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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, December 31, 2012

Goldman Sachs Contributes to the Military/Corporate/Financial Complex

Oliver Stone recently appeared on CBC describing his new ten-hour series called Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States.  It will be an interesting series to watch.  In the interview, he described the US as three "countries" each vying for its own space:--the first, is the USA population of the country within its continental borders; the second, is the huge military component of the economy and, third, the financial system.  Each has its own objective but the military and financial objectives include power that does not recognize the public purpose for which the government was originally created.

Eisenhower warned the people of the United States about power being aggregated in any one sector including the military and the industrial components.

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military/industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." (Eisenhower's speech, 1961

However, he did not foresee that the industrial part of the economy would be decimated by outsourcing in the search for cheap labor and he may not have envisaged the power of the banks in the 21st Century.  So the thing to beware of is the "military, corporate and financial complex" which we now suffer within.

Through what means does the financial system, for example, achieve such power and political influence?  See the following article which shows how those creating the rules and regulations for a better financial system easily move from making laws to working for those for whom the laws are being created!  What a full-blown conflict of interest is brought about which will in no way resolve any of the financial problems brought to us by the banks. 

Goldman Sachs is a leader in these revolving door relationships between government rule-making and banking fraud. 

The CFTC is chaired by a former Goldman Sachs guy, Gary Gensler, who is attempting to make new rules under Dodd-Frank.

CFTC Staffers Cashing In On "Public Service"
By DSWright - Firedoglake

Step right up and Spin the Revolving Door – and what is your prize? Why, a nice job on Wall Street working for the people you used to regulate – you wrote in the loopholes, now you get the cash for exploiting them!

Latest contestants – staffers working for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Many Americans understood that the Dodd-Frank “reforms” were mostly worthless. They will not prevent another crisis or another massive TARP type bailout as the law did absolutely nothing about Too Big To Fail banks (which have actually gotten bigger).

This should not have been a surprise given one of the law’s namesakes, Senator Chris Dodd, was caught red handed getting special loans from perhaps the worst offender in irresponsible mortgage originationCountrywide. Senator Dodd barely survived an ethics investigation from his similarly compromised colleagues.

But what critics may not have understood was that Dodd-Frank was apparently a jobs program for politically connected staffers. From The Wall Street Journal:
After working long hours over many months crafting new rules for Wall Street, a number of government regulators are switching sides to work for the firms that will have to follow and interpret them.
Whenever there is a major policy change in Washington like the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, it enhances the marketability of government employees with specialized skills and contacts. But in the past, it was officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department in particular who found their expertise and contacts most highly valued in the financial industry…
At least nine CFTC employees have decamped since June for firms in finance, law and accounting that are figuring out how to comply with the Dodd-Frank overhaul. Six of the staffers were directly involved in rule making and three were in enforcement.
Well done staffers. So glad the taxpayers could fund your Wall Street internship at the CFTC.
Don’t forget the elected officials that helped you get the CFTC job in the first place, I’m sure some of that Wall Street bonus money can be spared for a campaign contribution or two. Remember, you might want to go back into government so you can get even more money in the private sector when you walk out the next time. Cha-ching!

Read the article here


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