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Tonight we learn from Simon Johnson, over at his Baseline Scenario blog, that one of the two leading candidates (in fact, the more moderate candidate, according to Johnson) for the presidency of the European Central Bank is none other than Mario Draghi, Governor of the Banca d'Italia and the current chair of the Basel, Switzerland-based Financial Stability Board, an offshoot of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).

Draghi also happens to have been the person who was running the show in Europe (while Henry Paulson was running the whole Goldman shooting match in New York) for none other than Goldman-Sachs when that firm developed and managed many of the ethically-challenged, European government-related derivatives deals which a German foreign affairs spokesman referred to,  on Sunday (specifically focusing upon the Goldman-Greece transactions), in the following manner: "Goldman Sachs broke the spirit of the Maastricht Treaty, though it is not certain it broke the law."

From Johnson, Monday night: "Fallout From Goldman-Greece Affair Widens: Impact On The European Central Bank."


Fallout From Goldman-Greece Affair Widens: Impact On The European Central Bank
By Simon Johnson
Baseline Scenario
February 15, 2010

As controller of the euro, the European Central Bank (ECB) wields great power in Europe and has a wide global reach.  The race to become the ECB's next president - with a term that starts next year - has been intense and hard fought.  The final selection is down to two men: the ultra hawkish Axel Weber, head of the Bundesbank, who sees inflation dangers at every turn; and the relatively more moderate Mario Draghi, head of the Bank of Italy, chair of the Financial Stability Board, and experienced international economic diplomat.

Unfortunately for those hoping that Draghi could still prevail, he is also formerly senior management at Goldman Sachs and serious questions are emerging regarding what he knew and did during Goldman's alleged "let's help Greece circumvent EU budget rules" phase in the early 2000s.

Now, to understand the political climate in Germany--which really is the economic powerhouse with the most amount of leverage in the European Union today--one need look no further than today's (Tueday's) New York Times:  "Opposition Grows In Germany to Bailout for Greece," where we learn that 53% of the German public wants to tell Greece to go suck an olive as far as any European Union bailout of that country is concerned.

So, as Johnson reminds us this evening, the German authorities have their own horse in the race to run Europe's central bank and, politically, they're "...upset at the prospect of bailing out Greece."

Johnson's conclusion...


You can pretty much count Mr. Draghi out of the running for the ECB job, and it would not be a surprise if he soon steps down from chairing the Financial Stability Board.

Being associated with Goldman Sachs is now beyond awkward.  For someone aiming high in the public sphere, work experience at the top levels of Goldman is fast becoming a toxic asset.

A not-so-funny thing though...and it certainly serves as a stark contrast between how Goldman is being treated in the press in Europe versus how they're being handled with kid gloves in the MSM here in the U.S., even today.

What I'm referencing is another piece on the op-ed pages of today's NY Times, where none other than Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson takes it upon himself to impart his brilliance (the guy running the whole shebang in the lead-up to our country's Great Recession)  in: "How to Watch The Banks.'

Oh, the irony of it all!

So, let's just forget about how then-Treasury Secretary Paulson watched (because that's about the only thing he did until September 2008) the banks in 2006 and 2007, as our country virtually collapsed in the greatest economic upheaval since the Great Depression.

Speaking of which--and perhaps even tying-in all the disparate information I'm covering herein together--Calculated Risk has a very interesting piece running over on their blog tonight which is now telling us that, in our "new normal" (which Simon Johnson referred to last Summer as our "Two-Track Economy"), well over a third of our population is, still, in nothing less than a full-blown depression right now; and, this will continue to be the case, perhaps for decades! (In no small part thanks to how Treasury Secretary Paulson "watched the banks" in 2006, 2007 and 2008, too.)  See: "Labor Underutilization Rate by Household Income."


Labor Underutilization Rate by Household Income
by CalculatedRisk on 2/15/2010 01:52:00 PM

The following chart is based on data from a research paper by Andrew Sum and Ishwar Khatiwada at the Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University (ht Ann): "Labor Underutilization Problems of U.S. Workers Across Household Income Groups at the End of the Great Recession: A Truly Great Depression Among the Nation's Low Income Workers Amidst Full Employment Among the Most Affluent"

--SNIP--

Labor Underutilization Rate by Household Income Click HERE for image in new window.


"At the end of calendar year 2009, as the national economy was recovering from the recession of 2007-2009, workers in different segments of the income distribution clearly found themselves in radically different labor market conditions. A true labor market depression faced those in the bottom two deciles of the income distribution, a deep labor market recession prevailed among those in the middle of the distribution, and close to a full employment environment prevailed at the top. There was no labor market recession for America's affluent."

Then again, I'm sure we'd all settle for just knowing what then-Goldman CEO Henry Paulson said to his employee, Mario Draghi, as Draghi managed sovereign deals with European countries on Goldman's behalf which, as of today, have all but undermined a good portion of the effort President Obama has made in the past year to rebuild relations with these very same countries--the same countries that Goldman worked with to obfuscate their finances so that they appeared compliant with European Union rules back when Hank Paulson was "watching the banks" as a part of his job description at Goldman-Sachs, too!

#            #            #

Here are some of the things Henry Paulson said as he "watched the banks" in 2007 and 2008...

(From Mortgage News Daily: "Timeline of Henry Paulson Quotes.")


April 20, 2007 -- "I don't see (subprime mortgage market troubles) imposing a serious problem. I think it's going to be largely contained."

July 26, 2007 -- "I don't think it [the subprime mess] poses any threat to the overall economy."

November 29, 2007 -- "While the difficulties in housing and credit markets and the effects of high energy prices will extract a penalty from growth, the US economy has many strengths, and I expect the expansion to continue,"

December 7, 2007 - "The US banking system is well-capitalized and `we have a strong deposit insurance system that provides good coverage for the savings of hard-working Americans.'"

March 16, 2008 -- "I have great, great confidence in our capital markets and in our financial institutions. Our financial institutions, banks and investment banks, are strong. Our capital markets are resilient. They're efficient. They're flexible."

May 16, 2008 -- "Looking forward, I expect that financial markets will be driven less by the recent turmoil and more by broader economic conditions and, specifically, by the recovery of the housing sector."

July 20, 2008 -- "It's a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation."

September 19, 2008 -- "I am convinced that this bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternative -- a continuing series of financial institution failures and frozen credit markets unable to fund economic expansion..."

November 12, 2008 -- "This market has for all practical purposes ground to a halt. Today, the illiquidity in this sector is raising the cost and reducing the availability of car loans, student loans and credit cards. This is creating a heavy burden on the American people and reducing the number of jobs in our economy."

November 12, 2008 -- "I will never apologize for changing a strategy or an approach if the facts change..."

November 14, 2008 -- "We have in many ways humiliated ourselves as a nation with some of the problems that have taken place here..."

