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NYSE FINES GOLDMAN
Separate from the SEC fraud charges, Goldman's market-making unit
has been censured and fined $450,000 after U.S. regulators found
hundreds of violations in how it processed customer trades involving
short sales of stocks.
The SEC and NYSE Regulation said on Tuesday Goldman Sachs Execution
& Clearing LLP violated emergency requirements adopted in September
2008, two days after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc went bankrupt, to
limit naked short selling.
There was a strange moment last week during President Obama’s speech at Cooper Union. There he was, groveling before a cast of Wall Street villains including Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein, begging them to “Look into your heart!” like John Turturro’s character in Miller’s Crossing…when out of the blue, the POTUS dropped this bombshell: “The only people who ought to fear the kind of oversight and transparency that we’re proposing are those whose conduct will fail this scrutiny.”
The Big Secret, of course, is that every living creature within a 100-mile radius of Cooper Union would fail “this scrutiny”—or that scrutiny, or any scrutiny, period. Not just in a 100-mile radius, but wherever there are still signs of economic life beating in these 50 United States, the mere whiff of scrutiny would work like nerve gas on what’s left of the economy. Because in the 21st century, fraud is as American as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet Volts—fraud’s all we got left, Doc. Scare off the fraud with Obama’s “scrutiny,” and the entire pyramid scheme collapses in a heap of smoldering savings accounts.
That’s how an acquaintance of mine, a partner in a private equity firm, put it: “Whoever pops this fraud bubble is going to have to escape on the next flight out, faster than the Bin Laden Bunch fled Kentucky in their chartered jets after 9/11.”
And that’s why this SEC suit accusing Goldman Sachs of fraud is really just a negotiating bluff to give Obama’s people some leverage—or it’s supposed to be, anyway—according to the PE guy. He dismissed all the speculation that the fraud investigations would turn on other obvious villains like Deutsche, Merrill, Paulson & Co., the Rahm Emmanuel-linked Magnetar and so on.
“You don’t get it, Ames. Even Khuzami, the SEC guy in charge of the Goldman case, is a fraud; the ******er was Deutsche’s general counsel when they pulled the same CDO scam as Goldman. You have no idea how deep this goes.”
And it’s clear that a lot more people here are aware of how fundamentally rotten things are but they’re not willing to face the big fraudonomics bummer yet, preferring instead to stick with specific accusations.
My position on this was, “Good, throw the book at those crooks too, I don’t see what the problem is here.”
This was exactly what I argued a week ago, during a verbal slapfight with that acquaintance of mine. We were making a scene in a Midtown yuppie restaurant, arguing over just how much damage Wall Street had caused, and what to do about it.%u202F
His position was indefensible, and he knew it, so he switched tactics:
“OK Ames, which bankers would you throw the book at? Because you’re arguing that they’re all guilty. So which ones do you go after? Two of them? Three? Half of them?”
“Every last one of them. Lock ’em up in one of their private prisons.”
“Not gonna happen, Che.”
“Che? Me? Listen, Scarface, I’m about law and order. Don’t any of you PE degenerates believe in that anymore?”
“OK, here’s the deal, Che. I’m going to walk you through this nice and slow so that even an agave-sweetened hippie like you can understand this. Stick with me, this is gonna be a little complicated. Ready?” And so he began.
“Let’s say the government decides one day, ‘You know, we oughta listen to Che here, let’s throw the book at every firm and every executive that our people can make a case against. Because you know, gosh, it’s all about rule of law and blind justice, just like Che says.’ OK, so now this means indicting just about every serious player in finance, so they take down Goldman Sachs, they take down Citigroup, JP Morgan, BofA… and they also serve all the big funds who are at least as guilty, if not more. So they shut down Pimco, Blackrock, Citadel… maybe they indict Geithner and Summers, haul in some of Bush’s crooks… right?”
“Go on, I’m gonna order some hot, buttered popcorn for this. Don’t mind me.” I liked what I was hearing so far.
“OK, now guess what you’ve just done? You’ve just caused the markets to completely tank. Remember what happened after the Lehman collapse? Remember how popular that made every politician in Washington? Still wondering why they coughed up a trillion bucks? They were scared for their lives; that’s why they voted for that bailout. You’d have done the same goddamn thing. But if we go after everyone guilty of fraud and theft, the market crash this country would see would make 2008 look like Sesame Street. Open that can of worms labeled ‘Fraud’ and the whole ******ing economy collapses. You may as well prosecute people for masturbating. No one will know where the fraud investigation stops and who will be charged next—everyone will try to cash out, and the markets will tank to zero. And guess what happens when the markets tank to zero? Every ******ing American with a retirement plan, or an investment portfolio, or a 401k—every state pension plan in the country, every teacher’s pension fund, every fireman’s pension—every last one of them will be wiped out. That’s what the Lehman collapse taught us.”
“Us? It didn’t teach anything but that this country is run by maniacs.”
“Jesus H. Christ, you’re even more clueless than the idiots who managed the Lehman collapse. I mean, didn’t everyone get it how badly those idiots screwed up with Lehman? It was the biggest screw-up this hemisphere has ever seen. You had Secretary Paulson and Fed Chief Bernanke scratching their asses not knowing what to do, so then they go, ‘OK, we’re supposed to be a free market economy, and we’re supposed to be the Republicans—let’s try something different for a change since nothing else is working. Let’s go out on a limb and actually give this “free market” thing a whirl. Who knows? Maybe the “free market” really works the way we always say it does. Nothing else seems to work, let’s let the free market decide Lehman’s fate. Maybe corporate-socialism isn’t the answer.’ So they hung Lehman out in the free-market, and BAM! The. #. Hit. The. Fan. No #, dudes—the free market is for suckers, didn’t your daddy teach you idiots that? Not only did Lehman collapse—everything collapsed; confidence in the entire system collapsed. And here’s what I’m trying to explain to simpletons like you: Our economy is just a confidence game. Don’t ask me how it got this way, don’t care.”
I tried saying something insulting to him, but he just talked right over me. He was on such a roll.
Originally posted by belial259
reply to post by LieBuster
I've read that article. And I know what they're trying to say. But at the same time I grew up in a prosperous world where Europe and the USA were incredibly rich and Australia had a bright future ahead of it.