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Author Topic: The United States of Goldman  (Read 1107 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Jul 16, 2009 at 13:27 »

I admit, I find the entire economic mess to be too complicated to understand beyond some basics.  Most Americans simplify it one of two political ways: first, attributing it as Republicans do to the Community Reinvestment Act, thus laying the blame at the feet of Sen. Barney Frank and Pres. Clinton; or second, attributing it as Democrats do to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, wherein Republican senators gutted regulation. 

Since I require metaphors to comprehend this sort of insanity, I see the latter (CRA) as the trigger mechanism in a fission reaction, and the latter (GLBA) providing the uranium for it to truly go nuclear.  The more I read about Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) and credit default swaps and derivatives, the more I hate what this country has become.

For some time, I was unsettled on whether the TARP bailouts under Bush and Obama were the right thing to do.  My first, instinctive reaction was that if a company was too big too fail, it was too big to exist: let the fucker die and Darwin explain the rest.  As the rationalization for the bailouts was unfurled, I began to see the possibility that the US and world economies might have been at the brink of systemic failure.

Systemic failure is a phrase that comes up a lot in the PBS Frontline story about the crash, which cast Treasury chief Henry Paulson and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke as cautious saviors.  Now, PBS offers IMO the best domestic source of news, free as it is of overt profiteering, but that's not to say that you can accuse PBS of objectivity.  For every Bill Moyers left-leaning slant, there has been over the past decade or so a conscious effort towards correcting things rightward, and not from any sense of being "fair and balanced," but I would imagine to appease the people overseeing the Federal funds who, during the period of 2000-08, weren't exactly left-leaning.  So, profiteering is not the driver, but to some extent money still is.  While I continue to prefer PBS to most other domestic media, I recall how another Frontline story, in the leadup to the war in Iraq, presented the cherry-picked intel that was the backbone of the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz rationale for war, without bothering to raise counter-balancing questions.  Just as the Frontline piece on the market crash was full of intelligent detail and a brilliant sense of timeline, so that one might in some way sympathize with the ethical dilemmas of Paulson and Bernanke, so too had the Iraq piece convinced me that the utterly wrong thing to do was not only right, but urgent. 

So as my own understanding of these issues evolves, I cannot say even now that I grasp the enormity of the actions of all the players, or understand the subtle interplay of their roles, or ascertain their motives.  But all this is a long-winded way to encourage my fellow MGSers to read a couple of thought-provoking pieces on the machinations of Goldman Sachs, one rather brief piece from Robert Scheer that helps explain the recent "surprise" earnings report from GS; the other is a scathing (and often hilarious) from Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi.

Even if I balance my inclination to disbelieve vast conspiracy theories, Taibbi's piece on GS brings nausea.  It makes you feel even less a part of the great American dream, a hapless sucker.  At the very least, this is food for thought.  And if anyone is bitching about individual income tax rates, read page 6 of 7: you and me and every other hard-working American isn't just subsidizing Goldman's pilfering of our wealth, we're subsidizing all of corporate America.

Welcome to America turned upside-down.








http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meltdown/
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 24, 2009 at 09:57 »

Wow...just...Wow.

This article does indeed make me feel duped. I've known that Goldman has too much power, but this is ridiculous.

Interesting that GS is so invested in cap-and-trade. I was dubious about it before, now I'm firmly against.
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 24, 2009 at 10:34 »

It's just another blatant and obscene money grab.  That's why I posted several months back that I'm surprised that there hasn't been a rash of attacks on ultra rich people.  You know, mansions and private jets exploding, poisonings at exclusive restaurants and country clubs ... stuff like that.

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« Reply #3 on: Jul 30, 2009 at 11:23 »

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« Reply #4 on: Jul 30, 2009 at 11:31 »

The only word for it is rape.
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 30, 2009 at 12:04 »

Cap + trade = more rape.

More money for Goldman, but this time it's the huggy-feely enviro rationalization!  Yippee!
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 30, 2009 at 12:44 »

And a timely post on a blog I check out from time to time

New Poll: 80% of Americans would give up breathing if it helped corporations make more money
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 30, 2009 at 14:40 »



CARL MARKS WAS A NATZI NOT A MARKS BROTHRES, YOU ODIOT!  I SEE YOU'V BEEN DRINKIN THE NOBAMA KOOL-ATE AGAIN... HE AIN'T EVEN A AMERICAN YOU AZZHOLE... HE WAS BORNED IN KEYNA, AND ISN;T EVEN AFRICAN, HE ONLY 8% AFRICAN, 13% MEXICAN, 92% ARAB TERRYIST, AND 3% WHITE...  WHY CAN'T HE COUFF UP A BORTH CERTFIFIACTE?!?!  UMMM, MAYBE BEACUASE HE'S WORKING FOR WILLAM AIRS AND OBAMA BIN LADEN!!!!  DID YOU KNOW NOBAMA HAS SPENT MORE IN 6 MONHTS THAN EVERY PRESIDENT BEFOPRE HIM COMBED TIMES A HUNDERT THOUSAND?!?!  THERE GETTING READY TO SET UP MARSHALL LAW, PRETTY SOON THEIR TAKING OUR GUNS AWAY AND YOURE KIDS WILL BE FORCED TO VOLUNTEEAR IN AFRICKA, AND NOBODY WILL MAKE NO MORE THAN NO ONE ELSE ON ACCOUNTA EVERYONE WILL BE PAYIN 150% TAXES AND IT WONT MAKE NO SENSE TO WORK SO EVERONE WILL BE ON WELFARE, DUH...

WELCOME TO AMERICKA, YOU ODIOTS VOTED FOR THIS FOUL!!!!
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 12, 2009 at 09:26 »

Government Sachs: I like that better than "United States of Goldman."
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 12, 2009 at 09:50 »

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"Our government has been misappropriated by Goldman Sachs," says Christopher Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics, a long-time critic of Geithner, whom Whalen likens to Chauncey Gardiner, the clueless hero of "Being There," who is manipulated by everyone around him.

Oh, great.  So, Geithner just likes to watch?  Wheeeeeeee!
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