November 14, 2008 -- "I'm not saying we're going to need more," he said. "Let's get this program done. Let's get the $250 billion out the door, let's see how it's working ... and it's highly likely the right thing to do will be at some time in the not too distant future to have another capital program..."

Originally posted to http://www.dailykos.com/user/bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 12:52 AM PST.

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  •  Tip Jar (262+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, Lupin, paradox, Angie in WA State, Joe Bob, Alfred E Newman, boydog, Odysseus, Rayne, SarahLee, roonie, gogol, importer, BeBe, maynard, mattman, emal, PeterHug, DebtorsPrison, Shockwave, trevzb, LynChi, lysias, Mnemosyne, TX Unmuzzled, RFK Lives, Creosote, bara, bronte17, mint julep, whenwego, djMikulec, RabidNation, oceanspray, jennifree2bme, ctsteve, Jesterfox, enough already, k9disc, psnyder, TexDem, CitizenOfEarth, pat bunny, gmb, BMarshall, NYFM, Chirons apprentice, Bluehawk, defluxion10, liberte, lecsmith, lcrp, riverlover, Pohjola, barbwires, dkmich, ybruti, Redbug, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, Deward Hastings, valadon, ganymeade, Josiah Bartlett, bibble, bay of arizona, environmentalist, sawgrass727, G2geek, Massman, tovan, marina, radarlady, NoMoreLies, irate, PBen, run around, kitchen sink think tank, panicbean, drewfromct, trinityfly, Lepanto, Mz Kleen, Annalize5, cfk, Viceroy, Pam from Calif, EdlinUser, where4art, GreyHawk, tidewatcher249, blue jersey mom, Sandino, Arctor, deepsouthdoug, Pluto, bookwoman, splashoil, Jim P, dehrha02, dhfsfc, elliott, BachFan, Kingsmeg, cybersaur, Clytemnestra, BlueInARedState, Yellow Canary, arlene, fou, greenearth, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, erratic, Glorfindel, thegood thebad thedumb, real world chick, Preston S, el cid, sceptical observer, MBNYC, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, shaharazade, poxonyou, CharlieHipHop, Picot verde, gerald 1969, OHdog, DBunn, seabos84, One Pissed Off Liberal, phonegery, Noor B, DorothyT, xaxado, Ken in MN, dotsright, wa ma, Loudoun County Dem, byDesign, desertguy, Cottagerose, Margfh, vets74, moosely2006, Van Buren, Wino, DvCM, LillithMc, Jimdotz, greenchiledem, LamontCranston, DWG, Unbozo, gatorbot, Kentucky Kid, getlost, manwithnoname, mcc777c2, vbdietz, mudslide, Moderation, uciguy30, A Person, Terra Mystica, TomP, Empower Ink, VA Breeze, cynndara, ynp junkie, Involuntary Exile, elwior, Laughing Vergil, wvablue, geomoo, Gemina13, BYw, allie123, Executive Odor, slathe, angelino, papicek, CIndyCasella, cameoanne, SciMathGuy, 1BQ, Florene, cybrestrike, smellybeast, J M F, driftwood, aufklaerer, andycoster, banjolele, Pale Jenova, dark daze, maryabein, Zotz, mkor7, CamillesDad1, JesseCW, LibrErica, VT ConQuest, elziax, obiterdictum, MySobriquet, kevinpdx, blueocean, Green Karma, maxzj05, jfromga, ohmyheck, Words In Action, Mayken, brentbent, coppercelt, MariaWr, on2them, pyegar, roadbear, publicv, on board 47, FrankCornish, Garfnobl, TKO333, Kristina40, DrFitz, halef, Earth Ling, alethea, elengul, MsGrin, Floande, Loose Fur, rasfrome, rmabelis, Colorado is the Shiznit, ozsea1, scarysota63, island in alabama, thethinveil, Wolf10, RadicalRoadRat, bamabikeguy, tardis10, Tyto Alba, Conure, blue aardvark, Book of Hearts, zenox, Ezekial 23 20, PrometheusUnbound, TULIPS4DOLPHINS, lightshine, pantherq, FireBird1, damfino, OHknighty, DM4, Siri, Aeolos

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:01:50 AM PST

  •  It is high time... (113+ / 0-)

    ...to introduce the term "economic terrorist" into the language, and act accordingly.

    We're not talking just fraud here, but global appropriation of wealth on a scale fit for a James Bond movie, harming far more people worldwide than a single underwear bomber on a plane.

    We very likely won't get anywhere (our political and media elite being bought and sold) but if we could scare a few of these criminals by waving the word "terrorist" at them, and instill a bit of the old fear of the people's righteous wrath, it wouldn't be a bad result.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:14:14 AM PST

    •  Osama bin Laden was the First Economic Terrorist (28+ / 0-)

      As time goes on, I have my doubts he had anything to do with 9/11 -- but he was the greatest economic terrorist of all time. Brought down the richest nation in the world in a mere five years.

      Goldman Sachs runs a close second.

      ::
      The Pluto Chronicles. You want reality? You can't handle reality!

      by Pluto on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:27:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A fitting punishment? (7+ / 0-)

      I can't recommend anything less than a public hanging. Starting at the top of the GS food chain.

      ;)

      -8.00, -8.26 "Fascism is capitalism plus murder." - Upton Sinclair

      by djMikulec on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:06:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  go further than that. (29+ / 0-)

      I say it's high time to go to war against those bastards, up close & personal, right up to the line of the law but not a hair beyond.  

      For example:  

      Create decks of cards with their pictures on them and lists of their crimes and their ill-gotten gains, like the ones handed out to soldiers in Iraq.  

      Create a set of dominos with their pictures on them also, which can be set up and then knocked down in a row (nice symbolism there).  

      Those decks of cards and dominos will also be useful fund-raisers for other activities.  Such as:

      Picket their homes and their churches.  Do it at random times when they are not expecting it.  A few minutes here, a few minutes there, come back the next day for a half hour, then go away and come back a few hours later.  The randomness will cause them much annoyance.

      Follow them with signs saying "That's (name), of Goldman Sachs, who looted and crashed the economy!"  

      Confront them in public places with small groups, maybe three or four people, who follow after them saying "Shame!  Shame!" etc., including details of who they are and what they did, and then quickly dispersing.  

      Confront them in their "private" moments in publicly-accessible places, for example restaurants.  When you see one of them go into a restaurant, wait about twenty minutes or a half hour (to be sure they are eating when you do this), and then go right in there and walk up to them and give them a piece of your mind:  "So!  You're (name) from Goldman Sachs?   Thanks a shitload for crashing the economy, you scum bag!  I hope the food you're eating right now gives you diarrhea!"  and then scoot.   At worst it's trespassing, but not if you leave right away.

