Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Out of the box road to ruin

Jon Corzine says he's not going to sell or lease the Turnpike. He's going to do something "outside the box" that he can't tell us about yet. He wants those of us who are critical of his scheme to shut up until its too late to stop him.

Even though I know what "monetize" means I figured I do some checking into any other "out of the box" creations that Jon Corzine had anything to do with. It didn't take long to find this post, Jon Corzine's Atrocities on Enlighten New Jersey. Here's the best part:

In 1993, Goldman Sachs “invented” a security that offered Enron Corp. and other companies an irresistible combination. It was designed in such a way that it could be called debt or equity, as needed. For the accountant, it resembled a loan, so that interest payments could be deducted from taxable income. For shareholders and rating agencies, who look askance at overleveraged companies, it resembled equity.

To top officials at the Clinton Treasury Department, the so-called Monthly Income Preferred Shares, or MIPS, looked like a charade - a way for companies to mask the size of their debt while cutting their federal tax bill. And guess who was CEO at the time? When Treasury resisted, a letter, signed by Jon Corzine, then chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, portrayed the Treasury as attempting to draw “completely arbitrary” lines between debt and equity. Of course, MIPS would make failing companies look better on the books and Goldman Sachs more money. Eventually, the federal government acquiesced to the arrangement.

Of course the Clinton Treasury Department acquiesced to the arrangement. Corzine's former partner, Robert Rubin was the Secretary of the Treasury. Corzine and Goldman Sachs were major donors to the Clinton coffers.

Bankers and politicians thrive on confusing the public and fleecing them in the process.

Syms, the clothing retailer has a great slogan, "An educated consumer is our best customer." Corzine's slogan should be, "I'll take everybody else.", or "There's a sucker born every minute, and most of them live in New Jersey."

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