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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

Friday, January 28, 2011

Goldman Sachs Contributed Vastly to The Financial Meltdown

The headline of the excerpt below says it all: Goldman Sachs is very much responsible for the size and length of the financial disaster that came to a head in 2008. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report is a very large book-length document but one that is not difficult to read. In Chapter 8 entitled "The CDO Machine" a small section is devoted to Goldman Sachs beginning on page 142. It is worth reading but really doesn't tell us any more than what we have already been reading and writing about. Here's the excerpt:


Henry Paulson, the CEO of Goldman Sachs from 1999 until he became secretary of

the Treasury in 2006, testified to the FCIC that by the time he became secretary many

bad loans already had been issued—“most of the toothpaste was out of the tube”—

and that “there really wasn’t the proper regulatory apparatus to deal with it.”96 Paulson

provided examples: “Subprime mortgages went from accounting for 5 percent of

total mortgages in 1994 to 20 percent by 2006. . . . Securitization separated originators

from the risk of the products they originated.” The result, Paulson observed,

was a housing bubble that eventually burst in far more spectacular fashion than

most previous bubbles.”97

The full FCIC report can be found here

The Parker/Spitzer program on CNN on Thursday, January 27, 2011 discusses the report.

You can see the video here

It is important to add some information about the creation of the FCIC which added to its weakness as a form of inquiry. Thank you for the comment left by Anonymous. See Barry Ritholtz (The Big Picture) discussion on Weill's column found here.


Anonymous said...

The money used to cover up their losses could have been helping these people! As an entity goldman is garbage.

The suburban sunbelt is the scene of terrible poverty

When property prices began to drop, the effects on the area were particularly pernicious. Those in the building or tourism trades, as well as retirees living off their investments—a huge share of the population—quickly felt the pinch. Unemployment soared, from 3.1% on average in 2006 to 13.4% in January of last year (it is 12.3% now). It would be higher still had some not moved away, causing the population of the county, like the state, to fall for the first time in living memory in 2008.

That has left people like Ken struggling to keep body and soul together. He describes how he gave up his cooking job to look after his ailing mother in 2007. When he started to look for work again a few months later, he could find only a part-time job, which soon evaporated. He had no savings, so could no longer afford to rent. He wound up in a tent in a camp for the homeless called Pinellas Hope, which was set up by the Catholic church in the town of Clearwater, 50 miles up the coast from Sarasota. He is relatively lucky: Steve Barton, a carpenter from Ohio, is one of several hundred living in the woods outside Venice, 20 miles south of Sarasota. He has been out of work for over two years, so is no longer eligible for unemployment payments. He lives entirely off charity.

In addition to the cooks, chambermaids and construction workers who hit the skids soon after the recession began, many former professionals have now exhausted their savings and are beginning to fall back on local charities. Angie Sammann, a former loan officer at a bank, is another of the tent-dwellers at Pinellas Hope. She tells the story of how she lost her job due to illness, then her apartment, then part-time work in a deli, then the room she was renting and finally the possessions she had put in storage. She got a month’s work from the Census Bureau last year, but otherwise has not seen a pay cheque for over a year. “I don’t care if I scrub toilets,” she says, “I just want a job.”

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