows nothing about the subject matter to write articles about it?

    damn, like wtf damn.

    and the craziest part, you want sharks to run our govt? where the preys are our own citizens? like wtf.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
  7. JP says:

    This article can be best summed up as: “Anyone who worked for Goldman Sachs is an untrustworthy shark. Trust me, I would know, since I used to work for Goldman Sachs!”

    • Replies: @Inertiller
  8. Has anyone else noticed the never ending revolving employment door between Wall Street, US Treasury Department, and the Federal Reserve?

    Is it naked crony capitalism or is it a mere coincidence?

    • Replies: @Chet Roman
  9. Ram says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    A lot of people voted Donald Trump BECAUSE they were aghast at the influence Wall Street had on Clinton. Well now they have to chew on what they have done.

    • Replies: @Wally
  10. macilrae says:

    Washington flourished — but the people did not share in its wealth.” Under Trump, an even smaller group will flourish — in particular, a cadre of former Goldman Sachs executives

    Well, you could be right but there isn’t much we can do about it right now, is there. Certainly there’s room to question whether it would have been any better left as it was – and so let’s see what happens. Since he is the democratic choice he deserves to be given a chance and prophesies of doom like this are just unhelpful, serving no purpose.

  11. @Anonymous

    The role of these two ex-Goldman guys now working in government is as referee. That is a far different role than as competitor, where one side is winner and the other loser. The author does a great job pointing out that the possibility is very high that these two ex-Goldman execs are going to do what no referee should ever do, and insert themselves into the game on behalf of wall street in a supersized Trumpian way. And that the same risk is at play for the entire Trump administration and for Trump himself, who all have supersized conflicts of interest. If the worst case scenario of what’s brewing here takes hold, the integrity of the entire system could be destroyed.

  12. “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished — but the people did not share in its wealth.” Under Trump, an even smaller group will flourish…”

    Well, that should come as no surprise since N America was mostly colonized by corporations granted special favors by government and the US cornstitution was all about centralizing wealth and power in the hands of a few.

    It looks like the anti-Federalists were correct and I’m somewhat happy that a few more people are starting to wake up to the fraud.

    Congratulations and welcome aboard. Sometimes it takes a while to figger stuff out. But 2 centuries???

    Patrick Henry was correct for boycotting the cornstitutional convention in Philly, saying, “I smell a rat.” But what did some dumb conspiracy theorist like him know anyway?

    We are cautioned…against faction and turbulence: I acknowledge that licentiousness is dangerous, and that it ought to be provided against: I acknowledge also the new form of Government may effectually prevent it: Yet, there is another thing it will as effectually do” it will oppress and ruin the people…I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people or by the tyranny of rulers? I imagine, Sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny.

  13. Durruti says:

    Nomi Prins:

    Thanks for your vital information that helps explain/reveal the true nature of the American Government.

    We cannot fail but to notice the Religious links of the majority (almost all), of the Goldman Sachs bankers named by Prins. Indeed the very name of the Banking Conglomerate “Goldman Sachs“… (do I need a verb)?

    Prins’ history of the Jewish & Zionist control over American Finance and Government (if only half correct, and it appears to be an understatement), displays just who controls our Nation, and our World.

    Our American Republic was overthrown in Dallas, (in a hail of bullets), on November 22, 1963. The fingerprints of MOSSAD, and their junior partner, the CIA were all over the coup d’etat. Recall, the government’s Warren Commission was composed of 8 CIA officers, and Earl Warren, (who likely was also an employee of the CIA).

    Prins’ summary: is damning.

    “Running for office as an outsider is one thing. Instantly inviting Wall Street into that office once you arrive is another. Now, it seems that Donald Trump is bringing us the newest chapter in the long-running White House-Goldman Sachs saga. And count on Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn to offer a few fresh wrinkles on that old alliance.”

