Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Goldman sacks

Rape and pillage is the order of business at Goldman Sachs, says a now former insider. But we all knew that already. This company, to which both parties cravenly outsource the Department of the Treasury, was thoroughly exposed as double-dealing and untrustworthy in the aftermath of the Bushist financial crisis. The SEC:

Robert Khuzami, Director of the Division of Enforcement [at the SEC, said,] "Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio, while telling other investors that the securities were selected by an independent, objective third party."
That privatization of a Cabinet post, until proven otherwise, is why no one - no one! - went to jail over this allegedly legal billion-dollar fraud, for which Goldman Sachs's contracted vig was a paltry $15 million.
Investors in the liabilities of ABACUS are alleged to have lost more than $1 billion.

The SEC's complaint charges Goldman Sachs and Tourre with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5. The Commission seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits, prejudgment interest, and financial penalties.
If you're going to lead a life of crime, white collar crime is the way to go, and the rigged game of Wall St. has the highest reward-to-risk ratio. Hell, if your fraudulent investments go sour in a big enough way, the Secretary of the Treasury will insist the middle class bail you out - without clawing back your immense and undeserved bonuses.

The SEC didn't even seek prison, only civil penalties. The Wall St. billionaires have written the securities laws so that their fraud is often only moral, not legal.

Now to Greg Smith's conscience. Where was he when it mattered? Raking in the dough that he's probably planning to retire on...

If you read his claim of conscience, the first thing you'll notice is what a piece of self-serving bullshit it is, even if its headline is true. I don't know about you, but I was not in need of reading a puffed up resume of all Smith's selections and glory and value. He was almost chosen to be a Rhodes Scholar. Whoop-de-doo.

It sounds to me as though the fundamental problem of Wall St. is overweening self-regard that leads to smash and grab ethics and short-termism. Masters of the universe, bitches! That's how they view the world.

Smith is a terrible writer who won't put himself at risk to do more than generalize. He'd have to violate confidentiality to illustrate his piece with names, dates, and deals, and that would put his retirement at age 33 or so at risk. No way!

He's not so much whistle-blowing as horn-tooting.

Update: Satire!

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