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.
A dereliction of duty: Bombshell NYT report reveals the Trump-Russia story is far from over
The news late yesterday was chilling: Russians have been paying Taliban militants to kill Americans in Afghanistan even as peace talks with the Taliban were under way, intelligence sources told The New York Times.
Radical Republicans are already sabotaging the next president
The Trump EPA is trying to stack an advisory committee on drinking water to continue to help polluters and cost-conscious water utilities even if Trump loses in November.
The EPA is asking for nominations to fill five seats on the National Drinking Water Advisory Council for three-year terms that would start in December.
The council was created as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 signed by President Gerald Ford, but Tim Whitehouse, the executive director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said the council has traditionally been weighted in favor of local utilities and industry. He said the council needs public health advocates.
How Chinese spies penetrated the Trump White House
Communist Chinese government operatives got into the Trump White House and also sat at a confidential Republican election strategy meeting, Wednesday's Wall Street Journal reports.
Some of the conduct the Journal described could form the basis for federal felony indictments.
Fronts for the People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party donated at least $450,000 to Trump’s 2017 inaugural and his campaign, money the newspaper said was crucial to obtaining direct access to Trump and GOP strategy meetings. A furtive organization was created in California to boost Trump’s chances of getting a second term.