[Illustration by thadkellstadt]
BY WILLIAM C. HENRY Has there ever been a more contemptible crew of con artists in the history of mankind?! Clearly Goldman Sachs has molded financial flimflam into an art form even John Myatt couldn’t envision. From deceptive foreign debt transactions to spurious mortgage-backed securities sales, this unprincipled pack of predators has left a trail of half-eaten carcasses stretching from the pillars of the Parthenon to the cul-de-sacs of suburban California — all the while reaping reprehensible profits for themselves and more than earning the dubious distinction of being Wall Street’s most cunning capitalistic carnivores.
In the case of Greece, as with a number of other European countries about to take the Sachs slide down their own slippery slope, GS used fictional exchange rates and phony accounting methods to arrange government bond offerings which would enable client states to secretly obtain far more funds than their actual EU debt limit would allow — all the while pocketing fat commissions while shitting all over the chessboard. The kicker is that they knew from the beginning that these countries couldn’t afford the debt and down the road would have to return for additional infusions (to cover the first ones) at even higher interest rates and fees! I’m tellin’ ya, it’s enough to give “bait and switch” a bad name.
Back here in their home country, GS and their ilk managed to bring the entire American financial system to the brink of collapse. Their phony credit default swaps (no, I can’t explain them, either) and bogus mortgage-backed securities bundles (which they continued to ballyhoo while brazenly betting against them with their own money) turned out to be the biggest, most calamitous, criminal fraud ever committed in United States history. Millions of Americans thrown out of their homes, millions more thrown out of work, billions in savings and investments wiped out overnight, and not a single one of the bilking bastards held accountable. But, how can that be?!
Well, on the domestic front it’s purely a matter of connections. We don’t have a revolving door over here, folks, we have a goddamn merry-go-round. And, to make matters even worse, the carousel turns BOTH ways! High-level bureaucrats flock to Goldman Sachs at the end of administrations (or before), and high-level GS officers are tapped for important administration posts. The practice gives entirely new meaning to the term “cabal.” Here’s a partial list of notables: former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is a former GS CEO; Arthur Levitt, former head of the SEC is now a GS “policy advisor;” and former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt is now a paid lobbyist for GS. It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to understand how this “mutual aid society” operates. Click HERE for a more complete and altogether chilling list.
When it comes to GS filching in the affairs of European nations it’s simply a matter of analyzing the risk and taking appropriately duplicitous
So, what are we left with? Well, finally there is hope (albeit infinitesimally slim) that some of these sleazy bastards will be brought to justice. Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General of New York state, has initiated what he promises will be “an active and ongoing investigation into the mortgage crisis.” We’ll see. In any event, it’s a goddamn site more than we could ever expect from this gutless administration and its cowardly Justice Department. For them it’s been “avoidance at all costs” from the outset. And you thought Obama was different?!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.
1,581 = The number of Americans killed in action in Afghanistan
11,191 = The number of Americans wounded in Afghanistan.
0 = To date the number of financial industry kingpins indicted for having committed the most massive FRAUD in American history.