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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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

To Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs from M. Scott

For Christmas this year I received a book called "The Trouble is the Banks:  Letters to Wall Street" which contains 150 letters from Americans and one Canadian concerning the struggles they are going through because of the fraud committed by the biggest banks in North America.

I have also read many of the letters written by mortgage holders who bought their mortgages through the Litton Loan Servicing (which has since been sold to Ocwen).  Litton was once owned by Goldman Sachs in order to help Goldman obtain lots of subprime mortgages to create derivatives that eventually ripped off home owners, pensioners and savers.

The letter below makes reference to the Occupy Wall Street protests that took place in the fall of 2011.  Goldman Sachs is very proud of its private equity work.

At one time, I had considered writing a series of letters to Blankfein outlining all the ways that Goldman Sachs has suckered the populations of the Western World.  Now, I have a book of real letters some of which I would like to share with you.  One such letter follows:

The Trouble is the Banks:  Letters to Wall Street
Edited by Mark Greif, Dayna Tortorici, Kathleen French, Emma Janaskie and Nick Werle - published by n + 1 Research Branch Small Books, Series #4, 2012

 To:  Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman Sachs

Mr. Blankfein:

    First off, I would like to say congratulations.  While you are doing "God's Work" up there at Goldman Sachs, I'm up at 1:14 AM trying to figure out how I'm going to make ends meet when the night turns into morning.  I can hear my father in the room next to mine stirring as well.

    You see, your bank had this Private Equity fund, which bought his company, saddled it with debt, and then quickly drove it into bankruptcy.  You then flipped it for a very large profit, and left a shell of a company that is now struggling day to day under an incredible debt load (all for having the privilege of buying itself).  Now my father's thirty years of hard work is being rewarded by you fellows sacking his pension, selling his years of accumulated bonus stocks (on his behalf and in his best interest at 41 cents a share during bankruptcy proceedings, even though his cost was $40 a share and said shares were part of his retirement plan)--and who knows what tomorrow will bring.  I can't help but tear up to think about his friends at work, twenty-five, thirty, even forty years of devoted service to a company that is probably going to turn around and reward them with a pink slip tomorrow.  It's a shame:  all in the name of profit, they tell us.

    Yet his only concern is us, his children.  Bravery comes in many shapes and sizes, and can be found in many places.  When I think of people to look up to and admire, I don't look to Wall Street and people like you.  I look to Main Street, and I hope my generation and future generations can exhibit half the bravery and honesty that our middle-aged and middle-class forefathers have shown during these tough times.

    That isn't the worst of it, for us anyways.  How about my sister and I, just about to turn 27 and 30 respectively?  We both have Master's degrees and loads of experience.  Turns out that has not been enough for us either, as we both have lost our jobs during the credit crisis of 2007, and our dignity as well (and now live with our parents, which as you can imagine, was not a big part of our life-long goals).  I would like to get on with my life, you see, sir, as I've done my seven years of school, my five years of work, and many, many hours of volunteer work.  I have done my time and paid my experiential dues.  I would like to get back to being a good upstanding citizen and contributor to the tax base in my country, and to getting my student loans settled, just as my fellow family members and friends across America would like to do.  Heck, I pray nightly for a job at a respectable place such as the local 7-Eleven.  After a year of searching for work, it would be nice to know that my seven days a week of pounding the pavement will have paid off, and I can at least settle my debts, pay my bills, and cut my losses with dignity.  Yet the actions of Wall Street, Bay Street, and the Street make this completely impossible for us.

    But here is the best part, the kicker (if you will).  I'm not from the United States.  We don't live anywhere near you hotshots in New York City.  Yet your team members, doing "God's Work" have vastly affected lives not only in the United States, but in fact all over the world.  You and your fellow compadres will have to pay for that someday, so I'd start making a game plan of restitution to society really soon.  I mean, metaphorically, the lone jailbird (I suppose that would be you) trying to escape the prison could very well get away; my money remains on the warden.

    If we have learned anything in this crisis, it's that borders are only imaginary and people can only be restrained for so long.  The whole world is uprising.  But that doesn't mean it is too late for you to join us.  We really could use some ideas from incredibly smart people such as yourself on how to fix the problems we currently all have (and not just fixes that work in your best interest).  After all, you and your friends supposedly even have the big guy's attention (you even work for him!) and we could really use all the help we can get.  Why not join us, the 99%?  That way we can all constructively create a system where everyone prospers, including yourselves.  That way we can get back to our lives, and you and your friends can get back to doing your jobs and making the big guy happy.  Man, you can't ask for better PR than that!

    In conclusion, I hope you have a wonderful day at work (yes, I'm jealous, I wish I had a job, too) and please do not hesitate to come downstairs at some point.  I'm sure the people in New York City would love to have you join them.

    I also would like to wish you good health, prosperity, and the same to all the fellow Americans who are struggling with us.  It will get better, friends.  We have their attention, thanks to your brave actions.

Much Love,

M. Scott

You can see the editors' website and information on ordering the book here


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