      Put their pictures on a "WANTED!" website, along with their home addresses and any other personal information that's legal to post (yes, that's almost an Operation Rescue tactic there, but unlike Operation Rescue, no threats of violence, just public shaming).  

      Put up WANTED posters in their neighborhoods.  

      Here's another tactic often used by odious elements of the right wing, but potentially useful here:  FILE LIENS against the banksters' property:  

      http://www.adl.org/...

      At very least they will have to send their lawyers to court to remove the liens.  Keyword search "paper terrorism" for more.  Note, in some states this is illegal, so do your research and don't do it in a state where it could run afoul of the law.  Only do it in states where it is legal.  

      While we're on the subject, FILE LAWSUITS against these bastards.  Lots and lots of lawsuits in as many jurisdictions as possible.  God Knows we have plenty of grounds for this.  They will have to respond to them in court, which costs them the services of very expensive lawyers, and very expensive company jets to fly them around.  

      Last but not least, "imprecatory prayer," loud and public:  In other words, pray for God to strike these people dead.   Terribly rude, but not illegal unless accompanied by calls for other people to strike them dead (don't go there).  Useful as a shaming tactic.  

      The fact that some of these tactics are used by the extreme right doesn't mean we can't use them too: after all the extreme right also uses automobiles, telephones, and toilet paper.

      The goal should be to anathematize them as far and wide as possible.  Make them as popular as rabid skunks at picnics.   Make them ashamed to show their faces in public.  

      See also The Yes Men for more ideas.  

      This posting brought to you as a message in the public interest by the Department of Gray Ops.

    •  Target them for (legal) pranks! (19+ / 0-)

      Target them personally.  

      Anything that counts as a legal prank is useful because when targeted against these people it will cause them to have to spend decent money to deal with it.  You can call that an economic stimulus if you like!  

      For example, get on Craig's List under a psuedonym and advertise an "indoor garage sale" at one of their home addresses, where lots of expensive furniture will be available cheap due to a bankruptcy or pending foreclosure.  Be sure to emphasize that it will run for both Saturday and Sunday and will start early in the morning.  

      For example:  "Indoor garage sale!  Furniture and other household items, bargain prices!  We are being foreclosed and we have to move, so we're selling everything.  Saturday and Sunday mornings, 7:00AM to 5:00PM, be sure to arrive early to get the best bargains!  (Home address)"

      Search "pranks" online and see what you find.  

      Here's a site that looks decent:

      http://www.prank.org/...

      •  Your ideas are great. (9+ / 0-)

        If you're young, do you know about Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and the Yippies.  You would have made a great Yippie.

        The Yippies are much under-appreciated.  A lot of things they started survive until today: food coops, underground newspapers.

        "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

        by goinsouth on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:03:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  goinsouth (17+ / 0-)

          you need to get your history straight about the "yippies'" roles.

          They were rather late to the party and most certainly did not "start" Food coops and underground newspapers, although he (Abbie Hoffman) was quick to further great ideas and exploit them. He also was good at creating a myth of personality and publicity for the causes.

          The yippie thing was derivative, standing on the shoulders of those who created the path before them. I still remember Hoffman calling me in early 1967, when I was running the Communication Company for the San Francisco diggers, to pick our brains about all sorts of things we had been doing.  

          It's too early, and I'm too lazy to site specific linked references, but two good places to start are the digger archive and the Richard Brautigan archive.

          don't always believe what you think...

          by claude on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:42:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fair enough and thanks for the links. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            claude, G2geek, greenearth, shaharazade, ozsea1

            I will check those out.

            "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

            by goinsouth on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:00:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Listen to Claude man (10+ / 0-)

              Also, the ability for the "derivatives" to pull off much of this stuff was because of the underground support network that existed in this country at the time.

              You could pop a stunt (most seem juvenile and reflexive in hindsight), yet, become wanted by the FBI.  I knew one guy who "launched" the Chemistry Building to Mars (he even had a silver-clad space maiden on top waving goodbye). No buildings were injured in the launch.  Pissed them off all the same (was it really his fault they thought he was serious?  All he did was bait their paranoia).  In the 60s and 70s, it was no problem, as you actually could go underground, and live quite well, even though wanted.  Today, I'm not so sure.

              It started crumbling after the Patty Hearst affair, as the FBI started raiding everything that summer; anything they suspected of being an underground front.

              I got caught up in 2 massive SWAT raids on different houses in the mid 70s, one looking for Patty Hearst, one looking for a gay gentleman from SF who had shot and killed 2 cops for abusing him after a Cops vs. Gays softball game (Gays won,  Cops were pissed).  After he went on the lam, he rented the basement apartment at my sister's place; a huge place, old university style dormitory circa 1875, in a nice tree lined neighborhood.  Lots of us lived there, and we had room for up to 50 extra people to crash.  There was a catacombs of tunnels under the basement even, with ancient lighting and wiring that was still hot.  The place was handed down from person to person over the years.

              We never knew what was up with the situation until after the raid.  The man faded away into the woodwork as soon as the raid began.  Don't think he was ever caught.  That's how it worked (except for high profile folks on the lam).  Nobody really knew much about a person's specific situation.

              Neither raid was a pretty outcome.  Though, at my sister's place, near the end, she stood out on the porch in leopard skin bra and panties, and ripped SWAT a new asshole.  Fracking hysterical.  We had several hundred guns pointed at us, bullhorns were squelching, threats were made and acted on, and my sister faced them down. "Pussies", I think was the key word she called them, LOL.  I never laughed so hard in my life even though my head was bleeding.  Even the SWAT dudes started laughing, with her standing there shaking her fist, in her handsome leopard skin attire, calling them, well, you know.  LOL.

              SWAT helped us clean up the mess afterwards.  Never saw them do that before (or after).  LOL.  None of us were arrested either, mainly, because we didn't know shit about the guy.

              People were arrested at the Hearst raid.  Through all the fighting, though I managed to get to a stream behind the house when we started seriously getting our skulls bashed in, and swam underwater to the next neighborhood over.  It was the only route out of there, everything else was blocked off.  I was the only one who went that way, and the only one not caught.  Some folks took me in, and hid me, until the cluster-fuck ended.

              The food coops, though, came more from folks who went out into the country.  You had to grow the stuff to coop it in town.  I both grew, and traded with the local coop.  One of the most peaceful, non-rhetorical things I was ever a part of.  The urban guerillas?  Not so much, LOL.  Especially when the violence turned from defending the house on principle, to defending it from dangerous men in masks trying to steal everything not tied down at gunpoint.  

