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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 13, 2011

Goldman Sachs: Uber Alles

Sometimes we need some levity to bring forth another kind of truth. So, to solve one's problems, let's become a bank as Richard Eskow suggests below. My question is, Where is the public revulsion and anger that should be directed towards banks like Goldman Sachs which brought about The Great Recession? Nothing is safer from prosecution than banks; no one is safer than executives of banks. Their protection extends from the public upwards to the highest office in the land. They are indeed in bankers' heaven!

William K. Black in an article entitled "Why Aren't The Honest Bankers Demanding Prosecution Of Their Dishonest Rivals? (OurFuture blog) said:

The anti-regulators got their wish – they took the regulatory cops off the beat. The banking regulatory agencies ceased making criminal referrals, the SEC ceased bringing even their wimpy consent actions against the massive accounting control frauds, and the Justice Department ceased prosecuting the accounting control frauds during the run up to the crisis. The results were multiple echo epidemics of fraud, a hyper-inflated bubble, and the Great Recession. If Baker and Moore think these fraudulent CEOs constitute the “productive class” – then capitalism was killed by the producers. The financial frauds, however, were not productive. They were weapons of mass financial destruction. Their fraudulent CEOs were motivated by the most banal of motivations that every major religion warns against – unlimited greed, ego, and a radical lack of empathy for their victims. The most pathetic figures in the crisis, however, are not the CEOs but their shills. Why aren't the honest bankers leading the charge to prosecute their fraudulent rivals?

. . . . . . . . . . .
Want to Solve All Your Problems, Rupert Murdoch? Become a Banker
By Richard (RJ) Eskow -HuffPost Business

Rupert Murdoch's got problems. His employees are being arrested, he's losing his latest acquisition, and he's just been called to testify before Parliament. But there's an easy way for Mr. Murdoch to protect himself from these inquiries and save his company at the same time: Turn the News Corporation into a Wall Street bank. There won't be any prosecutions, and the government will even sweeten the deal with billions of dollars in easy money. And if Murdoch follows the trail blazed by bankers like Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase, soon they'll be begging him to acquire more companies.

Murdoch and Dimon. One runs an organization that, as we now know, broke the law so many times it could be called a criminal syndicate. And the other is Rupert Murdoch. Yet Murdoch's fighting for his corporation's future while Dimon's name is being floated as a possible Treasury Secretary. Murdoch's losing his chance to expand market share, while our government helped Dimon's bank become more too-big-to-fail than ever by grabbing up Morgan Stanley.

Now that's juice. Murdoch's been a power broker on three continents and his Fox empire has reshaped this country's political landscape, but Dimon's taken the power game to a whole 'nother level.

Rupert and Jamie

The first arrests in the Murdoch organization's wiretapping and police bribery scandal included the Prime Minister's former press secretary (undoubtedly inspiring twinges of Brit-envy in the White House press corps). Now the probe has moved beyond lower-level reporters and editors. Murdoch's been called before a Committee of Parliament, along with a key aide and his heir-apparent son. The House of Commons and the Prime Minister have withdrawn their support for Murdoch's bid to take full ownership of satellite TV network BSkyB.

By contrast, despite its long list of proven crimes nobody at Dimon's bank has been arrested. Apparently arrests, like the financial consequences of one's actions, are for borrowers only. And Dimon only appears before our elected representative for cozy private get-togethers, not public inquiries.

We are two people divided by a common... well, common law. Great Britain's ruling center-right coalition is putting Murdoch on the spot, while our center-right coalition puts Dimon on a pedestal. Murdoch's trouble are front-page stuff. Dimon only makes headlines when he's posing for flattering soft-focus prose portraits, venting his pique at mild rebukes of his crime-ridden industry ("Bankers! Bankers! Bankers!"), or basking in those periodic Treasury Secretary rumors. (2008: "Dimon is the leading candidate ..." 2009: "Jamie Dimon, Treasury Secretary?" 2011: "Chasing Jamie -- Why Dimon might replace Geithner.")

