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September 3, 2011 at 8:29 pm ,

Source via Alexander Higgins Blog 

WikiLeaks 07PARIS4109 PAULSON DISCUSSES FINANCIAL MARKETS IRAN WITH SARKOZY

In 2007 top US and France officials knew rampant fraud being committed by regulators, rating agencies and Wall Street Banks would soon cause a global financial collapse.Wall

While investors and nations around the world were happily giving trillions of dollars away to crooked Wall Street bankers top officials in the United States and France knew the market would soon collapse and people would be robbed of millions.

While raising the issue that the role of government regulators and rating agencies needed to be reviewed in the wake of the upcoming crisis, US officials ignored calls from the French government to enact necessary regulation to stop the rampant fraud that would soon result in investors losing tens of trillions of dollars they had invested into the markets.

The cable reveals that while discussing the ability of the French banks to survive the crisis, French President Sarkozy was pushing the US to enact regulations to forestall the crisis. Instead, Henry Paulson responded by telling Sarkozy not to overreacted because the” it would take months, not weeks, for credit to be re-priced” telling France this is “not a major crisis.”

Paulson went on to warn that the major problem was with the German banks and which would require a bailout from the taxpayer while warning that the assets held by banks but covered up from investors by being held off-balance sheet presented systematic risk to banks and to sovereign wealth.

The cable clearly reveals that taxpayer bailouts would be needed.  Paulson further up sticks up for the Wall Street hedge fund saying they were not to blame for the crisis while acknowledging there were major Wall Street transparency issues.

To summarize, the cable reveals that top government officials in France and the US knew Wall street banks were committing fraud in the origination and packaging of sub-prime mortgage and lying to investors about the resulting securities they were creating and selling. Officials knew banks were also lying about their own liabilities and hiding them from investors by keeping the assets off their balance sheets.  The government also knew that both regulators and ratings agencies were participating in the scheme.

Remember as you read this cable, these conversations all took place over a year before the 2008 financial collapse when taxpayers around the world were forced into giving up trillions of dollars for banker bailouts. Also keep in mind that while the cable discusses “systemic risk”, “bailouts” and “market turbulence”, none of these had happened yet. They were discussing what would soon happen in the future.

The discussion of “systemic risk”, “market turbulence” and “taxpayer bailouts” over a year before the markets actually collapsed and those events actually occurred, show they knew a global financial collapse. Not only did they know it would occur but knew what the consequences would be for the investors and the governments who were fleeced by Wall Street. As the cable reveals, Paulson chose to deal with the crisis by letting it continue and urging France to keep the issue underwaps  by  urging Sarkozy not  to “over react”, hence allowing the scandal to the continue which just postponed the inevitable.

Also remember when we were forced into these bailouts, it was  under the guise that our governments had no idea the banks were doing this and this was a sudden and unforeseeable crisis. Finally, remember that – while there have been plenty of accusations from “conspiracy theorists”,  “fringe economists” and “wing nut” politicians such as Ron Paul – there still has been no admission from our government that financial regulators or the ratings agencies played a role in the crisis.

 

PAULSON DISCUSSES FINANCIAL MARKETS, IRAN WITH SARKOZY, LAGARDEPAULSON DISCUSSES FINANCIAL MARKETS, IRAN WITH SARKOZY, LAGARDE

Subject PAULSON DISCUSSES FINANCIAL MARKETS, IRAN WITH SARKOZY, LAGARDE
Origin Embassy Paris (France)
Cable time 2007-10-01 10:46 UTC
Classification CONFIDENTIAL
Source http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/10/07PARIS4109.html
History First published on WES, 30 Sep 2011 01:44 UTC

Viewing cable 07PARIS4109, PAULSON DISCUSSES FINANCIAL MARKETS, IRAN WITH SARKOZY, LAGARDE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07PARIS4109 2007-10-01 10:46 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris

 

VZCZCXRO3134
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHFR #4109/01 2741046
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 011046Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0558
RUEATRS/DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 004109 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958:  DECL:09/18/17
TAGS: EFIN ECON PREL FR
SUBJECT: PAULSON DISCUSSES FINANCIAL MARKETS, IRAN WITH SARKOZY,
LAGARDE 

Classified by EMIN Seth Winnick for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 

1. (C) Summary: In successive meetings Treasury Secretary Hank
Paulson told Minister of Finance Christine Lagarde and President
Nicolas Sarkozy that it was important not to overreact to
financial market turbulence.  Sarkozy asked for U.S. support for
Dominique Strauss-Kahn's candidacy for IMF Managing Director.
Discussions also touched on continued cooperation on Iran,
Sarkozy's reform agenda and China.  End summary. 

2. (C) During a September 17 visit to France, Treasury Secretary
Paulson and accompanying delegation met with Sarkozy and
Lagarde, and lunched with leading representatives of France's
business community.  Sarkozy made a strong push for public U.S.
support for Dominique Strauss-Kahn's candidacy for Managing
Director of the IMF. Calling Strauss-Kahn the "smartest
socialist," Sarkozy said it was important not to encourage
President Putin by entertaining the candidacy Czech Josef
Tosovksy, who has KGB ties. 

