Confronting Our ComplicityRead the whole thing here
"Everyone thinks about changing the world, but no one thinks about changing himself."
- Leo Tolstoy
American society, for at least the last few decades, has been immersed in an unbearable tension which is constantly present and hiding just beneath the surface of our daily lives, but is rarely ever featured in mainstream sociopolitical discussions. It is the tension between the decisions we as Americans choose to make every day and the unethical outcomes that result; between our actions and their consequences. Since the end of World War II, America the country has gradually expanded into America the empire through increasing economic and military strength. While the rest of the world lay in ruins, our significant competitive advantage in manufacturing goods allowed us to export our way into economic dominance. Our "Cold War” with the Soviet Union also provided us a great opportunity to intervene in the politics of various countries, either via indirect diplomacy/covert operations or brute military force, and to create a justification for expanding "free-market" capitalism across the globe. It was a systematic endeavor to export our economic and political values to the rest of the world so that, theoretically, everyone could benefit from increased efficiencies and overall wealth. Regardless of what one thinks about the specific policies we implemented during that time, it is undeniable that significant social, political, environmental and economic costs were exacted as a result.
Most people are already familiar with the SEC’s charges of fraud against Goldman Sachs for a deal involving a synthetic credit default obligation and severe conflicts of interest, since it gained so much coverage in the financial press, including the champion of mainstream financial news, CNBC.  There were also some more subtle, yet equally fraudulent practices at other major banks which have occurred during the last year or two. J.P. Morgan was recently investigated by the Department of Justice for manipulating prices in silver markets and potentially defrauding people out of billions of dollars. This investigation was launched after a whistleblower contacted the CFTC with specific details of how the bank used concentrated short positions to push prices down on certain dates and actually told them a specific future data when it would happen, and sure enough it happened exactly as he said (the whistleblower was then involved in a hit-and-run car accident which may or may not have been related).  . J.P. Morgan also settled a $700 million case with the DOJ earlier this year regarding their blatant kickbacks to local officials in Jefferson County, Alabama to be selected as the managing underwriter for bond offerings and complex swap agreements, in which the bank charged the taxpayers higher interest rates to offset the bribes. .
GoldmanSachs666 Message Board
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". 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
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I know Larry wants to expand this site beyond Goldman Sachs as there is plenty of blame to go around so here's a different sort of piece that ventures out further than we normally go.