Friday, June 22, 2012

Goldman Sachs and Friends Throw Oakland Under The Bus

According to a new report entitled "Riding the Gravy Train" released by the Refund Transit Coalition, several banks have been participating in interest-rate swaps in struggling cities like Oakland.  These institutions have been gutting public transit agencies, negatively affecting working class commuters - particularly working class people of color.  As a result of these transit-related toxic swaps, commuters are being overcharged, inconvenienced by reductions in services, and left with few transit options.  It should come as no surprise that Goldman Sachs has extended another tentacle into our pockets:

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is responsible for long-range planning and many funding decisions for public transit in the nine-county Bay Area region. It oversees local operators like MUNI in San Francisco and Alameda County Transit (AC Transit) in Oakland and the East Bay. The MTC is losing $48.1 million a year on its swap deals with Ambac, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of New York Mellon, Morgan Stanley, and Ambac. (93) It is stuck in most of these deals until 2036 or later. By the MTC’s own estimates, these deals will cost more an additional $1.3 billion over the remaining life of these swaps.(94) 

It is clear. The City of Oakland needs to DROP THE SWAP and sever all financial relations with Goldman Sachs.