Obama’s bankster bromance

The White House is holding a meeting today with a number of business leaders to discuss the President’s economic agenda, including immigration. This is encouraging, as it will be important to get leaders on board with reforming immigration rules.

What’s less encouraging is that the President continues to treat Goldman Sach’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein like he’s royalty.

Even if you put aside the bailout “taker” receiving billions of tax dollars indirectly via AIG during the industry bailout, the relationship is strange. Goldman may not have been the worst offender (or at least, the most costly) of the Wall Street banks responsible for trashing the US economy, but they were certainly in the thick of the problem. Relying on the expertise of any CEO from Wall Street is bizarre.

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs. Source: Financial Times

Even though Obama did plenty of campaign fundraisers on Wall Street, including with Blainkfein, the President should have more consideration for the Americans who carried the heavy load and paid for the sins of Wall Street. This is what happens when Democrats allow the unions to be cut to pieces. The only counter-balance to GOP money is banker money, and lots of it.

More recently, Lloyd Blankfein has been one of the usual voices calling for gutting the social system that most Americans need, like and want. For the Taker-Class like Blankfein, receiving trillions for his industry and billions for his company makes perfect sense and is fair. Your Social Security and Medicare? Sorry granny, you’re just being greedy and you will have to accept cuts.

Lloyd Blankfein wants his money and he’s first in line. Tough luck that there’s little left after he’s grabbed what he wants. Supporting the Blankfein’s of the world somehow is always the first priority of far too many politicians in Washington.

Get it? Blankfein is your better. In another era, he’s the type that would insist on you removing your cap while in his presence and calling him “sir.” (NOTE FROM JOHN: He’s Mary’s ex-fiancé, Richard, on Downton Abbey.)  In the UK, he probably would have received a Knighthood by the Queen like Fred “The Shred” Goodwin. The poor guy was born in the wrong century, but he still gets his point across.

Even more recently Blankfein decided to hand out bonuses in the US early – unusually early – so that Goldman workers, himself included, could avoid any tax increases in the US. Yes, the tax dollars that saved their collective asses was so long ago and that memory has escaped them.

Blankfein tried doing the same thing in the UK, by pushing out payouts to avoid higher tax rates – but thankfully, Goldman was called out and forced to retreat. When government wants to do something, and stand up to this kind of corporate greed, it can.  But it has to want to.

This brings us to today’s meeting at the White House. Of course it makes sense to round up support for immigration and other issues that will impact business, but why Lloyd Blankfein? I just don’t get it. Even more strange is that like the rest of Wall Street, this is a company that is cutting jobs. It’s not as profitable as it used to be, now that there are a few regulations (that protect taxpayers).  The trend in banking is obvious.

Somehow though, year after year, Lloyd Blankfein keeps getting the special treatment and the special invites and the special respect from President Obama. Whether it’s bailout money, or being an expert on job creation (despite being a destroyer of jobs), Blankfein keeps getting the invitations.

Most Americans have had enough of the “Taker Class,” including Blankfein.  But Washington just can’t get enough.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/craig.vickstrom Craig Vickstrom

    Blankfein should be dancing a jig at Ft. Leavenworth.

  • hollywoodstein

    Obama still wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. From your Fierce Advocate’s mouth to Lloyd Blankfein’s ears:

    “The proposals that I’ve put forward during the fiscal cliff negotiations, in discussions with Speaker Boehner and others, are still very much on the table.

    I just want to repeat; the deals that I put forward, the balanced approach of spending cuts and entitlement reform and tax reform that I put forward are still on the table.

    I’ve offered sensible reforms to Medicare and other entitlements and my healthcare proposals achieved the same amount of savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms that have been proposed by the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission.”

    Hmmm, lessee wasn’t that the chained CPI and raising the retirement age for Medicare from 65 to 67.

    Fact is we should be increasing benefits and lowering the retirement age, but DC/media won’t even countenance that discussion. We could do it too if we just adjusted the income tax cap to capture 90% of income again, and had single payer to help control costs like other civilized nations.

    But Freedom!

    .

  • NMRon

    Why? In modern Amerika LLC, Blankfein and his ilk are the royalty.

  • lynchie

    Great post. It is what I have been shouting about for 4 years. It is all about the money. Welfare for corporations has no limit but don’t expect you will ever get back what was deducted from your paycheck to pay for SS and Medicare. The politicians simply don’t care they want it for themselves/.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Obama is doing what he’s told to do because like every major politician in both parties, he’s a wretched, and willing employee of the looter class.

