Wednesday, April 22, 2020


First Up

Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Here's what we're following today.

Not all of the $349 billion Congress allocated for small businesses went where it was intended. Around $10 billion went to banks to cover processing fees — even as tens of thousands of small businesses were shut out of the program, according to an analysis of financial records by NPR. 


Goldman Sachs Bankster “King of the Foreclosures” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin vows that the Goldman Sachs infested Trump Admin will hand no-strings massive socialist bailouts to Trump Hotels. Mnuchin says the welfare will exceed the Bankster-owned Democrat Party’s massive bailout of Obama crony Jamie Dimon of J P Morgan’s bailout in 2008

Mnuchin Courts Goldman Advisers to Oversee $200 Billion Bailout

Saleha Mohsin
Sridhar Natarajan
U.S Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is seeking to tap executives from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other Wall Street firms to help oversee more than $200 billion in bailout packages that the Trump administration is proposing to ease the economic damage of the coronavirus outbreak, people familiar with the matter said.
Mnuchin’s team is considering executives with broad experience to help administer loans to airlines, hotels and other industries suffering as the virus shuts down parts of the economy, the people said. The government is also considering taking equity stakes in some companies in exchange for aid, a program that financiers and bankers could administer.
Spokesmen for the Treasury didn’t reply to a request for comment. Goldman declined to comment.
The White House and Democrats are negotiating with Senate Republicans over a GOP draft stimulus bill that would create the bailout program. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he’d like to hold a vote on Monday.
During the last global financial crisis more than a decade ago, Treasury secretaries Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner brought in additional staff, including prominent Wall Street figures, to help manage the bailouts of U.S. banks and auto companies.

Fed Expertise

Mnuchin is also looking for expert guidance as the Treasury Department works closely with the Federal Reserve. Mnuchin this week authorized the Fed to launch four separate emergency lending programs to keep cash flowing into the U.S. economy.
The Fed is expected to launch more crisis-level programs that will require authorization and help from the Treasury Department, which would have to group individual companies in travel-related industries together to make them eligible for Fed assistance. President Donald Trump has already singled out Boeing Co. as needing government assistance in some form.
Mnuchin’s Treasury Department is short-staffed. It has more than half a dozen vacancies in its senior political ranks. The domestic finance department, which oversees the $16 trillion Treasuries market amd the Financial Stability Oversight Board, has no undersecretary.
Deputy Secretary Justin Muzinich has been overseeing the unit since June when Craig Phillips departed as a counselor. Muzinich is also serving as acting undersecretary of the Treasury’s sanctions unit.

‘Government Sachs’ Reunites When Mnuchin Dines With Goldman Pals

Max Abelson
Sridhar Natarajan
Picture this: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a dinner table in New York, surrounded by Hank Paulson, Jon Corzine and Gary Cohn, along with David Solomon. It’s not a Bernie Sanders nightmare -- just the Goldman Sachs alumni dinner.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and governments worldwide have a long history of swapping senior leaders, earning the bank the nickname “Government Sachs.” But the firm often takes pains not to look too chummy with its friends in high places.
That’s why some Goldman veterans said they were surprised last month when Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, who has led the administration’s efforts to reshape financial regulation, attended the firm’s annual dinner for retired partners in New York’s Hudson Yards. While sitting in public office, especially in positions that allow them to oversee Wall Street, former executives have tended to avoid the soiree.
Mnuchin requested clearance to attend the dinner and received it, according to a spokesman for the Treasury Department, who said he was there in a personal capacity. A Goldman Sachs spokesman declined to comment.
The Goldman alumni dinner is less a college reunion and more a way to maintain ties between executives who’ve moved on to some of the most powerful spots in banking, private equity, hedge funds and government.
Mnuchin, who left the firm in 2002, was one of the dinner guests who’ve helped shape American policy in the 21st Century. Paulson was Treasury Secretary at the depths of the financial crisis, Corzine was a U.S. Senator and governor of New Jersey, and Cohn was the first director of President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council. They were joined by Solomon, the bank’s chief executive officer, and Lloyd Blankfein, his predecessor.
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both senators, are among the Democratic presidential candidates who have criticized the bank. Trump recruited the firm’s veterans for his administration even after one of his 2016 campaign ads showed Blankfein’s face as the candidate’s voice warned about a corrupt global power machine.

Then Congress rushed through a record $2.2 trillion economic “rescue” bill, whose main purpose was to provide the Treasury and the Federal Reserve the necessary authority to bail out corporate America and Wall Street.


