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Jörg Kukies
Jörg Kukies

A top Goldman Sachs investment banker is set to become a deputy finance minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new coalition government.

Politicians from across the political spectrum, including Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), immediately criticized the appointment.

Details of the appointment:

  • Jörg Kukies will replace Thomas Steffan as deputy finance minister upon stepping down as the co-head of Goldman Sachs in Germany and Austria.
  • The 50-year-old Kukies is set to take over responsibilities for financial markets and European policies at the Finance Ministry.
  • Kukies is, like Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, a long-time member of the Social Democrats (SPD). He was the head of the party’s youth wing in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate in the early 1990s.

What were the reactions?

CDU budget expert Eckhardt Rehberg told German daily newspaper Passauer Neue Presse that Kukies’ appointment was a “questionable decision.” He added that “it raises the question whether he [Kukies] serves the interest of the federal government or his former industry.”

The deputy leader of the Left Party in the German parliament, Fabio de Masi, wrote on Twitter: “Scholz is copying Trump by making the arsonists the firefighters.” He added: “You may as well just let the bankers write the laws.” His post included a picture of Kukies superimposed on a poster of the Hollywood film “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Armstrong Economics added: It would be very nice if someone simply conducted an investigation to see what perks these people collect after they leave government service. But why should anyone do that? Everyone in Washington and the Department of Justice dream of getting a job at Goldman. Yet the burning question is simple. Is Goldman or its people going just too far? Their “former” people seem to be controlling the world financial system. Why is that so many people come from the same firm? Nobody will investigate because Goldman is simply one of the too big to jail and otherwise known as the Untouchable.

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