    What don’t we know? The American elections are Hollywood Productions. The candidates are carefully chosen, and the votes carefully counted. Democrap or Republicrap; Green, or Libertarian; all are controlled; all work for the man (as we say in Brooklyn). The fix is in; It has almost always been in. The few Presidents who stepped out of the box suffered untimely deaths.

    We can wait for someone to “come from the skies, Take away everything And make everybody feel high.” Bob Marley

    Or we can “Get up, stand up.” Bob Marley

    The elections, and American politics are fixed, until we “Get up” and fix our Republic. No one, or ones, will come magically down from the skies, or from a Casino, or from Kenya (joke), and fix our world, as we passively sit on our brains and watch the televised Mainstream Version of reality, so brilliantly depicted by Orwell in his 1984. Conversely, they will continue to assure the Fix is In, and that our beautiful Nation remains, minus its Sovereignty, at the beck and call of Foreigners, who are, own, and-or control the top 1%.

    Either we fight, or we are slaves.

    The VISION requires that we restore our Republic (complete with our democratic Rights and Liberties).

    Our Republic is naked without Democracy being woven into its very fabric. We cannot have a Republic without Democracy, or Democracy without a Republic. They cannot be separated.

    *[The great moral failure of Bolshevism and Fascist/Nazism, is that upon their achieving power, they dispersed (banned) their opposition. The Bolsheviks dispersed the elected Constituent Assembly, and Hitler’s Nazis banned the opposition parties, (Communist, Socialist, and all the others). The dispersals and bans took place – after their assumption of power, and was an unnecessary exercise of power. Power tends to corrupt…]

    But I digress. or do I?

    God Bless!

  14. “To transfer this version of over-amped 1% opportunism . . .”

    misprint for 100%

    will read your book, thanx

  15. Agent76 says:

    Feb 1, 2017 How Government \$ach\$ Won The (s)Election

    After appointing Goldman bankers to head the Treasury and the SEC and key economic advisory positions, it looks like the Trump era will be business as usual for Government Sachs. Today Carey Wedler of TheAntiMedia org joins us to discuss her recent article, “Actually, Goldman Sachs ‘Hacked’ the Election.”

    • Replies: @Chuck Orloski
  16. woodNfish says:

    Prins is another head-in-the-sand moron who ignores the fact that Trump is bringing on board experts with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement his policies. Trump has been doing everything he promised to do without stopping since his inauguration. He has not taken a day off to golf or go on vacation, or have a beer summit like the head plantation nigger. As Trump stood with his Supreme Court nominee last night he said he is a man of his word, and he continues to prove it every day in spite of naysayers like Prins who think up is down and white is black.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  17. @Joe Franklin

    It’s rampant naked capitalism and corruption.

    The last three appointees to the position of Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in Treasury (Stewart Levey, David Cohen, Adam J. Szubin) were Zionists. How convenient for Israel that these sayanim hold the office that imposes sanctions on Iran. The position seems to be a zionist birthright. David Cohen moved on to be Deputy Director of the CIA (Mossad must have broken out the Champaign!).

    One of the final acts of Obama was to provide a \$1 billion dollar guarantee for Blackstone’s rent-backed securities. I assume that guarantee comes from the Treasury Department. Why does a financial parasite deserve a guarantee that will reduce their financing costs? Mnuchin threw homeowners out of their homes and Blackstone is now renting these homes with a subsidy from the federal government.

  18. Great ending: ..the blood will your own!

    Funny but true: thanks to the FED’s unlimited money creation and bank deregulations the Wallstreet crime syndicat is booming at the cost of the large majority in the world.
    (Killing the host: Michael Hudson/Gailbraith)

    History is repeating: the morality of greed & controll from the ruling elitists (US billionaires, EU kings, queens, generals, colonals) is unchanged for centuries: nation building and eternal war’s for elitist profit.


    If not so, like now, Amschel Bauer Rotschild get’s his money power and corrupts the body politic (confirmed by M. Friedman: capitalism and freedom).

    All war’s are bankers wars (Rivero).

