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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, June 30, 2011

Goldman Sachs's New Guy: Darrell Issa

Many people have said that the American political system is broken and that money seems to be its guiding principle. Let's examine a small part of Representative Darrell Issa's life as the Oversight Committee Chairman. He is a multi-millionaire who claims to represent the views of ordinary Americans.

He initiated an investigation into the SEC's suit against Goldman Sachs in 2010 which only served to deflect attention away from Goldman Sachs's fraud. While he was busy doing that he further enriched himself by buying substantial amounts of Goldman Sachs bonds.

My questions are:

How can a millionaire adequately represent the average middle class or working class American?

How can a Representative not be beholden to the welfare of Goldman Sachs when he holds a large amount of GS bonds in his portfolio and he wants them to make money for him?

Why would anyone who is not a millionaire himself want the likes of Darrell Issa as their man in Washington?

There is a bad smell here which means trouble for good and fair politics.

Darrell Issa's fishy dealings should (but won't) be investigated by his own House committee
By Meteor Blades for Daily Kos

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), one of the richest members of Congress and the chairman of the House Oversight Committee who promised a hearing a day after the November 2010 elections, has always been slimy little creature who refuses to accept responsibility for his own misbehavior, everything from car theft to lying about his military history.

If irony hadn't been nearly obliterated in the past decade, much might have been made about his becoming head honcho of the committee once chaired by bulldog Democrat Henry Waxman. However, ThinkProgress may have resuscitated it with its look into financial records that show Issa was adding $600,000 to his multi-million-dollar investment in Goldman-Sachs at the same time last year that he was initiating an investigation of a Securities and Exchange lawsuit into alleged fraud at the financial giant.

"The events of the past five days have fueled legitimate suspicion on the part of the American people that the Commission has attempted to assist the White House, the Democratic Party, and Congressional Democrats by timing this suit to coincide with the Senate's consideration of financial regulatory legislation," Issa says [in April 2010].

Issa's staff tells CBS News that they currently have no hard evidence that the SEC violated federal law by colluding with the White House. But they argue the timeline and the circumstances are fishy, and they point to two things in particular: the announcement of the fraud suit the week before Democrats planned to bring their financial reform bill to the Senate floor, and the amazing speed with which Organizing for America managed to purchase a Google ad directing people who typed "Goldman Sachs SEC" on Google to donate money at once the news broke on the New York Times website.

Issa generated big headlines with this move. The SEC inspector general later concluded the commission had not let politics influence its decision to launch the fraud lawsuit, which Goldman settled out of court. The massive two-years-in-the-making final assessment of the financial crisis found, in the words of Sen. Carl Levin, that "Goldman clearly misled their clients and they misled the Congress.”

Issa never took any heat for that. The question is whether he will now. As ThinkProgress discovered:

According to documents filed recently with the House Clerk, Issa went on a buying spree of high yield Goldman Sachs bonds at the same time he was running defense for the investment bank in Congress. From February to December of 2010, Issa bought 12 Goldman Sachs High Yield Fund Class A bonds, each worth up to $50,000 (view page 10 the disclosure here). Many of the bonds were purchased in the months after he filed his letter to the SEC. The $600,000 in new Goldman Sachs investments added to Issa’s already multimillion dollar stake in the company, valued from $5.1 to $15.5 million.

Issa has faced accusations that he has used his considerable political power to enrich himself. Earlier this year, ThinkProgress revealed that Issa had requested nearly $1 million in earmark projects that would have benefitted real estate owned by Issa and his family.

Matter and anti-matter have about as much chance of surviving a chance encounter in the same room as do ethics and Darrell Issa.

Read the article here


Anonymous said...

Average guy doesn't have a shot in hell...

The Supreme Court’s continuing defense of the powerful

The United States Supreme Court now sees its central task as comforting the already comfortable and afflicting those already afflicted.

If you are a large corporation or a political candidate backed by lots of private money, be assured that the court’s conservative majority will be there for you, solicitous of your needs and ready to swat away those pesky little people who dare to contest your power.

Anonymous said...

How Greed Destroys America
America’s corporate chieftains are living like kings while the middle class stagnates and shrivels

By posing as populists hostile to “government social engineering,” the Right succeeded in duping large numbers of middle-class Americans into seeing their own interests – and their “freedom” – as in line with corporate titans who also decried federal regulations, including those meant to protect average citizens, like requiring seat belts in cars and discouraging cigarette smoking.

A Land for Billionaires

The consequences of several decades of Reaganism and its related ideas are now apparent. Wealth has been concentrated at the top with billionaires living extravagant lives that not even monarchs could have envisioned, while the middle class shrinks and struggles, with one everyman after another being shoved down into the lower classes and into poverty.

Millions of Americans forego needed medical care because they can’t afford health insurance; millions of young people, burdened by college loans, crowd back in with their parents; millions of trained workers settle for low-paying jobs; millions of families skip vacations and other simple pleasures of life.

Anonymous said...

Corruption?...where does it start? where does it end? Who do you call?

William Galison Author of Article on the Murder of Sunny Sheu Assaulted and Threatened by Undercover Cop

I have no question that this cop was surveilling me because of my involvement with the Sunny case. He may have been casing my building for a way to get in. There is no question that many very bad people want me dead. Sunny was killed for exposing financial corruption. I have exposed murder.