Coronavirus deaths in US nearing 4,000 as Trump washes his hands of responsibility

The coronavirus killed at least 812 people in the United States Tuesday, the highest death toll since the pandemic began, while nearly 25,000 new cases were reported, bringing the total number infected to more than 188,000, the largest number in the world by far.
Along with the unprecedented scale of the infection, its sheer speed is staggering. On March 10, there were only 1,000 reported coronavirus infections in the United States. Three weeks later, it is nearing 200 times that level. Another such three weeks would see 40 million people infected in the United States.
The US death toll has not yet reached the level of Italy (12,428) or Spain (8,464), but that is only a matter of days. And White House officials continue to escalate their projections of the total number of deaths in a “best-case” scenario, setting the figure at a staggering 240,000, with Trump himself hinting that the total could be double that.
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, March 13, 2020, in Washington [Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci]
Four countries—Italy, Spain, the US and France—have now seen more deaths than China, where the epidemic first broke out in the city of Wuhan last December. After 3,305 deaths, China claims to have largely suppressed the outbreak through systematic testing, contact tracing and quarantining of those exposed to the coronavirus.
The American media and the Trump administration continually describe efforts to counteract the coronavirus as a war, where the frontlines are being drawn in emergency rooms and ICUs throughout the United States, and especially in the New York metropolitan area, where half of all COVID-19 cases are located. On Tuesday the death toll in New York City itself hit 1,096, and 10,000 people were hospitalized, with 2,700 of them requiring ventilators.
But in this war, under the incompetent “commander-in-chief” Trump and his hapless lieutenants among the state governors, the troops are being sent into battle haphazardly, without weapons, and largely without regard for their own safety. Healthcare workers lack sufficient personal protection equipment, and they are being infected and incapacitated at an alarming rate, with many deaths.
In Spain, the healthcare workers accounted for 14 percent of the country’s cases, while in Italy, they accounted for 10 percent. The same process is under way in the United States. NPR reported that 345 employees of Boston’s four largest hospitals have tested positive for COVID-19. In New York City, hundreds of workers have fallen ill. At Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Manhattan, 50 percent of the intensive-care staff have been infected.
The result is that in addition to the shortages of hospital rooms, ICU beds, masks, and ventilators, there is a growing shortage of medical staff who can cope with the increasing volume of patients seeking medical attention.
Meanwhile, hospitals and healthcare systems are threatening doctors and nurses who make their concerns over working conditions public. An emergency room physician, Dr. Ming Lin, in Washington state, was fired because he gave an interview to a newspaper complaining about inadequate protective equipment. Ruth Schubert, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Nurses Association, told Bloomberg, “Hospitals are muzzling nurses and other healthcare workers in an attempt to preserve their image.” Nurses who have spoken under conditions of anonymity with WSW S reporters said that they have been told they would be fired if they talked to the media.
In some cases, state governors have made statements that amount to a confession of bankruptcy. On CNN Live, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland said, “We are all trying to get more testing, but this is a pinch point on testing, on supplies, and materials, and PPE and ventilators. Everybody in America knows we don’t have enough of these things … and without the tests we are really flying blind. We are guessing about where the outbreaks are, what the infection rates in the hospitals are, and the mortality rates.”
However, the Trump White House manages to combine moronic expressions of optimism (largely in the form of testimonials to Trump’s personal genius) with ever more ominous declarations that the death toll in the United States will reach six or even seven figures.
On Sunday, White House adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said that 100,000 to 200,000 deaths was a midrange figure that could be substantially lowered if proper measures were taken. On Monday, White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that 100,000 to 200,000 was now the floor, the best-case scenario if everything went perfectly, while Trump himself declared that a death toll in that range would represent “a good job” by his administration.
On Tuesday, Fauci and Birx presented a slide show to a press briefing indicating projections that without severe mitigation, total deaths due to COVID-19 could reach 1.2 million to 2.2 million. Birx admitted that even with strict mitigation efforts throughout the month of April, the number of deaths could range as high as 240,000. At the peak of such a “best-case” outcome, 4,000 to 5,000 people would be dying every day.
Shocking as such figures are, even more outrageous is the blithe indifference displayed by Trump personally and his closest aides to the likely results of their own policy of refusing to conduct a serious struggle to contain the pandemic, not merely mitigate it.
Trump himself, towards the end of the press “briefing” that lasted more than two hours—a clear indication, in and of itself, that the White House antivirus campaign is an exercise in political propaganda and media manipulation—made comments that amounted to a self-indictment for criminal negligence on a monumental scale.
“We’re going through the worst thing this country has probably ever seen,” he said. “Look, we had the Civil War. We lost 600,000 people, right? Had we not done anything, we would have lost many times that, but we did something, so it’s going to be hopefully way under that. But you know, we lose more here potentially than you lose in world wars as a country.”
Given that the US death toll in the Second World War was 405,000, Trump is saying, in his semiliterate and meandering way, that the US death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic could well be between 400,000 and 600,000.
There was remarkably little push-back from the journalists of the corporate media who appeared to be in a daze. While several media outlets had taken note that on Tuesday morning, more Americans had died from coronavirus than were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, not even this comparison, inadequate as it is, was made.
The US government’s response is best characterized as malign neglect to a pandemic that was both foreseen and preventable. With complete indifference to the fate of the people, the Trump administration’s primary focus was on ensuring the financial markets were protected. Only when the markets began to implode did the government’s machinery begin to churn to prevent its complete collapse. Everything else was deemed an afterthought.
First, on March 3, the Federal Reserve slashed rates by 0.5 
percent, the most significant cut since the 2008 financial crisis. 
On March 12, the Federal Reserve added $1.5 trillion of liquidity
 into the banking systems by massively expanding short-term 
loans to the banks to keep money markets stable and provide 
banks with cash in hand. When the markets continued to 
plummet on March 15, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a
full percentage point down to almost 0.00 percent. They also 
resumed quantitative easing by purchasing $500 billion in 
treasuries and $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities. 
Then Congress rushed through a record 
$2.2 trillion economic “rescue” bill, whose 
main purpose was to provide the Treasury 
and the Federal Reserve the necessary 
authority to bail out corporate America 
and Wall Street.
Comparing the gargantuan and energetic efforts to save the markets with the slapdash, indifferent and grossly incompetent actions in relation to public health, it is easy to see what are the priorities of the American financial aristocracy.
But there is another force to be heard from in this crisis—the working class. Instacart, Amazon, and Whole Foods workers have initiated strike actions against forced work under unsafe conditions. Workers at General Electric have protested, demanding their company begin producing ventilators. Many other workers are rebelling against being forced to remain on the job without protective gear.
As the crisis escalates, the decisive question is for the working class to develop a conscious political response, recognizing that it must fight the capitalist system as a whole, based on a socialist program.

