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15 Apr, 2009 13:01

Goldman tries to silence blogger

Goldman tries to silence blogger

Former investment bank (Fibber) Goldman Sachs has received billions of dollars of US taxpayers’ money but it doesn’t like anyone talking about it.

The bank’s lawyers are trying to shut down a one-man website for simply looking at their numbers and wondering what they are doing with all that public money.

GoldmanSachs666 has ambitions to turn the spotlight on several of the other big, bust banks.

Follow the link and see what you think.

The beast

It is actually a plain and simple blog that links to articles published in the press and on other blogs.

Its author can be rather earnest. He quotes the bible and, of course, 666 is the number of the beast.

But he didn’t get rich taking huge gambles with other people’s money like Goldman Sachs. He isn’t living high off the taxpayer.

He is simply pointing out the truth: that Goldman has its own former staff inside the US government wringing telephone-number sums out of the US Treasury.

The trademark

This is what Goldman’s lawyers wrote to GoldmanSachs666.com:

"Your use of the mark Goldman Sachs violates several of Goldman Sachs' intellectual property rights, constitutes an act of trademark infringement, unfair competition and implies a relationship and misrepresents commercial activity and/or an affiliation between you and Goldman Sachs which does not exist and additionally creates confusion in the marketplace.”

Goldman clearly thinks it can use taxpayer money to bailout its bad bets and then sue the public for speaking its name. Morally the taxpayer OWNS the Goldman Sachs name.

I think the taxpayer has a right to discuss whatever Goldman Sachs or its employees are up to.

The team

Goldman Sachs and the other banks took huge gambles with the world economy. For years they won and kept the profits. But they always knew if they lost, the US government would bail them out.

By 2008 its bad bets seriously threatened the business. It’s not clear how dire was Goldman’s position. There are unpublished gaps in its financial reports and even Goldman staff did not believe the bank’s official line that it’s blue blooded brilliance allowed it to prosper while other banks collapsed.

Sure enough, Goldman turned to the US government and asked for a bailout.

Just read Goldman’s website: “It all comes back to the team. Even when you’re making decisions that can affect the entire world, you always have people backing you up.” http://www2.goldmansachs.com/careers/our-firm/index.html

Well they certainly had the US government backing them up. Ex-Goldman staffers and shareholders work in top positions at the US Treasury and other US government departments. Just do a web search for Goldman Sachs and something called, The Corridor.

The shadows

Goldman Sachs likes money, not publicity. I remember when Goldman used to give interviews and I’ve interviewed its long serving chairman Peter Sutherland. However it long ago stopped talking to the press and moved into the shadows.

The website it is trying to close down was only set up on March 26th 2009. It took Goldman only a couple of weeks to try to silence the blog.

Perhaps what worries Goldman is that the site’s author, Mike Morgan, asks people with information to send him anything he thinks the public needs to know. It’s a delicate time.

The profits

After the bailout, Goldman wants to get back to making money, and it doesn’t want the US government to have any claims on those profits. That is why it has publicly announced it wants to repay $10 Billion in bailout money.

The bank said nothing publicly about up to $35 Billion in outstanding loan guarantees from the US government, nor tens of billions in other bailout funds via bust insurer AIG, nor money investment with other institutions that it would have lost if the US government had not stepped in to support them.

Goldman wants to use billions of taxpayer bailout dollars – without handing over one cent in profits.

The dagger

It wants to present itself as a solvent, blue-blooded investment bank, stamping on any suggestion that it had to run, cap in hand, to the US government for a bail out.

This is a high-stakes game of cloaks and daggers and Goldman Sachs is not about to let a little guy like Mike Morgan and his blog get in the way.

Mark Gay, RT