Tag Archives | Goldman Sachs

Bankers Undemocratically Installed As Heads Of Italy And Greece

Pg-12-eurozone-graphicIn case you missed it, over the past eight days, the prime ministers of two major European nations stepped down. The newly appointed, not elected, leaders of Italy and Greece will be Mario Monti (formerly of Goldman Sachs) and Lucas Papademos (formerly head of the Central Bank of Greece). A signal that marriage between capitalism and democracy is coming to an end? The Independent writes:

The ascension of Mario Monti to the Italian prime ministership is remarkable for more reasons than it is possible to count. By replacing the scandal-surfing Silvio Berlusconi, Italy has dislodged the undislodgeable. By imposing rule by unelected technocrats, it has suspended the normal rules of democracy, and maybe democracy itself. And by putting a senior adviser at Goldman Sachs in charge of a Western nation, it has taken to new heights the political power of an investment bank that you might have thought was prohibitively politically toxic.

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Chris Hedges’ Speech in Front of Goldman Sachs Leads to Arrest

Chris Hedges

Photo Courtesy of Chris Hedges

Via Nation of Change:

Chris Hedges made this statement in New York City’s Zuccotti Park on Thursday morning during the People’s Hearing on Goldman Sachs, which he chaired with Dr. Cornel West. The activist and Truthdig columnist then joined a march of several hundred protesters to the nearby corporate headquarters of Goldman Sachs, where he was arrested with 16 others.

Goldman Sachs, which received more subsidies and bailout-related funds than any other investment bank because the Federal Reserve permitted it to become a bank holding company under its “emergency situation,” has used billions in taxpayer money to enrich itself and reward its top executives. It handed its senior employees a staggering $18 billion in 2009, $16 billion in 2010 and $10 billion in 2011 in mega-bonuses. This massive transfer of wealth upwards by the Bush and Obama administrations, now estimated at $13 trillion to $14 trillion, went into the pockets of those who carried out fraud and criminal activity rather than the victims who lost their jobs, their savings and often their homes.

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Goldman Sachs Rules The World

The trader who went on BBC News and admitted that banks rule the world, not governments, appears to have the media reeling, not sure whether or not to believe this brazen bit of truth-telling. New York Magazine's Daily Intel summarizes the confusion:
A trader by the name of Alessio Rastani told a shocked BBC News reporter yesterday, "The governments don't rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world." He warned, "The savings of millions of people are going to vanish," and said viewers should "get prepared" because the "economic crisis is like a cancer, if you just wait and wait thinking this will go away, just like a cancer it's going to grow and it's going to be too late."...
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Wrangling The Giant Vampire Squid

VampireSquidMatt Taibbi has been waiting to watch Goldman Sachs executives go to jail for a while–at least since 2009 when he called Goldman the “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

Released today, the latest installment of Taibbi’s manifesto against all things Goldman sets up a pretty simple proposition based on the recently released 650-page report from Senator Carl Levin’s Subcommittee on Investigations, detailing the collapse of the American financial system. Taibbi wastes no time with whodunnit paragraphs, instead setting the smoking gun on the doorstep of the Department of Justice. Like a rewriting of the Senate investigator’s above quote, Taibbi declares, “Everything’s fucked up, and it’s time for Goldman Sachs to go to jail. You don’t even have to investigate because the Senate did it for you. Just issue those subpoenas.” (The Atlantic Wire)

Apparently the vampire squid also has an appetite for metal.… Read the rest

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Chris Hedges’s Endgame Strategy: Why The Revolution Must Start In America

Synopsis via The Raw Story:
Pulitzer-winning author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has a revolutionary worldview. In the video below, his recent “Endgame Strategy” piece for AdBusters is read aloud by George Atherton. His conclusions are chilling, but not entirely hopeless. “We will have to take care of ourselves,” he wrote. “We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.
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The Case Against Goldman Sachs

mainIn his usual clear, profane manner, Matt Taibbi lays out why Goldman Sachs’s executives must face criminal charges as soon as possible. Via Rolling Stone:

America has been waiting for a case to bring against Wall Street. Here it is, and the evidence has been gift-wrapped and left at the doorstep of federal prosecutors, evidence that doesn’t leave much doubt: Goldman Sachs should stand trial.

To date, there has been only one successful prosecution of a financial big fish from the mortgage bubble, and that was Lee Farkas, a Florida lender who was just convicted on a smorgasbord of fraud charges and now faces life in prison. But Farkas, sadly, is just an exception proving the rule: Like Bernie Madoff, his comically excessive crime spree (which involved such lunacies as kiting checks to his own bank and selling loans that didn’t exist) was almost completely unconnected to the systematic corruption that led to the crisis.

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Finance Capitalism is Causing Starvation

We all know Soviet-style communism causes starvation.  Looks like American-style capitalism does the same thing in a different way.  Johann Hari in the Independent, from this past July:

It starts with an apparent mystery. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people — mostly children — couldn’t afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, calls it “a silent mass murder”, entirely due to “man-made actions.”

Earlier this year I was in Ethiopia, one of the worst-hit countries, and people there remember the food crisis as if they had been struck by a tsunami.

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The Demise Of Facebook

Facebook logoDouglas Rushkoff called the impending doom of AOL when it’s hapless merger with Time Warner was announced. Now he says Facebook is cashing out and it’s the beginning of its demise, in an opinion piece at CNN:

All signs for Facebook appear to be pointing up.

Mark Zuckerberg is Time’s Man of the Year, the movie about him seems likely to be an Oscar winner, and now Goldman Sachs is raising $1.5 billion from its favorite investors on behalf of the social networking company.

At the very same moment, Facebook’s only real competitor –NewsCorps’ waning social networking site, MySpace — is shedding employees and expenses, most likely in hopes of a fire sale.

But appearances can be deceiving. In fact, as I read the situation, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of Facebook. These aren’t the symptoms of a company that is winning, but one that is cashing out.

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