Yes, Donald Trump campaigned on draining a swamp full of elites. But we shouldn’t be so naive as to believe that he we speaking about all the elites. He meant just the elitists who want to help minorities.
If Republicans achieve veto-proof control in 38 states, they can do something that has never been done before—hold a constitutional convention, and then ratify new amendments that are put forth. They could outlaw the New Deal and its social democratic programs. And if they get crazy enough, they could end separation of church and state and undo other portions of the Bill of Rights.
President Donald Trump swore in former Goldman Sachs banker and Hollywood financier, Steven Mnuchin, as Treasury secretary on Monday, putting him to work on tax reform, financial de-regulation, and economic diplomacy efforts. At a White House swearing-in ceremony, Trump said Mnuchin would be a “great champion” for U.S. citizens.
In a letter to Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin asked for details on “lobbying” activities in the bank related to review of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Obama-era fiduciary rule on financial advice.
Public opinion surveys consistently reveal that the great majority of us say that people on the lower rungs of the economic ladder — the poor and the failing middle class— are the ones Congress should focus on. But, then, regular people don’t run Congress — or Donald Trump’s White House.
The ‘populist’ president delivered a multi-billion dollar gift to Wall Street by eviscerating the Dodd-Frank financial regulations passed in the wake of the 2008 crash. One of Trump’s two executive orders instructed the Department of Labor to delay and ultimately destroy the fiduciary rule that required financial firms to offer advice only in their clients’ best interest — rather than deceptive schemes for self-enrichment.
Five years ago Goldman Sachs played the arch-villain of the financial crash, the very essence of a greedy, rapacious bank that profited while ripping off its own customers and the American people. Is there a way to counter the Goldman Sachs occupation of the Trump administration? The answer might be a new Occupy Wall Street movement.
In a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Treasury was attacked for failing to promptly disclose he was a director of an offshore business vehicle domiciled in the Cayman Islands and owned more than $100 million in real estate.
In a blistering review, Samantha Bee examines the sleazy methods used by Mnuchin to enrich himself in the aftermath of the financial crisis, when he scored about $400 million from a bank that literally swindled widows out of their homes. She contrasts the rise of this greedy character with Trump’s campaign denunciations of Wall Street and Goldman Sachs (the legendary financial house where Mnuchin and several other major Trump appointees began his career).
Schumer said Trump’s nominees, many of whom have extensive business backgrounds at companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Goldman Sachs, should be carefully scrutinized to be sure they avoid conflicts of interest. He also confirmed that some of Trump’s nominees have not completed a review process conducted by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
Donald Trump has inspired so much fear among his Republican comrades that he no longer has to issue harsh tweets when they misbehave. They do it themselves.
The transition team itself is a viper’s nest of pay-to-play corporate interests. These are not people who are going to finance any sort of working-class populism; they instead intend to use The Donald’s victory to impose a plutocracy over America.
During the campaign, Trump checked off all boxes in the art of the con. 1) Learn what the target wants. 2) Play on that desire. 3) Create an emotional foundation based on rapport and an illusion of empathy.
During the campaign, Trump shrieked “pay for play!” to defame the Clintons over and over again, without proof. But now he is doling out top positions in government to the patrons of his campaign, his businesses, and even his foundation.To Trump, a post in his cabinet is not a commitment of trust granted on behalf of the people, but a plum to bestow on any crony who once did him a favor.
A desire to fix any billionaire deficit may account for Trump’s decision to stock his administration with real-life tycoons. The way it works is that they cut him into their deals and he lets them influence tax and regulatory laws. This assumes that Trump might participate in such an unseemly trade, heaven forfend.
Steve Mnuchin was born into a family of Wall Street royalty, and he has made a career out of being “lucky.” In fact, Mnuchin has a long history of coming out ahead, even in questionable deals.
Mnuchin was part of a group that netted billions thanks in large part to a much-criticized deal that allowed the investors to buy OneWest Bank at a big discount while passing off as much as 75 percent of its loan losses on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The flurry of picks showed Trump, a real estate tycoon with no governing experience, rewarding loyalists and established Washington veterans as he rounds out his circle of top advisers.
Why Hillary Clinton insisted on keeping her brilliant Wall Street speeches secret will remain an enduring mystery of this campaign. Heck, why didn’t she just post them on her website?
Goldman Sachs’ CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, just awarded himself a $23 million paycheck for his work last year. That work essentially amounted to negotiating the deal with the government that makes shareholders pay for the bankers’ wrongdoings — while he and other top executives keep their jobs and pocket millions.
Imagine if Hillary Clinton had flown to the Vatican and stationed herself at Pope Francis’s door for an ambush interview. She’d be caricatured as a power-mad shrew or worse.
After supporting Clinton in 2000 and 2008, Lloyd Blankfein told CNBC In February 2016 “I don’t want to help or hurt anybody by giving them my endorsement.”
The Democrats have respected his candidacy. And it has given him a platform he’d never have gotten on his own. But the welcome mat shows holes.