Matt Taibbi brought the Fande on Goldman

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/Bellows_George_Dempsey_and_Firpo_1924.jpg

George Wesley Bellows (1882-1925) was an American Painter.

Title: “Dempsey and Firpo” [The hero is in the white shorts]

Date: (1924)

* An iconic American image from the Roaring ’20s, when Republican Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover led us into the “Great Depression,” beginning with the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

The “Great Recession” is also a result of Republican Party Rule.

Bush White House (Jan. 2001 to Jan. 2009) and the Republican-led Congress (2001-2006).

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/26793903/the_big_takeover

EXCERPT:

” ‘But wait a minute,’ you say to them. ‘No one ever asked you to stay up all night eight days a week trying to get filthy rich shorting what’s left of the American auto industry or selling $600 billion in toxic, irredeemable mortgages to ex-strippers on work release and Taco Bell clerks. Actually, come to think of it, why are we even giving taxpayer money to you people? Why are we not throwing your ass in jail instead?’

But before you even finish saying that, they’re rolling their eyes, because You Don’t Get It. These people were never about anything except turning money into money, in order to get more money; valueswise they’re on par with crack addicts, or obsessive sexual deviants who burgle homes to steal panties. Yet these are the people in whose hands our entire political future now rests.

Good luck with that, America. And enjoy tax season.”

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/29127316/the_great_american_bubble_machine

The Great American Bubble Machine
From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression – and they’re about to do it again

MATT TAIBBI Posted Jul 13, 2009 1:49 PM

EXCERPT:

Not that Goldman was personally at any risk. The bank might be taking all these hideous, completely irresponsible mortgages from beneath-gangster-status firms like Countrywide and selling them off to municipalities and pensioners — old people, for God’s sake — pretending the whole time that it wasn’t gradeD horseshit. But even as it was doing so, it was taking short positions in the same market, in essence betting against the same crap it was selling. Even worse, Goldman bragged about it in public. “The mortgage sector continues to be challenged,” David Viniar, the bank’s chief financial officer, boasted in 2007. “As a result, we took significant markdowns on our long inventory positions … However, our risk bias in that market was to be short, and that net short position was profitable.” In other words, the mortgages it was selling were for chumps. The real money was in betting against those same mortgages.

“That’s how audacious these assholes are,” says one hedgefund manager. “At least with other banks, you could say that they were just dumb — they believed what they were selling, and it blew them up. Goldman knew what it was doing.”

I ask the manager how it could be that selling something to customers that you’re actually betting against — particularly when you know more about the weaknesses of those products than the customer — doesn’t amount to securities fraud.

“It’s exactly securities fraud,” he says. “It’s the heart of securities fraud.”

Eventually, lots of aggrieved investors agreed. In a virtual repeat of the Internet IPO craze, Goldman was hit with a wave of lawsuits after the collapse of the housing bubble, many of which accused the bank of withholding pertinent information about the quality of the mortgages it issued. New York state regulators are suing Goldman and 25 other underwriters for selling bundles of crappy Countrywide mortgages to city and state pension funds, which lost as much as $100 million in the investments. Massachusetts also investigated Goldman for similar misdeeds, acting on behalf of 714 mortgage holders who got stuck holding predatory loans. But once again, Goldman got off virtually scot-free, staving off prosecution by agreeing to pay a paltry $60 million — about what the bank’s CDO division made in a day and a half during the real estate boom.

The effects of the housing bubble are well known — it led more or less directly to the collapse of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG, whose toxic portfolio of credit swaps was in significant part composed of the insurance that banks like Goldman bought against their own housing portfolios. In fact, at least $13 billion of the taxpayer money given to AIG in the bailout ultimately went to Goldman, meaning that the bank made out on the housing bubble twice: It fucked the investors who bought their horseshit CDOs by betting against its own crappy product, then it turned around and fucked the taxpayer by making him pay off those same bets.

And once again, while the world was crashing down all around the bank, Goldman made sure it was doing just fine in the compensation department. In 2006, the firm’s payroll jumped to $16.5 billion — an average of $622,000 per employee. As a Goldman spokesman explained, “We work very hard here.”

But the best was yet to come. While the collapse of the housing bubble sent most of the financial world fleeing for the exits, or to jail, Goldman boldly doubled down — and almost single-handedly created yet another bubble, one the world still barely knows the firm had anything to do with.


“[We do] God’s work.”–Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/11/08/business/business-uk-goldmansachs-blankfein.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=goldman%20sachs%20god%27s%20work&st=cse

Goldman Sachs – Banks Do “God’s Work”

By REUTERS
Published: November 8, 2009

Filed at 11:27 a.m. ET

LONDON (Reuters) – The chief executive of Goldman Sachs, which has attracted widespread media attention over the size of its staff bonuses, believes banks serve a social purpose and are doing “God’s work.”

In an interview with London’s Sunday Times newspaper, Lloyd Blankfein also said he believed big profits and bonuses at banks were a sign that the world economy was recovering.

“We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital. Companies that grow create wealth. This, in turn, allows people to have jobs that create more growth and more wealth. We have a social purpose,” he told the paper.

The dominant Wall Street bank posted third-quarter earnings of $3 billion (1.8 billion pounds) and plans to hand out more than $20 billion in year-end bonuses.

Blankfein told the Sunday Times that the bank’s compensation practices correlated with long-term performance.

“Others made no money and still paid large bonuses. Some are not around anymore. I wonder why?”

He added that he understood, however, that people were angry with bankers’ actions: “I know I could slit my wrists and people would cheer.”

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/09/12/us/20090912-PROTEST_3.html

Seeing what happened in D.C. reminds me of the “fallacies of logic” I learned along the way. #1 The ad hominem attack, like a school yard name-calling incident: “He wears purple shorts, he doesn’t know anything.” In much the same way, a caricature of President Obama as Joker-portrayed-by-Heath-Ledger does not depict the actual man in the White House. There is no logical argument in it; it is Demagoguery.

President Barack Obama and the Democratic-led Congress are working to benefit the majority of Americans…while cleaning up the multiple messes left behind by George W. Bush and the Republicans.

* Dempsey got knocked out of the ring, but he still knocked-out Firpo

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