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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

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Goldman Sachs's View of America

What happens to an economy which is unduly influenced by Wall Street bankers, especially Goldman Sachs? Goldman Sachs has strategically placed its people in all levels of the government--in advisory, regulatory, lobbying and executive positions--so that every aspect of the financial system can be changed, lobbied or channeled where Goldman Sachs would like it to go.

Jonathan Tasini of The Huffington Post compares two visions of American society below:

Richard Trumka v. Goldman Sachs: Different Visions of America
by Jonathan Tasini - The Huffington Post

You can't find a better contrast between the vision for our country than those offered by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Goldman Sachs. One vision sees America as the land of equality and fairness. The other vision sees an America where greed is good.

Here is some of what Trumka will say today at the National Press Club as a way to frame the challenges before the country in the run-up to the president's State of the Union address:

"What kind of country are we? A country of isolated individuals fending for themselves or a country with shared values and a shared vision? A country with scant resources, fading glory and no choices? Or a blessed nation with the potential to do right by its people and be a leader in the world?...In this topsy-turvy world, the same leaders who fought so valiantly to cut taxes for the wealthy turn right around and lecture us about the imminent bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare. ... When we are reduced to competing to cut spending instead of deciding how to compete in the world economy and secure our future, then we are having the wrong conversation."

Looking ahead to the 2012 election, he says:

"We have just been through one lost decade -- when America's standard of living fell, when our wealth shrank, when millions lost their homes, when young people could not find work. America cannot afford another lost decade. ... Last year's election was fundamentally about jobs, and I believe the 2012 election will be fundamentally about jobs. America wants to work. People who live in Wonderland may not have noticed, but there is a lot of work to be done here."

It is good to see a leader who understands that the phoniness of the bi-partisan obsession of the phony deficit and debt "crisis" are leading to the wrong conversation.

Now, let's look at the Goldman Sachs vision:

Goldman Sachs executives have long been among the most richly paid on Wall Street in the best of times. They are now poised to reap a windfall that was sown in the dark days of the financial crisis in 2008.


The documents illustrate just how much wealth the partnership owns and has cashed out over the years. Goldman has almost 860 current and former partners, the documents show. In the last 12 years, they have cashed out more than $20 billion in Goldman shares and currently hold more than $10 billion in Goldman stock.

Equality? No.

In addition to the cumulative stock sales and stock ownership, the filings show an inner circle that is chiefly male -- 87 percent of the current partners are men -- and shed light on how much each partner has cashed out over the years.[emphasis added]

While a lot of the animus towards Goldman Sachs -- and its competitors in the financial industry -- has focused, understandably, on the financial meltdown, I have pointed out a bigger issue -- and the reason that I believe the financial "reforms" did not go far enough:

Even back in "the good 'ole" days of Wall Street -- before the 2008 collapse -- we, the people, suffered from the Goldman Sachs ethos. Wall Street has been the financial engine behind the unwinding of the American Dream. It financed leveraged buyouts and corporate takeovers based heavily on debt -- which resulted in the shedding of millions of good-paying jobs and will continue to create the same sick dynamic in the financial system whereby the "health of a company" is measured by its stock price, not by how well the workers are doing.

And, so, it is Trumka, and the labor movement's general vision, not Goldman Sachs, that offers the road map to a decent society. As I have mentioned before, a number of us are working on creating a Job Party to press for a call for an emergency action to create 15 million jobs. Join us -- and let's change the conversation.

Read the article here


Anonymous said...

Substitute financial for industrial...

The real collapse of our currency began when it became evident that certain industrial circles were more powerful than the government." …

Adam Fergusson's "When Money Dies"

Anonymous said...

Kind of hits the nail right on the proverbial head.

William K. Black

Assoc. Professor, Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City; Sr. regulator during S&L debacle
Posted: January 19, 2011 11:13 AM

'An Economic Philosophy That Has Completely Failed'

Rubin and Summers were Clinton's offensive coordinators. They planned and implemented the Republican game plan on finance. Rubin and Summers were good choices for this role because they were, and remain, reflexively anti-regulatory. They led the deregulation and attack on supervision that began to create the criminogenic environment that produced the financial crisis.

