Media Con Men Try To Distract Us

An army of commentators and TV personalities are making fun of the Congressional hearings going after Goldman Sachs con men.  This, of course, is a media con game.  As the condition of sovereign states and governments worsen, we see rising street actions that will spread around the planet.  The collapsing credit bubble is entering stage 2 of this Great Depression.  This is where violent political change begins to hammer various governments.

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PostPartisan – Goldman Sachs gored

But today, senators were too busy grilling Goldman Sachs, a firm that purged itself of mortgage mania earlier than most, to remember the bigger culprits. In the topsy turvy world of Washington, the smart guys are the bad guys, while the dunces are magically transformed into innocent victims.

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The Washington Post has become extreme right wing in nearly everything lately.  This is a classic example.  The ‘smart guys’ this odious pundit is talking about are the Goldman Sachs con men.  The ‘dunces’ are the investors who trusted the GS con men.

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I am noticing a push going on here in the US media: instead of pointing out the obvious, that the GS con men were either very stupid or outright liars, the media mavens are mocking Congress for grilling these con men!  I see this all over the place and it seems to be the main theme here.

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In addition, is the contempt for the victims of these con games.  Will the people fall for this storyline?  I bet they will.  It is so easy to do this!  Making fun of con victims is an old game.  Makes people who are  not very smart think they are very smart.

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Goldman is under attack for betting that mortgage securities would fall in 2007, a wager that was so evidently sane that no firm should be expected to apologize for it.

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Note how this con man, Mr. Mallaby, leaves out the critical information that GS wasn’t merely betting on bad CDOs going under but were SELLING these things and LYING about the value of these things.  That is, the sales staff knew these were ‘sh*tty deals’ but told clients, these were great deals.  That was the con game.

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Markets need more skeptics willing to prick bubbles — if anything, Goldman should be criticized for not dumping its mortgage positions earlier and harder. But the act of placing a negative bet — or “short selling”– is politically unpopular, so Goldman’s accurate call on mortgages has landed it in trouble. Bubbles are always popular as they inflate. Sooner or later, they are bound to pop, but woe betide the messenger.

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Why was Goldman Sachs not the ‘messenger’ in the collapse of CDO values? HAHAHA. This is because they were PUSHING these things and were intent on selling them to dupes. Mr. Mallaby is, of course, being very ingenious here, hoping his readers didn’t see the grilling as it happened so they don’t know about the sales angle of these deals.

. In two ways, though, there is a certain justice to Goldman’s predicament. The first is that the byzantine business model of the modern investment bank is rife with potential internal conflicts, and the goring of Goldman reflects that. Even as it bet against mortgages with its own capital, Goldman was carrying on its parallel business of selling mortgage securities to those who still wanted to buy them. The way Wall Streeters see things, there is nothing wrong with this: How you bet with your own money and what you sell to your clients are unconnected. But non-Wall Streeters reasonably regard this compartmentalization as odd. Since Goldman had a clear view that the mortgage market was imploding, shouldn’t it have shared that view with its clients?

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ΩΩThis ‘odd compartmentalization’ within Goldman Sachs used to be illegal until the GOP Congress and Clinton made it possible.  Of course, this is a rank and obvious conflict of interest!  And was outlawed during the Great Depression.  Our forerunners figured out, these sorts of conflicts of interest leads to playing con games!  Wall Streeters love having this sort of conflict of interest whereby they pretend they are your buddy and working on the same side of the street when they are really working with the muggers in the back alleys.

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ΩΩThe real question here is, why does the Washington Post hire con men like Mallaby?  His analysis is rife with amoral and piratical thinking.  One would hope a major newspaper would hire only people who have some dim social conscience rather than cruel, hard, psychopaths who laugh at victims and as the Goldman Sachs people liked to joke, steal from widows and orphans.

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ΩΩAny culture that celebrates ripping off the weak and punishing the helpless ends up dead in the gutter.  A healthy social sense is necessary for any society to function and topmost is to protect the weak, helpless and poor and to keep the rich from getting too rich.  This is why socialist countries such as the Nordic nations are doing so well.  The nations with the greatest spread between rich and poor are terrible places to live and barely governable except via military force.

