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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

Monday, June 14, 2010

Goldman Sachs' Reputation

Goldman Sachs has a reputation all right, not a good one either.

Goldman's Stonewall Is Bad Business
By hiding information from regulators and customers, the bank is hurting its already-damaged reputation.

Goldman Sachs (GS) has always had a reputation for being above the fray, aloof from the concerns of mere mortals. This reputation has served the bank splendidly as it fends off the pleas, hearings, and subpoenas of federal regulators. To the experienced (or simply jaded), it appeared that the 141-year-old Wall Street stalwart is just, well, being Goldman.

This reputation has, unfortunately, served the bank a little too well. There is a point at which Goldman's stubborn refusal to descend from Mount Olympus is no longer just "Goldman being Goldman," but an actual sign of pathology in its operations. The bank has failed to realize that the world has changed, and it has a different, necessarily more accountable role now in the wider financial culture in the United States, which has had the leveling effect of wiping out Goldman's longtime exceptionalism. Rather than appearing aloof, Goldman's refusal to communicate with the rest of society now looks furtive and guilty—a fact easily ascertained by the stock's new dip to a 52-week low on Thursday. The only way for the bank to repair this is by genuinely embracing transparency and accepting the questions of Congress and the public with good faith rather than open contempt.


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Anonymous said...

You think your going to beat the moneyed interests?
Think again...

Money rules our democracy

Alex Gibney talked about the recently released documentary film he wrote and directed, Casino Jack and the United States of Money. It tells the story of Jack Abramoff, who since November 2006, had been in prison after pleading guilty to three felonies with regard to his lobbying efforts for several Indian tribes. He also pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe a member of Congress. Mr. Abramoff was released from prison June 8, 2010.

JR said...

Here's another connection between BP's disaster and Goldman Sachs (in a lighter vein):

Selig Cartwright And Global Warming (a new Goldman Sachs washroom attendant adventure)

Posted by MICHAEL SILVERSTEIN, Wall Street Columnist in At TMV.
Jun 13th, 2010

Mr. B. You’re late this morning. Forget to take your bran flakes with breakfast?

Just too busy to get away sooner, Selig. Following the energy bill before Congress. It’s back on the front burner because of what’s happening in the Gulf of Mexico. But its global warming provisions are being dropped. That could cost us money.

More here:

JR said...

I watched the Alex Gibney video interview and it does make one feel that there will never be adequate change to the power and money that rules Washington.

It will be interesting to watch how "institutionalized corruption" will finally be dealt with.

JR said...

For anyone interested, the July 2010 issue of Harper's Magazine has an article entitled "The Food Bubble" by Frederick Kaufman. It describes the creation of the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index of the 1990's and how GS bet on that derivatives market (again!) to win billions of dollars.

While GS became richer and richer, the real price of wheat was affected and many millions of people went hungry because they could not pay the higher price for basics like wheat.

Oh, yes, there is no doubt that GS "is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity" as Matt Taibbi has said. Here's another area of proof and there are plenty more to explore.

Anonymous said...

Talking about hungry wait til this implodes...

61% Underfunded Illinois Teachers Pension Fund Goes For Broke, Becomes Next AIG-In-Waiting By Selling Billions In CDS

At the end of the day, it appears the fund is doing nothing illegal by essentially offloading front-office duties to Goldman, which of course is happily trading in advance of the fund, to whose books it likely has full exposure, to benefit its own prop trading desk, and reward its own shareholders first and foremost: 63 out of 63 profitable trading days anyone?

The bottom line, experts say, is that there is no language in the Illinois pension code that prohibits pension funds and retirement systems from buying or selling OTC derivatives as an investment method. In the event of catastrophic losses, lawsuits would be filed against the fiduciaries, but ultimately taxpayers would be left holding the bag.

And here we see where the next layer of catastrophic systemic collapse will come from: the multi-trillion pension system, which is now invested in the riskiest imaginable products, and whose existence is contingent on a market and economy, both priced to perfection. The Fed is surely aware of this, and will do everything in its power to prevent a catastrophic collapse. Yet the Fed always loses the battle at the end of the day. And if Americans were angry the last time they had to bail out bankers, just wait until it becomes obvious that these very banks blew up the pensions of tens of millions of Americans only so that the very same banks could enjoy at least one more year of record bonuses. It is not obvious where the next crash will happen. And it is certain that nothing will be done, as facing the problem would mean recognizing the massive losses already facing the pension system. And that would be the dominoes that forces yet another round of inevitable mark-to-market, and bank implosions. The time bomb is now ticking and there are merely seconds left before it goes off. We have been warned, and will do nothing to stop it.

JR said...

June 14, 2010...9:16 am
The Amazing, Versatile and Unethical Goldman Sachs Code of Ethics

Perhaps we all owe Goldman Sachs an apology. Everyone heaped outrage and ridicule the April spectacle of its executives going before the U.S. Senate and asserting under oath that they saw nothing at all unethical about intentionally selling “crappy” investment products to their trusting customers, then making money for their own firm by betting that the products would fail. Many were reminded of the tobacco executives, in the famous AP photo, all raising their hands to swear that they did not believe nicotine was addictive. After all, Goldman Sachs’s own website pledged openness, honesty, trustworthiness and integrity, saying,....

More here:

JR said...

Goldman Sachs' Ethics Reflect Its Ethos

Joan Lappin

Goldman culture rewards hard-nosed aggressiveness and doesn't put the client's interests before those of the firm.

In the age of Wikipedia and everything accessible online, I am a diehard with a big old dictionary. A lot has happened in the world and especially in the world of Wall Street since my Random House Dictionary of the English Language, unabridged edition, was published in 1966, just as I was entering the research training program at Merrill Lynch.

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