    And Bill Still’s monetary solution: No national debt!

    • Replies: @Agent76
  19. @Agent76

    “Actually, Goldman Sachs ‘Hacked’ the Election.”

    I respectfully disagree with the above point.

    First of all, Goldman Sachs Group (GSG) wields the power to render US presidential “elections” into an actual process of elimination of candidates who will defy Goldman Sachs financial needs. Thus the final two (2) Democrat & GOP POTUS candidates have successfully undergone a GSG purification-approval Test, and 21st century American voters don’t bicker very long about other alternatives that get thrown by the way side.

    I liked this article very much, but I had hoped the author would have addressed how Goldman Sachs Group is putting pressure upon China’s leadership to allow them to indulge investments without having to carry the burden of Chinese partners. Also, to great US populist fanfare, as President Trump squeezes President Nieto’s to kick in to build his trademark wall, Goldman Sachs Group and China were awarded huge energy transfer (pipeline) contracts on mainland Mexico.

    So all and all, I am disappointed how easy it was for successive US administrations & the Zionist Big 3 Media to coordinate and establish a national “cognitive dissonance” within the minds of Americans.

    For one example, “Hooray… candidate Donald Trump exposed Hillary’s ties with Wall Street!”
    After the inauguration, “Oh f*#uck… President Trump appointed Goldman Sachs vets Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary and Gary Cohn as… oh shoot, I forget Cohn’\$ cabinet title.

    I feel that Americans could potentially either loosen or shed their Zionist (G.S.G.) chains by understanding the mass anti-comprehension influence of “cognitive dissonance” as practiced daily by the Corporate Media. Please consider reading Jon Rappoport’s (no cost) insight & antidote, below?

  20. Agent76 says:
    @Max Havelaar

    Good knowledgeable post Max Havelaar and this is another good informative video as well.

    Nov 22, 2013 Thomas DiLorenzo – The Revolution Of 1913

    From the Tom Woods show, Loyola economics professor Thomas DiLorenzo discusses three events from 1913 that greatly escalated the transmogrification of America from the founder’s vision (limited government) to its current state (unlimited government).

  21. Wally says:

    Do tell, what have they done during Trump’s admin.?

    • Agree: Mao Cheng Ji
    • Replies: @Anon
  22. @KA

    Right. It takes an insider who was part of the scam to see the light and become a hero. Usually after retirement, they then decide to write about the horrible swindles. The spooks at Tom’s Dispatch, some of them studied how to kill people from airplanes for most of their lives, but now they work to deliver the truthiness about peace to the readers. Chris Hedges worked at the newspaper that started the Iraq war, drew a paycheck, and wrote articles about it, but he was, you know, really a “rebel” at the time. Takes one to know one, you betcha. Tell us about the mafia Nomi, we’re ready to believe you.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
  23. @KA

    Anybody writing about banking ( not about our regular mom and pop type old county bank and they are gone anyway ) has to breathe and live there for a while to rat them out .


    I know two bankers, one middle aged and one nearly 70. Both good guys, but it’s shocking how clueless they are regarding history and politics. They seem baffled even about the politics of banking even though are/ have been successful in their fields.

  24. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Wait for it. Bannon is now on the NSC. See what happens next.

    • Replies: @Wally
  25. Wally says:

    So IOW, nothing has happened.

    • Replies: @Anon
  26. Forbes says:

    It’s funny (strange, not ha-ha) when a borrower defaults on their mortgage, and the lender (as a last resort) takes possession of the collateral by foreclosure, the lender is nefariously characterized as kicking people out of their home. Banks are businesses, not charitable social welfare institutions.

    • Replies: @Inertiller
    , @annamaria
  27. It’s funny (strange, not ha-ha) when a borrower defaults on their mortgage, and the lender (as a last resort) takes possession of the collateral by foreclosure, the lender is nefariously characterized as kicking people out of their home. Banks are businesses, not charitable social welfare institutions.

