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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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Friday, February 24, 2012

When You See Goldman Sachs Coming, Run the Other Way!

Why would anyone make a deal with Goldman Sachs? Goldman exists to maximize its profits and they do not give a phennig for the public good. There is a reason that electricity is a public utility because it serves the public's needs and when a private for-profit-only company wants to jigger with the gears, then watch out. The bank will win; the public will lose.

Deregulation for the purposes of promoting competition and choice for the users can be too easily subverted.

Consumer Rates Climb After Deregulation Goldman Sachs Funded
By Darrell Preston - Bloomberg News

Houston (10750MF) consumers were supposed to get lower electricity rates from deregulation. Instead, they pay some of the nation’s highest prices, partly because of bonds Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) recently sold for a local utility.

The Wall Street bank marketed $1.7 billion of securities for Houston-based CenterPoint Energy Inc. (CNP) last month at higher yields than most of the company’s similar long-term debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That raised costs borne by 2.2 million Houston-area consumers by about $47 million.

The sale shows how deregulation in Texas backfired, driving up costs for those promised savings. Texans paid some of the lowest rates in the country before the changes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Now they pay the fifth- highest electricity prices. The policy shift toward competition has also misfired in other states including California.

“This whole thing has been tragic for ratepayers,” said Thomas Brocato, a lawyer in Austin for the Gulf Coast Coalition of Cities, a group of 34 municipalities served by CenterPoint, whose share price beat the Standard & Poor’s utilities index by about 2-to-1 in the past year. The bond issue’s cost “makes it still worse,” he said.

Read the entire article here

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