As if billions in cash and government guarantees wasn’t enough, it turns out investment bank Goldman Sachs will also be sucking on the taxpayers’ teat when employees move into their slick new digs at the corner of West and Vesey in Manhattan next year.
The New Goldman Sachs World Headquarters — a 43-story office tower next to the World Trade Center site — is being built with the help of millions of dollars from taxpayers, Bloomberg news service reports.
The company that has been the focus of populist anger since the TARP bailout last year took advantage of programs the government set up to revitalize lower Manhattan after the 9/11 attacks. Setting up shop next to the WTC qualified Goldman Sachs for $49 million in “job-grant funds, tax exemptions and energy discounts,” Bloomberg’s Christine Harper reported.
Additionally, because then-Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson raised concerns about security at the site, the city and state gave the construction project an additional $66 million in benefits. And the investment bank was also allowed to sell tax-free some $1.6 billion of Liberty Bonds — bonds created to fund the effort to rebuild lower Manhattan. That allowed Goldman Sachs to avoid taking out a commercial loan for that amount of money, saving it an additional $175 million over 30 years, according to the Bloomberg report.
The New York Daily News reported earlier this month that the city of New York forgave Goldman Sachs about $161 million in lease payments the company would have had to make on the land where the new 43-story office tower sits. Under the agreement between the city and the company, Goldman doesn’t have to pay the lease if Ground Zero remains empty.
Bloomberg reports that Goldman Sachs in on track to make $11.4 billion in profit this year, nearly tying its all-time record of $11.6 billion in 2007. In last year’s bailout, the company received $10 billion in cash, had $30 billion of loans guaranteed by the government, and was re-classified as a bank holding company, which allows it to borrow cheaply from the Federal Reserve.
The new Goldman Sachs tower has been a headache — and a hazard — for New Yorkers. In December 2007, an architect was paralyzed when seven tons of steel fell off the building. Late last month, glass falling off the building shattered in the streets below and snarled traffic for hours.