    Funny (strange, not ha-ha) how bankrupt banks more often than not get bailed out rather than getting kicked out of business. Yeah, funny (strange, not ha-ha) how that works.

    I think that calling banks businesses is pretty charitable. Today the big ones, at least, are more accurately described as money grubbing, government supported loan rackets.

  28. @woodNfish

    As Trump stood with his Supreme Court nominee last night he said he is a man of his word, and he continues to prove it every day …

    Now that’s a hoot.

    He sez all kinds of stuff. Seems to just throw it out there mostly for grins. He seems to know that people will hear what they want to hear and ignore the rest.

    In that sense, he may as well have ripped a page right out of Marx’s playbook.

    “ It’s possible that I shall make an ass of myself. But in that case one can always get out of it with a little dialectic. I have, of course, so worded my proposition as to be right either way.”

    Karl Marx, Letter to Friedrich Engels, dated 15 August 1857

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  29. Anonymous [AKA "Gwunk"] says:

    “Irony isn’t a concept with which Donald J. Trump is familiar.” Prins starts with an arrogant insult. Right, she’s smart but Trump’s a moron who is not familiar with an ordinary idea. She’s cleverly cozied up to the Trump haters.

    Her thesis is that Trump’s GS appointees “are likely to control the economy for years to come” and are sharks, and we, the people, will be the victims. These are just her assertions. She doesn’t back them up well and there are other possibilities. Trump picks heavyweights who are loyal and patriotic and who’s beliefs align with his. There’s no reason to think these appointees are any different. Trump must have had his reasons for choosing them. He doesn’t show his cards.

    He says the economy will be run for ordinary people, and I put a lot more credence in him than in two-bit writer Nomi Prins.
    Trump didn’t need GS money to get elected and is not beholden to them. He is not a bought and paid for puppet like Bill Clinton,W, Obama, and Hillary were. I think Trump will be the boss, not GS. He’s the real deal, a man of his word, and not a politician.

    • Replies: @Ivan K.
  30. Art says:

    Here is the problem – the Rothschilds. It is so bad that NO mainstream media anywhere in the world will report their wealth. The world needs an accounting of all that they own and control.

    Investopedia estimates the family’s total wealth at over \$2 trillion in assets and holdings, including some of the world’s oldest living corporations:

    “…their holdings span a number of diverse industries, including financial services, real estate, mining, energy and even charitable work.There are a few Rothschild-owned financial institutions still operating in Europe, including N M Rothschild & Sons Ltd in the United Kingdom, and Edmond de Rothschild Group in Switzerland. The family also owns more than a dozen wineries in North America, Europe, South America, South Africa and Australia.” [Source]

    At \$2 trillion plus, the family’s reported wealth is closing in on five times as much as the combined wealth of the world’s top 8 individual billionaires, meaning that the Rothschild family alone controls more wealth than perhaps three-fourths or more of the world’s total population.

    • Replies: @Agent76
  31. Agent76 says:

    Nice informative post Art. May 31, 2016 Who Are The Rothschild’s, A Look Into The Corporate Dynasty

    Who are the Rothschild Family? This wealthy and influential family has funded wars, and helps sculpt the face of history. The 300 year old family line has become a corporate family dynasty, their wealth and influence are incalculable.

  32. Ivan K. says:

    “Irony isn’t a concept with which Donald J. Trump is familiar.” Prins starts with an arrogant insult.

    And you know what? From what she says there it follows that Trump is NOT engaged in a deliberate conspiracy.

    She is so anti-Trump, she’s tied herself in a logical knot in the very first sentence. Of course, if faced with this comment, she’d respond she meant it not literally – bullshit.

  33. Ivan K. says:

    What needs to be said about this was already said by PCR:

    …. I am encouraged by the One Percent’s opposition to Trump, or we have just experienced the greatest ruse in history. Indeed, a pointless ruse, as the Establishment had its candidate in Hillary…. – “Can Trump Deliver?” — Paul Craig Roberts, 31.01.2017

  34. woodNfish says:
    @jacques sheete

    Yes Jacques, I know you are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. It’s been obvious for a while.

