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Oct. 21 2009 - 3:06 pm | 188 views | 0 recommendations | 28 comments

Paulson and Goldman Met In Secret in Moscow

When Paulson learned that Goldman’s board would be in Moscow at the same time as him, he had [Treasury chief of staff] Jim Wilkinson organize a meeting with them. Nothing formal, purely social — for old times’ sake.

For fuck’s sake! Wilkinson thought. He and Treasury had had enough trouble trying to fend off all the Goldman Sachs conspiracy theories constantly being bandied about in Washington and on Wall Street. A private meeting with its board? In Moscow?

For the nearly two years that Paulson had been Treasury secretary he had not met privately with the board of any company, except for briefly dropping by a cocktail party that Larry Fink’s BlackRock was holding for its directors at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi in June.

via Felix Salmon » Blog Archive » The secret Paulson-Goldman meeting | Blogs |.

This is rocketing around the web and it’s awesome and horrible at the same time and, of course, nothing will be done about it.

It goes without saying that when the Treasury Secretary meets privately with the board of a company like Goldman there are all sorts of improprieties to consider, but this is really nothing new — after all it’s already been reported that Paulson was in touch with Goldman quite a lot during he crucial periods of 2008.

Have some more on Goldman coming out soon, apologize for the long absence, have been on some other stuff. Among other things dealing with a lot of disgruntled Cleveland Browns fans who are pissed that I compared Eric Mangini to Augustus Gloop, the pudgy kid who was drinking from the chocolate river without permission in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I thought Browns fans would find this funny, but apparently not. I got one letter from someone who expressed the feeling that if I were ever to have kids, he hoped “they would be born with Achondroplasia.” So I’m sitting there scratching my head, wondering what Achondroplasia is, and right on cue, two minutes later, he sends me a link to an X-ray picture of someone with the disease. I have to admit, I burst out laughing when I saw the picture — not because the disease is funny (it isn’t, not at all), but just because someone was feeling so crappy about their football team that they felt compelled to dig that horrifying thing up to send to some writer bashing their team. I mean, I totally  understand the guy.

PS I know get word that Achodroplasia is just another word for dwarfism, which makes me feel like a total douche-bag for having depicted it as something horrible. I apologize to everyone for this idiotic mistake. As to the guy who sent this thing to me… let me just say that I’m continually surprised by the weirdness of the people out there on the internet.

Anyway, more on the real world later.


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  1. collapse expand

    I apologize on behalf of Cleveland Browns’ fans. I was pleasantly surprised someone in the national media took the time out to shed light on the dire situation before us in Northeast Ohio.

    Now I’ll return to watching all the world class talent Cleveland Indians’ management gave away to make these playoffs more entertaining to those on the coasts.

  2. collapse expand

    Just thought you’d like to know, on the New York Times site there’s a story about new rules from Obama capping the pay of top executives at bailed out banks. And one reader’s comment is:

    “What about Goldman Sachs? They received 13 billion of the AIG bailout, and were primary beneficiaries of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. In fact, let’s put Matt Taibbi in charge of the Treasury Department.”

    • collapse expand

      >”let’s put Matt Taibbi in charge of the Treasury Department.”

      As tempting as this, or having Matt run for congress (as has been suggested in other posts) is, we really need him as a journalist. In this position he can put people’s feet to the fire when needed, whether it’s Wall Street fare, health lack of care, or what have you (calling out pro football players, e.g.). The longer Matt stays in this game, the more likely it is that he’ll infect other members of the press with his research and ability to bring obtuse topics down to earth. He may wince at some of the jibes, but Taibbi keeps fighting the good fight. I’m not usually one to wax on, but our country desperately needs this kind of standard bearer right now, and for the next number of years.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    BlackRock…..hhmmmmmm?

    Created within the Blackstone Group (one of the principals at the meeting mentioned in The Taibbi’s outstanding recent article: Wall Street Swindle in the RS), then spun off as a separate corporation. Received no-bid contracts to manage bailout funds from then-NY Fed chair Geithner, who had been recommended for that job by founder of the Blackstone Group, Peter Peterson.

    Hmmmmmmmm…? BlackRock substantial shareholder in Climate Exchange, PLC, holding company registered in Isle of Man (well-known offshore finance center locale) which owns all those climate exchanges to be involved in cap-and-trade, etc., newest carbon derivatives/securitizations market.

    Climate Exchange begun by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley,…hhmmmmmm…?

    BlackRock was almost half-owned by Merrill Lynch, so no wonder that was a done deal and had to be purchased by BankofAmerica (or JPMorgan or Citi, etc.). So now BofA is half-owner of BlackRock……hhmmm..?

    Curious how everything always appears to be connected. No doubt, as that clown Sorkin would claim, just another conspiracy theory???

