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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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goldman Sachs in the Fourth Level of Hell

According to William K. Black, Goldman Sachs executives should find themselves in the fourth Circle of Hell as punishment for their frauds committed against the people and the economy. The first five circles of Hell are reserved for self-indulgent sins. The fourth circle is set aside for avarice. Goldman executives could be considered both avaricious and prodigal as they fraudulently accumulate the savings and pensions of ordinary folk and continue to accumulate more wealth than they can spend in a lifetime. Goldman Sachs has been responsible for raising the country to greatness and for plunging it into poverty which are attributes of this level of self-indulgence. (Wikipedia)

One wonders if Blankfein will recognize himself and reject his sin as part "of doing Gods work." Goldman's contrapasso (poetic justice) would be either to have everything they touch turn into billion dollar bills that cannot be spent or (make up your own vengeance here).

In response to the 60 Minutes interview with President Obama, where Obama declared that the banks did not commit illegal acts, Bill Black has a different view of that assertion:

Bill Black: Dante's Divine Comedy - Banksters' Edition
By William K. Black - Naked Capitalism

Sixty Minutes’ December 11, 2011 interview of President Obama included a claim by Obama that, unfortunately, did not lead the interviewer to ask the obvious, essential follow-up questions.

I can tell you, just from 40,000 feet, that some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street, in some cases, some of the least ethical behavior on Wall Street, wasn’t illegal.

Obama did not explain what Wall Street behavior he found least ethical or what unethical Wall Street actions he believed was not illegal. It would have done the world (and Obama) a great service had he been asked these questions. He would not have given a coherent answer because his thinking on these issues has never been coherent. If he had to explain his position he, and the public, would recognize it was indefensible.

I offer the following scale of unethical banker behavior related to fraudulent mortgages and mortgage paper (principally collateralized debt obligations (CDOs)) that is illegal and deserved punishment. I write to prompt the rigorous analytical discussion that is essential to expose and end Obama and Bush’s “Presidential Amnesty for Contributors” (PAC) doctrine. The financial industry is the leading campaign contributor to both parties and those contributions come overwhelmingly from the wealthiest officers – the one-tenth of one percent that thrives by being parasites on the 99 percent.

I have explained at length in my blogs and articles why:

• Only fraudulent home lenders made liar’s loans
• Liar’s loans were endemically fraudulent
• Lenders and their agents put the lies in liar’s loans
• Appraisal fraud was endemic and led by lenders and their agents
• Liar’s loans could only be sold through fraudulent reps and warranties
• CDOs “backed” by liar’s loans were inherently fraudulent
• CDOs backed by liar’s loans could only be sold through fraudulent reps and warranties
• Liar’s loans hyper-inflated the bubble
• Liar’s loans became roughly one-third of mortgage originations by 2006

Each of these frauds is a conventional fraud that could be prosecuted under existing laws. Hundreds of lenders and over a hundred thousand loan brokers were “accounting control frauds” specializing largely in making fraudulent liar’s loans. My prior work explains control fraud, why accounting is the “weapon on choice” for fraudulent financial firms, and why liar’s loans were superior “ammunition” for committing massive accounting fraud. These accounting control frauds caused greater direct financial losses than any other crime epidemic in history. They also drove the financial crisis that produced the Great Recession and cost millions of Americans their jobs....

Mr. Black also lists some questions he would like citizens or the media to ask President Obama:

To date, Bush and Obama have prosecuted none of the mortgage frauds in the top nine levels. I urge reporters to ask him to explain three things about his statements to 60 Minutes.

• Why are there no prosecutions of the felons that drove the crisis and occupy the nine worst rungs of unethical and destructive acts?

• Explain the five unethical acts by elite financial institutions that you consider the most destructive and least ethical – but which you believe to be legal. How do you rank the degree of unethical conduct and destruction in those acts?

• What specific statutory provisions did you propose to make those five unethical acts illegal? As enacted, which provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act made those five unethical acts illegal? Who has been prosecuted for those formerly legal but seriously unethical and destructive acts that were made illegal by the Dodd-Frank Act?

Reporters will have to be persistent in coordinating their follow-up questions to get Obama to provide direct answers to these questions.

I request that private citizens write President Obama to ask him to provide specific, written answers to these three questions. I will be proposing a series of questions that I will urge citizens to demand answers to because it is clear that the regular media will rarely ask demanding questions of elite politicians or bankers. It is up to us to hold them accountable and end the doctrine of Presidential Amnesty for Contributors.

You can read about the various levels or circles of Hell reserved for the banksters here

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Occupied Media: Interview With Professor William K. Black
Posted by the Interviewer, Taryn Hart - Plutocracy File

The video can be found here


JEHR said...

Dear Mr. Blankfein

I now believe that your executives and you yourself who brought upon the world this terrible financial meltdown will not now be criminally prosecuted for various reasons--captured regulation (some by your people), the revolving door between GS and the government, the deregulation through people like Robert Rubin (your guy, again), and so forth. 

