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Libya Takes Goldman Sachs To Court In a Scandal Involving State Bribes and High Class Hookers

Libya’s national investment fund is attempting to reclaim $1.2 billion from nine trades it carried out with Goldman Sachs in 2008.

Alex Christoforou

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Question: What do hookers, Libya, and Goldman Sachs have in common
Answer: Hillary Clinton.

At the center of it all is the LIA, or Libyan Investment Authority, who is in a High Court in London trying to recoup $1.2 billion it lost in 2008, from nine trades executed by Goldman Sachs.

The LIA claims that the contracts were secured by Goldman after the mega bank used prostitutes, private jets, and five star hotels to persuade LIA staff.

In a document submitted to the London court, the Libya’s Investment Authority stated:

“The disputed trades were inherently unsuitable for a nascent sovereign wealth fund such as the LIA and Goldman Sachs knew (or at the very least suspected) the LIA did not properly understand the trades, which were highly structured, complex and risky.”

Furthermore, the LIA claims that Goldman used ‘undue influence’ and took advantage of of LIA’s financial naivety by first gaining its trust, and encouraging it to participate in risky complex trades.

Goldman Sachs banker Youssef Kabbaj, racked up more than $31,000 in expenses consisting of LIA staff stays at five-star hotels, expensive meals during trips to Dubai, London, and Morocco, and lavish “gifts” which included high class escorts.

RT has more on the latest Libya / Goldman Sachs / Hillary Clinton scandal. 

During one trip, Haitem Zarti, the younger brother of the fund’s deputy executive officer, was offered an internship at the bank and Kabbaj later paid for a “pair of prostitutes to entertain them both one evening” at a cost of $600, according to Reuters.

Goldman deny the claims, saying they’re “without merit” and that the company “will continue to defend them vigorously.”

“The LIA’s plea that it was ‘financially illiterate’ is as unfounded as it is extreme,” the bank said in its court filings.

The hearing started on Monday at the High Court in London and is expected to run for several weeks.

Libya’s $67 billion national fund was set up in 2006 under Muammar Gaddafi to manage the huge revenues from the country’s oil sales.

LIA has also filed a lawsuit against French investment bank Societe Generale in relation to $2.1 billion worth of trades it entered into with the bank between 2007 and 2009. Societe Generale is contesting the case.

This was at a time when George W. Bush was in the White House, with Henry Paulson as Secretary of the Treasury, a position he was able to fill only after he stepped down as chairman of Goldman Sachs.

Alongside Paulson in the White House at the time was Josh Bolten, a former executive director for legal and government affairs at Goldman, but served as Bush’s chief of staff between 2006 and 2009, while former managing partner of the Goldman Sachs Paris office, Reuben Jeffery, was appointed by Bush as the under secretary of state for economic, business, and agricultural affairs in June 2007.

The overlap between the investment bank and the White House continued from Bush through to the Obama administration.

Only at the end of May were questions raised over the the links between Goldman Sachs and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who has been questioned about the connections during the primary campaign.

The former New York senator was paid $675,000 in personal speaking fees by the company while her husband, former President Bill Clinton, earned $1,550,000 in personal speaking fees, according to The Intercept.

Donations between $250,000 and $500,000 have also been made to the couple’s Clinton Foundation by Goldman Sachs.

Clinton’s son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky founded the hedge fund Eaglevale Partners LP in 2011 and has a number of wealthy Wall Street backers including Blankfein.

Last month, Clinton refused to answer how much was invested by him.

Wall Street’s windfall at Libya’s expense would have been illegal just a few years prior, when the north African country was still considered a ‘sponsor of terrorism’ by the US state department and US citizens could only conduct business with“express consent from the Treasury Department.”

Paulson was the treasury secretary when Libya was taken off the naughty list, opening up a free-for-all between US companies and the oil-rich nation.

Previous reports suggested Goldman Sachs held almost $605 million worth of Libyan government assets while JPMorgan Chase had $513 million on the books.

