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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, October 12, 2011

Goldman Sachs as the Epitome of the Economics of Greed

The medieval Noe (Noah) plays were dramas that engaged the people in both a literal and allegorical interpretation of Biblical stories. It is appropriate that we call these dramas mystery plays. We have our very own mystery drama playing out now in cities all across North America. These dramas differ in that they not only represent the past economic features of our world but also project into the future.

In our modern day mystery play, the first large group of mostly young people congregated in a very small park in New York City about one block long and a half block wide. They are confined to this small space in which to live and are not allowed to even pitch a small tent against the elements. They are not permitted to have a loudspeaker in order to give information to the large numbers of people that often congregate there to talk, exchange ideas, plan demonstrations and explain how the present economic policies affect their lives now and in the future.

At first the groups was badly used and abused, not because they were violent (because they were not) but just because they were there in large numbers.

And the rich wonder, "What does this mean?" They give many answers: Glenn Beck said that the protesters were going to attack the rich and kill them. Kevin O'Leary blanched white (see below). Eric Canter stated it was setting Americans against Americans. No kidding! Mayor Bloomberg thinks the protesters are taking away jobs. What? Lloyd Blankfein cancelled a talk when he thought OWS might be close by. All the rich people are petrified and OWS hasn't done anything but march around, sing, say slogans and carry signs! What drama! What mystery!

Put any rich person's name into google with Occupy Wall Street and a lot of interesting things can come up.

In allegorical terms, the small space allowed to OWS is the amount of wealth that they can aspire to--very small, silenced and uncomfortable indeed. They are ringed by police (not necessarily for their own protection) and some of the police have been paid by the Wall Street banks (recently, JP Morgan Chase gave $4.6 million to the NYPD!). The confined nature and the spontaneous committment of the people who call themselves Occupy Wall Street could be seen as a present-day mystery drama which will change as time goes on. So the 99% of people have 1% of the wealth as represented by the space they occupy in the economic wealth of the nation. While the 1% have 40% of the wealth and space beyond measure and comprehension. This is the stage being set for the opening of the play.

Occupy Wall Street is dramatic in its non-violent desires and its patience while the transformation of the drama continues to emerge. Now all one has to do is look at the reactions of folks and you get the idea of what this drama is all about.

For example, on the CBC (which is paid for by the taxpayers of Canada and supposedly represents the taxpayers' best interests) we have had two interviews which show the fear and loathing of the rich and the strength and power of the OWS.

The first interview comes from the Lang and O'Leary Exchange, a business program that also interviews people making business news. It, too, has its misplaced drama. This week (on October 6, 2011) another co-host and Kevin O'Leary interviewed Chris Hedges about the Occupy Wall Street movement. You can also see the transcript here.

What is astonishing is the vileness of the host's response to a guest who was giving his honest opinion about OWS. What stands out in my mind is the chalk-white face of astonishment and anger of O'Leary as he challenged his right to be a billionaire, a billionaire without conscience or sympathy.

The second egregious example of unfair play takes place when both O'Leary and Lang attack the author, Linda McQuaig, for her ideas in a book she wrote called "The Trouble With Billionaires." She was trying to explain why inequality in wealth is detrimental to most people. The hosts, Amanda Lang and O'Leary took turns calling Linda insane, dangerous, evil (O'Leary's favorite word) and that she had lost her mind. Oh, Amanda, we have lost you!

And where, oh, where is Goldman Sachs in all this brouhaha? Well, both Chris Hedges and the Exchange mention Goldman Sachs who, we know is really the Epitome of Economic Greed as you can see from all the hundreds of posted entries on this blog.


Theyfearthetruth said...

The Woman Who Knew Too Much

Millions of Americans hoped President
Obama would nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the consumer financial
watchdog agency she had created. Instead, she was pushed aside. As
Warren kicks off her run for Scott Brown’s Senate seat in
Massachusetts, Suzanna Andrews charts the Harvard professor’s emergence
as a champion of the beleaguered middle class, and her fight against a
powerful alliance of bankers, lobbyists, and politicians.

Yourarsewouldbeinjail said...

Goldman Sachs let off paying £10m interest on failed tax avoidance scheme

Leaked documents show top tax official shook hands last year on secret settlement described by sources as a 'cock-up'

Againandagain said...

OWS: The Risks Facing America Today

"This time support is coming from surprising places.  Like former corporate activist (and buyer of companies!) Asher Edelman."

"The corporate media and politicians are still claiming that "we made a profit from TARP" and that "everything was repaid."

This is a bald lie.  AIG didn't repay their money.  Neither did GM.  Money was shuffled around in a complex shell game to appear that all was repaid but in fact what happened was that you, the taxpayer, were looted.

You were looted through higher prices at the gas pump, higher prices at the grocery store, lower wages and at the same time zero interest rates so those of you who were prudent got ****ed THREE TIMES instead of twice!

Representative government?  Where?  By anywhere from 100:1 to 300:1 the people demanded that TARP NOT pass.  That the banks that did foolish and in some cases criminal things be forced to eat the consequences.

