Ish Theilheimer at Straight Goods wonders why there has been no public outcry about McGuinty’s decision to hire Goldman Sachs to come up with a privatization blueprint for 49% of Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.
The LCBO, OLG, Hydro One and OPG provide more than $10 million a day, totalling $4.1 billion in profit last year to fund social services for Ontario — making Bay Street’s usual privatization argument pretty weak here — but, um, Goldman Sachs?
Ish: “In the USA, for instance, the company has supervised highway privatization deals in which it acted as a financial advisor to the state at the same time as it invested in companies vying for the highways.”
In Goldman Sachs: The Great American Bubble Machine, Matt Taibbi describes the corp as
“a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. . .”
“the heads of the Canadian national banks are Goldman alums, 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 . . .”
Following its part in managing the recent financial collapse of Greece, the Vampire Squid is being investigated for fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for misleading its own clients and encouraging them to invest in a product that was destined to fail.
Canada doesn’t have a national securities regulator. In announcing plans to put one in place on May 3rd, Fin Min Jim Flaherty said that Canada is not directly probing Goldman Sachs because any probe of Goldman would fall under provincial jurisdiction.
Oh, go, McGuinty!
Fun facts: Vampire Squid corporate tax rate in 2008? One percent.
Fin. Times : “Goldman Sachs Group Inc and 22 European banks were the major beneficiaries of US$93-billion in payments from AIG — more than half of the U.S. taxpayer money spent to rescue the massive insurer.”