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According to the Collins English Dictionary 10th Edition fraud can be defined as: "deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage".[1] In the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is a common purpose of fraud, but there have also been fraudulent "discoveries", e.g. in science, to gain prestige rather than immediate monetary gain
*As defined in Wikipedia

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Goldman Sachs and Morality

RobertM - one of our Team members and regular contributor to this blog - just posted a story referencing an article in Please scroll down to view RobertM's post and for the link to the Bloomberg story.
The issue of morality is raised.

There is a fine line between morality and unlawfulness. Indeed, we hold many of our public servants, athletes and other celebrities to “higher” moral standards. Violations of the standards we place on them are publicized and often prosecuted in our courts with punishments and jail time handed out. I am sure we can all think of someone where this has applied.
Brian Griffiths, who was a special adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, said yesterday at a panel discussion at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The panel’s discussion topic was,

“What is the place of morality in the marketplace?
But morality is difficult to define. Morality is an individual conviction until it affects others in which case it becomes a very public issue even if those others are in your own household. Basically, I feel morality is simply defined as right is right and wrong is wrong. Most sane people – which I would say are the majority in the world – know what is morally right and morally wrong.
If we hold others to “higher” moral standards should we not then hold our leading, major corporations to “higher” moral standards? Of course we should. Their actions affect and impact the lives of billions of people around the world. Goldman Sachs is onesuch corporation in the world which has a definite impact on its inhabitants.
Can we overlook bad corporate moral behavior by making seemingly insignificant charitable contnributions? Mr. Griffiths seems to think it does.
Griffiths, 67, called on bankers to boost their charitable giving to help improve the financial industry’s reputation following a worldwide crisis.
Read what he says again. He is not suggesting charitable contributions to help the worlds societies, he is suggesting it to boost the reputations of those in the financial industries that brought down the entire world economy and devastated our country and our people. I guess Mr. Griffiths believes that “too big to fail” companies are also “too big to be good moral citizens”. If you are too big to fail then you can obviously lie, steal and cheat your way to success over the bodies of real human beings worldwide.
He also goes on to say,

“To whom much is given much is expected,” he said. “There is a sense that if you make money you are expected to give.”
There is absolutely no question in my mind that what he says is true. When they make money they certainly give it – problem is they give it all to themselves. They are their own Charity.
Almost contradicting himself he goes on to say,

“It was the failed moral compass of bankers which was primarily responsible for why we had this crisis,” he said. “The question is: what can we do in the culture of institutions to make them behave in a more socially responsible way?”
Yes, Mr. Griffiths, it was “failed moral compass of bankers” which was not - as you say -  “primarily responsible for why we had this crisis” – THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE PERIOD.
Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner, (please keep in mind that these quotes are from a meeting in the U.K.) said the following:

“The role of regulation is to bring a concordance between private actions and beneficial results,” Turner, 54, said yesterday.
Now here is the interesting part of his statement and I don't completely share his view,
Central Bankers, lawmakers and regulators share the blame, not traders or their senior executives. 
It seems to me they all worked together. A conspiracy of sorts to transfer as much wealth worldwide as possible. A plan that apparently worked.

Where I strongly agree is that the Central Banks –here in the U.S. we call it The Federal Reserve – was complicit in this crisis. Also complicit for turning a blind eye were our lawmakers – Congress - as well as our regulators – the SEC, Attorney Generals, Federal and State, along with the FTC and other regulatory three letter acronym agencies.

I don’t agree with his vindication of “senior executives and traders, the captains and their crews who built the ships and sailed them.
Central bankers, lawmakers and regulators bear the greatest blame for the seeds of the financial crisis, not traders or their senior executives,..

Turner told U.K. banks last month that they should place “social usefulness” above profit. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the leader of the Anglican Church, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, have previously warned against banks returning to “business as usual” amid concerns that momentum for policy changes in the wake of the financial crisis will subside.
Social Usefulness: More money for more parties and lavish lifestyles for banksters.

As to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Archbishop of Canterbury's warnings against banks returning to “business as usual” - I got news for you Mr. Prime Minister and your Eminence  Archbishop - the banks have never departed from “business as usual”. The only difference is we gave them billions of dollars to continue their “business as usual”.

Goldman Sachs is the global leader of social interference, selfish indulgance and lack of moral conviction and standards. They care not who they harm to earn incomes based on no social or economic benefits to anyone. They manufacture nothing, they produce nothing they contribute nothing to society.

They subscribe to the quote of Meyer Rothschild - the creator of the Central Banking System - who said:
"Let me control the money of a nation and I care not who makes its' laws"

Morality or crimes against the people? You decide.


Anonymous said...

Think people are starting to get fed up? The title of this article suggests yes.

Bring back the guillotine for Goldman Sachs & Co!

Here in America, the corporate class is now entirely out of control, lawless and beyond the sanction of prosecutor, juror or ballot box. If corporate lawbreakers felt that somewhere along the line the retribution of the guillotine might await them, it would concentrate their minds marvellously, and cow them into lawfulness.

Left and liberal commentators have talked yearningly about a new populist fever raging in the American body politic, prompted by the spectacle of bailouts for bankers but foreclosures and the dole for everyone else.

I can't say there's much sign of populism in any energetic form. Look at movies from the 1930s like Capra's Mr Deeds Goes to Town and there's a real edge to the anger of that time Capra felt it artistically important to convey. These days the anger is formulaic.

Over the weekend the left opinion makers at the New York Times - Bob Herbert and Frank Rich - chewed out Goldman Sachs. Growled Herbert: "Even as tens of millions of working Americans are struggling to hang onto their jobs and keep a roof over their families' heads, the wise guys on Wall Street are licking their fat-cat chops over yet another round of obscene multibillion-dollar bonuses - this time thanks to the bailout billions that were sent their way by Uncle Sam, with very little in the way of strings attached."

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