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Fraud*
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

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Goldman Sachs Is In the Toll Road Business

It is surprising to read an article about a coalition of businesses, including Goldman Sachs, which is operating toll roads in Puerto Rico and will continue to do so for 40 years. The consortium bid $1.08 billion to operate and maintain the roads and spent $350 million to make road repairs and improvements under the contract. The government said it could not afford to make the highway improvements.

Is that a bargain with the devil?

Infrastructure, such as roads, sewers, schools, transportation and communications, and (sometimes) health care are publicly run for all citizens to use. They are usually monopolies that have been paid for by the taxpayer. If these necessary things become privatized, they can be used for profit-making ventures and may not, therefore, any longer meet the needs of the public or may become too expensive for the public to use.

That is why a democracy must forever be vigilant about its public facilities and public needs.

Dylan Ratigan discusses Wall Street's "infrastructure funds" which are a part of Goldman Sachs's business model.

American for Sale: Does Goldman Sachs Own Your City...Yet?
by Dylan Ratigan - HuffPost Politics posted by Kim in Conservative Refocus

In Chicago, it's the sale of parking meters to the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi. In Indiana, it's the sale of the northern toll road to a Spanish and Australian joint venture. In Wisconsin it's public health and food programs, in California it's libraries. It's water treatment plants, schools, toll roads, airports, and power plants. It's Amtrak. There are revolving doors of corrupt politicians, big banks, and rating agencies. There are conflicts of interest. It's bipartisan.

And it's coming to a city near you -- it may already be there. We're talking about the sale of public assets to private investors. You may have heard of one-off deals, but what we'll be exploring with the Huffington Post is the scale and scope of what is a national and organized campaign to shift the way we govern ourselves. In an era of increasingly stretched local and state budgets, privatization of public assets may be so tempting to local politicians that the trend seems unstoppable. Yet, public outrage has stopped and slowed a number of initiatives.

While there are no televised debates around this issue, there is no polling, and there are no elections, who wins it will determine the literal shape of modern America. The Dylan Ratigan show is teaming up with the Huffington Post to do a three part series called "America for Sale", showing the pros and cons, and the politics and economics, of a new and far more privatized government.

On Wall Street, setting up and running "Infrastructure Funds" is big business, with over $140 billion run by such banks as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Australian infrastructure specialist Macquarie. Goldman's 2010 SEC filing should give you some sense of the scope of the campaign. Goldman says it will be involved with "ownership and operation of public services, such as airports, toll roads and shipping ports, as well as power generation facilities, physical commodities and other commodities infrastructure components, both within and outside the United States." While the bank sees increased opportunity in "distressed assets" (ie. Cities and states gone broke because of the financial crisis), the bank also recognizes "reputational concerns with the manner in which these assets are being operated or held."

The funds themselves are clear when communicating with investors about why they are good investments -- a public asset is usually a monopoly. Says Quadrant Real Estate Advisors: "Most assets are monopolistic in nature and have limited competitors, creating the opportunity for stable, long-term investment returns. Investment choices include economic assets and social assets." Quadrant notes that the market size is between $12-20 trillion, roughly the size of the American mortgage market. "Given the market and potential return opportunities, institutional investors should consider infrastructure a strategic investment allocation."

Read the entire article here

7 COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...

What choice do you have? People are suffering out there...they have you exactly where they want you!

Top Retail Analyst: "I Think What’s Going On ... Is That We Are In A
Depression For 80 Percent Of Americans"


http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/07/11/analyst-even-dollar-stores-struggling-in-obama-depression/

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/top-retail-analyst-i-think-what’s-going-we-are-depression-80-percent-americans?

Anonymous said...

Aarp rhymes with Tarp...and that's where it ends.

Funny though how one gets funded and the other might not. So long seniors.

Obama Says "Can Not" Guarantee Social Security Payments Without A Debt Ceiling Hike

As Reuters reports, "Barack Obama said in an interview on Tuesday that checks to recipients of the Social Security retirement program may not go out in early August if he and congressional leaders do not agree a debt deal. "I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue," Obama said in an interview with CBS, according to a transcript on the network's web site. "Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Obama said."

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/fearmongering-top-begins-obama-says-can-not-guarantee-social-security-payments-without-debt-?

Anonymous said...

