Thursday, May 12, 2011

The people vs. Goldman Sachs

The past few posts have highlighted that laws are only for the masses, not those at the top of the system who are always beyond the law because they can buy off those who make and enforce the laws. The recent world financial crisis is yet another example in a long line of just this obvious principle, and that so-called democracy is just an obfuscating rallying flag for capitalists to hide behind, since it is the furthest thing from their true agenda. To further reinforce the obvious Matt Taibbi's usual and fine investigative reporting discusses the case of Goldman Sachs as revealed in the US Senate subcommittee looking into the matter. Exactly when are we, the people, going to demand from our lawmakers that they and their corporate masters must be subject to the same laws as the rest of us?

Some excerpts from Taibbi's article:

Thanks to an extraordinary investigative effort by a Senate subcommittee that unilaterally decided to take up the burden the criminal justice system has repeatedly refused to shoulder, we now know....Goldman Sacs...defrauded its clients....and lied about it.

Their unusually scathing bipartisan report also includes....a panoramic portrait of a bubble era that produced the most destructive crime spree in our history....details of gross, baldfaced fraud delivered up in such quantities as to almost serve as a kind of sarcastic challenge to the curiously impassive Justice Department — stands as the most important symbol of Wall Street's aristocratic impunity and prosecutorial immunity produced since the crash of 2008.

But Goldman, as the Levin report makes clear, remains an ascendant company precisely because it used its canny perception of an upcoming disaster (one which it helped create, incidentally) as an opportunity to enrich itself, not only at the expense of clients but ultimately, through the bailouts and the collateral damage of the wrecked economy, at the expense of society. The bank seemed to count on the unwillingness or inability of federal regulators to stop them— and when called to Washington last year to explain their behavior, Goldman executives brazenly misled Congress, apparently confident that their perjury would carry no serious consequences. Thus, while much of the Levin report describes past history, the Goldman section describes an ongoing crime — a powerful, well-connected firm, with the ear of the president and the Treasury, that appears to have conquered the entire regulatory structure and stands now on the precipice of officially getting away with one of the biggest financial crimes in history.

Defenders of Goldman have been quick to insist that while the bank may have had a few ethical slips here and there, its only real offense was being too good at making money. We now know, unequivocally, that this is bullshit.... If the evidence in the Levin report is ignored, then Goldman will have achieved a kind of corrupt-enterprise nirvana. Caught, but still free: above the law.

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