Wells Fargo and Bank of America were also involved, although on a smaller scale, with almost $7 million worth of Libyan government assets, according to the New York Post.

Things went sour, however, when Gaddafi started making plans for a pan-African currency using almost $7 billion in gold and silver, according to an email from Sidney Blumenthal to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The email also revealed how conservative French President Nicolas Sarkozy saw the opportunity to invade Libya and overthrow Gaddafi as a chance to  “gain a greater share of Libya oil production” and “provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world.”

There have also been claims that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was in on it – and benefited financially.

He traveled to Libya on a number of occasions during 2008 and 2009 lobbying for JP Morgan, according to the Telegraph, in the hope LIA would invest some of their money with them, although Blair has denied the claims.

Jim Jatras, a former US diplomat and GOP policy adviser, told RT that Clinton’s policies on Libya at the time were a “complete disaster,” but she fails to recognize it.

Blumenthal, a close friend of the Clintons, is on the payroll of their foundation as a consultant and was involved in a business venture in Libya at the time.

Via: https://www.rt.com/business/346600-libya-fund-damages-goldman/

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Macron offers crumbs to protestors in bid to save his globalist agenda (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 36.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at French President Macron’s pathetic display of leadership as he offers protestors little in the way of concessions while at the same time promising to crack down hard on any and all citizens who resort to violence.

Meanwhile France’s economy is set for a deep recession as French output and production grinds to a halt.

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Europe Has A New Problem: Macron’s “Populism” To Blow Out French Budget Deficit Far Beyond Italy’s

Via Zerohedge


As if Brussels didn’t have its hands full already with Italy and the UK, the European Union will soon be forced to rationalize why one of its favorite core members is allowed to pursue populist measures to blow out its budget deficit to ease domestic unrest while another is threatened with fines potentially amounting to billions of euros.

When blaming Russia failed to quell the widespread anger elicited by his policies, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to appease the increasingly violent “yellow vests” protesters who have sacked his capital city by offering massive tax cuts that could blow the French budget out beyond the 3% budget threshold outlined in the bloc’s fiscal rules.

Given the concessions recently offered by Italy’s populists, Macron’s couldn’t have picked a worse time to challenge the bloc’s fiscal conventions. As Bloomberg pointed out, these rules will almost certainly set the Continent’s second largest economy on a collision course with Brussels. To be clear, Macron’s offered cuts come with a price tag of about €11 billion according to Les Echos, and will leave the country with a budget gap of 3.5% of GDP in 2019, with one government official said the deficit may be higher than 3.6%.

By comparison, Italy’s initial projections put its deficit target at 2.4%, a number which Europe has repeatedly refused to consider.

Macron’s promises of fiscal stimulus – which come on top of his government’s decision to delay the planned gas-tax hikes that helped inspire the protests – were part of a broader ‘mea culpa’ offered by Macron in a speech Monday night, where he also planned to hike France’s minimum wage.

Of course, when Brussels inevitably objects, perhaps Macron could just show them this video of French police tossing a wheelchair-bound protester to the ground.

Already, the Italians are complaining.  Speaking on Tuesday, Italian cabinet undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti said Italy hasn’t breached the EU deficit limit. “I repeat that from the Italian government there is a reasonable approach, if there is one also from the EU a solution will be found.”

“France has several times breached the 3% deficit. Italy hasn’t done it. They are different situations. There are many indicators to assess.”

Still, as one Guardian columnist pointed out in an op-ed published Tuesday morning, the fact that the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) organizers managed to pressure Macron to cave and grant concessions after just 4 weeks of protests will only embolden them to push for even more radical demands: The collapse of the government of the supremely unpopular Macron.

Then again, with Brussels now facing certain accusations of hypocrisy, the fact that Macron was pressured into the exact same populist measures for which Italy has been slammed, the French fiasco raises the odds that Rome can pass any deficit measure it wants with the EU now forced to quietly look away even as it jawbones all the way from the bank (i.e., the German taxpayers).