Another story, headlined Jamie Dimon Seen As a Good Fit for Treasury, said fawning things like "Dimon... achieved rock star status during the financial crisis," "people familiar with Dimon's thinking said he 'would love to serve his country," and "... the timing might be right for Dimon." That story appeared in the New York Post -- Rupert Murdoch's New York Post.

It's a small world, alright. And the higher you rise, the smaller it gets.

News Corp. and JPMorgan Chase

Isn't this comparison unfair? There's a growing body of evidence that Murdoch employees wiretapped phones, tormented innocent families, and bribed police officers. JPMorgan Chase's record can't be that bad, can it?

Actually, it's worse. JPM has a long history as a serial corporate offender, and its crimes helped bring about a major financial collapse (although, come to think of it, so did the policies promoted by Murdoch's news organizations.) And we're not just talking about relatively genteel crimes like financial fraud. JPMorgan employees also committed down-and-dirty Tammany Hall-style crimes like bribery and bid-rigging. Bank employees spread $8 million around Jefferson County, Alabama to win municipal contracts, for example, and it took a settlement worth three-quarters of a billion dollars in fines and foregone fees to settle he case. (That's "billion," with a "b.")

Dimon's bank paid $25 million to settle another case involving the sale of unregistered securities -- which is a crime -- in the state of Florida. It paid more money to settle charges that it illegally propped up a failed mortgage lender, along with some other banks. (In this kind of fraud the lender has already failed, but banks make it look as if it hasn't. Think of it as a financial Weekend at Bernie's. In this case a lot of investors putting their money into a fiscal corpse, which means they were defrauded with help from Dimon's bank.)

JPMorgan's in-house foreclosure operation was described as a sleazy operation where "Burger King kids" -- untrained young people -- were hired to foreclose on homeowners. And just this week a story that got buried in the national media was prominently featured in local newspapers in towns like Boise, Idaho and Charleston, West Virginia:

"JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $211 million after admitting one of its divisions rigged dozens of bidding competitions to win business from state and local governments."

When it came to graft, Dimon's dawgs were kickin' it old-school style. The national papers may yawn -- to them bank crime's just another "dog bites man" story -- but $500,000 in settlement money is a big deal to a hard-working state like West Virginia, one of many that's been left to fend for itself in the wreckage of Wall Street's crime spree.

Free to be ... Jamie and me

"We try to do the best we can every day," Dimon said of his colleagues. (Except on the days we're bribing, bid-rigging, or committing fraud, of course; hey, nobody's perfect.) That sense of entitlement isn't just a personality trait. As we now know, it's government policy. An important story in the New York Times recently confirmed that it's been the government's official policy not to investigate criminal wrongdoing in America's banks. It's relying instead on a Wall Street self-policing plan that "outsources" law enforcement to the suspected perps.

As an experienced investigator asked, "What do you do when the bank itself is run by a criminal enterprise?"

Murdoch must be asking himself how he can get a piece of that action. Just become a bank like Goldman Sachs did, with the encouragement and support of regulators, so it could be saved with TARP and Federal Reserve money. No doubt the "bipartisan" Beltway crowd can be persuaded that Murdoch and Fox are "too big to fail," too.

Read the full article here


Anonymous said...

Poverty in America, Part I
July 13, 2011

None of these grandiose manipulations has healed the economy or fixed the structural problems which made the meltdown inevitable. The irony here (among many) is that so many people believe the Power Elites controlling the nation have some sort of god-like ability to maintain their grip on the levers of power.

While it's certainly true that the wealth of the Power Elites has increased as a result of the meltdown and Fed/Savior State response, ultimately the Financial and Political Elites' power depends on the passivity and complicity of the citizens. This means the Power Elites must buy off or co-opt the majority of citizens to keep them politically neutered and mallable.

The Status Quo has two basic methods of buying the citizen's complicity: a vibrant economy that supports a middle class that thus has a stake in maintaining the Status Quo, and cash bribes to everyone else to keep quiet, i.e. "social benefits" a.k.a. entitlements and welfare. This renders everyone either dependent on cash payments from the Savior State or a stakeholder in the Status Quo.

