Another Question for Goldman Sachs

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In the New York Times this morning, Gretchen Morgenson and Don Van Natta raised eyebrows by getting hold of Henry Paulson’s phone records for the week of the AIG bailout and reporting that Paulson — the former CEO of Goldman Sachs — spoke more than two dozen times that week with the current CEO of Goldman Sachs.  This, they say, was “far more frequently” than he talked with other Wall Street executives.

But Matt Taibbi has a different take.  He’s curious not about why Goldman was consulted more than any other bank, but about why Goldman was consulted at all:

The main players involved in the AIG bailout that weekend were AIG (obviously), JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs….Now, we know why AIG was there, obviously. Morgan Stanley was there representing the Treasury (it had been hired to advise the Treasury on the bailouts by Paulson during the Fannie/Freddie mess […]). JP Morgan we know was there because AIG had hired them weeks before to come in and try to clean up its messes. Only Goldman Sachs did not have an official role at these proceedings.

So why was Goldman there?….The ostensible explanation that most people seem to accept is that Goldman naturally was there because it was such a large counterparty to AIG. But I suspect we’re going to find that Paulson was not on the phone two dozen times with executives from Deutsche Bank or Societe Generale or Barclays or Calyon, all of whom were significant counterparties to AIG as well.

No, I’ll bet he wasn’t. So why Goldman?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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