              I made Paul Harvey once, for chasing 6 armed assailants down the street and for 2 city blocks after that.  I didn't have on clothes, as I woke up in the middle of the robbery and started fighting, and walked back home that way, right down the middle of the street, covered in blood, and nothing else.  The whole neighborhood stood on the sidewalks cheering.  Fracking embarrassing, that.  I did get some nice dates later.  The walls in my bedroom, though, were also covered in blood.  Looked like an all night Rolling Stones party had just taken place. LOL.  Fucking Paul Harvey man.  My family figured I needed intervention after that asshole blew the whistle, and declared me some kind of an urban legend for fighting naked in the streets. grrrr.

              I was "going up the country" from there on out...

              Just realize this; if you continually poke a stick into a lion's cage, you better be prepared to fight the lion.  Just saying.

              Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors. Ralph Waldo Emerson [So where have all the editors gone? rolling thunder]

              by rolling thunder on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:25:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Some of us are still 'up country' (6+ / 0-)

                and remember well those days when we learned about the 'land of the free'.

                Hard lessons those, but good, useful knowledge to have.

                Just realize this; if you continually poke a stick into a lion's cage, you better be prepared to fight the lion.  Just saying.

                Well said...

              •  Thanks, Thunder (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rolling thunder, Noor B, Siri

                Ww also resurrected the ancient and honorable practice of gleaning.  We would take a few trucks and a gang of help and go to where we knew there was abandoned produce after harvest and grab all we could, with the amused permission of the farmer.  Part of the "food conspiracies" that were the predecessors to the food co-ops.

                At the same time as the goods arrived in town, I'd print up a bunch of flyers announcing the haul, with recipes for whatever it was that day.

                One time we got 100s of pounds of whale meat from the Point Reyes Station cetological research center in Marin, and even found recipes for it.

                The gleaning got sophisticated enough that we traveled with a mobile kitchen setup to process food, like tomatoes and peaches that were too ripe to transport, right there by the side of the road. California was lush with free food. We even found abandoned almond orchards and figs, too.

                The 60s were heady times. We literally had to invent "community", as the concept had been largely lost to many of us suburban youngsters.

                I'll never forget the first time I ran into these folks; first thing they asked was "Are you hungry?", and I almost cried, remembering how unconscious people were back then about such basic hospitality.  The daily Free Food in the Panhandle Park near the Haight was supplied by these types of efforts, and the free bakery soon followed.

                Some of us have kept the faith ever since.

                don't always believe what you think...

                by claude on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:55:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've been on a long strange trip myself, lol (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  claude, Noor B

                  But it seems the more things change, the more they move in a circle and return to where they started.  Time has carried me all over the planet, and back, kind of like Forrest Gump's feather, LOL.  But I never forgot where I came from, and tried to instill the values in everything I did.

                  Enjoyed your insight on gleaning.  There is still much to find out there in old forgotten places.  I salvaged old busted computers from the dump for awhile, rebuilt them, and gave them away to folks who wanted or needed them.  Most of them had very little wrong.  

                  The local schools and government agencies were the worst about tossing them out en masse (the parts I needed for fixes were right there, including operational hard drives with data in tact.  "Oh Mrs. Johnson, you didn't...". LOL.)

                  The landfill folks finally realized what I was doing and shut me down.  Somebody else is selling them now, at least the last I checked.  It worked for awhile.  Made lots of kids happy, anyway, ones who otherwise wouldn't have had access.

                  Have a good one Claude.

                  Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors. Ralph Waldo Emerson [So where have all the editors gone? rolling thunder]

                  by rolling thunder on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:26:29 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  GenX here but I know about them. (13+ / 0-)

          Abbie Hoffman was one of the founders of the Yippies.  Yippies were like politicized hippies: they smoked pot like hippies and they did demonstrations like the radicals who were too puritanical to smoke pot.  

          They did the action where they went on a tour of the Stock Exchange and while up in the balcony, threw dollar bills.  Trading came to a complete halt as the stockbrokers went scrambling to scoop up the loot.  

          Yeah, they deserve a lot of credit for that kind of stuff.  And I don't think they ever sold out either, which is a big deal because a lot of people got older and sold out.  I was too young to be a Yippie but I suppose the memes persist or something.  

          Anyway, the tactics are still valid.  

          Hell, call up a horse stable and have a truckload of horse shit delivered to Lord Blankfiend's house and dumped on his lawn.  

          Call a pharmacy and have 12 dozen flavored condoms delivered, but give his name and give a different address, so the guy from the pharmacy knocks on a neighbor's door... and word gets out that Blankfiend is having orgies at his house.  

          Spread rumors.  Become a Paparazzi For A Day and take a picture of his wife with a sourpuss expression on her face, and run it with a tabloid headline that "MAYBE a divorce is in the works? COULD IT BE that he's having an AFFAIR?"   No libel for asking a question, right?

          Find a place to get skunk mating pheremones (which should be un-smellable by humans) and spread that stuff on their property to attract skunks.  One big skunk deserves twenty or thirty more!

          Have fun with three-way calling!   Call someone at some financial house, and tell them you're so-and-so's secretary calling and would they please hold the line to speak with so-and-so.  Then use three-way-calling to connect up the person you claimed to be representing, and patch them in.  Stick around and listen, you never know what you might hear! (Strictly speaking it's illegal to record phone calls without permission in some states, so be careful where you do this if you want to run the results on the radio!)  (Don't forget to block your outbound caller ID (or use a disposable cellphone), and do not call these people on toll-free numbers because caller ID blocking does not work for those.)

          It's not hard to think up gray ops, pranks, and general buffoonery that will make these people spin, I could do it all day.  The tough part is tracking the bastards down and getting the intel on 'em so they can be targeted (for that I charge an hourly rate!).  I suppose that the group Anonymous that went after Scientology could be motivated to do some of this.  

          Every time they or their spouses go out of the house for any reason at all, they should be so jumpy about strangers approaching them and chanting "Shame! Shame!" or holding up WANTED signs with their pictures on 'em, that they can't relax in any public place.

          The goal is to make them go stark raving paranoid until they say or do things that are so crazy they'll be disgraced and lose their jobs or worse.   They should become pariahfied cranks who get on Rush Limbaugh and rant about The Jews and The Negroes, and give money to Pat Buchanan, and everyone goes Tut-Tut and feels sorry for how sad it is that they just lost their minds.

          In short, make them wish they were living in the cell next to Bernie Madoff because life would have been better for them that way.  With luck maybe they'll turn themselves in for something so they can get into that cellblock after all.  

          •  Once they get total control (0+ / 0-)

            of the government again, they won't come after you on Rush Limbaugh or any other wacko outlet (the good news will be; those folks will no longer be a necessry evil).  They will deliver their response through the local, state and federal authorities (which they will have absolute control over, as is the case in all corporate states).  And with all this "god bless the police" kowtowing and assorted BS going on now, irrespective of what they actually do, it will be a stark, chilling realization when that day comes.  Notice how their logo has been shortened to:  "To serve and protect".  The question is: to serve and protect what exactly?

            And it won't be to discuss things, rationally or otherwise, when they come through your door...