“Macron’s spending will encourage Salvini and Di Maio,” said Giovanni Orsina, head of the School of Government at Rome’s Luiss-Guido Carli University. “Macron was supposed to be the spearhead of pro-European forces, if he himself is forced to challenge EU rules, Salvini and Di Maio will jump on that to push their contention that those rules are wrong.”

While we look forward to how Brussels will square this circle, markets are less excited.

Exhausted from lurching from one extreme to another following conflicting headlines, traders are already asking if “France is the new Italy.” The reason: the French OAT curve has bear steepened this morning with 10Y yields rising as much as ~6bp, with the Bund/OAT spread reaching the widest since May 2017 and the French presidential election. Though well below the peaks of last year, further widening would push the gap into levels reserved for heightened political risk.

As Bloomberg macro analyst Michael Read notes this morning, it’s hard to see a specific near-term trigger blowing out the Bund/OAT spread but the trend looks likely to slowly drift higher.

While Macron has to fight on both domestic and European fronts, he’ll need to keep peace at home to stay on top. Remember that we saw the 10Y spread widen to ~80bps around the May ’17 elections as concerns of a move toward the political fringe played out in the markets, and the French President’s popularity ratings already look far from rosy.

And just like that France may have solved the Italian crisis.

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Watch: Democrat Chuck Schumer shows his East Coast elitism on live TV

Amazing moment in which the President exhibits “transparency in government” and shows the world who the Democrat leaders really are.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the reasons Donald Trump was elected to the Presidency was because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – against Democrat policy decisions and “stupid government” in general.

One of the reasons President Donald Trump is reviled is because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – in the American political scene.

In other words, there are two reactions to the same characteristic. On Tuesday, the President did something that probably cheered and delighted a great many Americans who witnessed this.

The Democrats have been unanimous in taking any chance to roast the President, or to call for his impeachment, or to incite violence against him. But Tuesday was President Trump’s turn. He invited the two Democrat leaders, presumptive incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and then, he turned the cameras on:

As Tucker Carlson notes, the body language from Schumer was fury. The old (something)-eating grin covered up humiliation, embarrassment and probably no small amount of fear, as this whole incident was filmed and broadcast openly and transparently to the American public. Nancy Pelosi was similarly agitated, and she expressed it later after this humiliation on camera, saying, “It’s like a manhood thing for him… As if manhood could ever be associated with him.”

She didn’t stop there. According to a report from the New York Daily News, the Queen Bee took the rhetoric a step below even her sense of dignity:

Pelosi stressed she made clear to Trump there isn’t enough support in Congress for a wall and speculated the President is refusing to back down because he’s scared to run away with his tail between his legs.

“I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild,” Pelosi said of the Oval Office meet, which was also attended by Vice President Pence and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

This represented the first salvo in a major spin-job for the ultra-liberal San Francisco Democrat. The rhetoric spun by Mrs. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer was desperate as they tried to deflect their humiliation and place it back on the President:

With reporters still present, Trump boasted during the Oval meeting he would be “proud” to shutdown the government if Congress doesn’t earmark cash for his wall before a Dec. 21 spending deadline.

Pelosi told Democrats that Trump’s boisterousness will be beneficial for them.

“The fact is we did get him to say, to fully own that the shutdown was his,” Pelosi said. “That was an accomplishment.”

The press tried to characterize this as a “Trump Tantrum”, saying things like this lede:

While “discussing” a budgetary agreement for the government, President Donald Trump crossed his arms and declared: “we will shut down the government if there is no wall.”

While the Democrats and the mainstream media in the US are sure to largely buy these interpretations of the event, the fact that this matter was televised live shows that the matter was entirely different, and this will be discomfiting to all but those Democrats and Trump-dislikers that will not look at reality.

