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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, September 10, 2013

Bill Black: No Senior Executives of Goldman Sachs Were Indicted

Read this article that contradicts a New York Times "puff piece:"
Bill Black:  Not with a Bang but a Whimper--the SEC Enforcement Team's Propaganda Campaign
By Bill Black - Naked Capitalism 
. . . .
 “Justice” became an oxymoron in the Bush and Obama administration. It now means that the elite frauds that became wealthy through their crimes that drove our financial crisis should enjoy de facto immunity from prosecution. The NYT, however, pictures the SEC as an ultra-aggressive enforcer that virtually never fails to take on the elite CEOs leading the control frauds. The entire piece is one extended leak by the SEC’s enforcement leadership which has been severely criticized for its failure to recover the fraudulent profits that elite Wall Street bankers obtained by running the control frauds. The puff piece, with no critical examination, presents these key statements.
The S.E.C. … has brought civil cases against 66 senior officers in cases linked to the financial crisis. The agency also extracted nine-figure settlements from banks like Goldman Sachs. According to new research by Stanford University’s Securities Litigation Analytics, the S.E.C. has declined to charge individual employees in only 7 percent of its securities fraud cases.
My article is the first installment of a three-part series of articles correcting the NYT propaganda. This installment deals with these three sentences quoted above. Someone carefully constructed them to maximize the misleading nature of the statements. The “66 senior officers in cases linked to the financial crisis” is a phantom number without a source or useful definitions that falls apart as soon one looks at the SEC’s claims.

Here is the SEC source for the claim (note that it is posted on the SEC’s home page as part of the propaganda campaign that enlisted the NYT reporters’ aid).

How many C-suite officers of Wall Street firms were individually sued by the SEC? The SEC says it took action against the following elite financial institutions:
Bank of America: No officers sued

Bear Stearns: No senior officers sued
Citigroup: No officers sued

Countrywide: CEO sued, settled for “record $22.5 million penalty and permanent officer and director bar. (10/15/10)” [WKB: most, perhaps all, of the penalty was paid by Countrywide’s acquirer and insurer. According to the SEC’s complaint, the penalty represents a small percentage of the CEO’s fraudulent gains. The CEO was already retired by the time the SEC sued.]

“Credit Suisse bankers – SEC charged four former veteran investment bankers and traders for their roles in fraudulently overstating subprime bond prices in a complex scheme driven in part by their desire for lavish year-end bonuses. (2/1/12)” [WKB: None of the officers sued was close to being C-suite level.]

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: “SEC charged six former top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with securities fraud for misleading investors about the extent of each company’s holdings of higher-risk mortgage loans, including subprime loans” [WKB: all six executives are C-suite or very senior.]

Goldman Sachs: No senior officers sued

IndyMac: “SEC charged three executives with misleading investors about the mortgage lender’s deteriorating financial condition. (2/11/11) – IndyMac’s former CEO and chairman of the board Michael Perry agreed to pay an $80,000 penalty.” [WKB: The penalty figure is not a misprint. IndyMac made hundreds of thousands of fraudulent “liar’s” loans and sold them to the secondary market through fraudulent “reps and warranties.” It was the largest “vector” spreading mortgage fraud through the system. The three executives sued were C-suite level.]

J.P. Morgan Securities: No officers sued

UBS Securities: No officers sued

Wachovia Capital Markets: No officers sued

Wells Fargo: No senior officers sued
Read the whole article here


wheresthefreemarket said...

Money For Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve

wheresthefreemarket said...

Hank Paulson Regrets Nothing. Still.

wheresthefreemarket said...

Who Do TV Pundits Really Work For?

And then there are the times when the ideological
lines get a little blurry, if they weren’t blurry enough already. Former
RNC chair Michael Steele and Fox News liberal Lanny Davis are cable news fixtures — and business partners. Steele’s tenure at the RNC was marked by gaffes and scandal (Washington Post, 4/7/10), while Davis’ history has included working on behalf of the dictators of Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast (Salon, 12/21/10).

June 2012, they founded the bipartisan-themed Purple Nation Solutions, a
communications firm that specializes in “solutions through legal means,
political lobbying and media management” for “CEOs, Fortune 500
companies, political leaders, lobbyists and individuals facing a

In fact, it’s difficult to catalog all of the possible
conflicts of interest among elite TV pundits. Former Pennsylvania Gov.
Ed Rendell plays a TV liberal on MSBNC — but he’s also an adviser at
investment bank Greenhill & Co, as well as an operating partner at a
small firm that makes investments in the energy industry.

TV liberal, Harold Ford, who makes frequent appearances on NBC and
MSNBC, also has a day job: He works as a senior managing director for
the investment giant Morgan Stanley. Columnist Glenn Greenwald (Salon, 7/9/12) called Ford
“the walking, breathing embodiment of virtually everything rotted and
corrupt about the American political class”—in other words, a ubiquitous
TV pundit.Once upon a time, such conflicts were considered ethically questionable—once they were exposed by other journalists.

wheresthefreemarket said...

Robert Reich has a movie coming out. Here’s the trailer:

Inequality for All on IMDb

wheresthefreemarket said...

Why the American Economy Is a House of Cards

The American economy today is a house of cards, wherein each added
layer of cards at the top increases the pressure on the lower tiers and
threatens the stability of the entire structure. The higher the edifice
goes, in fact, the more likely it becomes that the whole thing will come
crumbling down at some point.

The reason for this is not the expansion of our economy itself but
the inequality, exploitation, corruption, and injustice that are
accompanying this expansion at every step. The economy may be growing,
but it is doing so at the expense of its foundation — the working class
Americans who make all economic activity possible.

wheresthefreemarket said...

Forbes Calls Goldman CEO Holier Than Mother Teresa

I got a lot of letters from folks this week about an online column for Forbes written by a self-proclaimed Ayn Rand devotee named Harry Binswanger (if that's a nom de plume, it's
not bad, although I might have gone for "Harry Kingbanger" or "Harry
Wandwanker"). The piece had the entertainingly provocative title, "Give Back? Yes, It's Time for the 99% to Give Back to the 1%"
and contained a number of innovatively slavish proposals to aid the
beleaguered and misunderstood rich, including a not-kidding-at-all plan
to exempt anyone who makes over a million dollars from income taxes.

This article is so ridiculous that normally it would be beneath
commentary, but there's a passage in there I just couldn't let go:

Imagine the effect on our culture, particularly on the young, if the kind of fame and adulation bathing Lady Gaga attached to the more notable achievements of say, Warren Buffett. Or if the moral praise showered on Mother Teresa went to someone like Lloyd Blankfein,
who, in guiding Goldman Sachs toward billions in profits, has done
infinitely more for mankind. (Since profit is the market value of the
product minus the market value of factors used, profit represents the
value created.)

Instead, we live in a culture where Goldman Sachs is smeared as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity. . ."

What a world we live in, where Mother Teresa wins more moral praise
than Lloyd Blankfein! Who can bear living in a society where such a
thing is possible? Quel horreur!

It reads like an Onion piece, just hilarious stuff. I mean,
Jesus, even Lloyd Blankfein himself didn't go so far as to take the
"God's work" thing 100% seriously, and here's this jackass saying,
without irony, that the Goldman CEO literally out-God-slaps Mother Teresa.

Read more:

JEHR said...

Thanks for the link, robertmc1.

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