Again, as I've said for four years: We need a banking system because we do indeed need a way to clear payments so you can pay a bill or buy gasoline and food - so commerce can flow.  We do not need these banks that committed these acts.

But rather than do the right thing, our politicians were bought and paid for on both sides of the aisle.  It's particularly telling - and galling - that when allegedly being "grilled" by Hank Paulson in 2008 the banksters left the meeting smiling and yucking it up.

First they ****ed you, then the government paid them to **** you again."

Proscription said...

The Fix is In - Put The Politicians' in Jail

Newt Gingrich targets Democrats who have colluded with lobby groups and the housing industry as criminals that need to go to jail. However, his logic can easily be applied to most every Republican who is Peddling influence for personal profit.

Not_one_head_rolls said...

Gerald Celente

Pass_through_entity? said...

Florida AG Takes Orders, Money from Fraudclosure Firm

Of course, we know those denials are nonsense, and these
investigators were tossed because they were actually doing their jobs,
rather than looking the other way. AG Bondi has been criticized by
Florida lawyers for accepting campaign contributions from companies the
AG’s office is investigating.

Conflict of interest, anyone?

Thus: Congress has been bought and paid for, the Florida AG’s office is
also up for sale. Is everyone in public office merely a whore selling
their services to the highest bidder? The level of corruption is beyond
comprehension — it is unconscionable.

If I lived in Florida, I would begin a recall immediately to get this
pathetic trollop thrown out of office and then I would spend the next
10 years lobbying for her eventual disbarment.

My disgust is hard to put into words.

Focus said...

Capitalism Without Failure

Let's recap our recent financial crisis: 1.
Rampant fraud, 2. Bailouts of the worst actors in the Ponzi Sector of
our economy, 3. Overwhelming debt and liability imposed on taxpayers, 4.
Money printing on a scale that will threaten our currency, 5. Promotion
of business leaders and policy makers who are seriously compromised, 6.
Conglomeration of "Too Big To Fail" banks into a more empowered menace.
Problem not solved.
Dear Occupy Wall Street: Focus on the People

rumpelstiltskin said...

Something I Learned Today

Last year, Bloomberg spoke to Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski who called the DVA an "abomination."  He explains, "Just because Morgan’s credit spreads widened out this quarter doesn’t mean that their ultimate interest and principal payments changed one iota."


Apparently this rule was passed by FASB in 2007.  I wonder who lobbyied for it?  More importantly what sort of accounting standard do you have when lobbying is part of it.  What a joke.

....a U.S. accounting rule known as Statement 159, adopted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board in 2007, which allows banks to book profits when the value of their bonds falls from par.

JPMorgan Uses Surge In Its Default Risk As A $1.9 Billion "Source" Of Revenue And Net Income

So what does JPM do? Why it pulls the "Fair Value Option" card, discussed recently in the context of Morgan Stanley when we speculated whether the bank's biggest asset was their debt. Turns out we had the concept right, but the bank wrong, because $0.29 of EPS Net Income, or $1.9 billion pretax, was a "benefit from debit valuation adjustment (“DVA”) gains in the Investment Bank, resulting from widening of the Firm’s credit spreads." That's right: the fact that JPM spreads blew out in the quarter, and its default risk soared, for one reason or another actually served to "generate" not only net income but also revenue!  And now you see why American banks can never lose - in a good quarter, they release reserves; in a bad quarter they take FVO benefits in the form of Debit Valuation Adjustments, or in this case both! Winner, winner, always a chicken dinner for Jamie Dimon. Expect every other bank to do the same accounting BS this quarter to pad their numbers.

Goal number one said...

Goal Number One - For Anyone Protesting Without Direction (OWS and others)

More fraud said...

Legalized Fraud

How can serious investors trust ANY kind of earnings report that is put out by ANY financial institution?  What's appalling is the way the financial media looks at the headline numbers reported by JPM and lauds it for "beating" earnings and revenue expectations and remarks at what a great job JPM is doing.  And then casual investors turn on Bloomberg TV and see the accolades being tossed out or open the newspaper tomorrow and read how JPM's earnings report exceeded expectations, leaving said investor/observer with the impression that things are improving in our system.

The fact of the matter is that JPM's accounting presentation is legalized fraud.  The reporting of it by the financial media - which is financially supported by the advertising and promotional revenues paid by banks like JPM - is outright Orwellian.  Our entire economic and political system is on the very frightening slippery-slope toward the dystopic vision presented by writers like Orwell, Rand and Huxley.

Let's review how this legally fraudulent accounting gimmick works.  To be honest, I'm not even sure how the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) OR the SEC ever allowed this idea to be made into a rule. It's literally legalized fraud. Although it's available to use for any company/entity, it was designed to apply specifically to Wall Street banks - any entity "with available-for-sale and trading securities" (the quote is from "Summary of Statement 159," FASB). In other words, this rule was designed to permit banks to further manipulate their accounting income (i.e. non-economic, cash-based earnings).

Joyce said...

Thank you to all the readers who have commented.  You are adding information to the increasing bizarre financial state we are in.  Corruption has so many faces!

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