Goldman Sachs ‘helps’ European Governments Hide Debt

Greece’s overwhelming national debt has set off yet another global economic crisis—and just like the last one, American banks are at the center of the story. According to the New York Times, Goldman Sachs and other U.S. banks played a key role in postponing Greece’s day of reckoning while it racked up more debt by using a variety of complicated financial tactics reminiscent of the mad science that sparked the subprime mortgage crisis. Just months before the current crisis, in November 2009, Goldman president Gary Cohn led a group of banks in offering Greece a way to refinance their health-care debt, but it was hardly the first of such efforts. In 2001, Goldman Sachs engineered multi-billion dollar loans for the government hidden behind currency trades to help it skirt the EU’s deficit rules. “Politicians want to pass the ball forward, and if a banker can show them a way to pass a problem to the future, they will fall for it,” Gikas A. Hardouvelis, an economist who’s studied Greece’s accounting, told The New York Times.

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Filed under Economics, World Politics

3 responses to “Goldman Sachs ‘helps’ European Governments Hide Debt

  1. fnord

    And yet, guess what? The Republicans have filibustered banking reform in the Senate.

    And their supporters seem to approve! All they have to do is STOP anything President Obama and the majority democratic Congress may attempt! You see, losing an election is now living under tyranny, and worse!

  2. fnord

    Our newspaper recently ran an article saying Goldman Sachs devalued Hawker Beechcraft, a local company they own, by a whopping 85%. I imagine that ‘loss’ probably reduced their taxes a bit.

    Hubby Griffin asked, “Where is that salesman who sold Raytheon to Goldman Sachs? They need to find him and get him on board selling airplanes!”

  3. fnord

    Bomb Explodes at Athens J.P. Morgan

    The United States isn’t the only country with Main Street-Wall Street friction. In Greece, the tension turned violent Tuesday when a bomb went off at the offices of J.P. Morgan Chase in Athens. No one was injured, and a warning call was placed to an Athens newspaper. The time bomb damaged the door and broke some windows. Greece’s economy ran into trouble when credit-rating agencies downgraded its ratings due to huge government debts.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61F4JS20100216?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=22&sp=true