Goldman Sachs in bid to take over the world
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a former top executive of Goldman Sachs merchant bank, has appointed another Goldman Sachs executive as the next chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
He is James Shipton, formerly the bank’s managing director and head of government and regulatory affairs for Asia Pacific.
ASIC is Australia’s principal corporate watchdog. Its statutory role is to regulate and police the business world and bring law-breakers to justice.
ASIC is hated by corporate Australia. Boardrooms spend millions of dollars each year rolling back ASIC’s powers to try to get a free run for profit-gouging, tax evasion, money laundering and offshore hideaways.
Goldman Sachs was famously described by Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi as being like “a giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jabbing its blood funnel into anything that smells of money”.
When New York executive director Greg Smith left the Wall Street bank in 2012 he described its work environment as “toxic and destructive” and said could “no longer in good conscience identify with what it stands for”.
Since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008-09, Goldman Sachs has re-prospered. Executive pay has risen, big bonuses are back and the bank is profiteering from the despair in the rest of the “free market”. Following a GFC share price dip, they are now trading at $242 each.
President Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is a second generation Goldman Sachs partner (his father Robert was also a partner); the Treasury Department’s deputy director is James Donovan who spent 25 years working for Goldman Sachs.
Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist and now Breitbart chief, was a Goldman Sachs investment banker in a previous career.
This week Mnuchin presented his long-awaited tax cut plan which Senator Bernie Sanders has described as “the Robin Hood principle in reverse. It takes from those in need and gives to those who are already living in incredible opulence.”
In Europe, Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, worked for Goldman Sachs International as vice-chairman and managing director from 2002 to 2006, while former two times Italian prime minister Romano Prodi has been on the bank’s lucrative payroll as a consultant.
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England since 2013, is a former Goldman Sachs executive.
In New York, Goldman Sachs and its CEO Lloyd Blankfein have faced repeated federal and New York investigations but walked away every time. In a few cases, massive fines have been imposed but paid by the bank and left $29 million-a-year Blankfein, aka “The Super Squid”, unscathed.
Will ASIC’s incoming boss investigate and prosecute Australia’s billionaire corporate tax evaders? Don’t hold your breath.
Iraqi Kurds betrayed again
Iraqi Kurds suffered a wretched blow this week when they were driven out of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq and not a Western finger was lifted to ease their painful humanitarian crisis.
Why not? Kurdish civilians are not to blame. They are merely pawns in a squalid power game being played by their corrupt leaders, principally Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) based in Erbil.
Elected to the presidency in 2009 for an eight-year term, Barzani was given a two-year extension. He remains in office, aged 71, and shows no sign of standing down.
Barzani is head of the Kurdish Democratic Party, a political front for the Kurdish national liberation army, the Peshmerga.
During his presidency he has toured the world collecting awards and endorsements from figures such as US President George W Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott became a huge fan of the Peshmerga and allocated federal funds to the armed group when it was fighting ISIS in northern Iraq.
It never occurred to Abbott and the Australian military chiefs who sent Oz Special Forces to fight alongside the Kurdish guerrillas that the Peshmerga was only fighting ISIS in order to gain territory from the caliphate for their own future state.
The armed Kurds lost more territory this week when the Iraqi army drove them out of Mosul’s Nineveh province which they had helped to recapture from ISIS earlier this year. It means that Australian-supported Kurds are on the run back to their regional enclave in far northern Iraq. Who is responsible for this disgraceful betrayal of the Kurds? Who led them up a blind alley? And how much did taxpayers pay for this treacherous folly?
Maybe the new magazine, Australian Foreign Affairs, first issue out this week, will explain. Somehow I doubt it. Westfield Holdings will object.
Kurds backed by Israel
Barzani has bankrolled his family-led administration by stealing oil from northern Iraqi oilfields and selling it on the blackmarket. His other big financial and military backer is the Israeli government in Tel Aviv which supplies arms, uniforms and cash.
In keeping with Israel’s long-standing foreign policy, Arab regimes are the constant target of destabilisation; the aim is to turn them into failed, fragile or unstable states. Supporting Kurdish separatism is their weapon of choice in Iraq and it began 50 years ago, before the late Saddam Hussein’s reign began.
When Barzani called a referendum asking whether Kurds wanted an independent state – to replace their current autonomous region status – the whole exercise was financed by Israeli bagmen. The vote was covered with full Hollywood fanfare by a carefully selected “media” and “observer team”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the only world leader to highlight the Israeli connection when he said that the Kurdish leadership in northern Iraq had “a history with Mossad; they are hand-in-hand together”.
The referendum was condemned by the UN, the EU, Britain, Russia, China, India, most of Africa and the Americas but Barzani and his Israeli backers went ahead anyway.
The result – an overwhelming 93% voted for independence – was a foregone conclusion. Now Kurdish citizens are paying the price for Barzani’s grab for more power, territory and greater private wealth.
His opponents now include all major regional stakeholders – Baghdad, Tehran and Istanbul. If things turn nasty (as well they might), the Barzani clan and its followers will find a comfortable funk-hole abroad while the Kurdish people, who have a justifiable and historical claim to statehood, will be left to the mercy of their Arab and Turkish enemies.