So all we can do is visualize a punishment for you that can make us feel that all is not lost in gaining reparations for your greedy judgements.  We can see you as a mangy banker in the Fourth Circle of Dante's Hell.  There you will be given the powers of Midas so that everything you touch will not turn to gold but will turn into billion-dollar bills.  Eventually all the things that you will touch will turn into paper money but there will be nowhere to spend it and no one to spend it on.  You will be printing money without presses!

I suppose that you are mostly amused by our vision.  But how does it make you feel when so many people despise what you do and what your bank stands for?  That you must surely understand.  Some of us cannot wait for the bank to be broken up into small pieces or eventually destroyed entirely.


A Believer in the Better Aspects of Human Nature

Wake up said...

9 Things to Say Goodbye To, Including Privacy and Free Speech

My site, ZeroHedge, Calculated Risk can all be shut down if a newspaper
or other cite thinks we went beyond fair use in quoting an article. Drug
imports from Canada (something that ought to be legal), will be shut
down as well.

This bill's real intent is not to stop piracy, but rather to hand over control of the internet to corporations.

Please play nice said...

Martin Armstrong continues:

“I had to say, well, move
to London, move your accounts to London or Canada.  But I just can’t, in
all good conscience, tell people don’t worry your money is going to be
safe in New York because it’s just not.  The judges will not straighten
this out.  The regulators are all on the take and it’s a disaster.

My opinion, in the UK they
have one regulator.  That’s what we need.  One regulator over there
(London) and at least they are afraid of it.  Over here, nobody’s afraid
of them. 

It’s the truth, they’ve got
the FSA in London.  On the Buffett manipulation of silver back in 1998,
the reason he came out and said, ‘Alright, it’s me, I bought one
billion dollars (of silver).’  Why?  Because the Bank of England ordered
all of the silver brokers to show up the next morning....

That’s what you’ve got, we have no regulators in this country.”,_Buffetts_Silver_Play.html

Please play nice said...

Martin A. Armstrong-write your brokers

Turn off msm said...

Oblivious Because of Mainstream Media

 I think most people are simply oblivious to the enormous
dangers the world economy faces.  Oh, I think we will all get through Christmas
and New Years without a meltdown, but all bets are off in 2012.  A new
acquaintance of mine told me last Friday, “Isn’t the economy getting
better?”  I just looked at her and shook my head in the negative. 
Then she said, “I guess if it was getting bad,
the media wouldn’t tell us the truth.”  I shook my head in the
affirmative.  My new friend is 75 years old and gets a Social Security check
every month.  She’s pretty sharp, but I don’t blame her for being misinformed. 
She gets her news the old fashioned way—from the mainstream media (MSM).

Stolen said...

Jon Corzine, MF Global, and Unaccountability

After days of political-reality TV, we knew nothing more about its evaporation. Corzine and his stewards, Abelow and Chief Financial Officer, Henri Steenkamp, executed a perfect chorus of  ‘I don’t recalls’, ‘I didn’t intends’ and ‘the butler did its’.

For the most part, testimony from the various regulators didn’t shed additional light on the ‘missing’ funds either (everyone’s extremely sorry and deep in search mode) but they did reveal extreme, pass-the-blame incompetence, in the spirit of AIG.

Really, how many inept regulatory bodies does it take to screw customers out of $1.2 billion?

Let me put $1.2 billion into a perspective that the House committees didn’t. According to its second quarter SEC filing, MF Global had $3.7 billion of available liquidity.  The funds were equivalent to a third of that liquidity. That’s not a tiny figure. If you’re running a firm buckling under the weight of the bets you’re losing, you’re damn well aware of your liquidity lines – they are your life raft.

Besides that, MF Global’s net revenue for the second quarter was $206 million and for the six months ending September 30, 2011, it was $520 million. The ‘missing’ customer money was more than twice the firm’s net for the first half of their year.

To recap. Corzine was obsessed with the European sovereign bet. So, he fired his risk officer, Michael Roseman for questioning it,  and replaced him with a yes-man, Michael Stockman whose job description appeared to have included stroking Corzine's – er – ego, and to remain quiet about any trade concerns. He rides the trade through a succession of flailing earnings and intense market volatility, while meeting with regulators questioning its sustainability. He knows he’s got to pony up a chunk of capital in the summer to appease them and stick with it. And when finally, MF Global’s ratings were downgraded on October 25th, a bunch of calls transpire between him and NY Fed head and former Goldmanite, William Dudley before the firm goes bankrupt a week later, with nearly $1.2 billion in customer money ‘missing.’

We’re supposed to believe this ‘thorough and exacting’ man knew nothing about where it went? Or that his sense of entitlement and bravado was so big, he didn’t think it was wrong to take that money? Or that he wasn’t aware it was available? At all?

No. Not possible. And yet, over half a dozen regulatory bodies were oblivious to the fund heist. Finding Corzine guilty of a crime would be like asking them to indict themselves. The CFTC Enforcement division can refer criminal matters to the Department of Justice for prosecution. But the DOJ has punted on every Wall Street crime related to the 2008 subprime crisis. So what will probably happen –  is that Corzine may get a little fine from the Washington regulators. Legislators will move on to figuring out how to incorporate MF Global into stump speeches. Those that had their money stolen will battle it out in civil suits for years. And again, no lessons will be learned. No practices altered. No heads will roll.

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