You are browsing the archive for Goldman Sachs.

What can we expect from Wall Street? More of the same.

10:53 pm in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Cross Post from Iflizwerequeen

” The market has become more of an exclusive gambling club for the very rich than a level playing field open to the ordinary investor.” -George Packer, A Dirty Business

___________________________________________________

Will another meltdown happen again?  You betcha! Because little has changed.

  • “. . .It is a remarkable failure of our system that we’ve not addressed the fundamental problems that brought us into the financial crisis. And it is cynical or naïve to imagine it won’t happen again.” [Neil Barofsky, the former inspector general of TARP]
  • “Implementation of the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform law has been slowed, if not yet sabotaged, by lobbying on the part of the big banks and a general ebbing of will among politicians.” [Neil Barofsky]

The following is the concluding paragraph from George Packer’s article titled “A Dirty Business” that appeared in the June 27, 2011 issue of the New Yorker. It speaks to the underlying arrogance of these Wall Street millionaires.

“. . . .Two weeks after Rajaratnam was found guilty, an annual conference of hedge funds, which doubled as a fundraiser for pediatric cancer, was held in midtown Manhattan. Investors paid up to four thousand dollars to hear the views of some of the country’s most famous fund managers. The outlook was upbeat; no one mentioned the recent events downtown at the federal courthouse. The speakers took turns touting their favorite stocks: Zhongpin, the Chinese pork processor; the Home Shopping Network; Tiffany’s. A well-known fund manager, Michael Price, spoke up for financial stocks. “We like the big banks,” Price said. “Goldman Sachs, if you have the stomach. The risk/rewards today in financials in particular are very attractive.” Goldman stock, he said, is undervalued by at least a hundred dollars.“These are tremendous businesses, honest people,” he said. “These are not people who are trying to rip people off. . . . They have a long track record of doing extremely well for their clients as well as themselves.” He went on, “In 2008, all of a sudden they didn’t turn into criminals. There were some in the business who are no longer in the business, but it’s not Goldman Sachs.”

______________________________________________

IFLWQ Comments regarding:  “These are tremendous businesses, honest people,” he said. “These are not people who are trying to rip people off. . . . They have a long track record of doing extremely well for their clients as well as themselves.”

According to my ethical standards, Goldman Sachs is not honest.  Specifically,  they borrowed $10 billion dollars from the American Tax payers.  AIG borrowed much more from the American taxpayers.  They owed Goldman Sachs $12.9 billion so AIG used the taxpayer money to pay back Goldman.  Goldman then “repaid” the American people the $10 billion they owed with the taxpayer money that AIG gave to them.  Goldman kept the $2.9 billion and then in 2009 reported increased revenues of $3 billion.  According to my math, Goldman Sachs repaid the American people with our own money and still has $2.9 billion that belongs to the American people and for the year 2009 their earnings were only $100 million–not $3billion as they reported.

Thus according to my ethics Goldman Sachs are both crooks and liars.

But they are much worse, according to my ethics, than mere crooks and liars, they are murderers just like most of the corporations on Wall Street.  Thus, since “corporations are people”, I suggest they be executed–following a fair trial of course.

Every year Wall Street traders and investors murder millions of people and get away with it.  Oh they don’t murder with guns or knives.  They murder people with their ledgers, with their computers, with their trades.  What people do on Wall Street chasing their bottom line every day results in the deaths of hundreds of people all over the world every single day.  Health Insurance corporations murder people like 18 year old Chanel Bunce with insurance denials for medication that she needed to live.  In 2008 the traders at the Goldman Sachs commodity index drove up the price of wheat by buying and buying and not selling. This put the price of a basic commodity out of reach of millions of people in countries like Africa.  In 2008, coincidentally the largest wheat production year in 100 years, when wheat should have been the cheapest, millions more than normal that year starved to death.  At the end of the year, the surplus wheat was sold to corporate agribusinesses for animal feed.

