McClatchy: Hey, the White House has some interesting connections to Goldman Sachs

posted at 12:55 pm on April 22, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Give McClatchy credit for taking a hard look at the political alliances between the Obama administration and the firm targeted by the SEC in its probe of the financial collapse.  Of course, Michelle Malkin got there first, both in her syndicated column this week and in Culture of Corruption last year.  At least, though, the word is getting out:

While Goldman Sachs’ lawyers negotiated with the Securities and Exchange Commission over potentially explosive civil fraud charges, Goldman’s chief executive visited the White House at least four times.

White House logs show that Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein traveled to Washington for at least two events with President Barack Obama, whose 2008 presidential campaign received $994,795 in donations from Goldman’s political action committee, its employees and their relatives. He also met twice with Obama’s top economic adviser, Larry Summers. …

Goldman’s connections to the White House and the Obama administration are raising eyebrows at a time when Washington and Wall Street are dueling over how to overhaul regulation of the financial world.

Lawrence Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political scientist, said that “almost everything that the White House has done has been haunted by the personnel and the money of Goldman . . . as well as the suspicion that the White House, particularly early on, was pulling its punches out of deference to Goldman and its war chest.

“There’s now kind of a magnifying glass on the administration for any sign of interference or conversations with the regulators and the judiciary,” Jacobs said.

It goes deeper than this, of course, and one measure of this is who GS hired to represent the firm in this case. It’s none other than Greg Craig, the former White House counsel to Barack Obama whose previous mission was to close the detention center in Guantanamo Bay. Goldman Sachs told reporters that they wanted Craig for “his wisdom and insight,” and Obama told CNBC that no one at the White House would be talking to Craig from this point until the case is resolved.

We’ll see, but that’s mostly a problem of optics for the White House. I interviewed Michelle about her column on yesterday’s Ed Morrissey Show on the Patriot, and we covered the more substantial connections:


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YOU LIE!

tim c on April 22, 2010 at 12:56 PM

It goes deeper than this, of course, and one measure of this is who GS hired to represent the firm in this case. It’s none other than Greg Craig, the former White House counsel to Barack Obama

You don’t think Craig is coordinating all this? Nah… You would have to be some crazy violent racist to believe that, right?

faraway on April 22, 2010 at 12:58 PM

You don’t say!

jimmy2shoes on April 22, 2010 at 12:58 PM

damn the luck, thank God he had to learn that from CNBC too.

gsherin on April 22, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Busted!

cmsinaz on April 22, 2010 at 12:59 PM

This administration smells like a fish house at low tide.

portlandon on April 22, 2010 at 12:59 PM

GS wants to be regulated, cuz it makes it near impossible for other companies to compete against them. It gives them a government sanctioned monopoly.

lorien1973 on April 22, 2010 at 12:59 PM

A most amusing puppet show.

Doorgunner on April 22, 2010 at 1:01 PM

I don’t suppose the senate and house would not support this mess. I have a feeling lots of people in both are knee deep in this money mess.
L

letget on April 22, 2010 at 1:01 PM

I smell blood.

faraway on April 22, 2010 at 1:02 PM

This is like wink-and-a-nod on steroids and growth hormones.

things are so corrupt now, it’s going to take a long time to clean out the sewers.

JamesLee on April 22, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Gee, a whole four times. How many times did the oil companies come to DC to talk to Cheney when they were being investigated? Oh, that’s right, we still don’t know.

Jimbo3 on April 22, 2010 at 1:03 PM

errr… not in a violent way

faraway on April 22, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Gold-Gate

faraway on April 22, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Don’t we have laws against this kind of stuff…

… and if so, where are the enforcers?

Seven Percent Solution on April 22, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Gee the Messiah lied about not knowing what was happening with Goldman Sachs……….gosh……….he lies about everything…………gosh……….where did he “say” he was born again……………

Cinday Blackburn on April 22, 2010 at 1:06 PM

I smell blood.

faraway on April 22, 2010 at 1:02 PM

I don’t think that it is blood. More like American dreams.

upinak on April 22, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Hey MarkTheGreat, still think corporations have ‘very little’ influence on running the nation?