            I respect what you're saying here.  I really do.  I'm just not sure whether the country has advanced to a sufficent degree of mistrust, where they would protect you once the whip starts coming down again.  My fear is; most would turn you in for the bounty.

            I hope I'm wrong.

            Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors. Ralph Waldo Emerson [So where have all the editors gone? rolling thunder]

            by rolling thunder on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 12:29:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay, well . . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Noor B

              G2Geek has identified a mode of attack with some chance of success. The two of you have also identified a couple of key infrastructure needs that have to be established before all-out attack: first, we need a LOAD of good intell, most of which could be collected by diligent,halfway-committed persons with a web connection, a phone, and nothing better to do, and second, we need a solid network of safehouses and escape connections, most of which already exist, but we need to connect the dots and know who's willing and trustworthy ahead of time.

              Neither is undoable with resources available to the progressive/radical community.

          •  You are a freaking genius, man! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            I'm cackling so hard, my puppy is standing here wondering what the hell is wrong with Mom!  Congratulations, you've freaked out a Groenendael!

            Cabela's should have skunk juice.  They should also have deer rut lures, too.  And you can pick up your camo gear while you're there, for hiding on the heavily landscaped estates....

            "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

            by Noor B on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:18:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not the one poking sticks into lion's cages, thinking it will be awesomely good fun, ending with the corresponding party having a nervous breakdown on the Rush Limbaugh Show, lol.

              To get to the point where civil insurrection is the heute cusine, one should naturally be able to project what to expect when comtemplating such a thing.  Thinking there won't be a hard reaction when going about doing grey ops on the establishment, is insightful how exactly?

              But you and your puppy have a nice day.

              [NOTE: I was the first American sent back into China after Tiananmen Square, to help calm down the near state of war that ensued, by rebuilding their central bank and bringing them up to WTO standard, in exchange for demilitarizing the Straits of Taiwan, and have seen what happens literally, when one goes about poking sticks in the face of a raging tiger.  Not that you or your puppy would understand though, lol.  What do you really know about fighting fascism?  BTW, I prefer Hart, Shaffner, and Marx, myself.  You can keep the camo and deer ruttings for the puppy, lol.]

              Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors. Ralph Waldo Emerson [So where have all the editors gone? rolling thunder]

              by rolling thunder on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:10:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Excuse me, but I was not replying to you. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rolling thunder

                And keep the condescension.  It's hardly becoming.

                "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

                by Noor B on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:20:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm sorry (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Noor B

                  I fought some of the boys in camo for awhile, and they piss me off to the point of rage (I exposed some of them in an operational audit on a seemingly innocent trust organization).  They had my vehicles screwed with to ensure high-speed wrecks (which happened), fired weapons at me on multiple occasions, and emptied gunfire into the side of Mom's house, scaring her to death (she's in her 80s).

                  My blood boils when I think of them, and their cowardly BS, and I sometimes don't see straight when they enter the picture.

                  I'm sorry for offending.  That was thoughtless on my part not to notice the link structure.

                  Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors. Ralph Waldo Emerson [So where have all the editors gone? rolling thunder]

                  by rolling thunder on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:40:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Apology accepted. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rolling thunder

                    My Cabela's crack was more tongue-in-cheek -- sort of a way of saying "both sides can use the same stuff for totally different reasons".  And I hope none of us ever have to fight these bastards on their own turf for real.  Blood will flow on both sides, and we really could be that close.  That's how deep the anger is.  While they deserve the public shaming, I think the window for using such tactics would be very narrow indeed.  Before using them, any of us would be well advised to have the rest of the contingency plans in place -- up to and including having a few grand in cash stashed away for bail or an emergency "vacation" in Canada or Mexico.

                    I've had a car tampered with before, stranding me in the highway in the middle of the night.  Sure, I was scared, but more than that, I was flat-out livid.  I've had friends and acquaintances, neo-pagans, who've been shot at, had confrontations with the KKK in the Deep South, and discovered their beloved pets killed and mutilated.  So I understand, even if it did take me aback.

                    The sig line came from the cover title on a weekly alternative news-magazine in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  It was the title of a wonderful article about the men who went to Spain to fight Franco during the civil war.

                    Peace?

                    "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

                    by Noor B on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:21:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Absolutely (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Noor B

                      Peace is always my prefered path in matters of the heart.

                      One of my favorite political songs of all time is "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye.  For you Noor.

                      ---

                      Mother, mother
                      There's too many of you crying
                      Brother, brother, brother
                      There's far too many of you dying
                      You know we've got to find a way
                      To bring some lovin' here today - Ya

                      Father, father
                      We don't need to escalate
                      You see, war is not the answer
                      For only love can conquer hate
                      You know we've got to find a way
                      To bring some lovin' here today

                      ---

                      In regards the time for insurrection, I still think we cannot be the ones to start the fire.  That was the real innocence of the 60s (one lost inside the more media chosen moments some choose to remember now).  Long before it got to bloodshed and counter-insurgency, there were good people like Claude upthread, finding a peaceful way to move forward through the haze.

                      Before anything ugly begins, I just hope we aren't ones who start it.  But we will be the ones to finish it, and remain standing, in spite of anything that does go down.  That's the real American heritage.  And we'll know by the number of hungry people when things have deteriorated to point of insurrection, accentuated by an air of paranoid disregard for American citizens.  

                      We seem to be moving closer now.

                      Peace.

                      Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors. Ralph Waldo Emerson [So where have all the editors gone? rolling thunder]

                      by rolling thunder on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:28:05 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  One of my favorite TV series was Babylon 5. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        rolling thunder

                        In one episode at the start of the great space war, Sheridan says, "My father told me to never start a fight.  But if you find yourself in one, by God, you better finish it."  Pretty much sums it up for me.

                        "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

                        by Noor B on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:02:19 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  We actually had this happen in our area... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, rolling thunder, ozsea1

        There was an ad in the paper announcing free hot dogs, soda and beer at the home of the person that was the target.

    •  Blankfein a.k.a. Blankcheck... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lupin, greenearth, thethinveil

      is poster boy for obsessive greed.

    •  Actually, what we're dealing with is (11+ / 0-)

      deprivation under cover of law.  As the lead-in says, it's not clear that GS violated the law.

      The U.S. has been making immoral behavior legal ever since slavery was declared to be a legal status and some humans were classified as 3/5 of a person.  Since then we have evolved to diminish the status of all natural persons by finding an equivalency in the man-made kind.

      The private corporation should, like the public corporation, be strictly limited as to its responsibilities and obligations.  Instead, we have given the private corporation the rights of the natural person and relieved it of liability for its behavior.  As a result, the private corporation has become a reservoir of anti-social behavior under the cover of law.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:37:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bravo, Lupin~! n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lupin, greenearth
  •  Squeeze the Banksters (20+ / 0-)

    and they will squeeze back. Hard.
    Which government has the backbone to stand up to that ?

