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Monday, November 21, 2011

In 1997 Goldman Sachs was to underwrite pollution control bonds-refinancing for ASARCO

In late October of 1997, before Asarco was caught by the EPA and the Federal Department of Justice for running an unpermitted and illegal multi-state hazardous waste disposal operation-for-money, Asarco began plans to redeem some of its tax-exempt bonds for refinancing (see ).  The Bonds included Pollution-control revenue refunding bonds in Arizona, Texas and Montana.   Goldman Sachs was going to act "as underwriter of the new bonds":

The issues to be called are the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Gila, Arizona, Pollution Control Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 1985 and 1987, 8.90% due July 1, 2006; the Nueces River Authority, Texas, 7 3/8% Environmental Improvement Revenue Bonds, Series 1976-A and 1976-B, due June 1, 2006; and the Lewis and Clark County, Montana 6 3/4% Pollution Control Revenue Bonds, 1976 Series, due December 1, 2006....The aggregate principal amount of bonds the Company plans to call is $133.4 million. The Company has recorded a pre-tax charge in the third quarter of 1997 of $3.9 million in connection with the refinancing, which is expected to reduce the Company's annual interest costs by approximately $3.0 million. Goldman Sachs will act as underwriter of the new bonds to be issued in the refinancing."

By 1998 Asarco was secretly caught by EPA and DOJ running the sham-recyling scheme and 'paid millions on the condition that the details would never become public." (quote from Rep. Reyes)  When the Asarco bankruptcy began in 2005, Harbinger (Hedge Fund) was one of the primary debt-holders.   The company was cleared of any liability from its illicit actions between 1991-1998; the debts of decades of pollution paid off on pennies on the dollar; and, the lucrative parts of the company saved.  All creditors were paid off.

In 2010 Goldman Sachs suddenly (see Bloomberg reports ) planned:

 "to pull its entire investment [120 million $] from Harbinger Capital’s flagship fund, for two reasons. 1) The returns weren’t very good and 2) Falcone “borrowed” $113 million from one of his firm’s smaller funds (where redemptions had been suspended) in order to pay personal taxes."

In a strange quirk of rumor, fast-forward to November 2011, a newsletter ( claims that Goldman Sachs is positioned today to gain from the current European banking crisis:

"Incidentally, is it really that surprising that Goldman is now doing its best to precipitate a bank run of Europe’s major financial institutions by "suddenly" exposing the truth that was there all along? During the great financial crisis of 2008, the one biggest winner from the collapse of Bear and Lehman was none other than the squid. This time around, Goldman has set its sights on Europe and has already made sure that its tentacles will be in firmly in control at all the right places when the collapse comes, as the Independent shows."

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