Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow

The truth is where the money is

There is a rule: a prominent politician in a country, a former prime minister or head of the central bank is suddenly selected and promoted to the IMF, the president of the Council of Europe or some other highest office for which everyone in the world has respect. These are often amazing careers and one wonders if people actually have competencies for this.

That’s what happened with Donald Tusk. He did not block the construction of the Northern Stream under Merkel, which would have been in line with the Polish raison d’être at the time. The favorite child of the Mutti-Merkel in Poland became the president of the European Council. A price for the services rendered to Germany and Gazprom Bank. Now Tusk’s arch-enemies have been ruling Poland for more than 8 years, and Kaczynski’s favorite child, the former head of the state television station Jacek Kurski, suddenly got a job at the World Bank. His competences? None. But somehow the pharmaceutical lobbyists and the financial elites had to show their gratitude to him for being a right-wing politician in the Corona pandemic, resisting the “right-wing” and “conspiracy-theory” temptation to question the sense of vaccinations by his critical journalists, and for scaring all citizens hand in hand with left-liberal media in the pandemic every day.

Equally controversial was the election of Louis de Guindos, Spain’s former economy minister, to the ECB board. De Guindos was a banker at Lehmann Brothers, and after the fall of the U.S. bank at Pricewaters Coopers. Similarly, President Macron and Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki rose from the banks to government circles. The high offices are a price for faithful service to bankers, not for service to the people of the given country.

In the fall of 2014, Jose Manuel Barroso resigned as president of the European Commission after 10 years in office. He then waited the legally required 18 months before accepting a job offer from Goldman Sachs. If Barroso cared in the least about the situation of the people of Europe, he would not have taken a job at a bank that helped Greece hide its debt just before it joined the eurozone. However, it is difficult to expect a man who began his political career in communist groups to care about ordinary people.

Goldman Sachs is unrivaled in this regard. The institution effectively pushes its employees into positions in the structures of various countries and then takes them over at the end of their tenure. Sometimes the order is reversed. This is true, for example, of Mario Draghi, who was Italian Finance Minister, then CEO of Goldman Sachs, and is now President of the European Central Bank.

There are many more well-known politicians with ties to Goldman Sachs. Before Mario Monti was appointed to head the Italian government (replacing the democratically elected Silvio Berlusconi), he worked as a senior advisor at Goldman Sachs.

When Greece manipulated its debt just before joining the Eurozone, the head of the National Bank of Greece was Petros Christodoulou, who began his career at Goldman.

Until 2015, Peter Sutherland held the position of Managing Director of Goldman Sachs International. In the 1980s, Sutherland was Attorney General in Ireland. He was later appointed EU Commissioner for Competition. He was also Ireland’s key representative in the negotiations over the nationalization of the banks and the terms of the country’s bailout package.

This shows how elites are strongly connected to the financial world and that it is not politicians who run the world, but those who pull the strings on Wall Street and in the City of London.

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