Masoud’s father, Mustapha Barzani, played the same treacherous games decades ago. At various times he seemed loyal to Moscow, then Tehran, and later to Washington. He died in 1979 in a private Georgetown hospital in DC where he was being treated. The US government arranged for his body to be returned to the Kurdish area of Iran and later reburied in Kurdish Iraq.
After “Mullah Mustapha’s” death, his son, Masoud, was elevated without a vote to the KDP leadership.
FOOTNOTE: By the way, don’t you wish Western politicians would stop claiming “victory” over ISIS following the fall of Raqqa, the “capital” of their caliphate in Syria?
If anything the world at large has just become more dangerous, not less. Driven out of Raqqa (and Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq), IS forces are now shifting tactics and taking their terror tactics to the home of their “crusader” enemies.
That means principally the US, the UK, NATO-supporting Europe … and tag-a-long invaders like Australia.
Ex-MI5 chief comes clean
Dame Stella Rimington, MI5’s first female Director-General, who led of Britain’s domestic spy agency from 1992 to 1996, has revealed that her spies targeted Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and many of his senior staff who were once members of Communist or Trotskyist parties.
No surprises there. It was common knowledge on the British Left from the 1960s to the 1990s that MI5 spies and Special Branch police were roaming England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland infiltrating left-wing parties, tapping phones, opening mail and planting agents provocateurs on peaceful demos.
At the Cheltenham Literature Festival two weeks ago Dame Stella, now a celebrated novelist, made an important admission. Naturally, it didn’t make the mainstream media which concentrated on her fearful observations about the ruling class’s current “bogey man”, Jeremy Corbyn.
Referring to the state of the world, the 82-year-old ex-spy chief, said: “This is a classic crisis of the economy – a classic capitalist crisis.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a generation. For Christ’s sake, don’t waste it. Let’s use this to explain to people this system based on greed and profit does not work.”
Another recruit to the socialist cause?
Who does MP represent?
Step forward Michael Danby, Labor MP for Tel Aviv … er Melbourne Ports. He’s dudded his constituents, the Labor Party and the Federal Parliament.
He fraudulently got time off from attending parliament in Canberra by claiming he was too sick to attend.
Then he scooted off to Israel and subsequently Geneva as one of the Zionist state’s most diligent ambassadors. His current duties are to stop the cultural and economic boycott of the pariah state for its increasingly racist policies against the Palestinians, turning them into 3rd or 4th class citizens.
How long can he get away with his arrogant contempt of his own party and the Australian parliament?
As far as The Australian’s Greg Sheridan is concerned Labor should stick with Danby.
“He [Danby] is an old-style social democratic internationalist with a passionate concern for human rights (!!), free trade unions and the like.” (The Australian, 14-15 October 2017).
Sheridan concluded his grotesque grovel with this: “Full disclosure: I have known Danby for more than 40 years, and admired him all that time. He is exactly the kind of person we need in parliament.”
But would he attend parliament and support his party when the Coalition is clinging desperately to office by a single vote? On current form, he prefers to fabricate a sickie and slink off to Israel, showing where his loyalties lie.
Two days after Sheridan’s sickening testimonial, The Australian reported on its front page: “Federal Labor MP Michael Danby took an [sic] trip to Israel and pursued some of his favourite causes after allegedly telling his party back home that he was too ill to attend a sitting week of parliament.
“Mr Danby, the Member for Melbourne Ports who has a close ally in Bill Shorten, made the trip in September last year during a two-week absence. He had supplied a medical certificate that stated he was unfit for parliamentary duties.”
Shorten holds the Victorian federal seat of Maribyrnong but he doesn’t have the numbers to keep running protection for Danby in the same way that Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard did.
If the ALP doesn’t move against Danby, its grip on Melbourne Ports will grow shakier. The Liberal Party is ready to pour a fortune into collecting the seat at the next Federal Election while the Greens, who already hold one seat in Melbourne (Adam Bandt), believe they have a chance of ousting Danby.
The sitting MP’s only supporters – apart from the Murdoch press – are hardline Zionist Jews whose primary loyalties are religious. Melbourne’s intelligent-minded secular Jews will be hoping that Danby is disendorsed by Labor or, if he is preselected, defeated by the Greens.
Mrs Clinton unplugged
Hillary Clinton, the defeated Democrat candidate in last year’s US presidential election, was accorded star treatment by the ABC’s flagship current affairs programme, 4 Corners.
In last Monday’s heavily promoted edition, she claimed that Julian Assange, FBI director James Comey and Russian President Vladimir Putin had deprived her of the presidency.
Her interviewer, Sarah Ferguson, kept a straight face and seemed to accept her explanations as rational. Ms Ferguson didn’t bat an eyelid when the former US Secretary of State and New York senator accused the Australian-born founder of Wikileaks of being “a tool of Russian intelligence”.
After the programme went to air, Assange replied on Twitter: “There’s something wrong with Hillary Clinton.”
Quote of the Week
[Tony] Abbott is not hellbent on destroying [Malcolm] Turnbull. Abbott has never been one to hold a grudge.
- Peter Van Obsolete, The Australian contributing editor, 14-15 October 2017
Letter of the Week
Someone should invade the USA and take those weapons of mass destruction off them.
– Lester Prowse, The Byron Shire Echo, 18 October 2017