A massive tax cut for his plundering Goldman Sachs infested administration.

Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses


 Editorial Reviews: Obama Is Making You Poorer—But Who’s Getting Rich?

Goldman Sachs, GE, Pfizer, the United Auto Workers—the same “special interests” Barack Obama was supposed to chase from the temple—are profiting handsomely from Obama’s Big Government policies that crush taxpayers, small businesses, and consumers. In Obamanomics, investigative reporter Timothy P. Carney digs up the dirt the mainstream media ignores and the White House wishes you wouldn’t see. Rather than Hope and Change, Obama is delivering corporate socialism to America, all while claiming he’s battling corporate America. It’s corporate welfare and regulatory robbery—it’s Obamanomics.

Gary Cohn: ‘I Am a Globalist 


— I Believe We Live in a 


Globalized World’

 18 Dec 2018211
Former President Donald Trump economic adviser and 
former Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn, when asked 
Tuesday on CBS’s “This Morning” about Trump calling him a “globalist” and if it was an anti-Semitic remark, proudly proclaimed himself as a globalist.

“I’m absolutely not offended by the term ‘globalist’ as I am a 
globalist,” Cohn stated. “I believe we live in a globalized 
world. I think the United States is an integral part of a 
globalized world. And we have to figure out how to live as a 
good citizen in a globalized earth — so do the Chinese, so do 
the Russians, so do the Middle Eastern countries.”

“We are globalized. We cannot change that fact,” he 
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent


The Clinton White House famously abolished the Glass–Steagall legislation, which separated commercial and investment banking. The move was a boon for Wall Street firms and led to major bank mergers that some analysts say helped contribute to the 2008 financial crisis.

Bill and Hillary Clinton raked in massive speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, with CNN documenting a total of at least $7.7 million in paid speeches to big financial firms, including Goldman Sachs and UBS. Hillary Clinton made $675,000 from speeches to Goldman Sachs specifically, and her husband secured more than $1,550,000 from Goldman speeches. In 2005 alone, Bill Clinton collected over $500,000 from three Goldman Sachs events.


Can’t be done!

NEW YORK — In the midst of a public relations nightmare, former White House Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell took charge of Goldman Sachs’s global charitable foundation, helping to resurrect the big bank’s shattered image after it was implicated in practices that contributed to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.


Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses

NEW YORK — In the midst of a public relations nightmare, former White House Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell took charge of Goldman Sachs’s global charitable foundation, helping to resurrect the big bank’s shattered image after it was implicated in practices that contributed to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.


Hillary Clinton is simply the epitome of the rabid self – a whirlpool of selfishness, greed, and malignance.

It may well be true that Donald Trump has made his greatest contribution to the nation before even taking office:  the political destruction of Hillary Clinton and her infinitely corrupt machine. J.R. Dunn

"Hillary will do anything to distract you from her reckless record and the damage to the Democratic Party and the America she and The Obama's have created."


Records show that four out of Obama's top five contributors are employees of financial industry giants - Goldman Sachs ($571,330), UBS AG ($364,806), JPMorgan Chase ($362,207) and Citigroup ($358,054).




Wall Street firms have chipped in more than $9 million to Barack Obama. Zurga/Bloomberg

Wall Street is investing heavily in Barack Obama.

 Although the Democratic presidential hopeful has vowed to raise capital gains and corporate taxes, financial industry bigs have contributed almost twice as much to Obama as to GOP rival John McCain, a Daily News analysis of campaign records shows.

“The administration has been pushing hard for a 

settlement among state attorneys general, the nation's five 

largest mortgage servicers — Bank of America 

Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. — and certain federal agencies.”



Can’t be done!

NEW YORK — In the midst of a public relations nightmare, former White House Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell took charge of Goldman Sachs’s global charitable foundation, helping to resurrect the big bank’s shattered image after it was implicated in practices that contributed to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

“Clinton also failed to mention how he and Hillary cashed in after his presidential tenure to make themselves multimillionaires, in part by taking tens of millions in speaking fees from Wall Street bankers.”



British American Tobacco
Dow Chemical

HILLARY CLINTON: The woman who fought Barack Obama to be America's first dictator.