    Thank God we have the likes of the ultra-superior financial reporting of The Taibbi, instead of that clown Sorkin…….

  4. collapse expand

    I found it interesting that this meeting between Paulson and GS is being covered by magazines/journals that, while containing thorough articles on various subjects, are not considered breaking news-type publications. Rolling Stone, GQ, Vanity Fair: rags to keep you hip, and not necessarily in business or politics. Granted, Sorkin’s got a book out, but who else is covering this, I wonder?

    I kept following links from Reuters/Salmon until I came to current end of the road. To be fair (I guess), there are mentions of the book in Forbes and Sunday’s NYT, in addition to blogs. So, NEWS publications, take note of what you might be missing!

    If Anne Field hadn’t mentioned the article in the NYT, I probably would not have delved into the business section. Later on the list is a props-type article about Morgan Stanley’s able but not fantastic comeback. hi ho. At least Mack of Morgan Stanley confirmed that his quotes were accurate.

    Browns fans might have preferred a comparison to a vampire squid to Gloop. You just never know.

  5. collapse expand

    Yes, I suppose the upper brass at GM and AIG should have opted to become a bank holding company. What about GE? With five or six hundred billion in assets and the liabilities to match, one would have thought their cost of capital would go up. I’m sure this has nothing to do with tens of billions in loan guarantees. That’s a bailout, but GE has mysteriously sidestepped much of the fallout. Why?

    Jake Sky

  6. collapse expand

    Matt – – OT

    Who conceptualized your “foreign money printing machine” example in your most recent rolling stone article?

    Jake Sky

  7. collapse expand

    aah, he totally looks like augustus gloop, but then again I am not a Browns fan…

  8. collapse expand

    Yep, The Taibbi definitely has it out for the fuller figured…

    Funny thing, Mangini’s Wiki Page already contains reference to this epic PWN.

  9. collapse expand

    Matt you have told us you believe Bear Sterns one of the stocks the ex SEC Chairman and crook Christopher Cox claims was ‘naked shorted’ was in your opinion ‘naked shorted’.
    You have not retracted your theory that Bear Sterns was naked shorted so I am wondering how many other stocks on ex the SEC Chairman and crook Christopher Cox’s sec.gov list of 2008 do you believe were ‘naked shorted’ ? Do you believe Goldman Sachs that was on Christopher Cox list with Bear Sterns was also a victim of ‘naked shorting’ ? Or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or AIG,ETC. ? You must have seen his list? I posted the link previously. I believe I am not alone in wanting to now how many other of the stocks on his list you believe were ‘naked shorted’.

    And I wanted you to know I had written previously about Max Keiser and his involvement with Al Jazeera in english and his phoney ‘naked short selling’ video posted on Al Jazeera in 2007.Now the Emir al-Thani himself appears to do sleezy banking and stock deals around the world such as in Iceland that has done the citizens there much harm.Do you believe Goldman Sachs and AIG and Fannie Mae and all the other corrupt scams on Chris Cox phoney sec.gov ‘naked shorted list were also ‘naked shorted’ ? Why is simple premeditated dumping of very real shares so much harder for you to believe particularly when probably the same elite could and did drive oil past $150 a barrel a while back ?

    Did you check the background of Max Keiser who makes deals with the devil – I mean Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa al-Thani of Qatar who is himself involved in Kaupthing bank scandal in Iceland that may include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that the SEC Keiser and the Emir and Matt Tiabbi as for as I can tell would mislead us to believe were victims of ‘naked shorting’? Ha.

    http://www.indymedia.org.nz/article/73760/cryptometrics-new-zealand-passport-scam-

    Cryptometrics New Zealand Passport Scam and Hollywood Stock Exchange’s Max Keiser ,Al Jazeera promote Naked U.S. Penny Stock Fraud
    18 June 2007

    Does Max Keiser and Al Jazeera in Arabic have a translation for ‘naked shorting’ or ‘naked short selling’ (a term used only by and for a U.S. penny stock scam) in Arabic !? What is it ? ! Does ‘naked shorting’ explain the collapse of Middle East markets of Dubai,Saudi Arabia and Kuwait,etc.,a while back ? I don’t think so,unless Max Kleiser would like to make a case for that as well……and why would the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani allow his Al-Jazeera network to be used to promote a penny stock fraud and fraudulent ‘naked shorting’ claim specific only to U.S.penny stocks ? Does the emir of Qatar have a horse in the rigged races of U.S. penny stock fraud hosted by NASDAQ whose entire listing of worthless penny stock shell companies mainly benefitting U.S. and offshore criminals…? such as James Dale Davidson,Adnan Kashoggi,et.al.,at the expense of defrauded Americans ?…
    Max Keiser,ex Wall Street insider,has not changed his stripes.Keiser did not short or encourage others to short sell Coca-Cola while bashing and criticizing its business in public and by media for ‘environmental’ reasons.He did it because once a Wall Street and international stock manipulator…..
    ………….

