Friday, April 24, 2009

Remakers of Global Financial System Have Goldman Sachs Pedigrees

The IMF/World Bank and the re-badged Financial Stability Board will play critical roles in managing the global financial crisis. Two of the top three leaders have Goldman Sachs Managing Director on their resume. World Bank President Robert Zoellick and FSB Chair Mario Draghi worked for Goldman Sachs. In case you need a refresher, here are a few more Goldman alums:

Hank Paulson, Treasury Director under President Bush
John Thain, ex-Merrill Lynch CEO

(Recall CEO Ken Lewis' statement that Paulson strong armed Bank of America into closing the deal with Merrill. )

Josh Bolten, Bush White House Chief of Staff
Robert Rubin, Chairman CitiGroup
Ed Liddy, ex-AIG CEO
Robert Steel, Wachovia CEO
Neel Kashkari, TARP manager
Robert Zoellick, World Bank President
Mario Draghi, Chair Financial Stability Board

Over the last 20 years, Goldman ranks #4 among all U.S. political donors, contributing over $30 million to campaigns and politicians. It's the highest of any financial institution. Goldman Sachs was the second highest contributor to the Obama campaign.

Treasury Chief Tim Geithner's #1 staffer, Mark Patterson, is an ex-Goldman lobbyist. Politico reported on Patterson's role:

For Patterson, that translates into grueling hours managing Geithner’s equally punishing days and deciding who gets to see the treasury secretary and who doesn’t. “The big picture is, does this use of his time serve one of our broad priorities?” Patterson said. “If it doesn’t serve one of those priorities, it doesn’t get on the calendar.”

What happens when a member of the Goldman Club calls? Better yet, what happens when Draghi, Zoellick, and Geithner/Patterson get together to revamp the system? Maybe more Goldman Sachs sleight of hand?