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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 04/25/2010 - 05/02/2010
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Does Goldman serve a purpose in society...? Guess that depends on whose purpose we're talking about...

in the usual context-free reporting of our sad-ass u.s. news media, nobody bothers to mention that goldman has been key to the on-going pillaging of u.s. and world economies for over thirty years... and they also don't bother to mention that the rest of the super-rich elites who call the shots in the global economy for the likes of ubs, citi, goldman, etc., have made out like the bandits they are at the expense of the bulk of the world's population...
The Justice Department's criminal investigation into Goldman Sachs goes beyond the financial transactions targeted by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the civil fraud suit brought against the firm last month, law enforcement sources said Friday.

The Justice Department probe began weeks ago and is essentially on a parallel track with the SEC investigation, the sources said. While prosecutors and investigators are focusing on some of the same mortgage-related transactions as the SEC, the sources said, the Justice Department has cast a wider net.

yeah, i'm glad to see a possible criminal indictment pending against goldman... it's better than the crickets chirping that's been the case for seemingly forever...

and, just for chuckles and grins, here's a kindergarten primer on the goldman sachs of today...

Goldman, not that long ago, was a firm that raised capital for companies who wished to grow and advised those that wanted to buy another company or sell themselves. These are now sidelines for Goldman. The overwhelming portion of its revenue and profit come from trading.

Goldman is now (principally) a trader that lives to find people who are dumber than itself, using its intelligence advantage to enrich itself and impoverish its trading partners. So it is hard to argue that it serves a useful purpose for society.

goldman is a self-styled predator in the jungle of their own making, the great jungle of social darwinism...

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The European debt crisis is far from over and is far from just "European"

i was sitting in the "breakfast" room of a motel on the california side of donner pass this morning watching today's matt lauer and his fellow-airheads deliver non-news news and reflecting on just how much shit we're fed at a time when there are more critically important things happening in the world than at any other time in my 62 years... the global financial house of cards continues its slow-mo train wreck but we're treated to martha stewart's tips on making bruschetta...
The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned that the crisis in Greece could spread throughout Europe.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that every day lost in resolving Greece's problems risks spreading the impact "far away".

World financial markets, recovering slightly on Wednesday, have been badly hit by fears of contagion from Greece.

Mr Strauss-Kahn was speaking at a news conference in Berlin after trying to persuade reluctant German politicians to back the terms of a rescue deal.

But even as politicians were trying to resolve the crisis, Europe's debt problems were flaring elsewhere.

The Standard & Poor's ratings agency delivered more bad news by downgrading Spain's debt to AA from AA+.

yeah, i know... it's very old news that we don't get real news... our "news" outlets are 100% dedicated to keeping us pleasantly sedated with fluff and inconsequential nonsense... right now, for instance, i'm sitting in a rest area just west of the donner pass summit (i was turned back because they're requiring chains on all four truck wheels and all four trailer wheels and i have no intention of buying any), listening to npr out of sacramento present a "story" on ballroom dancing... god, we are sooo-o-o-ooooo screwed...

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Greece, Portugal, Spain and the U.S. stock market

hey... we're talking globalization here, right...?
Greece’s credit rating was lowered to junk status Tuesday by a leading credit agency, a decision that rocked financial markets and deepened fears that a debt crisis in Europe could spiral out of control.


“This is a signal to the markets that the situation is deteriorating rapidly, and it’s not clear who’s in a position to stop the Greeks from going into a default situation,” said Edward Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research. “That creates a spillover effect into Portugal and Spain and raises the whole sovereign debt issue.”

and here comes that pesky globalization thingy...
Stocks tumbled Tuesday in a global sell-off after Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit ratings of Greece and Portugal.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 213.04 points, or 1.9 percent, to close at 10,991.99, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 28.34, or 2.3 percent, 1183.71. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 51.48, or 2 percent, to 2471.47.

Overseas markets also took heavy losses Tuesday, with London's FTSE and the Dax in Germany both down more than 2 percent.

so... whaddaya think... will THIS be the falling of the house of cards...? hmmmmm...?

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Joe Bageant offers what I consider to be a truly spiritual perspective on what's going on

which, as i sit in an rv park on the monterey peninsula on sunday morning, enjoying one of the most beautiful places on earth, seems to be a particularly appropriate thing to share...

from "there ain't no escape from collapse"...