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ΩΩThe US is seeing serious problems broiling out of the credit bubble mess.  We have been in trouble for many, many years.  Running our trade and budget deficits in the red for many years has destroyed our economic base in important ways, above all, deindustrializing the nation while handing over our resources and infrastructure to aliens.

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ΩΩMy state of NY is in financial difficulties.  The budget deficit is extremely small compared to the gargantuan US budget deficit.  But it is certainly large.  And there is little political will to fix it properly.

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New York Governor Proposes Mandatory Employee Furloughs – WSJ.com

In an effort to jolt the statehouse out of a deadlock, Gov. David A. Paterson on Tuesday demanded that lawmakers place 100,000 state employees on mandatory furloughs for as long as it takes to negotiate a spending plan. The governor also called for lawmakers to vote up or down on his budget proposal and to spend every weekday in Albany, rather than head home to their districts.

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As quickly as Mr. Paterson raised the stakes, lawmakers pulled them back down, responding to each of the governor’s demands with indifference.

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Democrats, who control both houses of the Legislature, gave no indication that they would accept Mr. Paterson’s proposal to force the majority of state agency employees to stay home one day a week without pay. They also dismissed the governor’s call for a budget vote as a distraction from the talks. As to staying put in Albany, they declined, saying they didn’t want to neglect their constituents back home.

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Announcing his demands at a rare executive chamber press conference, Mr. Paterson vented his increasing frustration with the Legislature, which is resisting billions of dollars of cuts and other revenue actions that the governor proposed to close a more than $9 billion budget gap.

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ΩΩThe same paralysis that is destroying California is here in NY.  And it is spreading across the land.  The fall in tax revenues is hurting everyone.  In NY, all the school boards are slashing budgets due to all of this.  Schools are closing everywhere including two schools in my small school district which is in a rural area that is extremely large.

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ΩΩEverywhere, I see attempts by parents to get people on school boards who will vote to keep schools open but property tax payers are digging in their heels.  Property taxes are quite high in the Northeast. The con games run by Goldman Sachs is unwinding in ugly ways throughout the entire system.

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Students Protest School Budget Cuts in New Jersey – NYTimes.com

It was a silent call to arms: an easy-to-overlook message urging New Jersey students to take a stand against the budget cuts that threaten class sizes and choices as well as after-school activities. But some 18,000 students accepted the invitation posted last month on Facebook, the social media site better known for publicizing parties and sporting events. And on Tuesday many of them — and many others — walked out of class in one of the largest grass-roots demonstrations to hit New Jersey in years.

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ΩΩThis is exactly like the transition from the 1950’s demonstrations pro or con on school integration which moved in 10 years to a rising revolt against the war in Vietnam and the way things were taught in school.  Students want more funding and this is for good reasons. But we are in an education crisis here and pretty much at sea.

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ΩΩThat is, the way our culture is set up, students are struggling to deal with the temptations of the computer/internet/mass communication systems which enables organizing themselves like what we saw in Iran while at the same time, this system distracts students so they do poorly in traditional learning systems especially the ‘memorize many things’ aspect.

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ΩΩThe modern systems increase a sense of ‘here and now’ at the expense of ‘what happened in the past is important.’  I adhere strongly to the concept that the past matters a great deal and that we tend to walk in circles over time rather than linear movements.  I am happy that students are discovering the value of person to person communication.  I wish I had this system when I was trying to organize students back in 1967-1974.

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The Day: Columbia High Students vs. Gov. Christie – The Local – Maplewood Blog – NYTimes.com

The front lawn of the school was filled with students holding homemade posters that told of their disapproval of Governor Christie’s cuts and how it is affecting their school. They chanted to school administrators: “We can’t cut, why can you.” And to the teachers: “Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate — teachers.” They also roared at the passing cars that honked.

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ΩΩThis is so touching!  Totally different from my generation!  On the other hand, I used to pay property taxes in South Orange/Maplewood and the school taxes were ferocious and was the main reason why I sold my house there and moved out.  There has to be a better way to pay for schools!  The property tax system was from the farming days 150 years ago.  Since the vast majority of people were farmers, the richer farmers had lots of land while the poor ones had little to no land.

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ΩΩSo it made sense back then.  Now, it is a huge burden on the middle class and the poor pay much higher rents because of school taxes which are higher, per value, on rentals than on owner-occupied homes.