Dark-Star on April 22, 2010 at 1:08 PM

i thought slick willy was bad…dear leader is even more weasley…

good for mcclatchy, however, will this be on the evening news? I think not…

cmsinaz on April 22, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Goldman Sachs told reporters that they wanted Craig for “his wisdom and insight,” and Obama told CNBC that no one at the White House would be talking to Craig from this point until the case is resolved.

Pinky swear!

-BHO

red winger on April 22, 2010 at 1:08 PM

From deep capture to complete capture.

the_nile on April 22, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Don’t we have laws against this kind of stuff…

… and if so, where are the enforcers?

Seven Percent Solution on April 22, 2010 at 1:06 PM

havin’ a beer fest with dear leader…

cmsinaz on April 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM

The worst thing about this whole “regulation” mess is that it puts the Republicans in a tough spot. Unfortunately, the “people” want the big bad banks and wall street to be punished because they believe all the crap this administration and the msm have been spewing about them They want something done to fix what they perceive to be the cause of this “crisis. The Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

sandee on April 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Chicago on the Potomac?

Yup.

Bruno Strozek on April 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM

This is the threat of a show trial that won’t even go to trial so that the administration and congress and push financial reform through and claim victory. They need to distract the public from healthcare, and what better way to do it than by creating a financial boogyman?

The SEC will drop the complaint before this is over. YOu can bet that.

jdfister on April 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM

this is a MUST READ for all of us who what to Bring America Back!

dnlchisholm on April 22, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Call their bluff and call for a line-by-line investigation into everything Goldman Sachs has had a hand in going back to the treasonous Mexican Peso bailout. I think that was the first “give us billions of US taxpayer dollars by noon Tuesday or the US will be thrown into a new Great Depression” type of bailouts.

Buddahpundit on April 22, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Jimbo3 on April 22, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Cheney’s been invested in oil for years,the oil companys did not collaps or cause a collaps or get a bail out from washington…as always you compare rotten apples to oranges.

SHARPTOOTH on April 22, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Obama told CNBC that no one at the White House would be talking to Craig from this point until the case is resolved.

No need to. Craig already has his orders from the WH.

faraway on April 22, 2010 at 1:15 PM

It gives them a government sanctioned monopoly.

lorien1973 on April 22, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Just let the free market flow w/ no regulation & little influence from the govt & watch what happens. But then we see what happens when the govt gets involved.
Double-edged sword here.
How ’bout We The People kick the govt in the a$$ & MAKE them do their job the RIGHT way?

Badger40 on April 22, 2010 at 1:16 PM

The Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

sandee on April 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Obama has been very smart, laying several traps.

faraway on April 22, 2010 at 1:16 PM

this is a MUST READ for all of us who what to Bring America Back!

dnlchisholm on April 22, 2010 at 1:12 PM

WOW , a whole site for flip-flops.

the_nile on April 22, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Hey MarkTheGreat, still think corporations have ‘very little’ influence on running the nation?

Dark-Star on April 22, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Running the nation is different than running the government. If you want less corporate involvement in government then make government smaller. Regulation has gotten to the point that large corporations collude with government in order to beat out their competition. This isn’t a free market. It’s borderline fascism.

gwelf on April 22, 2010 at 1:18 PM

faraway, you’re right and the next trap is amnesty. We all know where that is going to go.

sandee on April 22, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Gee, a whole four times. How many times did the oil companies come to DC to talk to Cheney when they were being investigated? Oh, that’s right, we still don’t know.

Jimbo3 on April 22, 2010 at 1:03 PM

…About the same amount that the Pharmaceutical companies,Unions,and Enviro lobbyist have in their back door meetings with the White House…..
…of course if liberals like the Obama White House are so against the Oil Companies ……why did Obama take hundreds of thousand from them in his campaign……

………reminds me of someone yelling and screaming about how he is going to stop the “Fat Cats” of Wall St. while he takes in hundreds of thousands of dollars from the “Fat Cats’ on Wall St.

…..I believe Obama came sweeping in on “Hope and Change”….not “but Bush did it too”…..