Anonymous said...

"This [Federal Reserve Act] establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President [Wilson} signs this bill, the invisible government of the monetary power will be legalized....the worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking and currency bill."-- Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. , 1913

"From now on, depressions will be scientifically created." - - Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. , 1913

"The financial system has been turned over to the Federal Reserve Board. That Board as ministers the finance system by authority of a purely profiteering group. The system is Private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people's money"-- Charles A. Lindbergh Sr., 1923

Anonymous said...

Greed, Excess and America's Gaping Class Divide

All of this is a testament to the amazing (and rapidly expanding) cultural divide that exists in this country, where the poor and the rich seldom cross paths at all, and the rich, in particular, simply have no concept what being broke and poor really means.

Anonymous said...

Bookmark this for the future for Gensler!

Spiral to New Lows at the Comex

Just another day in the Pax Goldmana. "They create a desert, and call it recovery."

Anonymous said...

Main Street lost....

15 Examples That Show Many Americans Have Become So Desperate That They Will Do Just About Anything For Money

More Americans than ever are desperate for money and many of them will do just about anything to get it. The crumbling U.S. economy has pushed millions of ordinary Americans to the brink of utter desperation. When it comes time to choose between being able to survive or breaking the law, many people are choosing to break the law.

The truth is that all of us should try to become less dependent on the system. The Democrats, the Republicans, the Federal Reserve and the big corporations are not there to help you. They are not going to come riding to the rescue if you lose your job and your home.

We all need to do what we can to become more independent and to prepare ourselves and our families for the incredibly difficult economic times that are inevitably coming.

Anonymous said...

Interesting theme...might not like messenger but good points.

Oligarchy Propaganda

Anonymous said...

Ticking Debt Bombs

Stand close to any of the Davos men who constitute these nations’ finance ministers and you are immediately struck by the impression that you’re in the presence of the best-dressed con artists walking the globe.
The novelty and creativity of the formulas and structures, and subsequently, new language, required to continue funelling artificial dollars into broken down debt vehicles is yet insufficient and the charade is reaching its unavoidable and imminent end.

I think the ruling class, which is without a shadow of doubt corrupt beyond redemption, have figured out that if you bury your theft in a mountain of debt, it will never be found and you can ride off into the sunset undiscovered.

If corporations are the beard for the unsavoury acts of businessmen, then government is certainly the place to hide for leaders who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the general public.
Can we really keep ‘refinancing’ and ‘rolling over’ and ‘reinsuring’ our way into infinity? Is the next debt ceiling measured in quadrillions, and then quintillions, and so on?

Anonymous said...

Is Anyone Going To Stop The Abuse by HFTs?

The scheme is simple - drive quote volume for bids and offers you have no intent to execute and by doing so overload the systems so that you can then arb between different venues.

This can, and often does, produce "mini flash crashes" and "mini flash rallies" in various issues. And while it has yet to reflect into an all-on market collapse, the fact remains that under long-standing law any pattern of orders intended to manipulate the price of a security, as opposed to actually buy or sell it, is illegal.

So where are the prosecutions?

Anonymous said...

The 40-Year Cycle of Cultural Change (July 14, 2011)

Their only goal is to not be the one blamed when the whole corrupt contraption finally collapses under its own weight. If there was ever a more pathetic, corrupt, cowardly and incompetent set of "leaders" in the nation's history, they must have done their skimming during periods of relative prosperity. Now we need real leaders, not TV-ready simulacra spouting bloated slogans that contain the magic word "change."

Gen X and Gen Y, this is your "lights, camera, action!" call, if not for political power, then for a cultural revolution. I for one am ready for a Fifth Awakening, a Cultural Revolution, and a restoration of self-rule and the real, non-financialized economy.

Happy Bastille Day. It's time we tore down the Bank Bastille that's imprisoning us all.

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