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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

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Goldman Sachs is Not in Rehabilitation

When I read the title of the article written by Tim Kiladze in The Globe and Mail: Goldman Sachs ready to bail out California, I thought that maybe I was wrong about Goldman Sachs which really may have changed its emphasis from money grubber to financial helper.

My initial response to the article: What cojones those bailed out banks have who are lending money to California! First, they get bailed out by the Fed and amass a large surplus of cash then they bail out a state that they have already oppressed.

But then I vaguely remembered that Goldman Sachs had a previous financial relationship with California in 2008 which ProPublica reported on. The title of their article: Goldman Sachs Urged Bets Against California Bonds It Helped Sell. That is the GS we know and dislike.

ProPublica reported that Goldman Sachs collected millions of dollars in fees to help sell California state bonds. Then it urged its clients to place bets against those same bonds. Goldman's strategy could have caused interest rates in the state to rise so that it would have to pay more to borrow money which in turn would harm taxpayers. These actions show how Goldman Sachs treats conflicts of interest also--it screws its clients as we have already witnessed in the Abacus civil suit.

In a Capitol Weekly article, we find that California's relationship with Goldman Sachs presents many risks to municipal taxpayers. Goldman likes to profit from California's bond business but refuses to invest in California's needs.

With such a despicable track record why would California trust GS yet again? Goldman Sachs is not interested in working for the public good; it only looks at its own bottom line. What good are they?

Goldman Sachs ready to bail out California
By Tim Kiladze - The Globe and Mail

The times they are a-changin.'

In 2008, the U.S. government bailed-out the country's biggest investment banks amid financial turmoil. Now the banks are ready to backstop the government as debt ceiling talks go down to the wire, which DealBook first reported.

On Tuesday, the government of California unveiled a plan under which big banks are ready to lend $5.4-billion (U.S.) to the state if it can't pay its bills after the debt ceiling deadline on Tuesday. California needs the backup plan because its budget included going to the market to sell about $5.4-billion in bonds in late August.

"But if Congress and the President do not reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2, capital markets likely would be thrown into chaos," State Treasurer Bill Lockyer said in an announcement of the bank backstop. "Additionally, if the federal government prioritizes payments to conserve cash and avoid default, California and other states could see a disruption in their payments for health care, transportation and other services."

The bank backstop comes in the form of selling interim "revenue anticipation notes" that yield a measly 0.237 per cent and mature on Nov. 22.

Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo are the lead lenders and will pony up $1.5-billion each. The consortium also includes Citigroup, Barclays, JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and US Bank.

Read the article here


Anonymous said...

How true...

In the Land of Self-Interested Pygmies, No One Advocates for the Nation (July 27, 2011)

Does slavishly pursuing narrow self-interest benefit the nation? Clearly, the answer is no; a nation of self-interested pygmies leaves no one to advocate for the national interest.

The great cold lie at the heart of present-day America is that the nation will magically benefit if we each single-mindedly pursue our self-interest to the exclusion of all else. The idea has a sleek quasi-free-market sheen, as it borrows the market's "invisible hand" and applies it to social, fiscal and environmental policies.

That is a magical-thinking fantasy.

"The good of the nation" is now a code-phrase for "good for me, and to heck with the country at large." Every self-serving fiefdom, every self-serving cartel and every self-serving constituency (a.k.a. special interest) claims that its pathetically obvious self-serving lobbying "serves the national interest." It's all lies, blatant emotional manipulation of the vilest, crassest sort. Yet we as a nation have sunk so low that the entire notion of a national interest which doesn't benefit a powerful lobby or constituency has been lost.

Joyce said...

For people wondering about the American government defaulting, here is a good link:

The government has defaulted before and that default apparently led to a more severe depression in 1933. See The Liberty Bond Default of 1934

Anonymous said...

But In the Garden of Beasts is also a superb book; Erik Larson’s core idea, to trace the moral corruption of an entire society through the swiftly altering perceptions of one family, is nothing less than masterful.

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