    While much of what Chris says is correct on the face of it, his unstated assumption is that Obama and the Democrats are alternatives to the Republicans is dead wrong. For instance he says “This is what happens when Democrats allow the unions to be cut to pieces.” Democrats, and especially Obama have done far more intentional damage to unions than Republicans because they control the WH. Obama is the Scab in Chief. They’re attempting to replace the Republicans as the main party of union busters.

    Obama and Emanuel tried to bust the Chicago Teachers union.

    Obama appoints another union buster as his chief of staff: In these Times 01 29 12 “ Obama’s Union-Busting New Chief of Staff? Jacob Lew Helped Destroy Grad Students’ Union at NYU When Obama’s new Chief of Staff was NYU executive vice president, school ceased recognizing the grad students union” http://www.alternet.org/story/153935/obama’s_union-busting_new_chief_of_staff_jacob_lew_helped_destroy_grad_students’_union_at_nyu?page=entire

    Obama attacks airline and rail workers: LABORnotes 02 15 12“Two years after President Obama and Democrats abandoned labor’s much-anticipated Employee Free Choice Act, they have refused to block Republicans intent on making life miserable for airline and rail workers. A bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, voted up 75-20 in the Senate, changes federal labor law to make organizing more difficult for railroad and airline unions. New rules will make it easier to decertify unions and harder to win elections when employers merge.” http://labornotes.org/2012/02/obama-democrats-deal-setback-airline-workers

    Obama attacks the UAW HuffPo 09 03 2010 “The White House is forcefully pushing back on former (Obama) car czar Steve Rattner’s upcoming book about his time in Washington, specifically the allegation that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once blurted “Fuck the UAW” when told that tens of thousands of autoworkers’ jobs were at stake in the restructuring of the auto industry.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/24/steven-rattner-interview-_n_737966.html

    NY Democrat Cuomo attacks unions AlterNet “On Tuesday, a group of nearly 2,000 union members and their supporters met Governor Andrew Cuomo in Albany, New York to protest his 2012-2013 budget proposal cutting pensions and benefits for workers…” http://www.alternet.org/rss/1/826218/unions_protest,_mic-check_pension-cutting_ny_governor_andrew_cuomo/

    California Democrat Brown attacks state workersSacramento Bee 05 16 2012“Questions swirl around Jerry Brown’s plan to cut state workers’ hours… Brown wants to move most of California’s 214,000 workers to four-day workweeks and 9.5-hour shifts starting July 1. The change would reduce state workers’ hours and pay by 5 percent each month and cut state payroll by about $839 million, $401 million of it from the deficit-ridden general fund…” http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/16/v-print/4493111/questions-swirl-around-jerry-browns.html

    Obama attacks federal workers and postal workersLABORNotes 03 06 2012 “During the
    Obama administration, and especially during its first two years when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, the alliance between unions and their political patrons began to wither. The Employee Free Choice Act, the law that would have eased union organizing drives, was shelved. When the administration bailed out the auto companies, it dictated wage cuts, plant closings, and tens of thousands of layoffs, and stripped workers’ right to strike. The health care bill attacked union-negotiated plans. A green-job transformation for the economy stalled. Then Obama announced in December 2010 that salaries for federal workers, already low compared to those of private-sector workers with similar education and longevity, would be frozen for years into the future
    http://labornotes.org/blogs/2012/03/labor-overlooks-bipartisan-attack-federal-workers%20

  • jared

    This and all the other corruption perfectly exemplifies the reason for the growing class of what I call “compassionate libertarians.” These are people who in an ideal world would opt for more liberal policy, but when the current levels of corruption in Washington are factored in (and with no ability to stop it), these people find that the fastest path to prosperity for all, is a smaller federal gov’t than we have now. With regards to deficit spending, Krugman says that the deficit spending only makes sense if it’s spent on investing on items that increase growth and hence a return on your investment…. Despite trillion dollar deficits, there has been very little investment in infrastructure, education and science. If the vast majority of the deficit spending is on defense and handouts to banksters anyway (and not on investing in the people), maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to try a little austerity.

  • nicho

    It’s the same reason FDR had to give a get-out-of jail card to all the corporate CEOs who were plotting to overthrow the government and install a fascist dictatorship in 1934. They were essential to moving forward with the New Deal. If it weren’t for that, they should have all been hanged.

  • confusion

    Lord Blankfiend ….you can’t touch this .

  • Mike Meyer

    p.s. Jim Morrison told that we are all slaves, oh so long ago.

  • Mike Meyer

    They OWN US, including POTUS, that’s why

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It’s just more proof that we are already ruled by what I call the Plutocratic Bastard Class — or PBCs, for short.

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