Goldman Sachs, the behemoth Wall Street investment bank whose former president was Trump’s top economic adviser, claims it isn’t connected to a company that bears its name. The two businesses also share the same offices, the same phone number and some of the same employees.
“Our findings raise a host of questions about what Goldman Sachs is doing and what else it isn’t reporting,” said Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen which is protesting to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Slocum said that if Goldman Sachs can successfully claim not to be affiliated with the LLC it can get higher profits.
Congressional investigators held hearings in 2014 into banks, including Goldman Sachs, that were competing directly with commercial businesses in areas such as supplying electricity. The suppliers the Goldman Sachs LLC is working with include solar farms running on the transmission system of PG&E, the California company that filed for bankruptcy because of $30 billion in liabilities from wildfires.
Carl Levin, the former chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, warned in 2014 that mega-bank investments in electricity and other energy markets mean that the banks could be liable for catastrophes and environmental problems. Levin said this could roil the economy much as the housing market did in 2008.
“Should a catastrophe occur, it could undermine a bank or spur fears that it might fail, sparking a bank run, a shutdown of lending, and turmoil in the U.S. economy,” Levin said.
The Goldman Sachs LLC turned to the Cayman Islands, one of the world’s most notorious tax havens, for three directors who it claimed are independent of the Goldman Sachs Group. The directors – Andrew Galloway of ICG Management Ltd., Andrew Johnson of Circumference FS and John Lewis of HighWater Ltd. – are directors at 60 other companies affiliated with the Goldman Sachs Group.
Goldman Sachs alums who have worked for Trump include Gary Cohn, the former National Economic Council director, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Goldman has a long history of supplying top-level government officials, whichever party is in the White House.
Public Citizen said Goldman Sachs’ links to shell companies raises questions about whether Goldman Sachs is complying with Federal Reserve reporting obligations and Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements.
Another mega-bank, JPMorgan Chase, unsuccessfully argued in a similar scheme that it wasn’t affiliated with a company set up to buy an energy utility. In 2013, JPMorgan was fined $410 million to settle charges of manipulating electric power markets.
“I think some lawyers working for Wall Street developed what they think is a grand loophole to conceal their bank’s involvement in ownership and control over various energy infrastructure assets,” Slocum said.
McConnell is surely preparing a minefield of procedural moves to save Trump’s skin
The impeachment trial shouldn’t come down to which tricks and maneuvers work best – for any side.
For perhaps one day, senators ought to be able to set aside the proscribed role as defenders of their partisan parties to consider whether Donald Trump’s repeatedly brusque treatment of the Constitution is beyond the pale set for impeachment.
But, of course, we know ahead of time that they cannot, and thus, we are about to be dragged once again through procedures that will be more for show than for results.
Still, one could hope that it is out of the conviction that facts will be sought and that American voters can be assured that there has been an actual review.
It looks like the Donald Trump-Boris Johnson honeymoon is finally over — thanks to China
They could co-star in “Dumb and Dumber—The OK Boomer Special Edition,” but Donald Trump and Boris Johnson reached a critical point in their sometimes rocky bromance this week.
Yes, it’s true, the British Prime Minister sent his alleged ally across the Atlantic what every couple in a long-distance relationship dreads: Mixed messages.
At first blush, it might have seemed that Johnson was kissing Trump’s ring when he said Tuesday in a rare sit-down interview with BBC Breakfast that if the 2015 Iran nuclear deal breaks down, a “Trump deal” should replace it.
Federal prosecutors target foreign corporations for illegal activities US companies commit all the time
Federal prosecutors recently announced that telecommunications giant Ericsson will pay more than $1 billion to resolve allegations that it conspired to make illegal payments to win contracts in five countries. The settlement included a $520 million criminal penalty imposed by the Justice Department and a $540 million civil payment to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
This was the latest in a long series of cases brought under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the 1977 law that emerged out of the Watergate-era revelations about improper overseas payments by U.S. corporations. But what the case against Sweden’s Ericsson highlights is the extent to which the law is being applied to foreign corporations as well as domestic ones.