Once again, The Daily Show does the job the mainstream media should be doing:
Once again, The Daily Show does the job the mainstream media should be doing:
News Dissector Danny Schechter explains why Goldman Sachs deserves criminal, not just civil fraud charges. As he says, “Goldman has not been sacked”:
Fox Business News was engrossed in interviewing a blonder than thou reality TV bimbo when the news that the Securities And Exchange Commission was filing fraud charges against Goldman Sachs broke on Friday afternoon.
The breaking news bulletins were already flying through cyberspace before the Fox Means Business network got around to moving from a snickering interview with a starlet confessing to commodifying and monetizing her appeal to the biggest story in months on the Street beat. Corporate fraud allegations seem to make free market boosters nervous.
At last, the mightiest of investment bank, described as a “giant squid on the face of humanity” by Matt Taibbi in a much-read diatribe, appeared to be in deep trouble. Taibbi himself was not convinced that the Government has the goods on Goldman.
He commented, “…What’s interesting is that I heard whiffs of this story going back as far as a year and you know I’m one of the harshest critics of Goldman Sachs and I actually backed off the story because I didn’t really believe it.… Read the rest
Finally! Despite the cozy relationship between the Obama administration’s financial team of Geithner, Summers, et al with their brethren on Wall Street, the SEC reveals that it has the balls to go up against Goldman Sachs. I fear for the job security of senior SEC staffers, but meanwhile they are hurting Goldman where it counts – the firm’s stock price dropped 10% on the announcement, as reported by NPR:
The government has accused Goldman Sachs & Co. of defrauding investors by failing to disclose conflicts of interest in mortgage investments it sold as the housing market was faltering.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday civil fraud charges against the Wall Street powerhouse and one of its vice presidents. The agency alleges Goldman failed to disclose that one of its clients helped create — and then bet against — subprime mortgage securities that Goldman sold to investors.
Investors in the mortgage securities are alleged to have lost more than $1 billion, the SEC noted.
It’s good to know that the banksters at Goldman realize that their lucrative franchise is in peril, but do they really think the arguments in their letter to shareholders will put off calls for criminal action against them? As reported in the New York Post/WSJ:
The year 2009 was one that some Goldman Sachs executives would like to forget, yet the firm was reliving some of its biggest controversies in its longest-ever annual letter to shareholders, released Wednesday.
The eight-page note presented Goldman’s point of view directly to shareholders ahead of the firm’s May 7 annual meeting. Criticized for putting the bank’s own interests ahead of customers, Goldman Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary Cohn said in the letter that clients are at the top of the pecking order.
The two executives used the words “client” or “clients” a total of 56 times, up from 17 in their 2008 shareholder letter.
As described by the inimitable Matt Taibbi, for Rolling Stone:
On January 21st, Lloyd Blankfein left a peculiar voicemail message on the work phones of his employees at Goldman Sachs. Fast becoming America’s pre-eminent Marvel Comics supervillain, the CEO used the call to deploy his secret weapon: a pair of giant, nuclear-powered testicles. In his message, Blankfein addressed his plan to pay out gigantic year-end bonuses amid widespread controversy over Goldman’s role in precipitating the global financial crisis.
The bank had already set aside a tidy $16.2 billion for salaries and bonuses — meaning that Goldman employees were each set to take home an average of $498,246, a number roughly commensurate with what they received during the bubble years. Still, the troops were worried: There were rumors that Dr. Ballsachs, bowing to political pressure, might be forced to scale the number back. After all, the country was broke, 14.8 million Americans were stranded on the unemployment line, and Barack Obama and the Democrats were trying to recover the populist high ground after their bitch-whipping in Massachusetts by calling for a “bailout tax” on banks.
“I just wrote my first reference for a gun permit,” said a friend, who told me of swearing to the good character of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who applied to the local police for a permit to buy a pistol. The banker had told this friend of mine that senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.
I called Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag to ask whether it’s true that Goldman partners feel they need handguns to protect themselves from the angry proletariat. He didn’t call me back. The New York Police Department has told me that “as a preliminary matter” it believes some of the bankers I inquired about do have pistol permits. The NYPD also said it will be a while before it can name names.
While we wait, Goldman has wrapped itself in the flag of Warren Buffett, with whom it will jointly donate $500 million, part of an effort to burnish its image — and gain new Goldman clients. Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein also reversed himself after having previously called Goldman’s greed “God’s work” and apologized earlier this month for having participated in things that were “clearly wrong.”
Has it really come to this? Imagine what emotions must be billowing through the halls of Goldman Sachs to provoke the firm into an apology. Talk that Goldman bankers might have armed themselves in self-defense would sound ludicrous, were it not so apt a metaphor for the way that the most successful people on Wall Street have become a target for public rage.
By Robert Singer
The Center for Responsible Lending estimates that there have now been 1,000,000 foreclosures filed so far in 2009 and the group expects the foreclosure number to double before the end of the year.
U.S. Home Vacancies Hit 18.7 Million on Bank Seizures (Update2) 
Thanks to our controlled and uncontrolled media, we know when you take the derivative of the foreclosure crisis you get those greedy predatory lenders at AIG, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America plotting to steal our tacky (I mean tract-y) houses.
Conventional wisdumb and the media always blame the usual suspects and FOX News wraps it up: “It’s the age-old Wall Street vs. Main Street smackdown again”
Is this foreclosure for profit?
Read the rest at the Marketoracle
Can you believe this guy? The Sunday Times gains unprecedented access to the world’s most powerful, and most secretive, investment bank:
“Aha! You catch us plotting in real time,” says Lloyd Blankfein, breaking away from a cabal of senior executives discussing his trip to Washington the previous day. Blankfein, 55, Goldman’s chairman and chief executive, is wearing a grey suit with a jaunty Hermès tie with little red bicycles on it. In his hand, he’s carrying one of those cups of coffee that look bigger than the human stomach. Maybe it’s the caffeine, maybe it’s the tie — a birthday present from his daughter — but he’s in a remarkably jolly mood for a man everyone seems to hate. “It’s like a safari here,” he jokes. “You’ve come in to look at the animals.”
Blankfein may be Wall Street’s Sun God, but, with the economic outlook stormy, he doesn’t want to advertise it, so the merest hint of a status symbol or — horror!
Matt Taibbi writes:
I didn’t believe this story was true at first — thought it had to be a spoof. But it turns out to be true. The great banks of the world have gone on a p.r. counteroffensive in Europe, and are sending spokescrooks in shiny suits into churches to persuade the masses that Christ would have approved of the latest round of obscene bonuses.
Goldman Sachs international adviser Brian Griffiths explains it this way: that Christ’s famous injunction to love others as one would love oneself actually means that one should love oneself as one would love oneself. This seemingly baffling outburst by a Goldman executive in what appears to have been a prepared speech — someone actually wrote this, and thought about it, before saying it out loud — gets even weirder when one tries to figure out what could possibly have motivated this person, and by extension his employer Goldman Sachs, to make such statements in such a place as St.