November 29, 2012
Three years ago, a hard fought landmark FOIA lawsuit was won by the great Bloomberg reporter, the late Mark Pittman, in which the Fed was forced to disclose a plethora of previously secret bailout information, which in turn spurred the movement to “audit the Fed” and include a variety of largely watered down provisions in the Frank-Dodd bill. This victory came despite extensive objections by the Fed and the threat that the case may even escalate to the highly politicized Supreme Court, which lately has demonstrated conclusively that not only is justice not blind, but goes to the highest ideological bidder. Moments ago, Europe just learned that when it comes to secrecy of its supreme monetary leaders, in this case all originating from Goldman Sachs and defending data highly sensitive to the same Goldman Sachs, the European central bank’s secrecy is not only matched by that of the Fed, but even more engrained in the “judicial” system of the Eurozone, after the European Union General Court in Luxembourg just announced that the European Central Bank will be allowed to refuse access to secret files showing how Greece used derivatives to hide its debt. Why? Simple: recall that it was Goldman Sachs who was the primary “advisor” on a decade worth of FX swaps-related deals which allowed Greece to outright lie about both its fiscal deficit and its total debt levels, and that it was a Goldman alum who became head of the same Greek debt office just before the country imploded. And certainly the ECB was involved and knew very all about the Greek behind the scenes shennanigans. And who happens to be head of the ECB? Why yet another former Goldman worker, of course. Mario Draghi.
And with yet another ex-Goldmanite taking over the BOE, any hopes of bank transparency in the UK have just been crushed as well. Goldman is taking over the world one central bank, and Supreme Court at a time, and leaving not a trace behind, even as it manages to create ever more debt out of thin air to keep the population occupied chasing trinkets, gadgets, and other unneeded stuff, while the real wealth plunder by Goldman et al enters its terminal phase.
“Disclosure of those documents would have undermined the protection of the public interest so far as concerns the economic policy of the EU and Greece,” the European Union General Court in Luxembourg said today, rejecting a challenge by Bloomberg News. The news organization initially sought the documents in August 2010.
The same excuse always and forever: the common man should not know what is truly going on behind the scenes, as the truth would “undermine protection of the public interest” – just leave it to the smart men in tweed suits to fret about the details; it is best if the general ignorant herd remains in the dark, or else its “protection” may be impaired…
Today’s ruling by three judges denies European taxpayers, on the hook for the cost of Greece’s 240 billion-euro ($311.5 billion) bailout, the opportunity to see whether EU officials knew of irregularities in Greece’s public accounts before they became public in 2009.
The decision underscores the lack of accountability at the ECB as it expands its powers to become the region’s lender of last resort and chief banking regulator. The central bank, which puts greater limits on its disclosures about its decision making than its British and U.S. equivalents, is under pressure from policy makers including governing council member Erkki Liikanen to boost transparency. ECB President Mario Draghi last month defended the Frankfurt-based bank, telling reporters it was already a “very transparent” institution.
Bloomberg News sought two internal papers drafted for the central bank’s six-member Executive Board. The first document is entitled “The impact on government deficit and debt from off- market swaps: the Greek case.” The second reviews Titlos Plc, a structure that allowed National Bank of Greece SA (ETE), the country’s biggest lender, to borrow from the ECB by creating collateral.
And just to complete the farce, perhaps the Fed will tell us how its own investigation launched in February of 2010(!) looking at Goldman’s behind the scenes involvement in faking the Greek debt numbers for a decade, is going. Recall: “We are looking into a number of questions related to Goldman Sachs and other companies and their derivatives arrangements with Greece,” Bernanke said in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. It is now nearly three years later and still nothing…
Naturally, we won’t hold our breath.
Sadly, little can be added here: Goldman wins again, and justice for the common man is long dead.
This article was posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6:09 am