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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, September 19, 2012

Goldman Sachs's Friend In Need: Lanny Breuer

We on this blog have been wondering for years why no one at Goldman Sachs was ever criminally prosecuted for the accounting control fraud they committed via CDOs.  Why wasn't Lloyd Blankfein indicted for perjury?  Why weren't the CEO and CFO of Goldman indicted under Sarbanes-Oxley for signing off on obviously misleading financial statements with toxic assets that were sold to investors (savings and pension funds) only to become worthless and cause a world-wide financial crisis?

Well, below is a part of the answer to those questions about why fraud ran amuck and was neither investigated nor criminally prosecuted.  That is to say, the blame partly belongs to one Lanny Breuer who runs the Criminal Division at the Justice Department.

Mr. Breuer believes that it is better to take into account the health of the whole organization before zeroing in on the real fraud and its miscreants!  In that case, no one ever would be prosecuted because there are always those around who suffer from the delinquent actions of others.

Everything Mr. Breuer is quoted as saying in the article below explains the lack of prosecutions for fraud but hardly explains how such a dummkopf got into a position of responsibility.  William Black explains, by means of an interesting extended food metaphor, the role Breuer played:

Fiat Justitia?  Breuer fires blanks on elite financial frauds
By William K. Black - New Economic Perspectives
. . . .
Breuer is the very model of the modern chef de cover up so he has deconstructed the criminal justice system to the point that it no longer applies to the banksters who caused the crisis.  Breuer and Attorney General Holder specialize in serving the American people tripe and confit de canard.  Breuer blanc has been slathered on so many of Holder’s hors d’œuvre that the Justice Department has been rendered hors de combat when it comes to the banksters. 
It was a travesty and a national tragedy that Holder and Breuer (and their predecessors) have failed to do their duty to hold the banksters accountable.  It is beyond comprehension that Breuer is bragging about his failure to prosecute elite corporate frauds.  On September 13, 2012, Breuer spoke to an audience of New York City attorneys who function primarily to maximize the wealth and political power of corporate CEOs – even when they do so at the corporation’s expense.  See Looting: the Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit (George Akerlof and Paul Romer, 1993).  The CEO, not the “corporation,” hires and fires big law firms and the CEO’s interests are frequently hostile to the interests of the corporation’s shareholders and creditors.  Breuer was at his most obsequious in front of his NYC peers.

Holder and Breuer became wealthy by doing the bidding of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful CEOs when they were at Covington & Burling.  The CEOs deploy them as apex predators – and they are famously vicious or charming, whatever is required, in their role as counsel representing the CEO’s interests.  Holder and Breuer will soon return formally to that status.  It is an odd role, for the lawyer must be reliably tame in serving the CEO’s interests and willing to be reliably vicious if necessary when attacking anyone that stands between the CEO and wealth, ego, and power maximization.  It is an extremely lucrative role and such lawyers are considered to be the profession’s elite by their peers.

Please read the whole article here


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