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  35. @JGarbo

    Your logic’s off, unless you’re implying that only working at Goldman makes one a shark. It may not

    It’s not my logic; this piece is about the people hired by Trump who used to work at Goldman. It’s titled “The Goldman Sachs Effect”. So, now it’s about Prins not liking Mnuchin, and Goldman has nothing to do with it? Weasel much?

    As for sharks being “what the doctor ordered”, Prins warns that the Trump crew look set to strip the economy bare not fix it.

    Right, because they used to work at Goldman. As did she. Which is why I should believe her and not the Trump crew. Confusing, no?

  36. peterike says:

    There is only so much Trump can do at once. He can’t start by fighting the banking power. He will be JFK’d. Or maybe we can call it being McKinley’d.

    No, he has to consolidate power first. The CIA is full of rats that need poisoning. The FBI is better but not fully trustworthy. The military is full of Obama cucks and MBAs that need replacing. While certainly Trump has supporters in the military — esp among the fighting men — he has to get control over the organs of state power. He is a long way from that yet.

    If he does manage to clean house, THEN he can take on the banking power. But he can only do that from a position of dominant strength. It will easily take his first term to get there. For now, he has to go along in order to implement other aspects of his program, and to give himself time.

    Meanwhile, if he slashes immigration and puts up some trade barriers he will do wonders for the white working class. He needs to consolidate THAT power as well, to have real people power behind him.

    His job makes Hercules cleaning the Augean stables look like a walk in the park. So far, I’m highly impressed with what he’s doing. Give him time. He may yet put a harpoon down the throat of the squid.

  37. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    You mean other than jacking up international tensions by telephone and threatening to invade Mexico? No, I guess not.

  38. @JP

    Well said, but it’s much more sophisticated then that. There are a nunber of former finance workers or spooks who share Nomi’s mockingbird credentials. More well known are Susan Webber (Yves Smith) and more obnoxiously Alexis Goldstein. These authors in particular have created an epic pretense that they are getting the truth out to the public, that they are morally superior to the so-called targets that they disparage. They promote themselves as being on the morally upstanding side of the consumer, all about fairness, and usually promote one party of the other. But it’s all a sham, many of these folks, like the politicians they allegedly criticize, get funding from financial institutions themselves! They work hard to obscure the swindle. There is simply no limit to controlling opposition. It’s ok to loathe Goldman Sachs, rest assured the powers that be encourage it.

  39. @Forbes

    That is funny, because banks routinely advertise themselves as social welfare institutions. Blankfein knew how important it was to say “we do God’s work” but look closely at any number of non-profit 501(c)(3)’s (Goodwill et al) and you’ll see advertising space dedicated to the bankers – who, unlike what you’re saying, do want the public to perceive them as social welfare institutions. They are partially correct of course.

  40. @woodNfish

    Where i come from, TDS is “tiny d1ck syndrome”. It makes men act tough and more manly to compensate for their tiny
    …. Self esteems…..
    Usually accompanied by a raised truck and an over the top sense of manliness.

  41. annamaria says:

    “Banks are businesses…”
    Agree. This is why the \$700 billions of QE plus another \$600 billions of QE (all these money from the US taxpayers pockets) were wrong; the banksters should have been left to lose their shirts. Instead the scoundrels managed to preserve their wealth and even to claw out their bonuses (see above the source of the Quantitative Easing). None of the Wall Street criminals went to prison for wrecking the US economy with the blatant fraud and with numerous violations of all possible regulation.

    • Agree: woodNfish
  42. Miro23 says:

    So, although the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall was part of the 2016 Republican election platform, it’s likely to prove just another of Trump’s many tactics to gain votes.

    That’s an interesting viewpoint that is supported by the contradictions between his pre-election statements and post-election actions:

    He got elected by opposing the 0,1% and their special interest base – especially the great fortunes based on outsourcing manufacturing and the trillions of QE debt placed on the US public and pocketed by the 0,1% through speculative gains.