….What we do know Jimbo…is that liberals have instituted zero accountability for this President and the lame line of they did it to flies in the face of your bogus “Hope and Change”……

…………tell Nancy thanks for cleaning up the “swamp”..

Baxter Greene on April 22, 2010 at 1:20 PM

It Begins.

Blagovich defense team move to Subpoena Obama

The motion also claims that prosecutors say Blagojevich met a labor union official whom he believed to be in contact with President Obama, and told the official he would appoint a certain candidate to the vacant Senate seat. In exchange, Blagojevich expected to be named secretary of Health and Human Services, the motion says prosecutors claim.

upinak on April 22, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Hater haters.

tree hugging sister on April 22, 2010 at 1:22 PM

How many times did the oil companies come to DC to talk to Cheney when they were being investigated? Oh, that’s right, we still don’t know.

Jimbo3 on April 22, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Smells like Teen Spirit in here.

As for Cheney, this thread has absolutely nothing to do with him.

But as I recall, no laws were ever found to have been broken, and the oil company guys primarily met not with Cheney himself, but with Andrew Lundquist, the task force’s executive director, and Cheney aide Karen Y. Knutson.

Now tell us again how it was OK for O’bama to take 7 times as much money in campaign donations from Goldman Sachs as Bush took from Enron. This should be good.

Del Dolemonte on April 22, 2010 at 1:22 PM

The Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

sandee on April 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Not really , if they wanted too they could expose the big banks for what they are. But they’re part of the problem.

the_nile on April 22, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Greg Craig.

hmmmm

forest on April 22, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Cinday Blackburn on April 22, 2010 at 1:06 PM

LOL

drjohn on April 22, 2010 at 1:24 PM

And Watergate was a ‘Big Deal’….

Richard Nixon is saying “And you thought I was a crook”.

BigWyo on April 22, 2010 at 1:24 PM

You can always tell when a liberal doesn’t have an argument and wants to change the subject – they bring up Bush or Cheney.

Obama is corrupt? Booooooooooosh!

gwelf on April 22, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Obama is corrupt? Booooooooooosh!

gwelf on April 22, 2010 at 1:25 PM

+1
spot on g

cmsinaz on April 22, 2010 at 1:26 PM

The worst thing about this whole “regulation” mess is that it puts the Republicans in a tough spot. Unfortunately, the “people” want the big bad banks and wall street to be punished because they believe all the crap this administration and the msm have been spewing about them They want something done to fix what they perceive to be the cause of this “crisis. The Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

sandee on April 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM

The Republicans are not backed into a wall with this as much as you think:

..One of the key parts of the democrats legislation on this is an unlimited bailout of banking institutions.
….the bailouts are very unpopular with the public….
….plus the democrats are in a very tight spot with all of their populist rhetoric being made to look foolish and hypocritical due to all of the money and ties to Wall St. this White House has.

Baxter Greene on April 22, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Hater haters.

tree hugging sister on April 22, 2010 at 1:22 PM

I will take that hate.. and raise you hopelessness and disperation!

upinak on April 22, 2010 at 1:28 PM

And Watergate was a ‘Big Deal’….

Richard Nixon is saying “And you thought I was a crook”.

BigWyo on April 22, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Exactly

faraway on April 22, 2010 at 1:28 PM

The enemies of the United States, internal and external, have the puppet they always wanted in B. Hussein Obama.
And with the momentum their agenda has, I believe there will be war if the Juvenile in Chief is not removed from office before the end of his term.
The United States will look more like a model for communism than Russia ever did.

Cybergeezer on April 22, 2010 at 1:30 PM

The money masters and their political accomplices collude in a masterful way. They’ve marketed this as an attack on the money power when it’s actually a staged performance that benefits both interests, as well as further merges the banking power and the socialist/marxist government.

International banking and Marxism, one and the same.

True_King on April 22, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Breaking News from Drudge:

While GOLDMAN SACHS lawyers negotiated with SEC over civil ‘fraud charges’…Goldman Sachs Boss visits WH AT LEAST 4 times

kingsjester on April 22, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Give McClatchy credit for taking a hard look at the political alliances between the Obama administration and the firm targeted by the SEC in its probe of the financial collapse.