________________________________________________

This inhuman institution we call “Wall Street” is a system that needs to be razed to the ground.  We need to replace it with a financial system that works for the majority, not just the upper 5%.

Cosmetic changes and tinkering done by a Congress of 44% millionaires who profit from this corruption cannot be trusted to do what is necessary.  It’s called “conflict of interest.”

Remove them in 2012 by voting non millionaire, non Wall Street stock holders to Congress.  No Republicans and No Democrats.

More Reflections on the Greek Crisis

10:22 pm in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Re-post from iflizwerequeen

One thing is certain: where there are people to be had and money to be taken, the  Goldman Sachs Vampire Squid leaps at the opportunity and the Greek crisis is no exception.  But you won’t read too much about Goldman Sachs’ role in this mess in the mainstream USA media.  One of my favorite sources for financial news in depth is Der Spiegel.

For example, in Der Spiegel you will learn that Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government to mask the true extent of its deficit with the help of a derivatives deal that legally circumvented the EU Maastricht deficit rules. At some point the so-called cross currency swaps will mature, and swell the country’s already bloated deficit.–and this you would have learned over a year ago.  But if you don’t know and would like to know, it’s never to late to learn.  Here are two great articles on the topic from Der Spiegel.

________________________________________________

Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt
SPIEGEL Online International – 08.02.2010Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government to mask the true extent of its deficit with the help of a derivatives deal that legally circumvented the EU Maastricht deficit rules. At some point the so-called cross currency swaps will mature, and swell the country’s already bloated deficit.

Betting on Default: Hedge Funds Speculate on Greek Debt
SPIEGEL Online International – 01.02.2010Greece’s debt problems are attracting hedge funds which are betting that the country will default. Meanwhile a leading German economist has argued that the European Central Bank should allow inflation to rise in a bid to avoid a costly and unpopular bailout for Greece.

____________________________________________________

iflizwerequeen Comment

I remember being amazed and shocked almost four years ago when I stumbled across a PDF titled Of the World’s 100 Largest Economic Entities, 51 are now Corporations and 49 are Countries.  That is still a mind-boggling consideration for me–that a company’s wealth can be larger than that of a nation.  The List was compiled by Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh of the Institute for Policy Studies and was released in December 2000.  If would be interesting to see if there is a more current list out there.  I revisited this source tonight and see that TEPCO is listed as #96 on the list.  I’ll bet they are not on the list any more–but who knows?  Goldman Sachs is not on this list, but they may be now.

Hey!  Whatever happen to enforcing the antitrust laws?  Whatever happened to usury laws?  Did the rich decide that such legislation interfered with their “god-given” freedom to rip off anyone who is not a member of their club?  It would seem so.

__________________________________________

AND HOW IT IS THAT THE GREEK SITUATION IS SO LIKE THE USA ECONOMIC SITUATION

Both countries elected a leader of their nation that they thought was going to represent them. Now,  to their chagrin, they realize that their leader tends to the needs of the wealthy investors–instead of those of the majority.

Instead of making cuts on the wealthy.  Instead of putting a few of them in jail for tax evasion, what both leaders are doing is putting a squeeze on the majority of the people in their respective countries.

Once again let us remember:  There are many other paths and solutions to putting the necessary money into the tax coffers for running the country without squeezing the very ones who are already hard-pressed.

Like many countries, the Greek government relies on borrowed money to balance its books. The recession has made this harder to achieve, because tax revenues are falling just as welfare payments start to rise. It doesn’t help that, in Greece, tax evasion is commonplace.

In the USA tax evasion added $3 trillion to the deficit over the past decade alone, an average of $300 billion a year, according to IRS data. This isn’t revenue lost from legal tax write-offs, like the mortgage interest deduction. It’s not even, as the IRS notes, “taxes that should have been paid on income from the illegal sector of the economy.” That $300 billion represents the amount of revenue lost from people deliberately cheating on their taxes every year. This includes underreporting income, hidden offshore bank accounts, sham trusts, and other ways to illegally stiff the IRS.

