Friday, November 30, 2012

Tell the Oakland City Council to stand firm! No more business with Goldman Sachs until they drop the swap without termination fees!

The Oakland- Goldman Sachs swap termination issue has just been placed on the agenda for the Oakland City Council on December 4, 2012. The meeting begins at 5:30 pm in the third floor chambers at City Hall. This is agenda item number 14. To date Goldman Sachs has refused to negotiate a termination of the swap without Oakland paying them millions of dollars. If you can come support putting teeth into the city council's July 3 resolution to boycott business with the vampire squid, please do!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The gauntlet has been thrown...

Citywise: Goldman rejects Oakland's demands on swap deal
As election season got into full swing this past summer, Oakland City council members made a splash by threatening to cut ties with Goldman Sachs if the investment bank refused to cancel an investment that will cost the city about $20 million before it expires in 2021.

If the council's bluster was a bluff, Goldman is calling it.

The bank refused Oakland's demand to cancel the interest rate swap at no cost to the city. It's willing to negotiate an early termination to the investment, but it won't terminate at below-market value price for the city, according to a city report.

The issue will go before the City Council's Finance and Management Committee on Tuesday.

Oakland entered into the deal with Goldman to protect itself from potential interest rate spikes on city bonds issued in 1998 to fund police and firefighter pensions. But interest rates have remained low, and the city continues to pay Goldman a fixed interest rate that is much higher than the prevailing rate Goldman pays Oakland.

Unions and citizen groups pushed Oakland and other municipalities to take a tough stand with investment banks over interest rate swap deals. They said banks were profiting from their role in the 2008 financial collapse, which forced the Federal Reserve to slash interest rates and consequently turned the deals dramatically in the banks' favor.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tuesday November 27, 2012, 11 AM City Hall. Remind our City Council that they voted to end the swap without termination fees, and NO MORE BUSINESS with Goldman Sachs!

Please note the link to download the summary of negotiations between the City of Oakland financial bureaucrats and Goldman Sachs, with their recommendations to the city council:  
(Click on "View Supplemental Report.pdf")  

Basically they are looking for a way to keep paying money to GS through promissory notes, and adding that it would be worth the city's while to maintain good relations with GS – The bureaucrats have discussed GS' charitable investments in other places in the US (!) GS does not want to end the swap without Oakland having to pay millions of dollars in a termination penalty. This report will be presented to the City Council's Finance Committee on Tuesday, November 27 in City Hall's Mark Dunakin Room (first floor). The meeting begins at 11 am.

If you can please come and remind the City Council members that they voted unanimously to end the swap agreement with Goldman Sachs without paying any termination fees! And they ALSO voted unanimously to not do ANY more business with Goldman Sachs, if GS refuses to terminate the swap without requiring the termination fee.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Coalition members and others entered the Bond Buyers' Conference, held on October 17, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco. They interrupted Goldman Sachs Vice President Ian Parker as he began his speech. They demanded that Goldman Sachs end the interest rate swap with the city of Oakland without paying millions of dollars in a "termination fee." Meanwhile, coalition members supported a picket line of workers against Hyatt's anti-worker policies, and also spoke out against Goldman Sachs' toxic swap deal with Oakland.