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The Day: Columbia High Students vs. Gov. Christie – The Local – Maplewood Blog – NYTimes.com

I would be steamed if Christie picked education as the department to cut in order to close the budget gap, but I probably wouldn’t have walked out. However, the governor decided to cut education to pay for a tax cut, not to actually reduce the state deficit.

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Whether or not that tax was actually reducing revenue (Christie’s argument), the governor also refused to even consider raising any taxes or tolls, despite the fact that this state has the lowest gas tax in the country. In my mind, this, more than anything else, shows that Christie doesn’t really want to reduce the deficit or fix any other long term problems. He wants to de-fund programs he doesn’t like, and cut taxes for himself and his friends. — Ben

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ΩΩAn income tax cut does nothing for homeowners who have low incomes but high school taxes while renters get no relief at all unless they have high enough incomes they can get a cut here.  I know that all the property owners I know in New Jersey would love to see property taxes go down.  But this means reconfiguring how schools are funded, a near impossibility in the present system.

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ΩΩBudget woes are proliferating like crazy which is the natural outcome of a classic credit bubble collapse aka the Great Depression type of event.  The interest rates on Greek debt roll overs is shooting upwards very rapidly.

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Greek instability threatens to topple Merkel’s government – Europe, World – The Independent

And it is not just Mrs Merkel’s opponents giving her a headache. The Greek bailout has also ignited an untimely political row within the ruling coalition – at both state and national level.

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Andreas Pinkwart, North Rhine Westphalia’s liberal leader, has been publicly asking why Greece should be offered billions – Germany is expected to stump up an estimated €8.4bn (£7.3bn), by far the largest European Union slice – while Germans are being denied tax cuts...

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…And the Bavarian wing of Ms Merkel’s conservatives has demanded that Greece be ejected from the eurozone.

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ΩΩThe political chaos from the credit collapse will engulf even strong nations like Germany.  The Germans have feelings of outrage, they feel they were ‘virtuous’ in fiscal sobriety while others were reckless and now they must pay everyone’s losses: this is a common thread.  The con men got the virtuous people to bankroll the rescue of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, Citigroup, etc.  So it is in the EU.  Resentment is high and totally justified.

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ΩΩThe Germans paid for reunification themselves.  They did many things like restricting lending in Germany while the rest of Europe gadded about the planet, going on vacation, having fun, buying goodies.  Now, the Germans get stuck with the bills.  This is very bad.  Resentful Germans are dangerous.

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Eurozone edges closer to endgame as Greek contagion hits Portugal – Business News, Business – The Independent

The contagion that many feared is threatening to overwhelm the entire single currency area in a remarkably short time. The course of events has parallels with the banking crises of the autumn of 2008, when successive institutions came under attack and their interrelationships and size devastated confidence in the financial system, famously so after the failure of Lehman’s.

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ΩΩAs I keep saying, we can endure the loss of various reckless, wild bankers.  That would be good, in fact!  But credit bubbles are enormously dangerous and when sovereign nations go under, people die.  Certainly, violence is growing. The flower revolutions are turning into blood and guts affairs.  Greece is certainly being roiled by civil disruptions.  Italy is never far behind in this sort of thing.

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ΩΩI saw on the BBC a video of French farmers flooding Paris with their tractors and marching with their livestock.  This is another warning of what is to come.  The former USSR states are seeing greater disorders, too.

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Fists fly in Ukraine parliament punch up – CNN.com

ΩΩThis was a riot inside the halls of their congress!  Many, many countries are seeing this sort of thing.  Many governments are split right down the center with the left and right increasingly radicalized.  In Thailand, the daily demonstrations are becoming increasingly violent, too.

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ΩΩEgypt is a volcano waiting to erupt when the US puppet despot finally croaks.  Any uproar there will lead instantly to a collapse of the Zionist/US ghetto controls in Gaza.

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ΩΩEverywhere, people are being forced into the streets.  The disjointed demands tend to be for more, not less, social services.  In the US, the Tea Party stuff got good coverage but that is now nothing but reactionaries wanting a Ronnie Reagan world that has already vanished and can’t come back, ever.  The students demonstrating in California and New Jersey are the opening shot in the new socialist push.  That is, the students want higher taxes and better service.  This is in total opposition to the Tea Party theology.

