22 Sep 2008

"Henry Paulson, American Oligarch"

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Robert Wenzel makes the case in a classic post. An excerpt:

We are in the midst of one of the greatest power and money grabs in the history of the world. I am stunned by the Russian style oligarch aggressiveness and boldness of the moves made this weekend, led by Paulson.

In a bold strike, he asks for $700 billion in “bailout money” and hopes the panic environment will push his proposal through with scant review by Congress. The proposal contains this remarkable clause:

“Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency…”

Then, in a Sunday night press release, 9:30 PM ET, the Federal Reserve announced that it has approved the applications of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to become bank holding companies. Goldman is, of course, where Paulson served as CEO before he joined the Treasury. (On Goldman’s insider pedigree, see my column: Does Goldman Sachs Run the World?)

Talk about scooping up bank stocks on the cheap, when fear is everywhere. That is exactly what the Goldman approval from the Fed to become a bank holding company is all about! And, we might add, all of Goldmans competitors were wiped out by a series of rumors. Dick Fuld CEO of the latest victim, Lehman Brothers, thought that Goldman was behind the rumors…

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