Tom Ferguson and Rob Johnson Explain Why the Tea Party Became the Big Banks’ Best Friend

In a trend that is doubtless making Lloyd Blankfein weep for joy, Tea Party-backed Republicans in Congress are furiously trying to block financial reform and the critical regulations that would prevent reckless speculation and another, possibly worse, economic meltdown. They appear determined to slash the budgets of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Scheer notes that the CFTC is run by former Goldman Sachs partner Gary Gensler, one of the Obama “regulators” who has specialized in thwarting proper supervision of the out-of-control derivatives market.

http://www.newdeal20.org/2011/07/12/tom-ferguson-and-rob-johnson-explain-why-the-tea-party-became-the-big-banks-best-friend-51387/

Anonymous said...

The more you fight this, the more you support the Goldmans of the world...read it if you want to understand the swindle.

Our whole financial system is an illusion

Today what we do is a government will create a bond – a bond is just an I.O.U.: you loan me one trillion dollars and I promise that over a thirty year period I pay you back one trillion dollars plus interests, so I will pay you two trillion over that thirty year period. And then the central bank buys that bond – here in the U.S. we do it through the Open Market Operations, it’s a bit like a shell game: first the banks buy it and then the Fed buys it from the banks. What is really going on is the Treasury issues I.O.U.’s and eventually the central bank acquires those I.O.U.’s by printing currency. They basically just invent dollars, which is just a claim cheque – so basically it’s an I.O.U. for an I.O.U., and this swapping of I.O.U.’s indebts the public. We are borrowing prosperity out of the future and promising to pay it back. Basically, our taxes today are payments for the borrowing of yesterday.

http://goldswitzerland.com/index.php/our-whole-financial-system-is-an-illusion/

Anonymous said...

Derivatives is where the fraud is....


With gold hitting new all-time highs and silver up over $2 at one point and mining shares taking off to the upside, today King World News interviewed John Embry, Chief Investment Strategist at $9 billion strong Sprott Asset Management. When asked where he sees things right now Embry stated, “What’s been fascinating, and what was unappreciated by me in the early stages, was the enormous number of derivatives that have been created in the financial system. Because of the derivatives they’ve been able to keep this thing going for infinitely longer than any rational mind would have thought possible.”

Embry continues:


“You’ve been able to create leverage to the extent that you’ve never seen before and this is why I think the bubbles were able to get stretched out and last as long as they did. Because the balloon was blown up so much, I just think the aftermath in its finale is going to be extraordinarily unpleasant.”


http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2011/7/13_Embry_-_Mining_Shares_Will_Be_Like_Internet_Stocks_in_the_90s.html

Anonymous said...

The more you fight this, the more you support the Goldmans of the world...read it if you want to understand the swindle.

Our whole financial system is an illusion

Today what we do is a government will create a bond – a bond is just an I.O.U.: you loan me one trillion dollars and I promise that over a thirty year period I pay you back one trillion dollars plus interests, so I will pay you two trillion over that thirty year period. And then the central bank buys that bond – here in the U.S. we do it through the Open Market Operations, it’s a bit like a shell game: first the banks buy it and then the Fed buys it from the banks. What is really going on is the Treasury issues I.O.U.’s and eventually the central bank acquires those I.O.U.’s by printing currency. They basically just invent dollars, which is just a claim cheque – so basically it’s an I.O.U. for an I.O.U., and this swapping of I.O.U.’s indebts the public. We are borrowing prosperity out of the future and promising to pay it back. Basically, our taxes today are payments for the borrowing of yesterday.

http://goldswitzerland.com/index.php/our-whole-financial-system-is-an-illusion/

Anonymous said...

Tom Ferguson and Rob Johnson Explain Why the Tea Party Became the Big Banks’ Best Friend

In a trend that is doubtless making Lloyd Blankfein weep for joy, Tea Party-backed Republicans in Congress are furiously trying to block financial reform and the critical regulations that would prevent reckless speculation and another, possibly worse, economic meltdown. They appear determined to slash the budgets of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Scheer notes that the CFTC is run by former Goldman Sachs partner Gary Gensler, one of the Obama “regulators” who has specialized in thwarting proper supervision of the out-of-control derivatives market.

http://www.newdeal20.org/2011/07/12/tom-ferguson-and-rob-johnson-explain-why-the-tea-party-became-the-big-banks-best-friend-51387/

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