Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein should perhaps go to jail, for violating the FCPA, or be fired, for being too dumb

1. For years (decades) I have argued that any sovereign (and I really mean any sovereign) that has to pay something like 100-200% more in interest rates than that sovereign who at that time pays the least, in order to obtain finance, has not earned the right to take on public debt, and with that to mortgage the future generations. 

The current rate the US has to pay for 5-year money is about 2%.

2. There are plenty of persons currently in jail in the US because of acts committed against the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

3. Goldman Sachs, has just handed over about US$800 million to the notoriously corrupt and human rights violating government of Venezuela, in order to obtain $2.8billion Venezuelan bonds paying a 12.75% interest rate, which if repaid would provide GS with about a 42% yearly return, 2.000% more than what US pays. Has it in fact not committed the mother of all corruptions acts punishable under the FCPA?

4. Of course, if Lloyd Blankfein, the chairman of Goldman Sachs, can see a 42% return for lending to a sovereign, and not conclude that something extremely corrupt and fishy is going on, then he should, as a minimum minimorum, instead be fired for being too dumb.

Many people have been arguing for decades for the need of a Sovereign Debt Rescheduling Mechanism (SDRM).

I totally agree with that, but that must begin with classifying credits as bona-fide, doubtful, or outright odious. This specific Venezuela debt referred to here, clearly belongs to the latter, and should not be repaid.

PS. Venezuela, a nation with tremendous food and medicine shortages sells gas at less than US$ 2 cents a gallon. What else can I say?

PS. Our banks, and we, would be better off with ethics-weighted capital requirements for banks than with stupid risk weighted ones.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

“Whut you goin' to do when a [lefty] starts to talk purty? I'm jist a [socialist] who cain't say no”

Socialists are never ever able to resist the siren songs of false sirens like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. They always remind me of Oklahoma’s Ado Annie singing “I Cain't Say No!

“Whut you goin' to do when a [lefty] gits flirty
And starts to talk purty? whut you goin' to do?
Whut you goin' to do when he talks that way
Spit in his eye?
I'm jist a [socialist] who cain't say no”

Here for instance Noam Chomsky: “What's so exciting about visiting Venezuela is that I can see how a better world is being created."

Here for instance Sean Penn: “Maduro is similar to Chavez in that he is ‘in love with his people and his country’”

Of course there are those not so much convinced by purty talk but much more by purty pay, like here Pablo Iglesias