Price of democracy
In light of Pres. Donald Trump’s Russia link and the scandals that followed, did our political parties receive money from foreign donors who now seek to influence our political process?
The question is vital, as a democratic vote is worthless when political parties are beholden to investors who only seek return on investment. Global politics has become the playground of the wealthy who invest with the intent to increase wealth at the expense of regular folks.
Recently our local media were excited when agents of Goldman Sachs met with President Ramaphosa. The euphoria in the reporting was palatable but lacked historical background.
For example, in April 2010 the American, Rolling Stones magazine wrote: “The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it is everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. The history of the recent (2010) financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.
George Bush’s Treasury secretary, former Goldman CEO Henry Paulson was the architect of the bailout, a suspiciously self-serving plan to funnel trillions of Dollars to a handful of his friends on Wall Street. Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton’s former Treasury secretary, spent 26 years at Goldman before becoming chairman of Citigroup which in turn got a $300 billion taxpayer bailout from Paulson. John Thain, the chief of Merrill Lynch bought an $87,000 rug for his office as his company imploded. A former Goldman banker, Thain enjoyed a multi-billion-dollar handout from Paulson, who used billions in taxpayer funds to help Bank of America rescue Thain’s company. Robert Steel, the former Goldmanite head of Wachovia, scored himself and his fellow executives $225 million in golden-parachute payments as his bank self-destructed. Joshua Bolten, Bush’s chief of staff during the bailout and Mark Patterson, the Treasury chief of staff, who was a Goldman lobbyist years ago and Ed Liddy, the former Goldman director whom Paulson put in charge of bailed-out insurance giant AIG forked over $13 billion to Goldman after Liddy came on board. The heads of the Canadian and Italian national banks are Goldman alumni, as is the head of the World Bank, the head of the New York Stock Exchange, the last two heads of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which, incidentally, is now in charge of overseeing Goldman Sachs.
In the words of the wise, locals need to know if our democracy is for sale or has been sold.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress