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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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

If Only Goldman Sachs Ruled America (With Tongue Pressed Firmly in Cheek)

The following little fantasy could be true if everyone in the United States worked for Goldman Sachs or the financial industry! The story below belongs in league with the fantasy that a former Goldman Sachs guy is now going to be the lobbyist that represents the American People. What! I thought that the elected representatives in the Senate and the House represented the people. Oh I forgot--they are all being paid by corporations to do what the corporations want them to do. What a corrupted system.

Philip Maddocks: Americans hopeful big banks will soon take the country back

By Philip Maddocks

GateHouse News Service - IndeOnline
Posted Dec 27, 2010

Buoyed by reports that, even in difficult economic times, bonuses across all financial services companies are expected to increase 5 percent this year — employees in some businesses will get increases of 15 percent — Americans are expecting they, too, will soon be in line for windfalls of their own of $600,000 or more once the large and profitable investment banks seize control of the nation from the indebted U.S. government.

Two years after the onset of the financial crisis, with the stock market recovering and Wall Street’s moneyed elite breathing easier again, ordinary Americans say they can hardly wait for the trading firms to take over the supervision of the country so average citizens can begin sharing in the spoils.

“It has been a long time since we have had this type of good news,” said Stan Michaels, an out-of-work roofer who was celebrating his expected good fortune with dinner out at the Porter House restaurant across from Central Park in New York.

Mr. Michaels, while motioning a waiter to refill the champagne flutes in front of him, his two sons and Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd C. Blankfein, who was seated two tables over, said, “A lot of us are happy to see that the bonus culture has not only survived the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, but is thriving more than ever. That has to be good news for ordinary Americans everywhere.”

With hopes that a takeover of the country’s financial management by Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and banks like Citigroup could happen any day now, many Americans are expecting their pay to rise substantially in 2011.

Lori Kantorski, a struggling single mother of four from Chicago, said she is anticipating her base salary to increase fifty fold in the coming year, to about $500,000.

“Given the kind of year I have had and what’s going on at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, I don’t think that is out of line,” she said.

After scaling back family excesses as a brutal recession gripped the country, regular Americans, encouraged by the turnaround in the financial sector, are ready to cut loose again.

Drawn from a broad swath of back-office administrative assistants and middle-level managers and laborers, the new class of the Expectedly Entitled, as they have come to be called, say they are facing a once-unthinkable prospect: an annual six-figure bonus.

Alexander Sullivan, who works in customer service at a U-Haul in Phoenix, said he is planning to use his sure-to-come financial windfall to throw a memorable birthday party for his son Sam.

Mr. Sullivan said he is expecting more than 1,000 people to pack into a 6,000-square-foot space at the Good Units nightclub in Manhattan to celebrate his son’s seventh birthday, a substantially larger crowd than in the last several birthday parties for his son.

He said the open bar planned for the occasion is being sponsored by Russian Standard vodka, and Mr. Sullivan said hip-hop star Lil’ Kim will perform at the function while dressed in a black cat costume.

“I would have been afraid to do this two years ago, and that probably goes for Lil’ Kim, too — but not now,” Mr. Sullivan said, with the swagger that has gripped the country thanks to the resurgence of Wall Street.

When it comes to personal indulgences, there are other signs that the wallets of ordinary Americans are beginning to open up because of a newfound confidence that everyday workers are ready to thrive again now that the fortunes of the economy are tied once more to the ebb and flow of the financial markets.

New York dermatologic surgeon Dr. Nancy M. Agoravista says her business is booming as never before with a cliental list that is filled with struggling Americans “ready to put the best face” on the newfound financial success they are certain is coming their way.

Christie’s auction house said average earners who fell out of the bidding market during the credit crisis are “pouring” back in to “put the ordinary back into the extraordinary.”

Real estate agents say Main Street laborers have already begun lining up rentals in the Hamptons for next summer.

“There is a passion now in this market that I haven’t seen in a while,” said Angel InvesterHooven of Prudential Prudent and Wild.

