Government Sachs strikes again. Big Time.
How to succeed in Washington in 6 simple steps…
1 – Establish your early career at Goldman Sachs.
2 – Go to work for a few Presidents.
3 – Derail Brooksley Born for kicks.
4 – Leave government and steal $46 million from taxpayers on GM’s bailout.
5 – Write a high-profile NYT op-ed praising Obama and the GM bailout.
6 – Interview with Obama to replace Larry Summers.
Total Government Sachs round trip points earned – ?
This is how it works – first you kiss the ass, then you get the job. Not exactly new news, but Roger Altman has perfected it. Here’s a NYT op-ed from Altman this Summer that praises Obama and tells a bunch of whopping lies. Please shield your eyes while reading:
So before leveling such fierce criticism, corporate America should remember the president’s actual record. First, Mr. Obama inherited an economy teetering on the brink of depression. Immediately upon taking office, he forged a $787 billion economic stimulus program, and is wisely trying to expand it now. Was this program perfect? Of course not. But it has been effective. Every serious economic model indicates that it contributed to recovery.
Second, at that same time, the credit markets were in tatters and simply not functioning. The administration submitted the biggest banks to confidence-building stress tests. It skillfully invested in financial institutions, kept the mortgage markets afloat and undertook other creative initiatives to solidify the financial industry. These have worked more quickly and more successfully than anyone predicted. The system is healthy again.
Third, the president made the courageous decision to put General Motors and Chrysler through bankruptcy. As a result, both survived and, today, G.M. in particular is coming back fast — along with its hundreds of suppliers. Moreover, taxpayers are likely to recover the full value of their investment in the company.
Guess what? Roger Altman made $46 million on the GM deal and then was publicly criticized – scribd document is below – by the bankruptcy court for asking for $18 million more. Here’s some detail:
Roger C. Altman has an op-ed piece in the New York Times that is remarkable for a whole variety of reasons, but let’s begin with the most outrageous. Mr. Altman is identified at the end of the piece only as, “Roger C. Altman, an investment banker, was a deputy secretary of the Treasury during the first Clinton administration.”
In fact Mr. Altman is founder and chairman of Evercore Partners, which advised on the GM deal. Evercore, after being paid $46 million by GM pre-bankruptcy, turned around and asked for a $17.9 million “success fee.”
A U.S. bankruptcy trustee termed the fees “staggering” and “inordinately large” and said it “clearly exceeds the bounds of reasonableness” given that “Evercore had no success at finding a purchaser or funder for the Debtors.”
Even by the standards of the crony capitalism (or cronyism) of the late Bush-early Obama administration, this has to be some kind of new low.
Earn tens of millions of dollars in fees from a deal paid for by American taxpayers, then turn around in the press and praise the president for his “courageous decision” on the deal without disclosing that you were intimately involved in it.
It’s one thing for Mr. Altman to attempt this stunt, it’s another thing for the Times to allow him to get away with it. Never mind the question of whether the decision to put a private company into bankruptcy should be a presidential decision in the first place.
And the final piece of the puzzle. From Reuters, just 9 hour ago. Altman looks to replace Larry Summers on the White House economic team…
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday interviewed investment banker Roger Altman, a former Treasury official, as a candidate to replace departing economic adviser Larry Summers, a White House official said.
Altman, 64, is a veteran of both Washington and Wall Street, steeped in the ways of politics and finance and potentially able to act as a bridge to the private sector that business observers say the Obama White House badly needs.
Summers’ replacement will also play an important role in helping Obama find new ways to stimulate a sluggish economy after voters punished the president’s fellow Democrats in November 2 congressional elections for stubbornly high unemployment and government deficits.
He served two stints at the Treasury Department, first in 1977-81 as assistant secretary in the administration of President Jimmy Carter, and second in 1993-94 as deputy secretary under President Bill Clinton.?