Thursday, October 13, 2011

More on Chelsea Clinton, celebrity corporate tool 

A nice email in response to the Chelsea Clinton post from earlier in the week:

Your point about Chelsea Clinton becoming a board member was-- as has become your custom-- strong and light-shedding on principles. Just as egregious if not more so are two other examples (one from your alma mater-- sorry!): Peter Orzag and Gene Sperling. Regarding the first, how is it that someone who does not have one iota of banking experience land a job as Vice Chairman of Citibank? Surely the answer has to do with governmental connections, no? At the same time he is a commentator for Bloomberg Business Week. Do you think he has incentives to write objectively about banking or governmental matters in his columnist role?

Regarding the second, the rumor is that Gene Sperling has been paid a substantial amount of money for advising Goldman Sachs on making charitable contributions. If the latter is true, is it not eye-brow raising that in a philanthropy sector full of people who know a lot about charities Goldman would choose Gene Sperling?

Oligarchy does not appeared to be confined to Russia or Latin American countries.

One thing is very clear: Goldman Sachs has a helluva P.R. problem. Rather astonishing, considering how fundamentally successful the firm has been over generations. George Bailey notwithstanding, we usually vilify the incompetent banks, rather than the successful ones.


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By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Thu Oct 13, 08:51:00 AM:

I've posted here about Peter "Baby Daddy" Orzag before. He's the former CBO head who as White House budget director gamed ObamaCare so that Obama could say that ObamaCare reduced the deficit. Before he left to cash in at Citi, Orzag gamed White House budgets with >4.0% perpetual GDP growth assumptions so that they'd only show perpetual $1 trillion dollar deficits, instead of their going Weimar asymptotic, which they will in fact. As a young pup, Orzag wrote a commissioned white paper which concluded that Fannie/Freddie would never cost Treasury a dime.

Orzag at Citi is one of about a dozen folks on speed dial with one another, with Geithner being the node. Am I wrong?

Gene Sperling is a new one. I knew who he was. I didn't know he was already on Goldman's payroll. I thought you had to "revolve" to get paid. Silly me.

If you look into most of the economic problems we have, Goldman played a role. They have company, but it's remarkable how much "share" Goldman has. They were even "exclusive financial advisor" to Solyndra and put out ads about how they advised on the government guarantee (presumably to look Green). Goldman used derivatives to enable Greece to cheat its way into the European Union. I could go on.

Goldman has some serious issues. They trade below book value, which means the market says they're broken. You can't put it all on Dodd-Frank.  

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