Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein underwent vigorous questioning yesterday at a Senate hearing where he heartily endorsed the partisan Democrat finance "reform" legislation — currently held up by a Republican filibuster.
The bill would institutionalize taxpayer bailouts of companies the government deems "too big to fail."
During questioning from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) — a member of the Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs subcommittee hosting the media circus — Blankfein was asked if he supported the bill authored by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn).
Blankfein admitted Wall Street would be the biggest beneficiary of the Democrats’ bill.
From the hearing:
SEN. TOM COBURN: Let me ask you a few questions about the bill that’s being proposed. Your Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer said you embrace it, you’re generally supportive of the Dodd bill. You’ve been fairly high profile in your support for it. Do you still maintain that support for this bill? Do you think it solves the problems that caused the problems that we got into?
LLOYD BLANKFEIN, GOLDMAN SACHS CEO: I think execution — well, first of all, some aspects of the bill, I think have morphed over the last — maybe even over the last few days, I’m just not sure.
COBURN: I don’t think so. The vote was turned down again. I don’t think we’ve gotten there.
BLANKFEIN: I see, right. I’m generally supportive. To be sure, there are details of it that I think I’m less sure of, but I think, on the whole, financial reform is, absolutely is essential and I will say that last week, in New York, I listened to a speech by Barack Obama at Wall Street, and one of the points he made resonated with me because I’d said it myself. He said that the biggest beneficiaries of reform will be Wall Street itself.
I’m sure Senate Democrats deeply appreciated his ringing endorsement of their bill.
Goldman Sachs is accused of fraud in a civil complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Blankfein denied the charges.
Goldman Sachs gave 75% of campaign donations to Democrats in the 2008 election cycle totaling nearly $4.5 million dollars. Nearly $1 million went to the Obama campaign alone.
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