As the media continues to parrot American intelligence agencies’ as-of-yet unsubstantiated claims that Russia hacked the U.S. election, there is far more evidence to implicate an equally dangerous infiltrator: Goldman Sachs.
The infamous banking company, which was widely implicated in the 2008 economic crash, appears to have come out on top in the most recent U.S. presidential election.
On one hand, Goldman Sachs was hedging its bets on a Hillary Clinton victory. Considering the banking monolith was one of her top donors — and that she received harsh criticism for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from the firm — it’s clear the powerful financiers had every intent of influencing the election and politics in general.
When Clinton lost, many Americans celebrated the electoral rebuke of policies past. In contrast to many politicians, Trump aggressively criticized Goldman Sachs on the campaign trail, scolding Clinton for her ties to the company. He also criticized Ted Cruz because his wife worked for Goldman Sachs and because he received loans from the bank. By electing Trump, according to some narratives, the people rejected candidates funded by special interests in direct defiance of the established order.
“I know the guys at Goldman Sachs,” Trump said last February. “They have total, total control over [Cruz]. Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton,” he claimed, referencing the funding Clinton and Cruz received.
But as much as Trump’s rhetoric reflected the sentiments of millions of Americans — and though he refused donations from bankers — his actions since clinching the role of commander-in-chief have betrayed his initial position. In fact, before he even won the presidency, Trump was employing Steven Mnunchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, as his campaign finance chairman.
Trump rewarded Mnunchin for his campaign efforts by nominating him for the position of treasury secretary. But one affiliation with a former Goldman Sachs employee admittedly does not mean Trump is siding with corporate banking interests.
Appointing several Goldman Sachs employees, however, begins to cast doubt on his priorities. This week, the President-elect added two more former Goldman Sachs employees to his administration. His top donor, Anthony Scaramucci, is a former Goldman employee who will now serve as a senior White House advisor. Dina Habib Powell, who heads “charitable efforts” for the firm, will be a “senior counselor for economic initiatives.” She previously worked in the Bush administration.
But there’s more. As the New York Daily News summarized:
“They’ll join White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon…National Economic Council Chairman-appointee Gary Cohn and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman nominee Jay Clayton as top Trump appointees who held senior Goldman positions.”
Cohn, a registered Democrat, is particularly worrisome considering he still works as Goldman Sachs’ COO (Chief Operating Officer), a top position.
Regardless of who won the 2016 election, apparently, Goldman Sachs has retained its influence — just as it did throughout the Obama administration, demonstrating the financial giant ‘hacked’ not just the 2016 election, but also the 2012 and 2008 elections, as well as others before.
Once elected in 2008, Obama lined his cabinet with former employees of major banking firms who cashed in on government bailouts and donated to his campaign. For example, Rahm Emanuel, who served as his chief of staff from 2008 to 2010 before successfully running for mayor in Chicago, had previously been on Goldman Sachs payroll, both during his time in the Clinton administration and when he was an elected congressman.
Though some Trump supporters might espouse argument that Trump needs experts in business and industry to truly effect change and beat back government corruption, Barack Obama already took that approach — and it failed.
Goldman Sachs leaves nothing to chance. Its employees and political action committee donate not only to presidential candidates but also to individual lawmakers and both the Republican and Democratic national committees. Former Goldman Sachs employees make up four of twelve Federal Reserve board chairman.
Considering Trump’s slew of Goldman Sachs appointments, it’s likely this established order will continue to prevail despite the President-elect’s vows to drain the swamp.
As Trump’s pick for treasury secretary, Steven Mnunchin, said last May:
“I wouldn’t in any way say I distanced myself from Wall Street. I have very good friends on Wall Street.”