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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

Monday, November 19, 2012

Goldman Sachs Blames the Little Guy

One has to ask the question:  If Goldman Sachs was found guilty of selling toxic mortgage investments (and they were), then why is Fabrice Tourre now being singled out and charged with the same crime?  Tourre was just one of many guilty parties to the fraud scheme so why is so much individual attention paid to the little guy?

William D. Cohan has one explanation:
Wall Street's Great Scapegoat Hunt
By William D. Cohan - Bloomberg

Wall Street has increasingly taken up its old habit of blaming junior bankers and traders for what goes wrong.

This is particularly troubling because Wall Street is similar to the military: There is no upside for anyone working in finance to do anything but to follow the orders given by the bosses. The idea of a “rogue trader” is really a myth. The goal at every firm is always to make more money in any way that is legally defensible -- by selling more mortgage-backed securities, by doing bigger and bigger mergers-and-acquisition deals or by making a larger and larger bet on the direction of an obscure debt index.
William D. Cohan is the author of the recently released "Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World" and the New York Times bestsellers "House of Cards" and "The Last Tycoons."
When things go well -- the firm lands a big underwriting or a high-profile merger or executes a profitable trade -- there is no shortage of people around to claim credit. Of course, when something goes terribly wrong -- see “Whale, London” or “Synthetic CDO, Abacus” -- the senior executives disappear from the scene faster than cockroaches when the light is turned on. In return, employees get paid more working on Wall Street -- without putting any personal capital at risk -- than they can at almost any other job on the planet. This is not a subject open to debate on Wall Street. This is the way it is. If you don’t like that bargain, you leave. (Sorry, Greg Smith.) 

Read the whole article here


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