Too little, too late. These Obama/Goldman connections have been known for a long time. McClatch is either engaging in CYA of its willful neglect or they are terminally stupid.

The whole Goldman fraud thing is merely a distraction from Obama’s latest attempt to take over and destroy the private sector. Goldman was only chosen for prosecution because they’re part of this and will keep their mouths shut in the hope they will be eaten last after being allowed to stick their own snouts in the trough.

All those contributions to Obama and the Dems had to buy them something.

RadClown on April 22, 2010 at 1:38 PM

No evidence has surfaced to suggest that Blankfein or any other Goldman executive raised the SEC case with the president or his aides.

Uh-huh. Blankfein no doubt went to the White House to discuss Tiger Woods, or the oBama’s girls’ soccer games.

drjohn on April 22, 2010 at 1:43 PM

The elite media’s support has convinced these guys that they can do anything and no one will notice…

d1carter on April 22, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Goldman, AIG and Geithner

As the ABACUS story develops and plays out, it now seems that Goldman hedged its exposure to a synthetic CDO by purchasing CDS’ from AIG. As much as I would like to adopt the new paradigm of positiveness that is sweeping our recovering economy, I cannot help but think the taxpayer got hosed by “The Honorable Timothy Geithner” by paying off in full what was essentially a private bet that even if it had not gone wrong would have added a sum total of zero value to the American economy.

Synthetic is just that: not real. The parties constructed a bet on certain bonds without actually having any participation in the actual bonds. It is like two of us betting on a Red Sox-Yankees baseball game; our bet has absolutely no impact on the outcome of the game.

I’m really trying to be positive and forgiving, but I cannot see anything that does not say Geithner f**ked the taxpayer and rewarded Goldman unnecessarily for a private side bet that offered nothing to society. There was no possibility of taxpayer benefit, yet the taxpayer still had to cover the loss.

That this transaction still stands, and Geithner still has a job—or is not in jail—seems to my unsophisticated mind to be proof that the system is gamed, unfair, corrupt, inefficient, and worthy of being destroyed.

KentAllard on April 22, 2010 at 1:47 PM

How many times did the oil companies come to DC to talk to Cheney when they were being investigated?
Jimbo3 on April 22, 2010 at 1:03 PM

The number you are looking for is zero.

Congress called a sham investigation of oil companies over pricing (in which your esteemed leader Maxine Waters called for nationalization) long after the energy policy meetings were done.

Vashta.Nerada on April 22, 2010 at 1:51 PM

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/;kw=3351,11459

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.

But this is it. This is the world we live in now. And in this world, some of us have to play by the rules, while others get a note from the principal excusing them from homework till the end of time, plus 10 billion free dollars in a paper bag to buy lunch. It’s a gangster state, running on gangster economics, and even prices can’t be trusted anymore; there are hidden taxes in every buck you pay. And maybe we can’t stop it, but we should at least know where it’s all going.

MB4 on April 22, 2010 at 2:00 PM

I like this article:

IndyMac Attack: Did Schumer, Paulson, Soros, and the CRL Kill the Bank and Profit From Its Collapse?

Connie on April 22, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Good article, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Schumer went after IndyMac at the request of Citigroup and JPMorganChase. CRL went after it at the request of the Sandlers. IndyMac was taking too much business away from them. Schumer also tried to shake down IndyMac for campaign contriobutions to himself and the DSCC and IndyMac refused. It was a California bank and never even had a lobbyist, nor did it think it needed one.

IndyMac and Washington Mutual were the last of the big thrifts. Thrifts enjoyed strong statutory federal preemptions from state laws and regulations. Schumer was at that time joined with then-AG Eliot Spitzer in a crusade against federal preemption. They wanted all banks to be subject to investigations and campaign shakedowns by Spitzer and other Democrat state AGs. CRL was in cahoots with all of these AGs. They knew they could not legally get to WaMu or IndyMac, so they ran them out of business instead.