    Iceland’s Kaupthing Bank and Emir of Qatar Al-Thani:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10602820&ref=rss

    ……………….
    Matt,
    Oh my now even James Dale Davidson’s Agora Inc penny stock pumping and dumping colleague and partner with Lord William Rees-Mogg is quoting you to excuse their stock scams and as I’ve already stated James Dale Davidson founder of Agora Inc as well as Steve Forbes National Taxpayers Union started off this naked shorting rumor to divert attention from the collapse in share price of his penny stock scams particularly Genemax and Endovasc ! We have come full circle ! I have copy of Davidson’s Vantage Point penny stock promtion that can show you his promotion of his NAANSS in 2004 if you would like.Please don’t be on their side because their side is fraud against investors in America and anywhere else they can manipulate stocks !

    Taibbi’s Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers Autopsy Reveals Foul Play
    20 Oct 2009 … Matt Taibbi’s recent Rolling Stone article dissects the downfall of Bears Stearns and Lehman Brothers as if he were at the crime scene of a …
    dailyreckoning.com/taibbis-bear-stearns-and-lehman-brothers-autopsy-reveals-foul-play/

  10. collapse expand

    Hey Matt,

    I just signed up so I can follow you and I don’t know if you check these comments but I had a question.

    I have always been interested in the political process but the endless bickering and vapid gossip of the mainstream media drained me to the point where I just stopped following any news altogether.

    Thanks to you and some other credible journalists I have felt both outraged
    about the state of our political/financial system and at the same time have found a new passion and resolve.

    I want to get actively involved as soon as possible. If you are a member of or could point to me in the direction of any organization you feel is actively taking the fight to our politicians and Wall Street I would appreciate it.

    I am looking to do more than sign a petition or occasionally phone a congressman but feel lost as to what I can do as a 25 year old stuck in the system I hate.

  11. collapse expand

    Matt,
    If you aren’t familiar with the infamous “Tony Ryals” you should spend a little time on google…but only if that time would otherwise be a total waste.

  12. collapse expand

    Matt,
    I loved the Mangini-Gloop comparison. It was very funny.
    It is a shame about Obama. I still have the “Hope” poster from moveon.org on the side of the fridge.At the end of the day,John Kass from the Tribune is right. Obama’s braintrust is Daley’s braintrust. These guys have been up to their eyeballs cutting deals with corporations for eons. Hell, Morgan Stanley owns the parking meters here.Guess I smoked too much “Hopium”.

  13. collapse expand

    Russia Drops $22.5 Billion Suit Against Bank of New York
    http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/russia-drops-225-billion-suit-vs-bank-of-new-york/

    Hey Matt, just wondering what you think of this story. You were living in Russia in the 90-s and must’ve heard (and probably covered it in Exile?) of one of the biggest money laundering scandals of the century involving BoNY.

  14. collapse expand

    Stock scamsters award Matt Taibbi a ‘bronze’ while well known and so far SEC protected,Bill Bonner, gets a ‘gold’(of course) ! This is not a group Matt Taibbi should want to be in league with and ex NY Post reporter Chris Byron would back me up on that if he had not been disappeared by Rupert Murdoch’s Post for reporting stock fraud,and more so stock fraud, of James Dale Davidson’s and Bill Bonner’s Agora Inc..Fox News still uses Davidson’s newsmax.con as a ‘news source’ and newsmax.con still touts DAVIDSON’S PENNY STOCK SCAMS SUCH AS PLURISTEM WITH ITS ISRAEL MAFIA AND LEUMI BANK OF ISRAEL CONNECTIONS(THAT MADOFF ALSO SHARED A CONNECTION TO).CIA’S and Carlyle’s Frank Carlucci who some suspect in the death of the Congo’s Patrice Lumuba decades ago is also involved in Pluristem and the suspect Israelis incorporate Pluristem(that claims to use stem cell from placentas for medicine but mainly pumps and dumps shares) in the U.S. rather than proudly in Israel for some reason….
    Oh anyone is welcome to see what I post on the internet such as links to SEC filings of ICTS International whose Huntleigh airport security ‘guarded’ Logan Airport Boston on 9/11 and Marvn Bush and and Al Sabah royalty of Kuwait’s Securacom that ‘guarded’ Dulles in Washington,D.C. at the same time.Both were also stock scams.If I get anything wrong(besides my typos),please correct me.I’ll correct any errors of fact I make.
    Note also the SEC is looking at Bill Bonner and James Dale Davidson’s Agora Inc stock tout machine again but being Steve Forbes and National Taxpayers Union connected means never having to say they’re sorry,I guess.Very Beltway connected and internation bank connected as well……Just thought you’d want to know who’s lauding you for writing about ‘naked shorrt selling’,i.e.Agora Inc whose Jim Davidson created NAANSS or National Association Against Naked Short Selling in 2002 and lied about his Genemax penny stock pump and dump being ‘naked shorted’…..