There appears to be a twofold accomplishment for the President in this confrontation:

  1. The President revealed to his support base the real nature of the conversation with the Democrat leadership, because anyone watching this broadcast (and later, video clip) saw it unedited with their own eyes. They witnessed the pettiness of both Democrats and they witnessed a President completely comfortable and confident about the situation.
  2. President Trump probably made many of his supporters cheer with the commitment to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his border wall funding. This cheering is for both the strength shown about getting the wall finished and the promise to shut the government down, and further, Mr. Trump’s assertion that he would be “proud” to shut the government down, taking complete ownership willingly, reflects a sentiment that many of his supporters share.

The usual pattern is for the media, Democrats and even some Republicans to create a “scare” narrative about government shutdowns, about how doing this is a sure-fire path to chaos and suffering for the United States.

But the educated understanding of how shutdowns work reveals something completely different. Vital services never close. However, National Parks can close partly or completely, and some non-essential government agencies are shuttered. While this is an inconvenience for the employees furloughed during the shutdown, they eventually are re-compensated for the time lost, and are likely to receive help during the shutdown period if they need it. The impact on the nation is minimal, aside from the fact that the government stops spending money at the same frenetic pace as usual.

President Trump’s expression of willingness to do this action and his singling out of the Dem leadership gives the Democrats a real problem. Now the entire country sees their nature. As President Trump is a populist, this visceral display of Democrat opposition and pettiness will make at least some impact on the population, even that group of people who are not Trump fans.

The media reaction and that of the Democrats here show, amazingly, that after three years-plus of Donald Trump being a thorn in their side, they still do not understand how he works, and they also cannot match it against their expected “norms” of establishment behavior.

This may be a brilliant masterstroke, and it also may be followed up by more. The President relishes head-to-head conflict. The reactions of these congress members showed who they really are.

Let the games begin.

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French opposition rejects Macron’s concessions to Yellow Vests, some demand ‘citizen revolution’

Mélenchon: “I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.”

RT

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Via RT…


Macron’s concessions to the Yellow Vests has failed to appease protesters and opposition politicians, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who called for “citizen’s revolution” to continue until a fair distribution of wealth is achieved.

Immediately after French President Macron declared a “social and economic state of emergency” in response to large-scale protests by members of the Yellow Vest movement, promising a range of concessions to address their grievances, left-wing opposition politician Mélenchon called on the grassroots campaign to continue their revolution next Saturday.

I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.

Macron’s promise of a €100 minimum wage increase, tax-free overtime pay and end-of-year bonuses, Mélenchon argued, will not affect any “considerable part” of the French population. Yet the leader of La France Insoumise stressed that the “decision” to rise up rests with “those who are in action.”

“We expect a real redistribution of wealth,” Benoît Hamon, a former presidential candidate and the founder of the Mouvement Génération, told BFM TV, accusing Macron’s package of measures that benefit the rich.

The Socialist Party’s first secretary, Olivier Faure, also slammed Macron’s financial concessions to struggling workers, noting that his general “course has not changed.”

Although welcoming certain tax measures, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (previously National Front), accused the president’s “model” of governance based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition,” of failing to address the social and cultural consequences of the Yellow Vest movement.

Macron’s speech was a “great comedy,”according to Debout la France chairman, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who accused the French President of “hypocrisy.”

Yet many found Melanchon’s calls to rise up against the government unreasonable, accusing the 67-year-old opposition politician of being an “opportunist” and “populist,” who is trying to hijack the social protest movement for his own gain.

Furthermore, some 54 percent of French believe the Yellow Vests achieved their goals and want rallies to stop, OpinionWay survey showed. While half of the survey respondents considered Macron’s anti-crisis measures unconvincing, another 49 percent found the president to be successful in addressing the demands of the protesters. Some 68 percent of those polled following Macron’s speech on Monday especially welcomed the increase in the minimum wage, while 78 percent favored tax cuts.

The Yellow Vest protests against pension cuts and fuel tax hikes last month were organized and kept strong via social media, without help from France’s powerful labor unions or official political parties. Some noted that such a mass mobilization of all levels of society managed to achieve unprecedented concessions from the government, which the unions failed to negotiate over the last three decades.

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