Decisions made during the final months of the Bush administration created an environment in which the most politically connected investment banks, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, not only flourished, but saw their competitors laid waste, with firms like Lehman in bankruptcy, and others, like Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, forced to merge in desperate hope of surviving. [...]
The roots of the linkage between Goldman Sachs and AIG go back to the closing months of the Bush administration, as the financial meltdown reached crisis proportions and key decisions were made that are now reaping the whirlwind. Remember who played a key role in deciding to bail out AIG? Henry Paulson, the Goldman CEO-turned George W. Bush Treasury Secretary. Paulson, according to a September 27, 2008 New York Times piece by Gretchen Morgenson, led a team of regulators and bankers in early September to determine what to do with the most severely wounded financial institutions. One of the participants in those meetings was Lloyd C. Blankfein, Paulson's successor at Goldman Sachs.
Out of those meetings came the controversial and heavily criticized decision to allow Lehman Brothers, a Goldman competitor, to go belly up, and to bail out AIG. Starting with $85 billion from the Fed, taxpayers have pumped a total of $170 billion into the giant insurance company. The bailout was crucial to Goldman in that it permitted AIG to pay off its $12.6 billion debt to the firm, $8.1 billion of which was to cover AIG-backed credit derivatives.
The key words above: "during the final months of the Bush administration."
During the final month of the Clinton adminstration, the USS Cole was attacked by Al Qaeda — an event that is still actively criticized as evidence of Democrats' "softness" on terrorism.
During the final months of the Bush administration, Hank Paulson demanded and received $700 billion to save his corporate legacy. The difference between the terrorists during the two administrations is that the terrorists during the Clinton era live in caves in central Asia, while the terrorists during the Bush era were in Bush's cabinet, running the Treasury Department.
GOP soft on terrorists? No way — they are the terrorists, financially speaking. Heckuva job, Hank!