The financial reform bill removes all federal preemptions from national banks and the reamining smaller thrifts. This is no coincidence.

rockmom on April 22, 2010 at 2:00 PM

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”
–Benito Mussolini

iurockhead on April 22, 2010 at 2:03 PM

The motion also claims that prosecutors say Blagojevich met a labor union official whom he believed to be in contact with President Obama, and told the official he would appoint a certain candidate to the vacant Senate seat. In exchange, Blagojevich expected to be named secretary of Health and Human Services, the motion says prosecutors claim.

sorry ed, ot, but I wonder if this blagojevich subpoena thing is associated with the Andy Stern sudden “lemme spend more time with my family” thingy last week.

ted c on April 22, 2010 at 2:18 PM

rockmom, thank you. I learned something new today.

faraway on April 22, 2010 at 2:19 PM

If this happened in the private sector, Craig would be disqualified for conflict of interest. If Craig had been general counsel at Wal-Mart and then quit and moved on to a firm in private practice and said firm was taking a case in which Wal-Mart was being represented from the other side, he would have to fill out a conflict of interest form — as every attorney and paralegal has to do at the start of a case or transaction — and he would be barred from participating.

But somehow it’s fine to have worked for the White House and then resign and go to work representing a company now being sued by an arm of the executive branch of the government.

NoLeftTurn on April 22, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Isn’t Greg Craig the spouse of Anita Dunn, the Mao-lover one?

onlineanalyst on April 22, 2010 at 3:00 PM

——Isn’t Greg Craig the spouse of Anita Dunn, the Mao-lover one?
onlineanalyst on April 22, 2010 at 3:00 PM——
No, I think that would be the new WH counsel

Colorado Anne on April 22, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Schumer went after IndyMac at the request of Citigroup and JPMorganChase.

rockmom on April 22, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Didn’t Soros just buy into Citi?

What a web!

Connie on April 22, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Congress called a sham investigation of oil companies over pricing (in which your esteemed leader Maxine Waters called for nationalization) long after the energy policy meetings were done.

Vashta.Nerada on April 22, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Yeah, something like 6 years later?

Del Dolemonte on April 22, 2010 at 3:12 PM

—Isn’t Greg Craig the spouse of Anita Dunn, the Mao-lover one?
onlineanalyst on April 22, 2010 at 3:00 PM——

No, I think that would be the new WH counsel

Colorado Anne on April 22, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Yes, she is married to Robert Bauer.

Del Dolemonte on April 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM

—Isn’t Greg Craig the spouse of Anita Dunn, the Mao-lover one?
onlineanalyst on April 22, 2010 at 3:00 PM——

No, I think that would be the new WH counsel

Colorado Anne on April 22, 2010 at 3:11 PM
Yes, she is married to Robert Bauer.

Del Dolemonte on April 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Oops! Sorry, but these thieves in silken threads all look alike. Maybe those threads are really just a tangled web of intrigue.

onlineanalyst on April 22, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Scroll down to poll on the right hand side of the web page if you want to vote in Fox Business News poll.

Do you think President Obama is being too tough on Wall Street?

Dr Evil on April 22, 2010 at 3:24 PM

CITI is safe. The Ayrabs just bought a large chunk. GS, not so safe. Too many Jooos over there. Obama just found out. This is a preemptive strike so they don’t do home loan mortgage CDO’s for Israel housing.

seven on April 22, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Don’t you know not to rely on WH visitor logs???

This was clearly not the Lloyd Blankfein!

SWLiP on April 22, 2010 at 3:45 PM

The problem with Republicans trying to paint Obama as “being in bed” with the Goldman CEO is that they’re fighting his efforts regulate Wall Street and businesses like Goldman. Plus, Obama’s DOJ is prosecuting Goldman for fraud.

If Goldman paid for special privileges from Obama, it doesn’t seem like they’re getting their money’s worth.

Tom_Shipley on April 22, 2010 at 4:17 PM

I hear a lot of fellow conservatives saying that the government should have people in positions dealing with the economy that have business experience (like Mitt Romney for example)…but when the Dems do get these types in there these same conservatives yell “foul!”

Can’t have it both ways.

These people with money aim to keep their money and to get even more. It’s not about blue or red with most of these politicians, it’s about green.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 22, 2010 at 8:37 PM