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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

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Goldman Sachs is Doing the Squid Squiggle

Universities are taking umbridge at Goldman Sachs's recruiting efforts. Goldman Sachs has cancelled some recruiting seminars because of the Occupy and student protests. Students realize that community service is at least as important as making big bucks on Wall Street, that same Wall Street which has a rather sleazy reputation for having brought down the financial system in 2008. John Lauerman and Oliver Staley in Bloomberg have written a piece called Occupy Harvard Mars Recruiting by Goldman. The article also mentions Occupy protests against foreclosures and West Coast ports.

J. A. Myerson of Truthout has another article on Occupy protesters and Goldman Sachs:

Protesters Occupy Goldman Sachs
By J. A. Myerson - Truthout

It is not warm on West Street at 8:30 AM on December 12, and the wind coming simultaneously off the Hudson River to the west and New York harbor to the south doesn't make it very much balmier. But if 50,000 people can take to the streets of Moscow because they object to their democracy being gamed by the elites, Occupy Wall Street won't let a little chill get in its way.

The reason several hundred protesters have congregated on West Street is that Goldman Sachs can be found there. And, today, Occupy Wall Street has gone squidding just outside. The idea comes from Matt Taibbi's "nailed-it" description of the banking giant as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." Many umbrellas sporting makeshift tentacles and ad hoc hats with angry squid eyes cap the march, which leaves simultaneously from two locations: City Hall and Zuccotti Park.

The march is timed to coincide with an effort in West Coast cities to shut down ports, with New York occupiers showing solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, and elsewhere - all of whose occupations were evicted just like the de facto flagship one in New York. According to Boots Riley of the Oakland hip-hop outfit The Coup, "Occupy Oakland called for this massive coordinated blockade as a way to strike back at the 1% after their attacks on the Occupy movement and their continued assault on working and poor people." New York couldn't have picked a more apt 1 percent target than Goldman, as Taibbi's depiction hints.

"Everybody pays their tax," chant the marchers. "Everyone but Goldman Sachs." The reference is to Goldman's shady accounting, which allows the corporation to grossly underpay its federal taxes. According to the US Public Interest Research Group, "Goldman Sachs, which reported more than $2 billion in profit in 2008, was able to use its 29 tax haven subsidiaries to reduce its federal tax bill to just $14 million. That means that Goldman Sachs' CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who made $42.9 million that year, earned more than three times the amount that the company paid in federal taxes." This, while social services are cut because of an alleged budget crisis.

Take back the media by making a tax-deductible donation to Truthout this week. Click here to support news free of corporate influence.

The complaints are not limited to taxation, however, and the way they come out is in a "press conference" with the Goldman Sachs squid. This character is admirably portrayed by a costumed protester, whose burbles and squeaks are graciously translated from the squid by an interpreter dressed like a banker from 1929. The two take questions from "reporters" from assorted news outlets, who ask incisive questions about the firm's various iniquities. All, that is, but the Fox News "reporter," who also speaks Squid - the answer she receives is, "We at Goldman agree that we are doing God's work."

One question challenges the exorbitant enrichment of Goldman's top leadership to the tune, alleges the asker, of $18 billion last year. It is actually difficult for several around me to imagine what this entails, because that is such a high number. What must it mean that Mayor Bloomberg, whose wealth is highlighted by half of the march's origin at City Hall, has $19.5 billion to his name? It's a bit like the difficulty humans have conceiving of the size of, say, the solar system. The average person considers things on such a different scale - one month's rent, the cost of a date night, the kids' Christmas presents, a vacation someday far in the future.

While some at the protest stick to the more juvenile "Occupy strikes back! Fuck you, Goldman Sachs," some go a bit farther and level a really important critique: to the meter of "We are the 99 percent," the march breaks out in a chant, "We are the source of all your wealth." This assertion, that the ownership class depends on the working class and not the other way around, is a declaration of independence from a politics that bails out the former at the expense of the latter.

In acknowledgement that people all over the world are engaged in that fight - including port workers in Japan staging solidarity protests today - the march heads indoors, to the palm tree-laden Winter Garden at the World Financial Center. This property, like many in the area, is owned by Brookfield, the real estate mega-corporation also in possession of Zuccotti Park. On its board sits Diana Taylor, the former Goldman-friendly New York state superintendent of banks, whose longtime, live-in boyfriend is the aforementioned Mr. Bloomberg.

Once the protesters get inside the property, the New York Police Department sets about arresting them, including journalist John Knefel and several occupation-affiliated live streamers. Again, the team that Mayor Bloomberg brags is his "army" shows itself to be available for the protection of the interests of wealth - the interests of the police officers' boss and his friends - rather than the First Amendment. Police in this country again and again are commanded to come to the defense of the wealth that the 1 percent enjoys and that the 99 percent create.

The Goldman employees who are inconvenienced this morning are all on their way to work, where they will accumulate more of that wealth. Who will stop them?

Read the article here


JEHR said...

Dear Mr. Blankfein

As CEO of Goldman Sachs, you are noted for the pride you have in being able to avoid risk while doing the bank's business.  And how did you do that?  Well, your bank takes the big risks of borrowing outrageously in order to sustain those profit-making schemes that you are so good at, but then you carefully spread the risk around the globe so that you and Goldman Sachs don't bear any of the consequences of your actions. 