    C'mon, ye GS apologists and dissemblers !

    Making extra popcorn for this one.

  •  Good Grief! (18+ / 0-)

    Where is this going? In the Eurozone, I mean.

    (In the gangster zone, the Goldman pukes probably moniter this and other news sites, sweating bullets.)

    ::
    The Pluto Chronicles. You want reality? You can't handle reality!

    by Pluto on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:22:31 AM PST

  •  heh. (38+ / 0-)

    I reading The wrecking crew, where Thomas Frank talks about his favorite book from the Depression era, with a series of quotes by politicians and Bankers talking about unending optimism before and after the crash. It was entitled, "Oh Yeah?" Your Paulson quotes seem like it could be part of a similar book for our generation's great recession.

    "While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There is one certainty of the future of a people of the resources, intelligence and character of the people of the United States—that is, prosperity."

    Herbert Hoover, Address at annual dinner of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States

    "During the past year you have carried the credit system of the nation safely through a most difficult crisis. In this success you have demonstrated not alone the soundness of the credit system, but also the capacity of the bankers in emergency."

    Herbert Hoover, Address before the annual convention of The American Bankers Association, Cleveland

    Oh Yeah?: Herbert Hoover Predicts Prosperity (16 February 2010)
    http://historymatters.gmu.edu/...
    http://snipurl.com/...

    "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

    by thethinveil on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:37:58 AM PST

  •  Germany won't want to sacrifice for Greece (34+ / 0-)

    German public opinion is hardly likely to reflect happiness about bailing out Greece.  The rule to which Greece agreed when taking on the Euro as its currency was to keep the deficit at or below 3% of GDP.  Germany, which with France was the staunchest advocate of keeping that rule, and came far closer to Greece to succeeding at doing so, seems highly annoyed.  A view of German blogs suggests this.  And Goldman Sachs' name is sardonically mentioned on some of those blogs.

    I spent many weeks in Germany over the last couple of years, including a month last year.  I spent many days during those trips in what was East Germany.  The situation there is still not perfect.  Discontent over the end of communism persists, and driving through or walking through those towns, one still sees many ramshackle homes, and derelict buildings, all fallen into ruin.  In the prosperous western city of Hamburg, a local told me that they'd just gotten some public works projects done in time, before the crisis hit the public coffers.  But they are now facing belt-tightening as well, and in any case, surely the Germans, not having yet made all the improvements they wanted to make in the East since reunification, are going to feel very unwilling to bail out Greece.

    Nor, as discussed in previous diaries, do ordinary Greeks want to sacrifice any further, given the corruption and breakdown in trust (and taxation) between the citizens and their government.

    I can't be the first one to observe this, but: it's ironic, considering that Greece is the legendary birthplace of the ideas both of citizenship and democracy.

    "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

    by Villagejonesy on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:43:42 AM PST

    •  True. (4+ / 0-)

      I was reading the other day how Merkel is very unhappy about Greece and not wanting to bail them out.

      If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

      by Mz Kleen on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:17:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why should they...why are all of us being (11+ / 0-)

        penalized for what these people do which is nothing more than kiting, bilking for billions, call it what you want...it's outright theft.

        They go off into the sunset richer and we pay the bill...and no one is held accountable.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. -- Bertrand Russel

        by on2them on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:19:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We need to remind Merkel that we bailed Germany's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        island in alabama

        ass out after WWII so she needs to pay it forward.

        "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

        by lakehillsliberal on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:29:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  She is from (4+ / 0-)

          the former East Germany, IIRC, so our post-war bailout wouldn't have helped her a whole lot.

          From what little I know of her, she strikes me a reasonably decent and honest person, for a politician, doing a good job, although I gather she's rather to the European right. Which would make her a screaming liberal over here.

          And I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to any female head of state who can repel the repellant Bush the Lesser at an international conference.

          If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.--A Boston cabbie, to Gloria Steinem, in the 1970s

          by Mnemosyne on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 11:12:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, to the right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mnemosyne, Noor B

            I was in Berlin for a month last year, during the elections.  Berlin is rather leftist, and the posters of Merkel often had their slogans painted over with graffiti, such as "KRIEG."  They were keen to point out that a vote for Merkel is a vote for war.  One poster that I saw had originally had a one-word slogan saying "Kanzler" (Chancellor).  Graffiti artists had painted over it, making it "Panzler" (a play on the word "Panzer," "tank."

            She does come from a rightist perspective, and her coalition government is with the even further-right FDP party, who are known as the "Liberals," but "liberal" in the European sense of "laisser-faire economic liberal," not in our left-wing, social liberal sense.  The coalition, and especially the FDP, were elected, I think, largely on the perception that they would be strict budget hawks.  So, with such a coalition partnership, they'll be sure to impose strict austerity measures on Greece, which will lead to huge unrest in Greece, as darkdaze points out.

            "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

            by Villagejonesy on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:25:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Who is "they" though? (3+ / 0-)

        The kiting was done by those who are powerful in Greece, much as was the case here in the US.

        Merkel should be specific about who in Greece she is unhappy with.

        Once again, the ruling class gets their loot, socializes their losses, and the peasants get left holding the bag.

        "We have here a forecast of the long history of American Politics, the mobilization of lower-class energy by upper-class politicians, for their own purposes"

        by island in alabama on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:54:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Point well taken (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Noor B, cynndara, island in alabama

          In Greece, as I understand it, official corruption and bribery has led to the ordinary citizen evading taxation in any way possible, including through a huge black market.  So to be brutally honest, the ordinary citizen is actually contributing to the problem, but it is understandable how they got there, and I do put the responsibility on the governments that gave them that mistrust and corrupt atmosphere in the first place.

          "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

          by Villagejonesy on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:12:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It can, and does happen here. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Villagejonesy

            I've met people who will actually go shop across the state line in Delaware, where there is no sales tax, rather than support their local community businesses.  They are actually supposed to declare what they buy out of state and pay the sales tax themselves to the state, but it doesn't happen.  As money becomes tighter, I suspect it will become much more common.  So too will barter networks.

            "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

            by Noor B on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:32:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've wondered the same thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Noor B

              about barter networks.  I assume it is coming.  

              There was also a news piece in msn.com the other day about local scrip, where people in a certain community issue their own currency (this is legal, as long as it doesn't resemble the dollar too much).  Though this may not become widespread (after all, say if a bar takes the local scrip, they can't pay their out-of-state beer suppliers in it, nor a grocery its out-of-state food suppliers), it was still an interesting sign of the times; the article said it hadn't been this popular to do so in decades.

