Saturday, 19 November 2011

Goldman Sachs rules Europe

Our friends from Goldman Sachs…

Mario Monti, Lucas Papademos and Mario Draghi have something in common: they have 

all worked for the American investment bank. This is not a coincidence, but evidence of 

a strategy to exert influence that has perhaps already reached its limits.

Serious and competent, they weigh up the pros and cons and study 
all of the documents before giving an opinion. They have a fondness 
for economics, but these luminaries who enter into the temple only 
after a long and meticulous recruitment process prefer to remain 
discreet. Collectively they form an entity that is part pressure group, 
part fraternal association for the collection of information, and part 
mutual aid network. They are the craftsmen, masters and grandmasters 
whose mission is "to spread the truth acquired in the lodge to the rest of 
the world."

According to its detractors, the European network of influence woven 
by American bank Goldman Sachs (GS) functions like a freemasonry. 
To diverse degrees, the new European Central Bank President, Mario 
Draghi, the newly designated Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Monti, 
and the freshly appointed Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos 
are totemic figures in this carefully constructed web.

Heavyweight members figure large in the euro crisis Draghi was 
Goldman Sachs International’s vice-chairman for Europe between 2002 
and 2005, a position that put him in charge of the the “companies and 
sovereign” department, which shortly before his arrival, helped Greece 
to disguise the real nature of its books with a swap on its sovereign debt.

Monti was an international adviser to Goldman Sachs from 2005 until his 
nomination to lead the Italian government. According to the bank, his 
mission was to provide advice "on European business and major public 
policy initiatives worldwide". As such, he was a "door opener" with a brief 
to defend Goldman’s interest in the corridors of power in Europe.

The third man, Lucas Papademos, was the governor of the Greek central 
bank from 1994 to 2002. In this capacity, he played a role that has yet to 
be elucidated in the operation to mask debt on his country’s books, 
perpetrated with assistance from Goldman Sachs. And perhaps more 
importantly, the current chairman of Greece’s Public Debt Management 
Agency, Petros Christodoulos, also worked as a trader for the bank in London.

Two other heavyweight members of Goldman’s European network have also 
figured large in the euro crisis: Otmar Issing, a former member of the 
Bundesbank board of directors and a one-time chief economist of the European 
Central Bank, and Ireland’s Peter Sutherland, an administrator for Goldman 
Sachs International, who played a behind the scenes role in the Irish bailout.

Relay exclusive information to the bank’s trading rooms. How was this loyal 
network of intermediaries created? The US version of this magic circle is 
composed of former highly placed executives of the bank who effortlessly 
enter the highest level of the civil service. In Europe, on the other hand, 
Goldman Sachs has worked to accumulate a capital of relationships. But 
unlike its competitors, the bank has no interest in retired diplomats, highly 
placed national and international civil servants, or even former prime 
ministers and ministers of finance. Goldman’s priority has been to target 
central bankers and former European commissioners.

Its main goal is to legally collect information on initiatives in the near future 
and on the interest rates set by central banks. At the same time, Goldman 
likes its agents to remain discreet. That is why its loyal subjects prefer not to 
mention their filiation in interviews or in the course of official missions.
These well-connected former employees simply have to talk about this and 
that secure in the knowledge that their prestige will inevitably be rewarded 
with outspoken frankness on the part of those in powerful positions. 

Put simply they are there to see "which way the wind is blowing," and 
thereafter to relay exclusive information to the bank’s trading rooms.

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