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ΩΩGenerally speaking, the force of history is usually with the youth in the long run.  Japan still seems totally asleep except for Okinawa which saw a huge anti-American demonstration for closing our bases there.  This, too, is the wave of the future.  The government of Japan is very conservative and clings to whatever status quo they have to the very bitterest end but even as youth vanishes literally in Japan, the alarmed youth there will eventually be heard.

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ΩΩThey could just give up, of course, and be fatalistic.  This has happened in the past!  It is their choice.  Do they dream onwards, living in a fake world of entertainments?  Or do they wake up and take to the streets and begin yelling really loudly?

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ΩΩIn the US, the labor movement is still a corpse but it may spring to life:  Massey director defends CEO, assails unions | Reuters–Massey’s vile owners are on the attack.  The energy sector workers have to figure out how to organize themselves so they have some power.  This is life and death.  Perhaps they will!  This means looking to the past for clues and one of the top clues is, right wingers despise manual workers even while praising them.  That is, they wish for manual labor to be wretched, near slavery.

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ΩΩThat is, this is a struggle over how capital and profits are shared or created!  And understanding this is vital!  The mine bosses or the board of directors of energy corporations are not the friends of the workers!  They are rivals.  And have to be confronted.

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Tokyo stocks tumble on Greece, Portugal credit downgrade, stronger yen › Japan Today

Tokyo stocks tumbled Wednesday, sending the key Nikkei index more than 2.5% lower, as investors were rattled by sharp drops in U.S. and European equities overnight following downgrades of two European nations’ credit ratings, while exporters suffered under a stronger yen. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 287.87 points from Tuesday to 10,924.79. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 19.99 points to 977.64.

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ΩΩThe Japanese ruling elites are stuck in this trap: depressions make currencies STRONG, not weak.  And Japan’s currency keeps getting stronger against all others since the Japanese people spend less and less each year so fewer yen are being circulated and this makes the yen stronger.  And of course, the whole ‘floating currency regime’ business is supposed to work this way, too: the greater the trade surplus, the stronger the currency.

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ΩΩWe had a situation where the dollar was stronger and stronger despite huge trade deficits due to Japan and then others holding excess dollars in FOREX reserves.  This is proving impossible at this point in time, thus the yen climbs.  And as I keep pointing out, the Japanese hate this.

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China’s industrial profit more than doubled in Q1: China continues to rise while other G7 nations collapse.  The credit collapse is going to worsen things for the G7 and they need China’s help very badly which is why the World Bank suddenly gave in to Chinese demands and moved China’s vote total to #3 instead of below #8.

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Asia Times Online :: South Asia news, business and economy from India and Pakistan

The Barack Obama administration and Pakistan have agreed to work together and with the US Congress to move forward with legislation supporting Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in Pakistan to realize the key priority of creating legitimate and productive jobs in areas vulnerable to the influence of violent extremism.

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Former president George W Bush proposed establishing ROZs in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan four years ago, but the measure has been bottled up in the US Senate. The ROZs would give duty-free access to products from designated parts of the border region in a bid to create new industries and help the area rebuild from fighting.

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ΩΩThis is what we did for Europe and Japan.  The G7 buddies got very rich via mostly one-way trade which is why we have constant trade deficits since 1963.  DUH.  And of course, this continues.  There is no philosophy for dealing with our trade deficits.  Like our out of control military spending and our many unpopular bases scattered all over the planet, the status quo is for more and more spending on the wrong things.  Instead of getting our house in order, we want to continue acting like the US can suck down infinite imports and run our vast military on infinite debts.

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ΩΩGetting a consensus on this is very difficult due to the con games going on: Americans hear lots of lying.  Mallaby is a classic example of a clever con man.  He isn’t alone.  Many of the media mavens are con men.  And of course, the media makes money selling ads!  Which is why they are reluctant to chew out their clients who buy ad space!  And one of these are politicians who buy ad space with money from lobbyists who want to corrupt Congress.  A vicious circle indeed.