I have come to think the price of admission anywhere in the world, (except in America and Europe, where enough dough will get your ass kissed in any circles) is service to others. We have been indoctrinated by an earth devouring capitalist system to believe otherwise. Believe that giving only depletes. And that mankind and civilization came about through kings and warriors and "great men." But the essential glue of man the social animal has always been on cooperation and sharing. That an endless stream of elite thieves have always managed to steal the fruits of that cooperation does not matter. And the best that is in man still rests on the same fundamentals -- cooperation for the greater good of all.

So I would suggest that in planning for the future, you first spend many days pondering the question: How can I best go about giving up the world as I have known it -- which, after all, is the root of our pain and of our catastrophe -- and serve others every day and in as many ways large and small as possible. In other words, sacrifice. In truth, the sacrifice will not be sacrifice, but liberation, because Americans are buried under so much material shit and petty notions as to entitlement, that shedding such things is a blessing. A gift.

From that vantage point you can "watch the collapse" while you help put up a pole barn in Oregon or make love in a Patagonian mountain shack after a hard day of well digging, or smoke a joint in utter relaxation after rescuing orphans from the streets of Guadalajara. And chances are that the collapse of the empire will not much cross your mind.

There is no escape, but there is freedom. And if our fellow Americans long ago forgot that, well, one can still get there alone.

But it's not for the faint of heart.

it's taken me a very long time to come to my present frame of mind but, now that i'm here, i realize that the journey has been well worth it and i wouldn't trade one tiny, painful piece of it, not for anything... i'm both pleased and comforted to see a fellow human being who is traveling what i consider to be a very similar spiritual road... good on joe bageant...

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Celebrating and profiting from the tragedy of common folks, a tragedy they helped create, is just business as usual for the banksters

if you read this wapo article carefully, it sounds like goldman was only "seeking to protect itself if prices collapsed," "a routine part of its business"... in other words, goldman was just doing what any good business would do, developing and executing a prudent business strategy...
As the U.S. housing market began its epic fall nearly three years ago, top executives at Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs cheered the large financial gains the firm stood to make on certain bets it had placed, according to newly released documents.

The documents show that the firm's executives were celebrating earlier investments calculated to benefit if housing prices fell, a Senate investigative committee found. In an e-mail sent in the fall of 2007, for example, Goldman executive Donald Mullen predicted a windfall because credit-rating companies had downgraded mortgage-related investments, which caused losses for investors.

"Sounds like we will make some serious money," Mullen wrote.

Lawmakers said the internal e-mails, released Saturday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, contradict what they said are Goldman's assertions that the bank was not trying to profit from the decline of the housing market in 2007 and was merely seeking to protect itself if prices collapsed.

Goldman admits it had reduced its exposure to the overheated U.S. property market and had sought to limit possible losses through a strategy that would make money if home prices fell. It says such "hedging" is a routine part of its business and is intended to moderate risk to the firm, an especially vital function when markets shift violently, as they did in 2008.

at least zachary goldfarb, the by-lined reporter, had the graciousness to "suggest" the following...
The findings of the Senate panel also come as Goldman is facing a fraud suit, filed earlier this month by the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that the bank misled its clients by selling them a mortgage investment that was secretly designed to fail. Senate investigators this weekend were interviewing Goldman Vice President Fabrice Tourre, who is implicated in the fraud suit and will testify Tuesday.

The Senate panel's findings do not touch directly on the fraud suit but suggest that Goldman's alleged behavior in that case was indicative of a larger pattern of duplicitous conduct on the eve of the economy's collapse.

"Investment banks such as Goldman Sachs . . . were self-interested promoters of risky and complicated financial schemes that helped trigger the crisis," said Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate panel. "They bundled toxic mortgages into complex financial instruments, got the credit rating agencies to label them as AAA securities and sold them to investors, magnifying and spreading risk throughout the financial system and all too often betting against the instruments they sold and profiting at the expense of their clients."

the real story, the one that desperately needs to be carefully researched and put before the american people, is how our super-rich elites and their wholly-owned servants, the banksters, have shamelessly manipulated the american and global economies for many, many years to serve their own greed... when are we going to get THAT story...?

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