During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump condemned lobbyists, Wall Street, and DC insiders, claiming he would “drain the swamp” and bring reform to Washington if elected.
No company epitomizes the incestuous swampy relationship between Washington and Wall Street like Goldman Sachs. Nicknamed Government Sachs, it has already produced two former US treasury secretaries—Hank Paulson and Robert Rubin—and a large number of the federal regulators tasked with policing the financial services industry.
Goldman Sachs, like the other Too Big To Fail/Jail banks on Wall Street, has been at the forefront of pushing corporations to ship American jobs oversees and played a leading role in crashing the US economy in 2008 through reckless greed and criminal fraud in the mortgage securities market.
Yet Trump is backing two former Goldman executives for high positions within his administration. Trump has chosen second-generation Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin to be his treasury secretary. Mnuchin’s father was a Goldman partner and Mnuchin himself worked at Goldman for 17 years.
Steve Bannon, who is also a former Goldman Sachs executive, is set to be President Trump’s chief adviser. Despite Bannon’s embrace of economic nationalism in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bannon was singing the praises of Goldman Sachs as recently as 2012.
In an interview for a French news documentary, “Goldman Sachs: The Bank That Runs The World,” Bannon compared joining the Wall Street bank to joining the Roman Catholic religious order of the Jesuits:
INTERVIEWER: What did Goldman Sachs represent for you?
STEVE BANNON: Goldman Sachs represented excellence and meritocracy. It didn’t matter where you came from, it didn’t matter what school you went to, what your religion was or what was your ethnicity. It just mattered how hard you worked, how smart you were, and how good a banker you were for your clients.
It was really like joining the Jesuits. This seems antiquated today, it was before the financialization, it was before all these quants and mathematicians really came to Wall Street.
The Jesuits? Really? Because a brief look at Goldman Sachs’ rap sheet would lead one to think the bank has specialized in sin. They have incurred fines totaling in the billions with victims both large and small.
In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bannon said, “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over. If we deliver.”
Who exactly did Bannon think he was praising in 2012? Goldman Sachs is one of the architects of neoliberal globalization, especially moving American factories to China and elsewhere in Asia. And, like other banks, Goldman has lobbied US companies to look for lower wages out of the country to boost profitability.
Goldman Sachs is a case study in pursuing transnational, globalist interests at the expense of the American worker. Is there a mea culpa coming, Steve?