- Posted April 28, 2010 by
Watertown, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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Did Alan Greenspan and Hank Paulson "Help" Goldman Sachs? The Senate Needs to Ask
The U.S. Senate is asking Goldman Sachs' executives and CEO tough questions about what they did to help collapse the American economy in order to make a few bucks.
None of Goldman's executives are admitting wrong doing. They looked puzzled at yesterday's hearing as though they didn't think the Senators understood what they were engaged in.
Goldman Sachs is just the tip of the iceberg, I believe.Two other men should explain their involvement with Goldman Sachs?
Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman, and Hank Paulson, former Treasury Secretary, seem to have been in the right places at the right times so Goldman Sachs benefited as a result of these two men's actions.
Coincidence? Maybe. A little "connecting of the coincidental dots" sheds some light on this secretive story.
Some background on both men from Wikipedia:
Hank Paulson left Goldman Sachs as CEO to become Treasury Secretary in 2006 just before the financial maelstrom hit.
Henry Merritt "Hank" Paulson, Jr. served as the 74th United States Treasury Secretary.He previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs until 2006.
Paulson has personally built close relations with China during his career. In July 2008 it was reported by The Daily Telegraph that: "Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has intimate relations with the Chinese elite, dating from his days at Goldman Sachs when he visited the country more than 70 times."
In 2004, at the request of the major Wall Street investment houses—including Goldman Sachs, then headed by Paulson—the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission agreed unanimously to release the major investment houses from the net capital rule, the requirement that their brokerages hold reserve capital that limited their leverage and risk exposure.
The complaint put forth by the investment banks was of increasingly onerous regulatory requirements—in this case, not U.S. regulator oversight, but European Union regulation of the foreign operations of US investment groups.
In the immediate lead-up to the decision, EU regulators also acceded to US pressure, and agreed not to scrutinize foreign firms' reserve holdings if the SEC agreed to do so instead.
The 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, however, put the parent holding company of each of the big American brokerages beyond SEC oversight.
In August 2007, Secretary Paulson explained that U.S. subprime mortgage fallout remained largely contained due to the strongest global economy in decades.
On July 20, 2008, after the failure of Indymac Bank, Paulson reassured the public by saying, “it's a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation.”
On August 10, 2008, Secretary Paulson told NBC’s Meet the Press that he had no plans to inject any capital into Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
On September 7, 2008, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went into conservatorship.
Paulson was the designated leader of the Bush Administration's efforts in 2008 to nationalize the cost of bad loans made by financial institutions.
Through unprecedented intervention by the U.S. Treasury, Paulson led government efforts which he said were aimed at avoiding a severe economic slowdown.
He pushed through the conservatorship of government agency mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Working with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, he influenced the decision to create a credit facility (bridge loan & warrants) of US $85 billion to American International Group so it would avoid filing bankruptcy. (Goldman Sach owned several CDS issued by AIG)
It has been pointed out that Paulson's plan could potentially have some conflicts of interest, since Paulson was a former CEO of Goldman Sachs, a firm that may benefit largely from the plan.
Economic columnists called for more scrutiny of his actions.
Questions remain about Paulson's interest, despite the fact that he had no direct financial interest in Goldman, since he had sold his entire stake in the firm prior to becoming Treasury Secretary, pursuant to ethics law.
The Goldman Sachs benefit from AIG bailout was recently estimated as USD 12.9 billion and GS was the largest recipient of the public funds from AIG.
Very few people but Hank Paulson, Greenspan, Paulson and Company and Goldman Sachs knew about the coming financial collapse.
Alan Greenspan is an American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006.
He currently works as a private advisor and provides consulting for firms through his company, Greenspan Associates LLC.
First appointed Federal Reserve chairman by President Ronald Reagan in August 1987, he was reappointed at successive four-year intervals until retiring on January 31, 2006 after the second-longest tenure in the position.
In 2000, Greenspan raised interest rates several times; these actions were believed by many to have caused the bursting of the dot-com bubble.
However, according to the Economist Paul Krugman" he didn't raise interest rates to curb the market's enthusiasm; he didn't even seek to impose margin requirements on stock market investors.
Instead, he waited until the bubble burst, as it did in 2000, then tried to clean up the mess afterward."
Greenspan, again, began raising interest rates in 2004 and continued to for several times. By this action, he started the inevitable crash of the housing market in 2007 and which continues now.
On February 26, 2007, Greenspan forecast a possible recession in the U.S. before or in early 2008. An easy prediction for that which he caused. But why? Who benefited?
The following day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 12,216.24 dropping by 416 points and losing 3.3% of its value, the worst one day loss, at the time, since September 17, 2001, when the Dow Jones lost 684 points (7.1%) after reopening in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In mid-January 2008, hedge fund Paulson & Co. hired Greenspan as an adviser on economic issues and monetary policy. This is the same Paulson that is involved in the deal with Goldman Sachs that the SEC brought charges against Goldman Sachs.
This is the third private role given to Greenspan, the first two being given by Deutsche Bank and bond investment company Pacific Investment Management (PIMCO).
Greenspan advises Paulson & Co on economics issues surrounding United States and world financial markets.
Greenspan also counsels on monetary policy and falling housing prices and about a possible recession in the United States.
Paulson & Co is famously known for its record profit making during 2007 by conducting bets against mortgage derivatives which earned the firm billions of dollars last year.
The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed and Greenspan must not, under the agreement, advise any other hedge fund manager while working for Paulson.
Greenspan's interest rate hikes set the stage for the biggest financial collapse since the great depression. (see charts on second and third images)
AS RATES RISE AFFORDABILITY GOES DOWN AND BUYERS CAN BUY LESS HOME IN TERMS OF DOLLARS.
AS RATES EASE AFFORDABILITY GOES UP AND BUYERS CAN BUY MORE HOME IN TERMS OF DOLLARS.
THIS CORRELATION BETWEEN MOVEMENT OF INTEREST RATES AND AFFORDABILITY HAS BEEN PRETTY CONSTANT IN PAST HISTORY.
I believe Greenspan and Paulson positioned themselves to benefit from the coming mortgage collapse.
Interest rate charts for the time line of the 2007-? Financial Crisis:
The Senate needs to ask Greenspan and Paulson a few questions as well, I believe.
What do you think?