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33 Comments

Filed under .diplomacy, .money matters, Free Trade, Politics

33 responses to “Media Con Men Try To Distract Us

  1. payAttention

    ‘This is why socialist countries such as the Nordic nations are doing so well. ‘

    Really? Is that why? I never knew that, nor that their success is summed up in one sentence. Is there any shades of dissatisfaction among the Norse, at all?

  2. charlottemom

    Glass-Stegall needs to come back. Yes! And if an investor wants high/risk reward, he’d be better served with a hedge fund (with skin in the game and few, if any opposing relationships. As opposed to goldman, which we’ve discovered played its own clients against each other and then always seemed to come out richer in the end. What are the odds that BofA, JPMorgan, Citi, Wells, Morgan Stanley all doing this? Hmmm. So why the laserbeam scolding on goldman only?

    This whole goldman hearing has such a limited hang vibe to it – for Goldman and the government! That’s why I made fun of the Senators scolding Goldman’s morality. Focus on the law not morality. These guys are obviously immoral but you can’t criminalize that! Focus on the LAW!

    Then Levin angry about shorting the American Dream…totally missing the point. Shorting is not inherently bad and I agree with Maltby ? Residential housing was ripe for the short. Heck, I’d have shorted it myself if I’d had the capital. It was a bubble. And if you weren’t shorting it, wouldn’t you be party to blowing the bubble bigger. Which is worse?

    Goldman raided the system created by Fed. Bad for sure. The real story is the FED and its bailout dealings. Barofsky is making noises about going after the FED (for Goldman/AIG dealings). Maybe we’ll get a Pecora commission after all?!

    Currently a coalition of dems and reps are currently fighting to ADD an audit the fed amendment to Fin reform bill, which was stripped in senate committee. The coalition is fighting the Doddites’ (watered down reform) and the Mcconnell Reps (no reform). These politicans I would not ever make fun of as I think they are on the right track.

    The Goldman floggings are meant for public consumption. Where are the actionables resulting from this emotional exercise? Any next steps from these senators. Maybe Levin’s vague shorting ban/regulation idea that he tossed out?

    For what it’s worth, I do think the media is focusing on goldman too much as are the politicians. Trying to keep this issue in a very tight frame and not the big picture. And certainly not examining and reporting more on the whole industries’ dealings with Fed as the ultimate middleman.

  3. Duski

    Well, I live in Finland myself. While we are doing relatively well in Nordic countries, if west goes down, we’ll suffer too.

    But I feel that we have better relations to Russia and China, when / if it matters in the long run.

  4. payAttention

    mom.. you should keep your money with hedge funds if you are going to recommend them to others. the 2 and 20 fee structure is a wealth destructor. hedgies are not principals, they are agents. There is no agent worth 20 anywhere in the world, in a fair market transaction. You don’t see the 20 going back to investors on capital losses now, do you??

  5. EconCurious

    Elaine,

    I have been hearing more and more rumblings about China’s overheated property / construction sector. Many call it a bubble. I guess one of the effects of having a large trade surplus is China’s accumulation of large F/X reserves. Since they hold the exchange range constant, this has caused a huge boost in their domestic money supply (I’ve heard that as a % of GDP it is much bigger than that of the U.S. – though I am not sure which measure is being used in that calculation). All of that money and credit looks to find a home, and it seems it is going into residential and commerical real estate. Hearing lots of familiar stories about people flipping apartments in buildings that are largely vacant, etc.

    Curious if you had any thoughts about this potential “bubble”?

  6. charlottemom

    payattention
    I do know hedgies that are principals (invests his own money) as well acting as the agent for the fund. Does this agent/principal deserve the fee? Would never know I don’t have enough money to invest with him. I’d agree with you that those are steep fees so probably not. But that is another matter and I don’t cry for losses suffered by hedge fund investors.

    My point is that goldman acts as a hedge fund all the while gorging on the holding bank interest free money provided by our government. And what were Goldman’s fees paid by these clients? If those 2 and 20 fee structure is wealth destructor, these Goldman investors thought what by going to goldman? These Goldman investors (other banks and entities) now experiencing scam losses did they think they would benefit from Goldman’s interest free money and relationship with US gov? And instead got hosed by Goldman! No honor among thieves. Different from ripped off Madoff investors that didn’t ask any questions when the impossibly good time returns were happening?

