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Fraud*
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

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Two Things Anathema to Each Other: Goldman Sachs and Unions

When Goldman Sachs Japan began firing its employees for no good reason (except to maintain executive's high bonuses), the employees decided to fight for their rights by forming a union, probably Goldman's first employee union. The employees were reacting to the way Goldman treated its employees during and after their dismissals. You can read the details and find out about the "intensity and viciousness" with which Goldman treated its laid-off employees in The Japan Times. Goldman tries to buck any law it can including Japanese ones.

Unions are important.

Goldman Sachs Workers Unionize In Japan: Report
By Huffington Post

Wall Street workers and union hands may seem like total opposites, but employees at an iconic investment bank are countering those preconceived notions.

That's right, some Goldman Sachs workers in Japan are unionizing, according to the Japan Times (h/t Dealbook). The workers made the decision after the bank allegedly attempted to convince certain employees to voluntarily resign in order to get around Japanese labor laws that make laying off workers difficult.

Despite the laws, Goldman has managed to shed some jobs in Japan. The firm was among a group of banks that have slashed nearly 2,000 jobs in Japan since June 2010, largely as a result of the global financial crisis and the March earthquake and tsunami, according to Bloomberg.

This is surely not the first time workers in Japan have been upset at Goldman. Following the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the company reportedly asked its employees to stay in the country or risk being fired, even as concerns over radiation mounted, according to a March CNBC report.

And Goldman's union might have a difficult time making inroads going forward. Historically, Japanese unions have been firm-specific, meaning they lack the power of organizing workers in an entire industry, according to a 1993 paper from economists at Harvard. In addition, Japanese unions often accept the goals of their firms more readily than their U.S. counterparts.

Still, bank workers in the U.S. are unlikely to unionize any time soon. It's already been tried, anyway. In 2008, after taxpayers bailed out the banks to the tune of $700 billion, the Service Employees International Union sent an email aiming to organize bank workers, according to CNN. In addition, SEIU tried to get tellers at Bank of America and other big banks to unionize in 2009, according to CBS.

Though those previous attempts may not have been wildly successful, American bank workers might have more reason to consider unionizing than they have in the past. Bank profits rose to a five-year high in 2011, even as Wall Street workers were laid off and saw their bonuses and pay slashed.

Read the article here

Read the article in The Japan Times here

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