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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

Sunday, April 10, 2011

More About Goldman Sachs in Cohan's Book

One thing is for certain: it cannot be said too many times what an egregious firm Goldman Sachs is. Whether it pretends to be the smartest guys on Wall Street or the dumbest guys in finance, they did things that were (and are) basically unethical, immoral and/or illegal. Sure, the executives and players at Goldman Sachs would like the rest of us to forget what they really did during the run-up to the financial crisis and afterwards; it was only by luck (and by government intervention) that they did not bankrupt themselves. They certainly helped to bring down some of their competitors.

It would seem to me that because Goldman Sachs was underwriting sub-prime mortgages and securitizing them, they would only have to look at their own junk creations to see that there was going to be a risk of failure of mortgages in the future.

We should never forget the role Goldman Sachs played in manipulating and bringing down the financial system, and in infiltrating the government in order to bring about its basest desires.

The following excerpt of Cohan's book is from The Telegraph:

Goldman Sachs chief Blankfein was 'stunned' by SEC lawsuit: extract from Money and Power

A new book by William D. Cohan exposes the startling truth about Goldman Sachs. In this extract, CEO Lloyd Blankfein reacts to the filing of an SEC lawsuit against the firm and a Senate investigation into what role it played in causing the financial crisis.
in The Telegraph

Wall Street has always been a dangerous place. Firms have been going in and out of business ever since speculators first gathered under a buttonwood tree near the southern tip of Manhattan in the late 18th century.

Despite the ongoing risks, during great swaths of its mostly charmed 142 years, Goldman Sachs has been both envied and feared for having the best talent, the best clients and the best political connections, and for its ability to alchemise them into extreme profitability and market prowess.

Indeed, of the many ongoing mysteries about Goldman, one is just how it makes so much money, year in and year out, in good times and in bad, all the while revealing as little as possible to the outside world about how it does it.

Another – equally confounding – mystery is the firm's steadfast, zealous belief in its ability to manage its multitude of internal and external conflicts better than any other beings on the planet.

The combination of these two genetic strains has made Goldman the envy of its financial services brethren. But it is also something else altogether: a symbol of immutable global power and unparalleled connections, which Goldman is shameless in exploiting for its own benefit.

The firm has been described as everything from "a cunning cat that always lands on its feet" to, now famously, "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity", by Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi. But in the early 21st century, thanks to the fallout from Goldman's very success, the firm is looking increasingly vulnerable. For the first time since 1932, when Sidney Weinberg, then Goldman's senior partner, knew that he could quickly reach his friend, President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the firm no longer appears to have sympathetic high-level relationships in Washington.

Goldman's friends in high places, so crucial to the firm's extraordinary success, are abandoning it. Indeed, in today's charged political climate, which is polarised along socio-economic lines, Goldman seems particularly isolated and demonised.

Certainly, Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman's chairman and CEO, has no friend in President Barack Obama. According to Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter's book The Promise, the "angriest" Obama got during his first year in office was when he heard Blankfein justify the firm's $16.2bn (£10bn) of bonuses in 2009 by claiming "Goldman was never in danger of collapse" during the financial crisis that began in 2007.

According to Alter, President Obama told a friend that Blankfein's statement was "flatly untrue" and added for good measure: "These guys want to be paid like rock stars when all they're doing is lip-synching capitalism."

Read the full extract here

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Bloomberg has a videotaped interview of Cohan here


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