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Let's Make a Deal, Part I - Green Shoots, World Great Depression, or a Brand New Car!

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"The explosion of toxic assets [credit default swaps and other derivatives] is a direct result of the laws pushed through by Rubin and his followers, and in the decade since, we have had a twenty-fold increase, to more than $530 trillion, in the value of those newfangled financial instruments, which Warren Buffett in February 2003 correctly termed "financial weapons of mass destruction.""

Gensler's reward was to be named by President Obama to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Scheer noted that one member of the Clinton administration, Brooksley Born, when she was head of the CFTC, warned about the proliferation of derivatives, but she was treated by the rest of Clinton's economic team as the enemy. They drove her from government and pushed through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which summarily exempted derivatives from regulation. Ironically, Gensler was being rewarded for being wrong with the old job of the person who got it right, Brooksley Born.

Mark Patterson was a former lobbyist for Goldman Sachs. Despite Treasury Secretary Geithner having just outlined rules in January, 2009, to keep lobbyists away from the decision process for the allocation of the TARP money, Geithner named Mark Patterson as his top aide, Treasury Chief of Staff, the same day. Patterson, who had worked behind the scenes for ex-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) came under fire immediately for his former lobbyist role. On January 21, 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order banning the hiring of a lobbyist to work in an issue area in which they have lobbied over the past two years. Doesn't matter. An ex-Goldman lobbyist now Geithner's right-hand man.

Josh Bolton was Executive Director, Legal & Government Affairs, for Goldman Sachs International in London, 1994-1999. From March, 1999, through November, 2000, Bolten was Policy Director of the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign. From January, 2001, through June, 2003, he was Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy at the White House. He joined President Bush's Cabinet on June 30, 2003, as Director of the Office of Management and Budget and was named Chief of Staff on March 28, 2006. During the GW Bush Administration, Bolten was General Counsel to the US Trade Representative for three years and Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs for one year.

Before joining Goldman Sachs, from 1985-1989, Bolton was International Trade Counsel to the US Senate Finance Committee. Earlier, Mr. Bolten was in a private law practice with O.Melveny & Myers, and worked in the legal office of the US State Department. He also served as Executive Assistant to the Director of the Kissinger Commission on Central America.

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The UK paper, The Independent, wrote in "How Goldman Sachs Took Over the World":

"... Goldman Sachs employees have given more money to Barack Obama's campaign for president than workers of any other employer in the US. "Over the past few years, people from Goldman Sachs have assumed control over large parts of the federal government," Brooks noted grimly. "Over the next few they might just take over the whole darn thing.""

Is it any wonder that despite the "worst financial crisis since the Great Depression", Goldman Sachs has come off smelling like a rose and is on pace for record bonuses, the Guardian newspaper reported, citing insiders at Goldman who said a surge in projected profit can be attributed to a lack of competition and increased revenue from trading foreign currency, bonds and fixed-income products. Goldman received $10 billion from the $700 billion TARP, and was so profitable, they repaid it a few weeks ago. CEO Lloyd Blankfein reminded lawmakers that Goldman is obligated to "ensure that compensation reflects the true performance of the firm and motivates proper behavior." We all know what "proper behavior" for a private firm is by now, right?

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Merchant marine experience on ocean research and oil exploration vessels in my youth. Ex-mechanical engineer, oil exploration equipment industry, commercial and military aerospace industries, SCUBA diving and respiratory protective breathing (more...)

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