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How much a Goldman Sachs and its brethren profit off their positions as Fed insiders, stockholders and, as with Goldman, whose "former" personel serving as the Secretaries of the Treasury" is unknown. This is largely because we are kept from looking, and the private Fed is exempt from the Freedom Of Information Act.
Clearly, they have us coming and going and the potential for profiteering thru inside information and policy-making influence is enormous. This corruption and profiteering can also easily escape detection via partners in foreign markets where oversight is missing, and political influence is all-powerful.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) sent a clear signal to Washington on Monday: It's more than ready to pay back taxpayers.
The investment bank delivered first-quarter earnings that sailed past even the most optimistic predictions and plans to raise $5 billion in stock to help pay back government bailout funds. It would become the first big U.S. bank to repay federal loans extended last autumn at the height of the credit crisis.
For Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, posting robust results was needed to help convince Washington that the New York-based investment bank was on a strong footing. The bank plans to repay the $10 billion of federal loans as soon as the government approves.
One of the biggest reasons for Blankfein to quickly repay the money is to avoid any restrictions placed on it by the government, such as limits on executive pay. The bank has also likely received concerns from clients about being under the government's thumb. .....
......Until recently, Goldman had been known as having a magic touch after a correct bet that subprime mortgages would crater and its avoidance of other messes. But Goldman is facing danger from its heavy exposure to stock markets, which have been extremely volatile in recent months, and its "book" of so-called distressed investments, which includes everything from troubled auto loans in Thailand to struggling golf courses in Japan.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc sold $5 billion of stock to help fulfill what it called its "duty" to repay a federal bailout, but the government worries a quick return of funds could pressure other banks to repay their aid prematurely.
Bush budgeting lives — at Goldman Sachs
Wow. Just wow. Floyd Norris, via Barry Ritholtz, tells us that Goldman’s good numbers have a lot to do with a magic trick: they made December disappear! It’s an “orphan” month!
This is Bush-style budgeting, with sunsets and all that which made the true costs of policies disappear, but this time applied to the private sector. Add to this the questions about reported profits at other financial institutions, and you get the feeling that what we’re seeing isn’t so much green shoots as smoke and mirrors.