              "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

              by Villagejonesy on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:54:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  The Germans were always highly skeptical of (6+ / 0-)

      Greece . . . I remember back in ~2000 near the inception of the Euro when it had sunk to be worth about 80 cents US and I was having lunch with a bunch of Germans and gently ribbing them about their sinking currency and to a person they blamed Greece.  

      So, the current "crisis" seems to have been long in the making . . .

      •  It seems inevitable when you have a superstate (0+ / 0-)

        I've mentioned this elsewhere once or twice, but if you have a small duchy, you have no protection or bailouts, but you needn't bail anyone else out, either.

        But if you have a superstate, you're immediately going to have poorer regions which must be bailed out by the richer regions--an automatic problem of needing redistribution of wealth.  It ensures that the richer regions will resent the poorer ones for taking their money, while the poorer ones resent the rich, for not giving enough.

        "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

        by Villagejonesy on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:17:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  as well as they should be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, Noor B

      as soon as Greece starts and tries to implement its giant social cuts needed to balance the budget, there is gonna be all sorts of social and civil uprisings in greece.  Gonna be a helluva year over there.

      Just wish we has enough balls to uprise a little.

      (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

      by dark daze on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:00:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right, I think (0+ / 0-)

        Or, I should say, I shudder to think.  Greece is always a highly volatile country when there's popular discontent, and for some reason, it's expressed through much violence.  And yes, this will be a problem when austerity measures are imposed.  It'll be bad for ordinary Greeks, and it'll be bad for Germany.

        "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

        by Villagejonesy on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:14:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  heard on NPR (5+ / 0-)

      I was listening to a story about this Greece/Germany situation on NPR last night. I heard an anecdote that illustrates how unenthusiastic the Germans are about bailing out Greece.

      From what I recall of the story, Germany recently raised their official retirement age to 67 in order to forestall long-term budget problems. Meanwhile, the Greeks are taking to the streets because of a proposal to raise their retirement age...which is currently 63. So yes, I can see why the Germans don’t want to pour their money into that, without some serious changes on the part of the Greek government.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:15:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, according to Paulson, (46+ / 0-)

    November 14, 2008 -- "We have in many ways humiliated ourselves as a nation with some of the problems that have taken place here..."

    WE?

    How quickly he shifts the blame for his and his cohort's crimes of omission and commission onto the shoulders of the entire nation.  And how quickly that just makes me angrier with the lot of them.

    "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." Will Rogers

    by tovan on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:45:14 AM PST

  •  Bob, You Would Enjoy (18+ / 0-)

    ..reading my Favorite Little French Think Tank, which just published their monthly newsletter a few minutes ago.

    They have some choice words and evidence on Goldman Sachs that might amuse you.

    ::
    The Pluto Chronicles. You want reality? You can't handle reality!

    by Pluto on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:00:57 AM PST

  •  Really wish I could say...... (12+ / 0-)

    ....what I'm thinking without getting troll rated or banned.

    It makes more sense if you look at it as if we're the supply (tiny fish) and the insurance companies are the demand (big fish).

    by dehrha02 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:08:48 AM PST

  •  good diary but for... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, bobswern

    ...god's sake limit the tags please.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:11:00 AM PST

  •  Maybe Henry Paulson Could Demand a (20+ / 0-)

    NO STRINGS ATTACHED, No "judicial" Review, No Administrative Agency Review "Bailout" for Greece by threatening worldwide financial collapse like he did for Wall Street thieves from Congress in 2008.

    Goldman Sachs executives would look nice in a Greek prison.

    •  they would look even nicer.... (8+ / 0-)

      ...right next to Nicolae Ceausescu.  

      •  For 2010, banksters are THE lamppost decoration. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mnemosyne, greenearth, ozsea1, thethinveil

        ;)

        Just snark.

        And now for a little 60s revolution lyrics:

        Come on all you people standing around
        Our life's too fine to let it die and
        We can be together
        All your private property is
        Target for your enemy
        And your enemy is
        We
        We are forces of chaos and anarchy
        Everything they say we are we are
        And we are very
        Proud of ourselves
        Up against the wall
        Up against the wall motherfucker

        "We Can Be Together" Jefferson Airplane

        "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

        by goinsouth on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 04:27:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  sorry, but i'll never forget.... (7+ / 0-)

          ....the day in highschool i got home, turned on the radio, and heard what became of the Jefferson Airplane, namely The Jefferson Starship.  

          "If only you believe like I believe, we'll get by..."

          Lite Rock.  

          Good God!

          Total sell out.  

          I wanted to throw up.  

          I've never been able to take them seriously since that point.  

          The Dead never sold out, Frank Zappa kept his edge to the very end, Bob Dylan is still respectable, and there are a few other bands from back in those days that somehow kept their souls.  John Lennon got martyrized while I was in college.  But the ones that sold out... ...bleh.   And what's-his-name from the Rolling Stones (sorry, GenX here, and I don't know them all by name) who's about 60-something and has a girlfriend young enough to be his granddaughter ....well, at least she's an adult so strictly speaking it's not pedophilia, but even so... yecch.  

          Personally if I was looking for song lyrics for revolution, I'd be looking somewhere between U2 and Minor Threat.  

          And one thing about punk rock is, you will never, ever hear it being used as elevator music.  

          •  I like Fugazi (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, greenearth

            Langour rises reaching, to turn off the alarm
            And there's never so much seething
            That it can't be disarmed
            You just stop it up,
            Pass it on
            Shove it to shelf it,
            To leave it off and turnover
            Lounging against your weapons,
            Until your muscles find lock
            In the ease of that position,
            A residue of tremor passes
            As some cherie amour suggests
            That maybe it was time to smash things up
            But just stop it up,
            Pass it on
            Shove it to shelf it,
            To lead it on and turnover
            I'm only sleeping

            "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

            by thethinveil on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:37:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Pretty complex. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sersan, G2geek, Preston S, ozsea1, thethinveil

            There were always two strains in the Airplane.

            There was the Marty Balin impulse which is the one you despise.  It was always there.  It started out kind of folky, but always had a sentimental, poppy side to it.  A song like "Today" from the second album, Surrealistic Pillow, fits that category.

            Then there were Kantner, a founder along with Balin, and Slick who joined after the first album.  They were the acid rockers and much more political.  Volunteers was the height of that development.

            As for the Dead and Garcia, these were all San Fran bands and all connected to each other.  Garcia was the real producer of Surrealistic Pillow.  David Crosby was always connected with the Airplane as well.  Wooden Ships was a joint collaboration of JA and CS&N.

            So it's less a case of sellout than different strands that were always part of that band.

            "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

            by goinsouth on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:47:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  interesting history. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              goinsouth, Noor B, ozsea1, thethinveil

              The things I never knew...

              I'm surprised that Jerry Garcia was doing production for other bands.  Though, he & the Dead were supremely talented in all ways (and I say this as someone who wasn't a Deadhead: they were just downright brilliant), so it makes sense.  