    I’m not aware of hedge funds playing their clients against each other. Are you? If they do this, I will stand corrected.

  7. Paul S

    I certainly in no way, shape or form endorse violence, but I think if there IS violent protest in the USA, there’s no telling where it will stop.

  8. payAttention

    mom.. you are answering your own question-‘he is still an agent for the fund.’ The 20 is a joke that is being played upon people’s future retirements – the swines are lined up at the 401k trough because no one is watching that money like their own. It is a bonus pool for the piggies to lap from.

    It is a little more difficult for hedgies to front run their order flow since they are not designated market makers. However does Getco and SAC get ahead of their clients for their prop accounts in the dark pools? Yes. The money manglers at the mutual funds do not care since they are mutually pleasuring each other with the hedgies. The hedgies create make believe prices and the money manglers can send out statements to the retirees that all is well.

  9. emsnews

    Goldman Sachs hearings are just the beginning not the end of this mess. We should be happy they are being reamed out and I can’t wait for the other too big to fail con artists to also be reamed out.

    And yes, Congress is doing this because it is popular! DUH! Why not? Doing popular things is what democracy is all about.

  10. Raybo

    “For what it’s worth, I do think the media is focusing on goldman too much as are the politicians. Trying to keep this issue in a very tight frame and not the big picture. And certainly not examining and reporting more on the whole industries’ dealings with Fed as the ultimate middleman.”

    CharlotteMom: yes, I agree that the role of the Fed is routinely ignored by MSM.

    That is why I applaud Dylan Ratigan for the following piece (from April 7), which offers an entertaining and succinct summary of the Fed’s role in pulling off this con job (I’m amazed that this was allowed to be shown on MSNBC!!):

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/dylan-ratigan-discusses-great-financial-con-job-alan-grayson-and-bill-fleckenstein?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+zerohedge%2Ffeed+%28zero+hedge+-+on+a+long+enough+timeline%2C+the+survival+rate+for+everyone+drops+to+zero%29

  11. Duski

    I think that focusing on Goldman at the moment is the best thing to do. When things go to the level of fraud charges etc, they can start making deals… by giving out other fraudsters and conmen.

    Nothing like criminals stabbing each other and flushing the whole rot out!

  12. larry, dfh

    We have a law that should be used to go after pirates: RICO. When I mentioned to my lawyer sister (3 years ago) that people might be taking insurance policies out on properties they knew would fail, she simply said: I thought you had to have an Insurable Interest in taking out a policy. If GS was representing these CDOs as Insurable Interests, then that might be characterized as insurance fraud. All participating parties were then participating in a conspiracy, since it seems pretty obvious that AIG’s running this stuff out of London through a DE incorporation with a wink from the SEC would constitute conspiracy, or is that term reserved for the girlfriends of black crack dealers?

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    ELAINE: Yup. 🙂

  13. Raven

    Light my Fire!

    This could make the Gulf look like Armageddon!

    The Big Easy is in
    Big Trouble about a
    mile deep.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stoking-infernos-on-offshore-energy-2010-04-28?siteid=YAHOOB

    This is a great way to make clean nuclear energy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor

    PBMR reactors should be built now!

  14. adamm

    Sowing confusion is a prelude to either an internal putsch or an external invasion of some sort. If the masses are confused, then it is easier to suggest alternatives. This is the problem/reaction…. I have the answer… trio.

    With the emphasis on Twittering and instant news, and the lessening of consideration to longer range and historical thinking; the society is more vulnerable to being tipped over by rumor or unsubstantiated manipulation.

    Therefore, as confusion increases; the chance of a tipping point increases rapidly.

  15. B.A.

    payAttention

    “‘This is why socialist countries such as the Nordic nations are doing so well. ‘Really? Is that why? I never knew that, nor that their success is summed up in one sentence.”