    A Tiny Revolution: Thomas Friedman’s Writing Finally Compared To …29 Nov 2006 … From Bill Bonner
    We always try to get our day off on the … give Bonner the gold, Floyd the silver, and Taibbi the bronze, …
    http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/001209.html

    Who Was the SEC Harassing Instead of Madoff? – Commentary – Share CafeWho Was the SEC Harassing Instead of Madoff? BY BILL BONNER – 08/09/2009. And, as promised yesterday, the answer to ‘What was the SEC doing?’ Harassing us! …
    http://www.sharecafe.com.au/dreck.asp?a=AV&ai=14235

    Taibbi’s Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers Autopsy Reveals Foul Play20 Oct 2009 … Matt Taibbi’s recent Rolling Stone article dissects the downfall of Bears Stearns and Lehman Brothers as if he were at the crime scene of a …
    dailyreckoning.com/taibbis-bear-stearns-and-lehman-brothers-autopsy-reveals-foul-play/

    from 2002 or 2003:
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/SEC+files+complaint+against+Agora+Inc.,+alleging+it+made+e-mail…-a0102227436

    SEC’S Agora-Phobia”

    The story first broke in the New York Post(by Christopher Byron)
    The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and the oldest to have been published continually as a daily.[3] Since 1976, it has been owned by Australian-born billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and is one of the 10 ….. Click the link for more information. on April 21, with an article in which columnist Christopher Byron apparently took the SEC’s complaint at face value….

  15. collapse expand

    I too think that Elizabeth Warren is presidential material, but she could use a little help in the looks department. So I’m willing to volunteer my time to doll her up with a new dress and ‘do that’ll make men drool even more than they did over the Barracuda Babe.

    Like they say, sex sells, and I’ve got the skills to sex Liz up a bit.;~)

  16. collapse expand

    Barack is moving as fast as he can. Every day you should thank your higher power that Presidents can’t do whatever they want. The economic policy of this administration has to walk a tightrope – the financial industry has held a gun to our head and demanded we maintain their lifestyles. To fix the situation, we have to get them to put the gun down (deleverage) then we can book ‘em, Dano.

  17. collapse expand

    Hi Matt,

    In case you missed this article about two short-selling aspects that you may also want to look into further. This guy is kind of a right-wing dick but his article is a nice examination of naked CDS swaps and naked option trading by market makers. Check it out!

    http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/1531-Short-Sales-The-Real-Issue.html

  18. collapse expand

    Matthew,

    Yes, this time it’s Matthew.

    Love your work, but how can you believe anything offered by Wall Street’s Chief Bitch – Non-Bartiromo Division, Andy Ross Sorkin.

    Lil’ Andy will write whatever his offshore paymasters tell him to write. And you, better than anyone else, ought to know that! Lil’ Andy think he, too, can be Steve Rattner. Think Lou Dobbs with an extra side of vanity-laced imbecile.

    Your pumping Lil’ Andy’s book and any idiot knows that Lil’ Andy has been and remains the chief cheerleader and chief defender of all things Wall Street, investment banking, and hedge funds. That’s the only reason he’s the $225K boy for The Pinch at the Times.

    Dammit! You know better than this, and yet you allow this punk to spread his manure hoping that something will grow.

    What you ought to be doing is using your resources to research Lil’ Andy’s frequent offshore banking excursions, who’s financing them, and the impact it’s all had on the coverage at the Times.

    If I seem pissed, I am. I expect a lot from you. You’ve delivered in the past. You’ll do so again. When you falter and allow The Wall Street Bitch, Lil’ Andy, some credibility, you’ve let us all down.

    You’re better than that.

  19. collapse expand

    This piece of yours isn’t Matt Taibbi.

    It’s Charlie Bleeping Rose!

  20. collapse expand

    Hi Matt,
    Last friday there were numerous articles announcing that Blackrock had hired Kendrick Wilson. Can you comment on this or shed any light on this? I’m currently doing a lot of research on Blackrock and would really be interested in hearing your thoughts. Thanks – and keep up the great work!
    Best,
    Deb

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    About Me

    I'm a political reporter for Rolling Stone magazine, a sports columnist for Men's Journal, and I also write books for a Random House imprint called Spiegel and Grau.

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