 

We need to end Financial Terrorism of Wall Street Today!

9:13 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

A video of an interview with Max Keiser explaining Wall Street Banks and their financial Terrorism appears on my website. The following text is my inspiration from that video.

It is reported that Lloyd Blankfein and others are marked by death by what Libya considers a blatant disregard for their sovereign wealth fund.  Keiser points out in the interview that Libya is experiencing what people in America and many people around the world are experiencing– He refers to it as “financial rape” by bankers whether it is Dominique Strauss Kahn with the IMF or whether it is Lloyd Blankfein, or Jamie Dimon.  Everyone is getting financially raped by these bankers and we can only guess as to what the outcome will be.  The theft of Libya’s sovereign fund all goes back to 2004 when Tony Blair was in Libya and doing deals with Gaddafi. Even at that time Blair was setting up banks to swoop in and start to pick apart the sovereign wealth fund of Libya.  And of course when Tony Blair left Downing Street, he took a position with JP Morgan.  He went right to JP Morgan and started setting JP Morgan up for these deals. Goldman Sachs swooped in like a shark smelling blood in the water.

Banks are financial terrorists in the way they conduct their operations whether it is subprime lending markets or handling the sovereign funds of a nation.

Goldman Sachs is now being investigated for more fraud, more larceny.  How do you think they pay themselves $140 million bonuses at the end of the year?  They steal it with the assistance of members of the US Congress who are themselves wealthy stock holders.  How convenient.  They pass laws to make it easy for banks to commit financial terrorism on the people of the USA and the world because our elected officials in Washington DC  profit from these crimes.

Two party system?  That is a myth folks. In the USA we have one party–the party of the Wall Street rich. They put on a great and entertaining sideshow patterned after the fake enmity demonstrated by TV professional wrestlers, but at the end of the day, people like President Obama and John Boehner play golf together.

Our economy is collapsing, and the use of food stamps is increasing [By the way, the modern day food stamp system is the invention, creation and administration of JP Morgan.] They make money out of running and creating ghettos. They make money from our poverty and misery. They make money out of financial terrorism.  Wall Street bankers are financial terrorists.

When these markets crash, they make billions.  Hank Paulson and his crew made billions on the bailout in 2008.  In the last hours of the Bush Administration, Paulson with his chicken-little act and his Goldman Sachs pals committed financial terrorism on the citizens of the USA.  All the money that Obama has been spending to fight so-called terrorism elsewhere in the world, he would do the world a great big favor by going down to Wall Street and arresting financial terrorists and throwing them in Guantanamo Bay and having them tortured for their crimes against humanity.

For example in 2008 the traders on Goldman Sachs commodity index literally starved millions of people to death in a year when the world experienced the highest wheat production in 100 years.  How did they do it?  By buying and buying wheat and not selling, they created the illusion of a shortage of wheat on the commodities market and falsely drove up the price of wheat. Thus many people in other parts of the world could not afford to buy food and they starved to death in a year when wheat should have been cheapest ever.  This is just one tiny example of what financial terrorism is and the pigs on Wall Street commit such crimes every day. These racketeers literally starve people to death and get away with it.

Debt Ceiling

They want to raise the debt ceiling. Of course they do.  The American people don’t want to raise the debt ceiling.  So what does Wall Street do? They tell the American people:  either you raise the debt ceiling or we will crash the stock market.  They use markets as a weapon.  Give us more debt so we can finance more speculative bets .  Then we can go into more foreign countries and load them up with debt and force austerity measures on them.   Paulson and Blankfein were in Greece two years ahead of the current crisis plotting its demise.

The American people should do the gangsters a favor by crashing the market ourselves by removing all our Wall Street investments and investing in our local economies.