    He may be moving against outsourcing, but, as the article says, he’s keeping the FED/Treasury “funnel” in place – the banks stay Too Big To Fail, speculating investment banks still have access to retail deposits, and they can still use SEC approved 30x leverage, so everything is set up in exactly the same way as it was in 2008, and presumably, when the next banking crisis arrives, it will be dealt with by the same people in the same way.

    This more or less guarantees that the next crisis will be met with a flood of QE money to show everyone that financial sector is OK and recovering, while in reality the US has the same structural problems as always, with the US public going further into debt and the “liquidity” finding its way (once again) into the pockets of the 0,1%.

    So if Trump isn’t going to do anything, and may in fact make the situation worse by provoking a \$Trillion war with Iran (more likely every month despite his key campaign promise “No more useless MENA wars”) what could stop this cycle?

    The answer may lie in QE and the article could have usefully explored the limits of public debt.

    There’s an argument that the US has just about reached its limit, and this is in a very (artificial) low interest rate environment. At a more historically normal rate of 4 or 5% the US government probably couldn’t make interest payments (given non-discretionary spending) without an extra QE program specifically designed for the purpose (borrowing to pay the interest) – which is guaranteed to be inflationary even in the most depressed economy (e.g. Germany 1920).

    If more QE is just going to feed into inflation and the depreciation of the US dollar, then no doubt team Goldman Sachs and the 0,1% would be the first to see it coming, and would be well placed to get their hands on the remainder of the public’s real assets than they don’t already own.

    They may well follow the ground breaking Weimar System and award themselves giant loans to purchase whole swathes of real US assets (real estate, corporations etc.) to be paid back in what the German public came to call “confetti money”. It’s just one possible scenario, but may be realistic since it would offer Wall St. (once again) the maximum possibility of private gain at public expense – just through a different mechanism.

  43. @Mao Cheng Ji

    Those people know only two things. How to run Ponzy schemes and play shell games with accounting.
    Were Trump serious about bringing manufacturing back he would employ different folks.
    The best thing is to wait for 4 years and see.
    From the looks of it USA economy is a very large bubble waiting for a prickle to deflate and no amount of efforts by Trump is going to bring manufacturing back. it is gone. It took virtually decades to destroy it and it is far harder to build then to destroy.

    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
  44. @Sergey Krieger

    Those people know only two things. How to run Ponzy schemes and play shell games with accounting.

    Well, I might agree (for simplicity’s sake) that Goldman, the institution, does these things. But that doesn’t mean that everyone who worked there at one time or another only knows these two things.

    It’s like one might say that the army only knows how to kill people and destroy property. True enough. But someone who was in the army might be a brilliant mechanic, or talented manager, or communications expert.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  45. @Mao Cheng Ji

    For simplicity purpose one is doing what he is accustomed to do. If one is trained to invent various financial instruments and basically play numbers around I find it highly improbable for this person suddenly turn into industrial revival organizer.

    I am not sure about US military , but in Soviet military schools people also received engineering degree and many civil engineers were drafted hence in this case you are right.
    But in any case, people tend to do what they were trained to do and along with experience they received thereafter. Guys from Goldman hardly have any applicable education or experience background to organize US industry come back. They have great experience in dismantling US industrial potential , that’s true.

  46. If your intention is to drain the swamp, then it’s probably not a good idea to put an alligator in charge of the water level control valve. MAYBE that particular alligator is going to be a traitor to his brethren, but that’s not the way to bet. MAYBE Trump is crazy like a fox, and he put the alligator in charge of the water level to distract the other alligators while he takes on the pythons. But up til now we haven’t seen him to display a particular skill at subtle maneuvering.

    It would have been a lot easier to believe it if it wasn’t just the usual parade of sharks from what’s universally considered to be the most dangerous gang on Wall Street.

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