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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

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffett

Some of the shine on Mr. Buffett has dulled somewhat (just as Goldman Sachs remains a tarnished image) after he wrote the letter published in the New York Times. The contents sounded like a joke on first reading. The people who caused the crisis, either directly or indirectly, were given the job of correcting what they had done to contribute to the financial meltdown. Uncle Sam is a myth, a fantasy that doesn't exist so your letter means nothing. Perhaps you are in your dotage.

Goldman Sachs Investor Buffett Thanks "Uncle Sam" for Bailout
Michael Collins - Flesh & Stone

Michael Collins replies to Warren Buffett's condescending thank you letter to "Uncle Sam."

The peoples' oligarch Warren Buffett just wrote a thank you letter to "Uncle Sam" published in the New York Times. It is the height of cynicism. (Image)

Buffett has a carefully crafted public image as a brilliant but people-friendly master of investments. We hear about his regular table at an Omaha diner where he conducts business (just plain Warren) and we see his occasional public stands for reasonable policies like the inheritance tax.

He claims that "Uncle Sam," the government, saved us from a financial catastrophe that would have swallowed up his company. He then endorses the notion that the housing bubble was based on "mass delusion" - meaning it was our fault. But he forgets to mention that he took advantage of the 2008 crisis to purchase a $5 billion interest in Goldman Sachs. And he forgets whose money "Uncle Sam" stole from the Treasury to save him and the rest of his cronies. What a hypocrite.

"Uncle Sam" isn't the government. The "government" is the perpetually bought and paid for chief executive, Congress, and judiciary that Buffett and his pals manipulate at will. "Uncle Sam" was never going to do anything different than what it did -- bail out Wall Street and the ultra rich with our money. Buffett is really thanking himself and the other few who own Uncle Sam. He knows better. Thus, his letter is the ultimate expression of profound contempt for the people.

Would the economy have crashed? Again, more cynicism. The big banks and Wall Street grafters would have taken a dive. But the nation would have survived, without a continuation of the same scams in place to do more damage in the future.

If Buffett is really grateful for the assistance of Uncle Sam, he'll return very single penny of profit he made off of the sweet Goldman Sachs deal (70% profit) due to a national crisis. Accepting Mr. Buffett's incorrect assumption that we were about to go down for the count, keeping profits gained due solely to that crisis belies the gratitude he expresses to his uncle.

The people's oligarch just spat on the people and thinks no one will get it. Quite the contrary, Mr. Buffett. You are no different than Goldman Sachs and the other exploiters funded by the hard work of everyone other than those who reap the benefits of that work.

Thank you for exposing yourself as the last idol with clay feet, the ultimate in cynical contempt for the people who continue to struggle in a system that you glorify.

Read the article here


Anonymous said...


Wallets Out, Wall St. Dares to Indulge

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Tasini writes: “I have a new book out today: It’s Not Raining, We’re Getting Peed On: The Scam of the Deficit Crisis.”

Hands up! This is a stick-up. I want your retirement, your healthcare, and I want YOU to pay even MORE to pay for the roads, schoolsand air you breathe.Oh, and by the way, this is the second time you’re being robbed. Bigtime. The first robbery cost you and me, and every American who is notin the top one percent of the wealthiest in the country, trillions of dollarsin wealth. The second heist will probably cost you and me at least that—and more.

Anonymous said...

Rubin did play a central role: he was the most active and effectiveperson uniting the political elite with the economic interests of WallStreet. He is, put simply, a fixer: a guy dressed up in a three-piece suitand a gift for the ability to glide in and out of the circle of Democrats and Republicans, and shuttle back and forth between Washington and Wall Street, with ease.Rubin was front and center in the drive to tear down the wall between commercial and investment banks—a wall that had existed since the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act and had been erected precisely to prevent the kind of speculation that had ripped through the heart of the economy in the 1920s, triggering the collapse of the stock market and ushering in the Great Depression.The breaking down of that wall, thanks to Rubin, was a principle reason for our current economic mess. Of course, Rubin has never taken responsibility for sowing the seeds of the economic crisis by pushing to repeal Glass-Steagall.But, let’s stick close to our topic here. He has been right there in the trenches flogging the notion that the nation needs to practice “fiscal responsibility” and get rid of deficits—even as he was pushing the idea of debt and leverage to boost profits at Citibank, where he served as vice-chairman.“Fiscal responsibility” did not apply to him—as Citibank cratered because of a torrent of derivatives trash and a mountain of debt, Rubin neither took responsibility—he publicly denied it was his fault, nor did he suffer for it in his paycheck—he pocketed tens of millions of dollars in pay and benefits.

Like Peterson, Rubin is a hypocrite: he made himself stupendously wealthy on DEBT—but now he wants
to tighten the belt and pay for his screw-ups because debt is bad.

Anonymous said...

Bankers Rigging Municipal Contract Bids Admit to Cover-Up Lies

In rooms in Manhattan federal court, the Justice Department is having more success establishing that many of the same banks fleeced taxpayers by investing, at below-market rates, some of the $400 billion of bond proceeds raised each year. Details of the scope and depth of this nationwide financial conspiracy are coming to light almost without notice, as one defendant after another appears to face justice.

It was see no evil and hear no evil by everybody involved,” he says. “It was a conspiracy of silence.”

“That money, instead of going to citizens, goes to Wall Street banks,” he says.

Some of the top derivatives traders at the world’s largest banks stood to gain because their bonuses grew larger as they won more bids.

Hiding Kickbacks

Derivatives are financial contracts used to hedge risks or for speculation. They’re derived from stocks, bonds, loans, currencies and commodities, or linked to specific events such as changes in the weather or interest rates.

Joyce said...

The four Anonymous comments above pretty well size up the dismal condition of the United States economy and the reasons for the financial meltdown.

Jonathan, I posted your book on the blog and what you say is eminently readable and easily understood.

I agree about Rubin--an especially pernicious individual.

Thanks all.

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