In the days of the Cold War, the narrative of the arch-reactionaries and anticommunists revolved around a conspiracy theory according to which the United States had been infiltrated at the highest levels by agents of the Soviet Union.
In the early 1950s, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy led the anti-Soviet campaign, alleging that Russian spies occupied top positions in the government, in universities, in Hollywood and even in the military. According to McCarthy, “a conspiracy so immense and an infamy so black as to dwarf any previous venture in the history of man” implicated not only the Soviet Union but was also responsible for the “loss of China” in the 1949 Chinese Revolution.
The “Red Menace” was the pretext for attacking and delegitimizing all manifestations of social and political opposition, including the Civil Rights movement, as the work of “outside agitators” who received their orders from Moscow. It was Martin Dies, the Democratic congressman from Texas and initiator of the witch-hunting House Un-American Activities Committee, who declared in his 1940 book The Trojan Horse in America that Moscow had “envisioned an unusual opportunity to create racial hatred between the white and Negro citizens of the United States.”
In the late 1950s, after the heyday of McCarthy, the political thread was taken up by the John Birch Society, founded in 1958 by Massachusetts businessman Robert Welch, who notoriously declared that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a “dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy.”
In 1964, Welch backed the ultra-right Republican candidate Barry Goldwater, whose failed presidential campaign was heavily influenced by John Stormer’s book None Dare Call It Treason. “Will America continue to aid the communist enemy,” Stormer asked, “to disarm in the face of danger, to bow before communist dictators in every corner of the earth? The decision is yours.”
Nothing is dead in politics. The legacy of McCarthyism is now being revived by the campaign led by the Democratic Party and summed up in a hysterical screed published Wednesday in the Washington Post by Hillary Clinton, the self-professed former “Goldwater girl,” under the headline, “Mueller documented a serious crime against all Americans. Here’s how to respond.”
According to Clinton, “Our election was corrupted, our democracy assaulted, our sovereignty and security violated. This is the definitive conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report.” The perpetrator again is Russia, which Clinton, citing the Mueller report, claims has carried out a “sweeping and systematic” attack on the United States.
The Clinton narrative, which is the official line of the Democratic Party, is a monumental lie. Responsibility for Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 elections is attributed entirely to the operations of Russian bots and “Guccifer 2.0,” the persona of the individual who supposedly hacked Democratic Party emails. Her campaign, Clinton writes, was the “target of a Russian plot,” directed by President Vladimir Putin, who “seeks to weaken our country.”
And what did this new “conspiracy so immense” actually involve? According to the Mueller report itself, organizations associated with Russia allegedly spent $100,000 on Facebook ads. This is 0.12 percent of the $81 million spent by the Democratic and Republican election campaigns themselves on Facebook ads, in a campaign dominated by the $5 billion spent by the billionaire backers of the two parties to buy the election.
As for the release of Democratic Party emails, even if one accepts the unsubstantiated claim that it was Russian operatives who turned them over to WikiLeaks, what the emails revealed were true facts about the operations of Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—facts that the electorate had every right to know. Among the documents released were Clinton’s speeches to Goldman Sachs and other banks, for which she was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. Other leaked emails exposed the corrupt efforts of the DNC to rig the primaries against Bernie Sanders.
Clinton lost in the 2016 elections because the Democratic Party, in line with the class interests it represents, made a calculated decision not to raise any social issues or make any appeal to the working class in its campaign against Trump. Do Clinton and company really expect the public to believe that Facebook ads put out by Russian agents were behind the collapse in voter turnout in working-class areas of Michigan, Wisconsin and other states?
The victory of the billionaire demagogue Trump was the result of widespread disillusionment with the Democratic Party after eight years of the Obama administration, which broke every campaign promise and exposed as lies the empty prattle about “hope” and “change.” Obama focused his energies on bailing out Wall Street and shoring up the wealth of the corporate and financial elite.
In her column, Clinton goes on to call for an alliance between the Democratic Party and the Republicans. The situation calls for “clear-eyed patriotism, not reflexive partisanship,” she writes. She urges Republicans to work with Democrats in an intensified campaign against Russia—with or without the Trump administration. She writes: “It’s up to members of both parties to see where that road map [provided by the Mueller report] leads—to the eventual filing of articles of impeachment, or not. Either way, the nation’s interests will be best served by putting party and political considerations aside and being deliberate, fair and fearless.”
Clinton wants a bipartisan foreign policy that is “fearless” in its aggression against not only Russia, but also China. “Unless checked, the Russians will interfere again in 2020, and possibly other adversaries, such as China or North Korea, will as well,” she warns. Unless Trump is “held accountable, the president will likely redouble his efforts to advance Putin’s agenda, including rolling back sanctions, weakening NATO and undermining the European Union.”
Changing what needs to be changed, such words could have been penned by Robert Welch himself. Confronting a fascistic president, the Democrats have managed to frame their entire opposition around a right-wing narrative. If the Democrats had their way and Trump were removed—to be replaced, don’t forget, by the ultra-right Vice President Mike Pence—it is almost certain that the immediate consequence would be war with nuclear-armed Russia.
Inextricably connected to the conflicts over foreign policy is the escalation of the attack on democratic rights within the United States. Reprising the ravings of Dies, social discontent is attributed to the nefarious efforts of Russia to “sow discord” within the United States.
Significantly, Clinton cites as a model the actions of the ruling class after the September 11, 2001 attacks, when “Congress established an independent, bipartisan commission to recommend steps that would help guard against future attacks.” She concludes, “We need a similar commission to help protect our elections.”
The September 11 attacks—a terrorist atrocity that killed nearly 3,000 people—were followed by the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Department, the Northern Command, domestic spying, Guantanamo Bay, the institution of torture and drone assassinations as government policy, and other crimes. The campaign of the Democrats over the Russian “attack”—a lie fashioned from whole cloth—has been accompanied by far-reaching moves to censor the internet under the guise of combating “fake news.”
The Democrats’ warmongering and attack on democratic rights come together in the persecution of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, whose enduring contribution to the population of the world was the exposure of the crimes of American imperialism. For this, Assange is currently imprisoned in Britain, facing imminent rendition to the United States. The courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning is in jail for refusing to testify against him.
Such is Clinton’s defense of “our democracy.”
All of this further demonstrates that in the conflict between Trump and the Democratic Party there is no progressive or democratic faction. The anti-Russia narrative has not been challenged by any section of the Democratic Party, including Bernie Sanders, who is again seeking to cover up this warmongering party with a thin veneer of social reforms that it has no intention of implementing.
The conflict between the Democrats and the Trump administration is a conflict between two reactionary factions of the ruling class. All those political organizations and groups that are seeking to direct social opposition behind the Democratic Party are playing the most criminal role. They are no less terrified than Trump and the Democrats of the development of a genuine socialist movement of the working class, which will oppose American capitalism and its wars.


Can’t be done!

NEW YORK — In the midst of a public relations nightmare, former White House Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell took charge of Goldman Sachs’s global charitable foundation, helping to resurrect the big bank’s shattered image after it was implicated in practices that contributed to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

“Clinton also failed to mention how he and Hillary cashed in after his presidential tenure to make themselves multimillionaires, in part by taking tens of millions in speaking fees from Wall Street bankers.”