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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

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What Goldman Sachs Taught Hank Paulson

Hank Paulson worked for Goldman Sachs for more than 30 years. In 2006 he became Treasury Secretary under President George W. Bush. In one of Paulson's speeches as Secretary of the Treasury, according to Wikipedia, he "identified the wide gap between the richest and poorest Americans as an issue on his list of the country's four major long-term economic issues to be addressed." While he was Treasury Secretary, his pronouncements indicated that he had no inkling about the impending financial crisis in subprime mortgages, nor about the lack of adequate regulation of banks nor about the instability of markets. All these became apparent in 2008.

During the financial crisis, Paulson devised a plan to use $700 billion of Treasury money to inject cash into financial institutions which were in danger of becoming insolvent because of the risks they had incurred that led directly to the financial crisis. He used hundreds of billions of Treasury dollars "to help financial firms clean up nonperforming mortgages." Note that he didn't think of injecting money into Main Street to help the average American citizen who also suffered from the results of the credit crisis.

That was the man who introduced us to the the financial crisis but probably made the situation even worse because he created a sense of panic, instability and alarm that may have led to bad decisions for Main Street. So much for the wealth gap that he paid lip service to!

Of course, Goldman Sachs benefited from Paulson's plans to infuse banks with money from the Treasury and also obtained billions more from the bailout of AIG.

Below are two teaching videos from Khan Academy (free) that present another way that Paulson and Geithner could have solved the financial problem. You can look at the other videos that lead up to these videos here.

All the videos are found here


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