From the White House White Board: It's clear commonsense immigration reform is good for the economy as a whole. Don't take our word for it — study after study has shown that commonsense immigration reform will strengthen the economy, spur innovation, reduce the deficit and increase U.S. trade and exports.
5 documents found in 0 seconds.
- 60 Minutes
- Anderson Cooper
- Apple Corporation
- Bain Capital
- Dragon Systems
- Elected Officials
- Election 2012
- Goldman Sachs
- Goldman Sacs
- Greg Smith
- Immigration Reform
- Income Tax
- Jim Baker
- Lernout & Hauspie
- Made in America
- Mitt Romney
- New York Times
- Robert Reich
- US taxes
- Wall Street
- White Board
- White House
- corporate tax rates
- derivative securities
- global capital
- investment bankers
- lower corporate taxes
- medical waste
- poor safety record
Even as the Apple Corporation is being roundly criticized for using its Irish affiliates -- some of which have no actual employees -- to avoid paying billions in US taxes, elected US officials continue to call for LOWER corporate taxes to make the United States more "competitive." The cause of this seeming disconnect: a worldwide "race to the bottom" in which nations compete to attract capital investment, typically by cutting corporate tax rates, dismantling regulations and driving down wages. As a result, the power of transnational corporations continues to grow while individual nations lose their capacity to control their own markets.
There is a solution, however. In this video Robert Reich (Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, and former Labor Secretary) explains how large economic entities, such as the United States and the European Union, can leverage one important bargaining chip -- access to their consumer markets -- to curb the power of corporations and serve their citizens, rather than the profit-at-all-costs interests of global capital.
Greg Smith, the ex-vice president of Goldman Sachs who resigned last spring after publishing a scathing op-ed about his former employers in the New York Times, has a new book out (“Why I Left Goldman Sachs”) and appeared on “60 Minutes” last night to talk to Anderson Cooper about it.
Smith said Goldman, like other firms, started several years ago to use client information to bet with its own money, sometimes against its own clients. Getting an unsophisticated client, he said, became the “golden prize” because the “quickest way to make money on Wall Street is to take the most sophisticated product and try to sell it to the least sophisticated client.”
Greg Smith: So what Wall Street will do is, they will approach one of these philanthropies, or endowments, or teachers' retirement pensions funds, in Alabama, or Virginia, or Oregon, and they'll say to them, "We have this great product that is gonna serve your needs." And it looks very alluring to these investors. But what they don't realize is that up front, they're immediately paying the bank two million dollars or three million dollars because of their lack of sophistication.
Anderson Cooper: So they don't say to the client: the price you're paying for us to execute this trade is a million dollars?"
Greg Smith: That's a huge part of the problem. Not at all.
Anderson Cooper: How can it be that the client doesn't understand what the bank is making?
Greg Smith: These are very complicated derivative securities which takes a Ph.D. in physics or in engineering to understand. And there are pension funds and mutual funds that represent people's 401(k)s and retirement savings that are trading the most complex instruments out there without fully understanding them.
Anderson Cooper: So, did the people you work with want unsophisticated clients?
Greg Smith: Getting an unsophisticated client was the golden prize. The quickest way to make money on Wall Street is to take the most sophisticated product and try to sell it to the least sophisticated client.
Goldman rejects Smith's accusations that the company puts its own interests ahead of its clients and conducted an internal investigation aiming to disprove the charges. Smith really abandoned Goldman because his superiors refused to promote him to managing director and more than double his salary to more than $1 million, the company says. Blankfein this month that he's "not really concerned about the book's revelations."
Smith said he "absolutely" would have left Goldman Sachs told CBNCs even if they had agreed to his promotion and salary increase. With his book completed, Smith doesn't yet know what his next move will be. "I was not doing this in order to get hired at another Wall Street bank."
A full transcript of the "60 Minutes interview" is available here.
Janet and Jim Baker are fighting Goldman Sachs over its work in 2000 - or lack thereof - on the all-stock sale of their business, Dragon Systems, to a company that later collapsed, leaving them shut out.
THE business deal from hell began to crumble even before the Champagne corks were popped.
The deal, the $580 million sale of a highflying technology company, Dragon Systems, had just been approved by its board and congratulations were being exchanged. But even then, at that moment of celebration, there was a sense that something was amiss.
The chief executive of Dragon had received a congratulatory bottle from the investment bankers representing the acquiring company, a Belgian competitor called Lernout & Hauspie. But he hadn’t heard from Dragon’s own bankers at Goldman Sachs.
“I still have not received anything from Goldman,” the executive wrote in an e-mail to the other bank. “Do they know something I should know?”
The Bakers paid Goldman Sacs $5 million to guide them through what should have been a fairly simple transaction, only to have their contract with them end up being worth even less than the now worthless $580 million in stock they received for a business that was their life's work. Now after more than a decade of fighting in court, Goldman is so far getting away with saying that they gave the Bakers “great advice” and "guided them to a completed transaction.”
Perhaps now that this story has been made public, even some of the wealthy people in America can understand what millions of "everyday" Americans have been going through while having their lives destroyed through mortgage fraud. Not that any Republican pols will give a rip, mind you...
New documents show that not only was Mitt Romney an active participant in the Bain Capital investment into Stericycle, the medical waste firm that disposes of aborted fetuses from family planning clinics, he also didn't leave Bain Capital until much later than claimed.
Mother Jones reports:
Earlier this year, Mitt Romney nearly landed in a politically perilous controversy when the Huffington Post reported that in 1999 the GOP presidential candidate had been part of an investment group that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics. Coming during the heat of the GOP primaries, as Romney tried to sell South Carolina Republicans on his pro-life bona fides, the revelation had the potential to damage the candidate's reputation among values voters already suspicious of his shifting position on abortion.
But Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded, tamped down the controversy. The company said Romney left the firm in February 1999 to run the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and likely had nothing to with the deal. The matter never became a campaign issue. But documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission—and obtained by Mother Jones—list Romney as an active participant in the investment. And this deal helped Stericycle, a company with a poor safety record, grow, while yielding tens of millions of dollars in profits for Romney and his partners. The documents—one of which was signed by Romney—also contradict the official account of Romney's exit from Bain.
The Stericycle deal—the abortion connection aside—is relevant because of questions regarding the timing of Romney's departure from the private equity firm he founded. Responding to a recent Washington Post story reporting that Bain-acquired companies outsourced jobs, the Romney campaign insisted that Romney exited Bain in February 1999, a month or more before Bain took over two of the companies named in the Post's article. The SEC documents undercut that defense, indicating that Romney still played a role in Bain investments until at least the end of 1999.
Will Mitt Romney's goose be cooked rather than "sauced" this time? How many times can someone running for president of the United States of America flat-out lie before even the most loyal of followers say "enough"?