The zeal, crude threats, and arrogance they displayed in leading the attacks on SEC Chair Levitt and CFTC Chair Born's efforts to adopt regulations that would have reduced the risks of fraud and financial crises were exceptional. Just one problem -- they were wrong and Levitt and Born were right. Rubin and Summers weren't slightly wrong; they put us on the path to the Great Recession. Obama knows that Clinton's brilliant political strategy, stealing the Republican play book, was a disaster for the nation, but he has picked politics over substance.

dante said...

The Gilded Age was an era following the Civil War that saw rapid growth and relatively low inflation, even compared with the post-WWII period. But it was also a period when large railroads and banks basically ran the country unchecked. Today large banks are in explicit control of Congress and the White House, and the individual American seems helpless to push back. And Democrats and Republicans alike today look to big business for financial sponsorship. The Robber Barons of the 21st Century are the managers of large banks and of the various government sponsored-agencies, and their corrupt political enablers in Washington.

“These banks again have unfettered access to the very top of the political decision making in the United States,” says MIT professor Simon Johnson, “and reflects the fact their status is completely undiminished, despite all the mistakes they made and all the damage they did to the rest of the economy."

Joyce said...

The above two links are worth reading. I don't agree with all of the RC Whalen piece as he conflates New Deal and fascism. Better to use descriptive words that fit than try to fit old stuff into new bottles.

Anonymous said...

sue the fed

Our Mission Statement
Our Mission is to lead, organize, fund and manage an ongoing series of class action lawsuits directed against the Federal Reserve System (“FRS”), a PRIVATELY OWNED, FOR-PROFIT central bank, and its Officers, Directors, Owners, Agents, and Primary Member Banks and all Controlling Persons in those organizations who have damaged America's economy and its citizens through the perpetration and promotion of the fatally flawed banking and monetary system in the United States.

Anonymous said...

The Fed Works… for Chinese Workers

Fisher is just the latest Fed official to applaud this trend. Here’s the backstory. In the 1970s, there was a lot of inflation. The oligarchs of the time didn’t like this, because it made their portfolios worth less money. So they decided they would clamp down on inflation by no longer allowing wage increases. To get the goods they needed without a high wage work force, they would ship in everything they needed from East Asia and Mexico. The strategy worked. Inflation collapsed. Wages stopped going up. There were no more strikes. Unemployment jumped

This is a systemic problem, and it requires a systemic answer. Right now, China makes our goods, the Chinese workers get our jobs, and American workers get pay cuts. But, the Chinese also lend us our own money back to us, which we then give to JP Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman, and Bank of America so they can speculate with. Pretty soon, China will have our entire industrial base, and we will be left with the socially destructive financial oligarchs that Charles Ferguson described in Inside Job.

Anonymous said...


I don't agree with everything Whalen says either but there is a chapter in his book Inflated called...The Rise of the Central Bank...that every voting American should read...if you can connect dots...then you would want to end the fed, and would clawback every cent TARP created for the Bernanke/Paulson/Geithner/Rubin associated interests!

And we were warned from the start!
Pujo Committee....

Despite the fact that lead attorney Samuel Untermeyer had predetermined that no money trust would be found as part of the
Investigation because “There is no agreement existing among these men that is in violation of the law” [1] and despite of the refusal of aid by the Comptroller of the Currency, the failure of the Senate pass the bill to amend section 5241 of the Revised Statutes and the lack of any authoritative decision by the courts sustaining it's ( the committee)
right to access the books of the national banks the Pujo Committee
Report concluded in 1913 that a community of influential financial leaders had gained control of major manufacturing, transportation,
mining, telecommunications and financial markets of the United States. The report revealed that no less than eighteen different major financial corporations were under control of a cartel lead by J.P Morgan, George F Baker and James Stillman. These three men, through
the resources of seven banks and trust companies (Banker’s Trust Co.,
Guaranty Trust Co., Astor Trust Co., National Bank of Commerce, Liberty National Bank, Chase National Bank, Farmer’s Loan and Trust
Co.) controlled an estimated $2.1 billion. The report revealed that a
handful of men held manipulative control of the New York Stock
Exchange and attempted to evade interstate trade laws.

The Pujo Committee found that a cabal of financial leaders were abusing their public trust to consolidate control over many

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