Stop Looking for the Hero and Become One

Who has the balls to take these bankers down to the chopping block and get rid of them?  Right now the banks are focusing on destroying Greece and Ireland. They have already got multi-hundred billion dollar negative bets on these countries.  S&P are in bed with these criminals as they downgrade the debt.  They are all working together as a team.  It is collusion.  No, actually it is racketeering.

Only the people can end the financial terrorism of Wall Street

Jean-Jacques Rousseau said “When the social contract is broken, the people must revolt.”

Only the people can stop the financial terrorism of Wall Street and their bankster racketeers. Each one of us acting in unison as individuals.  Don’t expect people like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell or other plutocrats who say they represent us to do the job.  These people are part of the problem of Wall Street terrorism.  They and at least 261 millionaires (almost half of our Congress) profit from the racketeering of Wall Street.  At the end of the day Barack Obama and John Boehner play golf together.  They don’t give a damn about you and me.

 

Are you a tick bird on the Rhino that is stomping the life out of our Nation?

2:52 pm in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Goldman Sachs is Subpoenaed by Manhattan DA

The Huffington Post reported today that Goldman Sachs was subpoenaed by the Manhattan DA in relation to the credit crisis.  The subpoena follows the April release of a Senate report that showed Goldman had steered investors toward mortgage securities it knew would likely fail.

__________________________________________________________

Queen’s Comments

Don’t hold your breath.  The long arm of the law as it applies to grifters like Goldman Sachs is indeed long. In fact, it is so long that it will never reach Goldman Sachs except perhaps to collect a fine–the cost of which I’m sure is already far less than what this financial firm has  ”managed” away from taxpayers and working people who can least afford it.

1) Goldman Sachs is thoroughly entrenched in the  Wall Street Casino system.  They will never get more than a hand slapping.

In October of 2009 another former Goldman Sachs executive was  tapped for a top post in the Obama administration. The Securities and Exchange Commission has named twenty-nine-year-old Adam Storch as the agency’s first-ever chief operating officer of the enforcement division. For the past five years, Storch worked at Goldman Sachs, most recently as vice president in Goldman’s Business Intelligence Group.

Adam Storch (b. 1980) serves as the current Managing Executive of the Security and Exchange Commission‘s Division of Enforcement, having been hired on October 16, 2009. The position, along with the division, was created as a reaction to the subprime mortgage crisis. He was previously the Vice President in the Business Intelligence Group at Goldman Sachs.  [Wiki]

________________________________________________________

2) And again, the focus is on a symptom and not the root cause of the problem which is the entire system of the Wall Street Casino.

Until the problem is dealt with at its systemic level, going after Goldman is about like taking an aspirin to cure a brain tumor.

3) What can you do as an individual about this? You can sell all stock that you have in Wall Street and reinvest it in your local community.*

Yep it really is that simple. And yep, what you do does make a difference. In fact, what you do as an individual is the only thing at this point that will make a difference.  One person at a time. That’s the only way.

________________________________________________________

Tell me, are you a tick bird on the rhino?

* And this is the population that hold the side show together.  Without the support of those in the upper 10% to 12% of the wealthiest in our nation, the tick birds who dine off  the back of the rhino that is stomping the life out of the rest of us, people in the upper 1% like Lloyd Blankfein, David Koch, the DeVos family, etc. could not wield their slash and burn strategies across the USA.

But unfortunately these people, with few exceptions, feed off the very back of the rhino that they condemn–but only by their rhetoric–not their actions. From time to time I read reports of “compassionate” millionaires who claim that they want fairness.

To them I say:  I’ll believe it when I see:

1)That you have pulled all your investments out of the crooked Casino and invested in your own local economy.

2) When  you pay your taxes at the full 35% of your income as the law states without resorting to your fancy tax lawyers who take advantage of every tax loophole that your other fellow rich compatriots have paid our elected officials to create.  [Every more ironic, at least 261, almost half of our elected officials personally benefit for the tax breaks for the rich that they write.]