3. (C) In response to Secretary Paulson's urging that France's
business and financial sectors reduce exposure to Iran, Sarkozy
said the United States could count on French cooperation in
toughening sanctions.  "There will be no double talk from
France. Stopping the bomb is more important than business
contracts."  But Sarkozy said unilateral legislation under
consideration in the U.S. Congress would be a "disaster" and
make the Iranians "very happy."  Sarkozy's diplomatic advisor
Jean-David Levitte noted that France would look to work, if
necessary, outside the Security Council, notably with EU
partners, on further measures against Iran. 

4. (C) On sub-prime-related market turbulence, Sarkozy said regulation was needed to forestall 
such events and minimize impact on global economic growth. Paulson underscored the importance of 
not over-reacting. It would take months, not weeks, for credit to be re-priced, 
but this was "not a major crisis." Several issues were coming into focus: conduits and other 
off-balance sheet funding vehicles had been a surprise; in the U.S. there was a need to look at mortgage 
origination, as well as the role of regulatory supervision and rating agencies. Asked for his views 
on French banks, Paulson said they had strong balance sheets and were profitable, though they, too, might 
have challenging off-balance 
sheet obligations. Paulson said the German Landesbanken were "the biggest problem," though they presented 
little systemic risk and would be bailed out by the German taxpayer. 

5. (C) Sarkozy asked for views on U.S. exchange rate policy.
Paulson said the United States supported a strong dollar.
Exchange rates ultimately were market-driven and the U.S. would
pursue policies that increased confidence in the U.S. economy.
In an exchange on China, Paulson said the U.S. message to China
was that if it wanted to be a "member of the club," it needed to
adhere to global norms on issues such as Sudan, Iran as well as
market-determined exchange rates.  The real concern was not that
China's economy would pass that of the United States, but that
China would reform too slowly and ultimately run into problems.
Paulson asked Sarkozy to "make a big impact" in China by
carrying a similar message. 

6. (C) In a brief exchange on trade issues, Sarkozy said France
was not afraid of globalization, but would insist on reciprocity
in its foreign relations.  Sarkozy was not shocked that the
United States defended its farmers: "we're doing the same."
Paulson pushed Sarkozy to help "drive Doha to a conclusion."
Sarkozy would "do (his) best," butQould not support a deal that
was not fair to France. 

Lagarde on Economic Reform, China and Financial Markets
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

7. (C) Finance Minister Lagarde sketched out GOF reform
priorities, saying the real focus would be on France's social
programs and associated costs.  Reform of the so-called "special
pension regimes" for certain categories of public workers
(including rail workers) was high on the agenda.  The GOF wanted
to bring such pensions in line with those of other public sector
employees.  Lagarde acknowledged that the issue had brought down
the Juppe government in the mid 1990s, but said the GOF would be
tough on pension reform.  Product market reform - including
changes to distribution and retail sectors - was also in the
offing. 

8. (C) Touching on issues subsequently raised by Sarkozy,
Lagarde said the GOF wanted strong cooperation on Iran.  She
suggested an informal U.S. Treasury - Ministry of Finance "task
force" be created to look at Iran-related banking issues.
Paulson noted that BNP-Paribas had suspended work in Iran, but
that Natixis had become more active.  Beyond the financial 

PARIS 00004109  002 OF 002 

sector, it would be important to look at the role of industrial
companies in Iran, Paulson said.  Although France's exports to
Iran were a small percentage of its overall exports, they
represented 8% of Iran's imports.  French Treasury director
Xavier Musca underscored the importance of the U.S. consulting
with the GOF before engaging directly with French banks on Iran. 

9. (C) Lagarde and Musca worried about China's (as well as the
UAE's) role as financier for Iran, as well as its undermining of
good governance efforts in Africa with easy money.  More
generally, Lagarde said the weakness of the yuan was "hurting
our economies."  The 9/14 informal Ecofin meeting in Porto saw
agreement to add exchange rate issues to the EU - China summit
agenda in November.  Lagarde suggested that Brazil and South
Africa be brought in on the issue.  Paulson said the U.S. was
pushing for reform and financial market opening in China, and
"this would help all investors."  He agreed to raise yuan
exchange rate issue with RSA Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in
the context of the November G-20 finance ministers meeting. 

10. (C) On financial market issues, Lagarde said the large French banks were strong, 
with minimal exposure to asset-backed securities. She was "fairly confident" that the smaller 
banks were also well-positioned. Market transparency and related issues had been discussed in Porto, 
and would be the subject of ongoing consultations within the EU. Paulson said the President's Working Group 
on Financial Markets was looking at similar issues, including conduits and off-balance-sheet items of 
regulated institutions. But it was important to guard against overreaction. In particular Paulson said he sensed 
that Europe was "obsessed" with hedge funds. Though the link to regulated institutions (via bank lending) 
was an important issue, it was hard to blame hedge funds for current market turbulence. Asked about sovereign 
wealth funds, Lagarde saidQ the issue was not as big a deal in France as it was in Germany. 

11. (U) The Paulson delegation has cleared this cable. 

STAPLETON.