Though most Americans seem to be looking at spending their anticipated millions on extravagant indulgences “to keep the economic engine humming,” a few remain focused on the less pretentious goal of home ownership.

“We’ve all heard the stories of someone showing up in Greenwich to buy a $10 million house and paying cash on the spot,” said Casey Simmons, who manages a deli at a Whole Foods in Washington, D.C. “And if the top executives at the biggest banks continue to play their cards right and set aside hundreds of billions of dollars for bonuses, then I expect that in a few years I will be one of those someones. Why not? That’s the American dream, right?”

You can read the article here


Anonymous said...

Out of Lehman’s Ashes Wall Street Gets Most of What It Wants

A revolving door between government and banking offices contributed to a mind-set that what’s good for Wall Street is good for Main Street.

To make their case, bankers and lobbyists characterized proposed regulations as stifling innovation, competitiveness and economic growth.

Obama, who raised $15 million on Wall Street, promised that his administration would “crack down on the culture of greed and scheming” that he said led to the financial crisis.

Timothy F. Geithner, 49, who had been responsible for overseeing banks including Citigroup while president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, became Treasury secretary and named a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist as his chief of staff. Lawrence H. Summers, 56, who is stepping down as Obama’s National Economic Council director, opposed derivatives regulation and supported the 1999 repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banking, when he served as deputy Treasury secretary and Treasury secretary in President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Anonymous said...


The Objectivity Of The Economics Profession

Economists are fond of presenting themselves as above the fray. They theorize that people are self-interested maximizers. Well, all people but economists. Economists don’t have any vested interest in policy outcomes. They just study economic dynamics and argue for policies that are in the public interest.

Well, that is the story they tell. Perhaps they believe it, perhaps not.

What is true, is that many of our leading economists have significant financial ties to powerful economic interests who are not above the fray and have a real material stake in promoting continued liberalization and deregulation regardless of its effect on the overall economy.

Anonymous said...

2011 Will Bring More De facto Decriminalization of Elite Financial Fraud
Tuesday, 12/28/2010 - 12:28 pm by Bill Black | 3 Comments

What’s coming in 2011? We asked thought leaders to share their perspectives on the biggest challenges for year ahead, along with the changes they’d like to see and the hopes they cherish. Our very own Bill Black takes a hard look at the criminal justice system — and how financial fraudsters are beating it.

The role of the criminal justice system with regard to financial fraud by elite bankers in 2011 is likely to reprise its role last decade — de facto decriminalization. The Galleon investigation of insider trading at hedge funds will take much of the FBI’s and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) focus.

Anonymous said...

It's their thing....and that should be viewed in the criminal sense:

BlackRock Seeks To Become The Same Monopolistic Trade Internalizer For Stocks, As Goldman Is For Derivatives

In what is the latest death knell for the traditional Wall Street non-monopolistic sell-side business, last night we read in the FT, with little surprise, that ETF behemoth (following its purchase of Barclays Global) and arguably the world's largest asset manager, bigger even that Pimco, Blackrock is launching an internal trading platform which will compete with the traditional wall street institutional sales and trading model. In essence, courtesy of its massive internal stock inventory, BlackRock will be able to internalize buyer and seller order flow, allowing for much cheaper transaction costs, and create an open "dark pool" to paying customers, which will soon become the go to marketplace for all. And thanks to the cheap transactions costs, BlackRock will be able to pull even more order flow from traditional trading venues, creating an economy of scale borne out of its increasingly greater monopoly status in stocks. In essence, Wall Street is about to see yet another monopoly power stretch its wings and become the go-to flow trader for equities. And this should work quite well: after all it is none other than Goldman who already cornered the derivatives and fixed income markets, courtesy of the first monopolistic land grab, which just so happens, involved the insolvency of Bear and Lehman.

Joyce said...

Thank you all for the links above. The future doesn't look very promising. Let's hope something changes to make things better.

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