They killed Sunny partly to stop his investigation of Golia and partly to send a warning to the public that you can't fight corruption.

Anonymous said...

“The evolution of executive grandeur — from very comfortable to jet setting — reflects one of the primary reasons that the gap between those with the highest incomes and everyone else is widening,” according to the Post.

“For years, statistics have depicted growing income disparity in the United States, and it has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression.

Despite the ongoing, international financial malaise, the British newspaper The Guardian notes that, “The globe’s richest have now recouped the losses they suffered after the 2008 banking crisis. They are richer than ever, and there are more of them — nearly 11 million — than before the recession struck.

The annual wealth report by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini finds that the assets of these so-called “high net worth individuals” reached $42.7 trillion in 2010, a rise of nearly ten percent from the previous year at a time when, as The Guardian observed, “austerity budgets were implemented by many governments in the developed world.”

More than half of the world’s richest live in Japan, Germany and here in the United States.

Last year’s Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation requires publicly traded companies to report the median of annual total compensation for workers, the total compensation of the CEO, and the ratio between the two.

Big business has lobbied loudly against the reporting requirement, and on Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee voted 33-21 to repeal it.

The bill to repeal is sponsored by rookie Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, R-New York, whose official biography cites “reducing regulatory burdens on businesses” as one of her top priorities.

Among her leading 2010 campaign contributors: leveraged buyout specialists Vestar Capital Partners, distressed debt investors Elliott Management and financial services giant Credit Suisse. Not to mention the anti-taxation Club for Growth.

Ernest Hemingway claimed that when F. Scott Fitzgerald once said to him, “The rich are different from you and me,” he archly replied, “Yes, they have more money.”

Whether it’s true or not, the Hemingway in the story got it wrong.

The rich not only have more money, they have more power, more clout — and more to hide.

Anonymous said...

How Much Would It Cost To Buy Congress Back From Special Interests? (June 30, 2011)

Here's a thought: let's buy our Congress back from the special interests who now own it.

We all know special interests own the U.S. Congress and the Federal machinery of governance (i.e. regulatory capture). How much would it cost the American citizenry to buy back their Congress? The goal in buying our Congress back from the banking cartel et al. would not be to compete with the special interests for congressional favors--it would be to elect a Congress which would eradicate their power and influence altogether.

A tall order, perhaps, but certainly not impossible, if we're willing to spend the money to not just match special interest contributions to campaigns but steamroll them.

A seat in the U.S. Senate is a pricey little lever of power, so we better be ready to spend $50 million per seat. Seats in smaller states will be less, but seats in the big states will cost more, but this is a pretty good average.

That's $5 billion to buy the Senate.

Anonymous said...

GOP "Committing Class Warfare"

"The only thing that Cantor missed is that usually they say when President Obama does something like that or when we do something like that they usually accuse us of 'class warfare.' When in fact, we're not committing class warfare, we're just pointing out how they've committed class warfare for two decades by loading up the tax code with all these breaks for people who already have privilege," Brown said.

Anonymous said...

Gupta SEC Case Postponed Indefinitely

The administrative charges against Gupta, accused of passing tips about Goldman Sachs, on whose board he served, caused something of a furor.


Anonymous said...

What Does Congress Do When They Are Caught Red Handed Caving To Special Interest Groups, and are Deeply Captured, Why They Give Regulatory Powers To The Very People Whom The Regulation Applies To. That's Right Congress, Let's Try Self Regulation In Light Of The Greatest Financial Attack On America By Those Who Now Will Wield The Power Of Self Regulation. Cowardly and Pathetic Move Idiots !!

Anonymous said...

Goldman’s Central Bank Connections Deepen

The revolving door between Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and central banks is spinning again.

The fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets said yesterday it hired Bank of England economist Andrew Benito after recruiting Huw Pill from the European Central Bank in May and Naohiko Baba from the Bank of Japan in January. Moving in the other direction, Ben Broadbent, Goldman Sachs’s ex-chief U.K. economist, started at the Bank of England last month. Former vice chairman Mario Draghi will take up the presidency of the ECB in November.

The targeting of central banks reflects the value banks such as New York-based Goldman Sachs place on the skills economists gather working in policy-making at a time when growth in advanced economies is struggling to gain momentum. Meantime, governments seeking top officials are again turning to Goldman Sachs for top decision-makers 12 months after it settled U.S. fraud claims and almost four years since the start of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Anonymous said...

JPMorgan Scores Victory for Repeat Offenders: Jonathan Weil

Read just about any article in the financial press about a Securities and Exchange Commission settlement with some accused fraudster, and you probably will see two lines bound to get a lot of eyes rolling.

One is that the defendant neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s claims. The other is that the penalties include a court injunction or SEC order barring the alleged crook from breaking the securities laws in the future, as if it had been perfectly legal to violate them beforehand. No one, it seems, ever gets nailed for anything.

As if that weren’t maddening enough, here’s an open secret: The SEC hardly ever enforces these obey-the-law orders.

....and you wonder why it's business as usual?

Joyce said...

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