Monday, July 21, 2008

The further Goldmanization of US finance

(FT Alphaville) Well, well, what a surprise: (yet) another Goldman Sachs banker is preparing to impart his wisdom - and presumably influence - to the US administration.

In what could only be described as further “Goldmanisation” of the US economy, Ken Wilson, Goldman’s top financial-institutions banker, will “temporarily” leave the firm to advise Treasury secretary Hank Paulson on how to resolve the country’s banking crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The move is the latest in a series of Goldman to US administration transfers, notable among them Paulson himself and before him, the likes of Bob Rubin as Treasury secretary and quite a few others. This one was at the personal request of George W. Bush, who called Wilson in recent days to convey his invitation, according to the Journal.

As chairman of Goldman’s Financial Institutions Group, Wilson has played a big role in capital raisings and reorganisations across the banking sector, and will join Paulson to “address issues from a more macro perspective”, the paper said.

Wilson’s move comes as the Treasury and Federal Reserve contemplate the prospect of more bank failures, “alarming capital levels” and “crises of confidence” in important institutions such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Oh, and in a display of what is clearly intended to appear as selflessness (and a very high pay-grade), Wilson is expected to serve without pay in a stint that will last through January.

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