You securitized those sub-prime mortgages and sold them to "sophisticated" investors.  What you failed to do, however, was to tell those "sophisticated" investors that the securities were made to fail so that you could bet on the failure of the mortgage market and make billions that would be used to pay salaries and bonuses to your people.  These payments were large, beyond the imaginations of most working people.

So instead of the risk being kept within your bank, it was sent all over the globe following the path of your junk securities.  The risk was transferred to pension funds that then lost money.  The risk was transferred to savings which evaporated from 401ks.  The risk was transferred to the Greek population when you hide their true debt so that they could join the EU.  The risk was transferred to municipalities that thought they were making a profitable investment.  And on and on.

So by spreading your risk to everyone in the world, you, Mr. Millionaire Blankfein, can sit at home in your cozy office and dream about how to spend your latest billions with no risk to you. 

Meanwhile, beyond your environs, there are homeless people who have been recently foreclosed on; there are pensions that are being cut to teachers and firemen; there are people who have lost their jobs.  All of this is so that you can maintain your lifestyle.

You, Mr. Blankfein, should be ashamed of what you have done to the rest of the world.


An Avid Observer and Believer in the Best in Human Nature

No rules apply said...

the march breaks out in a chant, "We are the source of all your wealth."......they're in their sights!

Excellent Point Being Made In Ag Committee on MF Global

Senator Harkin is making an excellent point: Prior to the CFMA of 2000 customer funds could not be invested in other than municipal or US Government debt fully guaranteed by the US Government.

And the Republicans want less regulation, not more, and they are not calling for people to go to prison and every dime missing taken back from the executives who ran the company so the customers are made whole.


As it stands right now any account you hold at any brokerage can be effectively stolen through being lost via the same mechanism.  Got that?  Good.  Your 401k, IRA, anything -- all at risk.

Protest stopper said...

Ron Paul furious over indefinite detention act

With the approval from the Oval Office the only thing keeping a terrifying law that will allow for the indefinite detention and torture of Americans from passing, presidential hopeful Ron Paul has finally unleashed on the legislation.

Although President Barack Obama had originally insisted that he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin revealed recently that the bill in its current wording was drafted after the current administration asked for changes.

Already making its way through the House and Senate, the Act in its current wording will allow for Americans suspected of any “belligerent” act to be detained in Guantanamo Bay-style military prisons indefinitely for any alleged crimes without trial. With it now being revealed that the president put forth suggestions to draft the latest version of the legislation, Levin told the press Monday night, "I just can't imagine that the president would veto this bill.”

"I very strongly believe this should satisfy the administration and hope it will,” added Levin.

All hail the one percent said...

Banks are lawless dictators? Whose side are the police on?

The deficit that worries me most in terms of the future of our civilisation is the legal accountability deficit - or anomie
as I use it here. This deficit is huge and still growing rapidly as
decisions are taken behind closed doors to shield lawless bankers from
taxes or criminal sanctions and dedicate more and more public funds
and/or monetary expansion to the same lawless bankers with too little
public accounting, scrutiny or recourse.

The banks as dictators makes sense to me. In thinking about my
dissatisfaction with financial regulation for much of the past decade, I
see that a great deal of it is attributable to who the regulators see
as their polity. Their idea of consultation on regulations is to ask
the bankers, traders and rating agencies whether they approve. The idea
of making public policy in the public interest if the bankers
disapprove is unimaginable to them. And so the banks get the
regulations they prefer - or at least did so until the crisis.

And my queasiness about David Cameron's behaviour in Brussels on Friday
stems from the same concern. He threw his toys out of the pram and
turned his back on the EU because they wouldn't guarantee to preserve
the City from further taxation, regulation and scrutiny. It's very
clear that the polity he was serving was not the United Kingdom's
62,300,000 people - but the one per cent that make their living in the
City of London.

So sad said...

The best government is not that which renders men the happiest, but that which renders the greatest number happy.--DUCLOS

Wake up said...

Occupy Endgame: law enforcement arrests 1%’s War & economic criminals

The brilliant 2-minute video from Waiting for the Storm below
is a message for police, sheriff, and military law enforcement to
arrest US political, economic, and corporate “leadership” who have
committed obvious crimes.

Occupy’s endgame, in retrospect, will be obvious:
after a period of “emperor has no clothes” expository communication from
independent Internet media to the 99% and citizen engagement with those
facts, those with arrest authority exercised it to remove criminal
leadership from power.

The first criminal arrests will be for War Crimes and financial
fraud. The most notable will be “leadership” of both US political
parties and from the largest financial institutions involved in mortgage
and “investment” frauds.

Importantly, the “criminal 1%” include corporate media who
are criminal accomplices to enable and cover-up the murder of millions,
deprivation of billions, and looting of trillions of our dollars. Their
manipulative voices will be removed from power, quickly facilitating
public communication of the objective facts of the depth of state
crimes, and the inspirational future humanity enters.

Occupy’s victory means peace
from criminal wars based on obvious lies, economic security and
sufficiency for 100% of humanity, and unleashing suppressed technologies
that transforms what it means to be human into unimaginable status.

Ovais Mirza said...

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