    Why is it that supporters of low taxes and deregulation think only their ideas can be summed up in one sentence? Yes, it really is that simple. High taxes means a safety net, high level public education, a highly trained work force, well funded modern infrastructure and research & development, a cohesive society, better health ( public health services improve public health, but also greater equality and safety in a society, increase public health ), a middle class that can consume because their future is taken care off. The importance of incentives is overstated. People who succeed as entrepreneurs want to be their own bosses, think they know best how to do things, want to be important and rich. Those are their motivations. Naturally they do not need the benefits of the welfare state ( though they’ll gladly grab any subsidies they can bully/bribe for ) and they tend to be aggressively selfish, so they oppose taxes, but all in all, even if their complaints are ignored and the do get taxed, they’ll still get up in the morning to run their little empires, Ayn Rand’s dire warnings notwithstanding. So you still get entrepreneurs, provided the State does not try to run everything, which has been tried and did not work.
    Maybe what’s missing to complete the picture is the protestant culture of those small, cohesive, matriarchal Scandinavian societies. They beat their Mediterranean, Catholic counterparts in prosperity, as well as in dullness. When you put all those factor together, you get something that is not supposed to happen: A high tax society with strong central government that is prosperous, that creates wealth and jobs.

  16. Here in BC we have similar protests and concerns over school closings and education cuts, in spite of our natural advantages. However none of the protesters can protest the contrast of education with spending on casinos and stadium roofs, and new art gallerys [ for the n’art].

  17. Aussie

    Re: “The ROZs would give duty-free access to products from designated ….”

    A passing comment on an excellent analysis and overview:

    The pillars underpinning China’s ROZ strategy is to create demand for their products is developing countries, secure strategic raw materials as well as host for their “entry level” manufacturing capacity as their economy becomes high tech.

    I suggest the ROZ in Pakistan will benefit China.
    China has acquired a huge Copper deposit in Afghanistan to be exploited despite US and NATO occupation.

    Furthermore, China has setup numerous ROZ in Africa, Latam and elsewhere.

    China succeeds because their ROZ genuinely benefits the host country by virtue of a win – win deal based on their own insight into how a poor country industrializes.
    Again, the US and the West fail thru lack of imagination and the habit of imposing arbitrary conditions thru “western knows best” mindset.

  18. payAttention

    BA.. that was a list of about a dozen factors.

  19. nah

    me thinks money is going to get more expencive… like over man
    .
    inflation/deflation/the burden of the state is going to be a drag… been a pretty horendus lack of oversight of the economy
    .
    economic super sectors to government ape happys
    .
    theres alot on the line and everyones going to be pushing to get to the front
    .
    but on the brite side the USA is on top of the science/food/resources gig so it will probably be nicer here than europe… unless they start WWIII and we have to save the world for the jews or something
    .
    and i dont put much stock in the news anymore it is vastly less analytical than what blogs are… seems like a bunch of republican/democrat moronic idiosyncratic modern stereotypes in the MSM (main stream media, learned that from blogs too) it really gets old after a while when theres more/better content on the interweb
    .
    http://www.cahrecords.com
    .
    doomed to a world without scoops

  20. JT

    I wouldn´t hold my breath waiting for anything to come out of Goldman hearings.

    A bunch of lawyers will get rich, they will pay a miniscule fine years from now and that´s it.

    They have the perfect patsy already; Fabrice Tourre.
    Perfect for the role with french name 😉 .

  21. sandy

    of course it is a dog and pony show.

    they aren’t going to let anything really get in the way of their upcoming cap and trade bill, global “warming”, and the chicago climate exchange (with goldman sachs), where real money can be made……

  22. flipspiceland

    The Nordic nations you tout have pushed their mentally ill out of institutions and onto the streets because they were a burden on the medical insurance that the rest of the population enjoy.

    Neat, huh?

  23. JT

    @flipspiceland

    “have pushed their mentally ill out of institutions”

    Huh?
    You have taken a political punchline out of context (that is a left wing punchline over here).
    More mental outpatients with:
    a government pension or unemployment benefits
    b free healtcare/treatment
    c extra benefits for housing, food, utilities

    Nobody is on the streets. They will provide you with a flat and pay the rent 🙂 .

    There are a lot of problems with the welfare state, I agree.
    But there are also advantages for businesses:
    a free healthcare for employees too
    b highly trained workforce (blue collar too)
    c low crime rates
    d low corruption
    e government run and backed pension funds

    The one good thing with the welfare state is that the money we borrow now goes right into consumption (unemployment benefits etc).
    Tax cuts fly off to the Caribian…

    The wisdom is somewhere in the middle of all our systems as it usually is.

