We have a copy of this book and will be doing a review of it soon. In the meantime, if you’re headed to the beach or lake this summer this might be a good one to take along.*
There is some debate around here as to the world’s most crony company. There are many candidates but consistently in the top 5 or so is Goldman Sachs, Government Sachs.
Few companies have exploited the taxpayer and political connections to the extent Goldman has. Truly it is a company built fundamentally on cronyism.
In 2008 Goldman Sachs was leveraged more than 100 to 1 on its assets. (That is probably a conservative estimate.) When the economic tide turned it was fully exposed. It should have died the disgraced death it deserved. It should have been crushed under the wheel of the market.
Goldman however had a former CEO at Treasury, Hank Paulson, who bailed out his buddies with money taken from taxpayers.
This is a very interesting article. The author basically makes the case that there are 2 distinct kinds of billionaires, crony and generally non-crony. And he argues that though non-crony billionaires have little if any impact on growth (I haven’t looked at his data but this doesn’t seem crazy to me.) the crony billionaires have a huge negative impact on economic growth.
Though the author implies that that non-crony billionaires are a neutral factor (in growth terms) in an economy is some sort of surprise to we free market types, it is not. Sub-billionaires (the non-crony version) are probably WAY more important to growth. They are still building fortunes, and businesses, etc. In other words Bill Gates might not have that much impact on growth now but he sure as heck did as he was building Microsoft.
Greece, the sovereign state, is no more. The last desperate effort to fight the banks died and now the Greek people will be crushed under the banker boot.
Did the Greeks make their bed? Yes. Did the banks entice the Greeks into bed? Yes.
The Germans got the beaches and islands they wanted so good news! Klaus and Gretta will still be able to get a sunburn next year while on holiday. Maybe while staying at a nice walled and guarded villa.
As we’ve noted before, Greece was “subprimed” into the European Union. Athens didn’t really have the economy to be included in a wider “United States of Europe.” But with a little creative financial shuffling Greece got in. Much of the creative shuffling was done by Goldman Sachs.
Farage addresses Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras personally on the floor of the European Parliament and encourages the leader, and it appears that Tsipras is a leader, to exit the Eurozone “with (his) head held high.”
Indeed there are many “friends of Greece” around the world. More friends than Goldman Sachs, that’s for sure. Though Goldman’s friends tend to be more powerful.
Greece, pull an Iceland.
Lord knows we don’t agree with Democracy Now on everything, or perhaps even much, but it is a real live legit news source. Sometimes it has real gems.
Holder cashes in – big time.
The periphery of Europe has been eroding for a long time but things are speeding up. Think of Greece as a headland crumbling into an unrelenting and angry financial sea.
Everyone on Wall Street knows that Hillary is there for them. Sure she’s going to talk a good lefty-populist game but everyone knows that it’s bull. It’s part of the game. Tell the “politically unsophisticated” whatever they want to hear. People will forget. They always do. Accountability? Shoot this is 2015, post bailout. Accountability is for suckers.
Having a hard time making your car payment? Oh I understand. I eat at Chipotle too. Late on rent? CEOs make too much money!
Just say whatever. The American people are too “politically unsophisticated” to realize they’re being played. Ready for Hillary!
Goldman Sachs is a crony capitalist organization. That can be said with certainty.
We bet he would be.
Think of Goldman Sachs as a political compass. If Goldman is the north star of crony capitalism one should always move to the south as far away from these guys as possible. Electing any of the bank’s officially endorsed candidates (and we don’t have any candidates yet) is just not smart. It’s asking for trouble.
Well here’s a shock. Lloyd “my company should have died in 2008 but was bailed out by the taxpayers” Blankfein doesn’t think there’s a place for free markets. I wonder why?
There was a time when people in the West looked at the developing world and dismissed the corruption exhibited there as a disease of lesser economies. Nigeria, Belarus, Egypt, Brazil, all were (and are) chock full of insider dealing and bribery. In the West however we held ourselves to a higher standard. We had “clean” economies.
Obama knows in the end who butters his bread. Obama loves him some corporations and he gave a nod to a few last night. But in the State of the Union Address the president failed to mention many of the other companies which have shown him favor and which his administration has smiled upon.