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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Of COURSE they did...!
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Of COURSE they did...!

i'm sitting in the vienna airport, riding on their free wifi, fogged out after an overnight flight, chugging a starbucks cappuccino, reading my email and the news headlines, and getting all pissed off...

wall street is out for itself and itself alone... the super-rich elites and their good buds, the banksters, don't give a shit who takes a fall, as long as the money firehoses stay pointed in their direction... so what if a country or two falls...? so what if more people lose their assets, their homes and the shirts on their backs...? greed knows no boundaries and has no respect for anything but more greed - oh, and power of course...

Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that fostered subprime mortgages in America have worsened the financial crisis shaking Greece and undermining the euro by enabling European governments to hide their mounting debts.

As worries over Greece rattle world markets, records and interviews show that with Wall Street’s help, the nation engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt European debt limits. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels.

Even as the crisis was nearing the flashpoint, banks were searching for ways to help Greece forestall the day of reckoning. In early November — three months before Athens became the epicenter of global financial anxiety — a team from Goldman Sachs arrived in the ancient city with a very modern proposition for a government struggling to pay its bills, according to two people who were briefed on the meeting.

The bankers, led by Goldman’s president, Gary D. Cohn, held out a financing instrument that would have pushed debt from Greece’s health care system far into the future, much as when strapped homeowners take out second mortgages to pay off their credit cards.

this nyt story is ostensibly about wall street aiding and abetting greek national debt profligacy... ostensibly... what's it's really about is naked, unfettered, unregulated wall street greed... the part of the story that really sticks in my craw is this...
Wall Street did not create Europe’s debt problem. But bankers enabled Greece and others to borrow beyond their means, in deals that were perfectly legal. Few rules govern how nations can borrow the money they need for expenses like the military and health care. The market for sovereign debt — the Wall Street term for loans to governments — is as unfettered as it is vast.

“If a government wants to cheat, it can cheat,” said Garry Schinasi, a veteran of the International Monetary Fund’s capital markets surveillance unit, which monitors vulnerability in global capital markets.

Banks eagerly exploited what was, for them, a highly lucrative symbiosis with free-spending governments. While Greece did not take advantage of Goldman’s proposal in November 2009, it had paid the bank about $300 million in fees for arranging the 2001 transaction, according to several bankers familiar with the deal.

when are us poor, beleaguered slobs going to stand up and call this shit for what it is - financial rape and pillage that only differs from the rape and pillage of genghis khan because the perpetrators wear expensive suits and carry briefcases rather than wearing animal hides and carrying spears... let's stop treating this kind of crap as an unfortunate byproduct of an errant system, an aberration that, with a little course correction, will go away... the whole goddam capitalist structure of greed is out of control and it desperately needs purging...

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