  24. flipspiceland

    @JT

    By the streets I didn’t mean to imply the actual road, but that they are put back into society, while badly needing to be looked after in an institution. There are many crazy, insane, and otherwise demented folks who thru no fault of their own (and many that are at fault) who should not be in flats but in the care of trained medical staff 24-7.

    You are welcome to you welfare state, and I don’t doubt that the rest of world is already right beside you, or isn’t far behind because there is not enough work in the world that people find meaningful to do. Look at Greece for the most recent example, though France isn’t that much different. Germans seem to be the only nation with some semblance of working hard no matter what.

    Too many, though, would rather be on the dole than work at what jobs there are available. A sad commentary on national character, but it must be said, too, that there are not enough ‘inventors’ of jobs, enoug industries evolving with well-paid jobs to absorb all the billions of people in the world.

  25. Rich Angel

    Goldman Sachs will be around until virtue rises in importance. Yet many people have already walked away from the Wall St./
    DC influence, and are starting new lifestyles.
    The money is fake anyway.
    In regards to taxes and better service,
    the US costs are already too high compared to the rest of the world, and have to come down , not go up higher. Higher taxes have never equated with better services. Socialism is on its last legs, along with nation states. The solutions will come from real leaders who are now obscure, and spread among the people who are looking for something better. This was Bucky Fullers solution….don’t fight the status quo, build something better.

  26. nah

    Sandra Bullock files for divorce from Jesse James
    .
    “I did the only thing I could do, and that was to pack enough clothes to live on, get all of Louis’ things and get out of town. My main concern was Louis.”

    When asked whether James will have any formal parenting role, she replied: “I will be adopting as a single parent. Anything else will be taken day by day.”
    .
    she has money so she leaves and makes headlines… tiger has money so his wife stays on the take and he gets back to golfing and exits news stage left
    .
    of all the crybaby bullshit this stuff is pretty vague and intrusive

  27. nah

    http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/2010/04/29.html
    Just reported: Greece will not cut public salaries or there wll be civil war.
    .
    HAHAHAHAHA WOW… its like folks take all this money and like think its real… when all of a sudden the guy next to whoever pretty much lays it all out there that this is a bunch of bullshit arangements and the money is no good (cant exist) traded around like garbage
    .
    so civil war it is?
    .
    if your going to the bottom mite as well just get there i guess… wonder what kind of communist nothingburger 3 million 20 year olds can come up with LOL
    .
    good luck MÜRON

  28. charlottemom

    “Goldman Sachs hearings are just the beginning not the end of this mess. We should be happy they are being reamed out and I can’t wait for the other too big to fail con artists to also be reamed out.”

    The hearings, I believe, are the latest installment of reality tv. I don’t want public scoldings I want prosecutions. I too hope this all leads to accountability and punishment because it’s dangerous for Congress to whip up rage at Goldman and then do nothing (is a nominal fine settlement nothing?). Or use hearings to push bad legislation that we learn later lets these guys off the hook and screws the taxpayer again.

    payattention
    I’m not sure why I’ve found myself defending hedge funds. I don’t run one, I don’t invest in one and I agree with you — they don’t “play the game fairly” They unfairly garner favored tax treatment! They are ripe for scaming the rich but foolish! Yes agreed! There are a lot of reasons to hate the hedge fund model.

    The point I’m trying to make (and not doing a good job at) is that Goldman uses this very hedge fund model… but with our interest-free treasury to fuel themselves AND rip off investors (would the US gov be considered a GS investor?!)

    I’m angry that Goldman, with Fed/Treasury’s assistance, has implicated us in this financial piracy. I simply wish that the hedge fund world had remained contained to just themselves — that these pirates hadn’t completely contaminated the pool that we are all forced to now swim in.

  29. emsnews

    Hedge funds should be made illegal.

    As for the hearings: GS is already going to settle with the SEC due to fears of more reamings out. Next: JP Morgan hearings, I pray.

  30. sandy

    it is an illusion to try to pretend that germany can fill all the gaps in all the PIIG countries. the german citizens have neither the will nor the money to do so….

  31. emsnews

    I agree, Sandy.

  32. ASO

    This was novel. I wish I could read every post, but i have to go back to work now But Ill return.

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