So until you “compassionate” millionaires are willing to do this, I’m going to continue to encourage my fellow Americans to kick your asses out of office.

LIBYA: Perhaps we should release Gaddafi on Goldman Sachs

3:10 pm in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

and the winner is. . . . THE WALL STREET SQUID*

Be very afraid. SQUIDS can not only take out large whales, they can destroy the economies  of nations

I don’t know about you, but my money would be on the squid. I think Gaddafi would lose that battle if we pitted the two against each other.  However there is still a downside to that story: The Squid gets even fatter.

_________________________________________________

NPR reports that Libya lost more than $1 billion with a Squid* Investment.

Back in 2008, when Libya was making inroads with the Western world, it also wanted to get in on the global economic boom. So,the Wall Street Journal reports, Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund, which is controlled by Col. Moammar Gadhafi, gave $1.3 billion dollars to Goldman Sachs so they could invest it for them.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which relied on internal documents and interviews with Goldman executives for its report, by the time all was said and done Goldman had failed miserably to make any money for the Libyans. In fact, the investment dwindled to $25.1 million by February of 2010. That’s a 98 percent downturn caused by the global financial crisis.  MORE

_________________________________________________________

*Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, describes the company as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

 

Take a good look at the meaning of “jobless” recovery

11:44 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

JOBLESS RECOVERY – Translation: the rich whose wealth is derived from their investments recovered in 2009, two years ago.  The current deep recession (that the majority of our nation still suffers from) barely affected the upper 10 – 15%.  Any money they may have lost in the first six months to a year from September of 2008 to February of 2009, they have long since recovered.

*******************************************************

It is called “jobless” recovery because the economic recovery of the wealthy was not achieved in the normal way in capitalistic nations–job creation and increased production of goods and services.

The jobless recovery for the rich was created by improving the bottom line of their corporate investments.

And how is this done?

- Firing Employees:   For example:  GE fired 18,000 U.S. workers in 2009.  In November of 2008, Goldman Sachs laid off 3,200 workers.

-Shutting down subsidiaries and corporate branches–even if they were showing a profit– selling assets and writing it off as a loss to avoid paying taxes.

All this translates into more money, more “profitability” for the corporation and thus more money to pay its CEO’s and wealthy investors.  For the people on Main Street this means fewer jobs, a reduced tax structure to support the community, and eventual poverty and urban blight.

Look at GE in 2009 if you wonder how they made their $5 billion “profit” that they didn’t pay a dime on income tax on. [Keep in mind that 82 of our Senators and Representatives own GE stock.]

*************************************************************

HERE IS A SUMMARY OF GE’S ANTICS AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE and how they have been rewarded by the rich:

The Obama administration gave corporate giant General Electric—the parent company of NBC–$24.9 million in grants from the $787-billion economic “stimulus” law President Barack Obama signed in February 2009, according to records posted by the administration at Recovery.gov.

Despite getting $24.9 million from U.S. taxpayers, GE decreased its U.S.-based employees by 18,000 in 2009, according to the company’s 2009 annual report.

According to Standard & Poor’s, GE took in $156 billion in revenue in 2009.

***************************************************

These are but a few examples of how the Wall Street Casino works against the American people.  If you want a real shock at how much of this “jobless recovery” you are funding for the rich–get a load of the interest rates and fines that you are paying on your credit card debt.

What is not mentioned, or perhaps even known in the circles of the wealthy, is that much of the credit card debt of Americans was created by paying for necessities with their credit cards–groceries, dental work for their children, etc.–all purchase that they will now be paying Wall Street middlemen for the rich three to four times the original value of the goods or services.

And that my friends is but a small picture of the “jobless recovery” for the rich.

******************************************************

We have 261 millionaire in our House and Senate.  Nearly all the members of Obama’s administration are millionaires many times over.

Do you really think that the majority of millionaires give a damn about the majority of Americans?  Do you really think that their votes are not votes to protect their own Wall Street stock portfolios?