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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

Monday, January 10, 2011

Is Goldman Sachs subversive?

I haven't posted much lately and I think I should explain (just in case somebody cares). I've become frustrated with the utter stupidity and ignorance shown by the media and politicians when it comes to how the economy actually works. The public can't really be blamed because it's not their job to understand this stuff and it's clear now that there is little difference between whichever party gets elected. Both parties have it ALL wrong. Either that or they do know & they have some ulterior motive as I suspect (not very patriotic of them, is it?).

The last few months I've been busy trying to ignore the minutia of the daily media and look at the big picture. I was listening to this interview with 4 conservatives talking about how the economy works and questioning whether these politicians and policy makers are actually subversives (!).

Imagine my surprise when our good friends Goldman Sachs is mentioned by Mike Norman who says that Goldman understands that "government deficits add to savings"(around 24 minutes into the interview).

So the big question is: Why doesn't Goldman Sachs come out and publicly state that this austerity and budget cutting stuff is not only a bunch of nonsense but the absolutely wrong thing to do to the economy? Are they part of the "subversives" mentioned in the interview?

The people in this interview are:
  • Host George Jarkesy
  • Prof. Randall Wray, author of "Understanding Modern Money"
  • Mike Norman of the Mike Norman radio show
  • Warren Mosler, author of "The 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy".

A pdf outline of the 7 deadly frauds can be found here.



Alessandro Machi said...

typo alert, this is how I believe "ignoranc"e is spelled. (or is that spelt?)

I did not understand the quote you highlighted... "government deficits add to savings"....

Does that statement mean because the government pays interest charges on their deficit that wall street companies like Goldman Sachs benefit?

Alessandro Machi said...

You Barack Obama link does not work.

Anonymous said...

It does not look like the SEC works all that great, either....

SEC probing official in Citigroup settlement: report

(Reuters) - The Securities and Exchange Commission's internal watchdog is reviewing an allegation that Robert Khuzami, the agency's top enforcement official, gave preferential treatment to Citigroup Inc executives in the agency's $75 million settlement with the firm, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

RobertM said...

re: typo alert

Thanks. I'm lysdexic :)

RobertM said...

re: "government deficits add to savings"

Think of it this way- there are 2 entities: government & non-government. When the government 'spends', that money goes to the non-government side. They can either spend it or save it. Either way, the money stays in private hands (it is 'saved' in either a checking or savings account) until/unless it is taxed away. Thus "government spending equals private savings" the dollar. Check out the pdf. It'll likely blow your mind.

Joyce said...

I presume that this economic idea works because the US controls the dollar reserves. It can change that decimal point to create any amount of money it wishes. Other countries do not have that luxury.

Right now the money seems to be staying in the banks' accounts (in the trillions) and not being spent. And these same banks supposedly had billions of dollars in toxic assets which the Feds bought in and around 2008. These matters are not discussed and neither are the huge pay checks and bonuses that banks and some corporations are getting even in spite of a recession for the rest of the people. The average smuck has had stagnant pay and wages for decades and some people have unwisely used the equity in their homes to maintain their lifestyles. I guess I do not understand an economic concept that leaves out some of the problems facing the people.

There is also the problem of the structural inequality of wealth where the top 1% have 90% of the wealth and the bottom 90% have the rest. There is still something wrong that these economists do not even touch on.

Joyce said...

I have to say, that, of course, Goldman Sachs understands that government deficits equal savings--Goldman Sachs has been able to earn billions by borrowing from the Fed's discount window and using that money to invest and make billions more for their coffers. How wonderful that is for them!

roger erickson said...

Allessandro, Joyce,
Just read the link given.

For currency users, including you & me, the monopoly currency issuer (US Treasury) has to create some currency by public spending, then leave some of it our hands by keeping taxes low enough to not recover all currency spent out.
That's how post gold-std currencies work.

This works for any country that has sovereign control over it's own currency, not just the USA. And by sovereign, I mean
* not convertible upon demand to any commodity
(i.e., fiat, linked only to public initiative)
* Fx floats, not pegged to anyone else's currency
* no public borrowing denominated in other currencies

Most countries of the world qualify, the euro countries do not.

ps: GoldmanSachs has a fiduciary duty to leverage the rate at which these lessons propagate through the public. Fools & their $ are soon parted, by essentially cruel people not interested in being teachers. That approach weakens communities to the extent it goes too far, & strengthens communities to the extent it foster competitive pressure to learn. As with all activities, GS, communities & individuals all have to stay within muliple tolerance limits simultaneously. Is GS going too far? You decide, and then do something about it.

Anonymous said...


The wetikonomy’s fiat-currency is not backed by real value, but rather is a system in which, as if by magic, money is created out of thin air. Having fallen through the rabbit hole, we now live in a world where money materializes simply by decree (fiat) of an elite cabal of Big Wetikos who can exchange the tokens of value they have conjured up for the time and natural resources of everyone else. The wetiko-economy is basically a legitimized counterfeiting operation.

RobertM said...

Joyce said:"These matters are not discussed and neither are the huge pay checks and bonuses that banks and some corporations are getting even in spite of a recession for the rest of the people."

No, they are not but they should be. When we have, as Ratigan calls it, corporate communism as the status quo then we will have an imbalance in the distribution of money that extracts money from the middle class upwards until the entire system crashes. I've said it many times that 'concentrated wealth destroys democracies' and that is exactly the path we are headed down.

How the government spends the money it creates and how much the government takes back is just as important. To whom that money goes is part of my argument. The government needs to spend money where it will do the most good. The same goes for taxes. Obama's middle class tax cut doesn't go far enough. The MMTer's argument is that there should be a payroll tax holiday- zero fed taxes for the middle class and a government employer-of-last-resort program to end unemployment.

I would argue that this doesn't take into account that the taxes on the rich should go up....way up. The only way they should be able to avoid that tax is through reinvestment into their companies or production, not simply the extraction process they currently have.

Two articles you might enjoy are:
Extreme Inequality Helped Cause Both the Great Depression and the Current Economic Crisis


Why America Had A 90% Income Tax

RobertM said...

re:"Goldman Sachs understands"

They are extractors and I would argue they serve no useful purpose in our society. Take a look at the vast number of crimes being committed by banks and "investment" firms...all unpunished due to their control of the media and government.

Here's 3 articles from Bill Black on how bad it's become.

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