              A lot of the Dead stuff was recorded on 4-track open reel, as with the Beatles.  

              Today we have 48-track digital recording and studio software that can "fix" vocal pitch, to make someone with a 1-octave range and odd harmonics sound (almost) like Michael Stipe, so the record companies dredge ponds to come up with sexy looking performers with zero talent... sigh.  

              No wonder Kurt Cobain killed himself (another day I will never forget: instant mood crash).  He must have seen all of it coming.  

              Love of money really is the root of all evil.  

          •  Grace Slick became a winger from Marin (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenearth
          •  I wouldn't be so sure of that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenearth, goinsouth, thethinveil

            And one thing about punk rock is, you will never, ever hear it being used as elevator music.

            We used to think that of '60 and '70s music. Then one day in the grocery store, the elevator music coming out the ceiling (shades of 1984) registered with me.

            It was Joni, singing "Big Yellow Taxi":

            "They paved paradise, put up a parking lot . . . "

            Eventually, the moneygrubbers get their hands on most everything.

            If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.--A Boston cabbie, to Gloria Steinem, in the 1970s

            by Mnemosyne on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 11:20:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You're reading my mind..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        Den Haag is lovely in the spring... what a lovely place for courtroom tourism...!  ;->

        "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

        by Noor B on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 01:46:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  So, did Henry ever explain (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, greenearth, Noor B

      Just who was behind the half-trillion dollar electronic money market run that he used as a foil to present us with his three-page power grab?

      I'm amazed that the trigger for such a signature event has not been investigated and explained.

      Okay, I'm not really amazed, but I am confounded by it

      "We have here a forecast of the long history of American Politics, the mobilization of lower-class energy by upper-class politicians, for their own purposes"

      by island in alabama on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:58:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All I can say is great diaries and wow I wish I (15+ / 0-)

    was surprised.  I have been an economic cynic since the late 90's and have hated to watch the inevitable happen.  So much suffering for so many and so little recourse, retribution and reform.  I only hope deeply that the EU embarrasses the US into really doing something significant to reform and rehabilitate our economic situation. I really appreicate your efforts as they make it easier when I try to explain to people what is happening and what has happened. I can refer to your diaries as they spell it out in graph, quote and detail how, what, who, why, where, all this nightmare has been wrought upon us because the MSM for sure is not doing it.  I also love when your are attacked by the "experts" who seem like relentless paid shills or sock puppets trying to spin good intent out of what is obviously been sociopathic malice on the part of finaciers like GS .  

    Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice won't get fooled again. George Bush

    by ganymeade on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:42:42 AM PST

  •  Is a perfect storm brewing? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mz Kleen, fou, greenearth, bobswern, Siri

    Greece's troubles and the election of Axel Weber as president of the ECB?

  •  Great diaries bobswern. (16+ / 0-)

    I am sure that more information on Goldman's dealings in Europe will be forthcoming.  It's just stunning to read how Goldman has done more damage financially all over the world.  Unbelievable.  I was reading an excellent article last evening on HuffPo that just underscores how powerful the bankers really are: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
    3/4 of the way through the article you get to the real meat of the story, how Wall St. controls the govt. and the message that Obama is sending about jobs.  Really eye-opening.

    Plus, working with Goldman in Greece is hedge fund king John Paulson. He's helping to do Goldman's dirty work there:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    It kind of leads me to ask, are they trying to bring down the world financial markets for their own personal gain?

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:08:25 AM PST

  •  These diaries both inspire and... (13+ / 0-)

    make me want to vent! If only I knew how to appropriately do so. Still longing for the day when this is true here:

    Being associated with Goldman Sachs is now beyond awkward.  For someone aiming high in the public sphere, work experience at the top levels of Goldman is fast becoming a toxic asset.

    The man who moves a mountain begins by moving away small stones. -Confucius

    by Malachite on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:12:45 AM PST

    •  People who claim to be progressives... (13+ / 0-)

      really need to think about this:

      Being associated with Goldman Sachs is now beyond awkward.

      I read a post at Naked Capitalism that expressed what I've been feeling.  

      It seems to me the only way to reign in the likes of Goldman et. al. is for leaders with integrity (if there are any anywere) at companies, governments, etc. to stop doing business with these rapist looters. The way you’d (hopefully) refuse to do business with a company that employs slave labor or that cuts costs by hiring children and forcing them to work 16 hour days until they become sick and can’t work.

      I'd expand that from "leaders with integrity" to "people with integrity."  Working for a company like GS or JPM, or for that matter, Exxon or Lockheed Martin, is corrosive to the soul.

      "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

      by goinsouth on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 04:21:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Doesn't Germany have universal healthcare (7+ / 0-)

    and high taxes? How are they able to rescue anything?

    When the [SHAREHOLDER] does it, it is NOT illegal.

    by plok on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:21:57 AM PST

  •  These diaries are incredibly naive, misguided. (8+ / 0-)

    I don't know what purpose is served by eating up the bullshit foisted by politicians with a spoon, but the diarist's cherrypicking of news reports is a little tiresome.  From the first link:

    Greece turned to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2002, just after adopting the euro, to get $1 billion in funding through a swap on $10 billion of debt, Christoforos Sardelis, head of Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency at the time, said in an interview last week. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, was aware of the plan, he said. Risk Magazine also reported on the swap in July 2003.

    So there you are, reporting of this shocking, shocking swap in 2003.  But with the Greek problems, german officials are running to cover their asses by blaming goldman for violations of the Maastrict treaty...not Greece, not Eurostat regulators, and for god's sake not the pols that voted for Greek admission to the Euro zone.

    As Risk magazine reported in 2003, the manuevers by Greece with Goldman's help were not only widely known but widely practiced methods of buffing books by states.

    Yep, it's really constructive to let these pols, who clearly approved of the manuever blame Goldman for all their problems. Now, if we just get reid of Goldman, it'll be like reform!

    Subsidies without cost controls, regulatory reform means that citizens get a little more awful insurance at a huge cost to taxpayers. Like Part D but worse.

    by Inland on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 04:04:50 AM PST

    •  Fraid you’re a minority here (7+ / 0-)

      Most people like these diaries, sorry.

      This is a place where non-economics types can get some insight whether you like that insight or not

      •  Then make the insight (0+ / 0-)

        more insightful.  

        A minority of people were against the Iraq war as well...

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:06:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  tsk tsk (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth

          Why so hostile?

          •  No hostility intended (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sanuk, shrike, island in alabama

            I've never been a mob rules type of person.  I just don't see the Greek Government as victims - I see many of the Greek people that way becasue their Government let them down.  

            The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

            by ctexrep on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:54:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the Greek government appears (7+ / 0-)

              to have been in collusion with Goldman Sachs as ours is. The squid on humanities face is embedded globally. The crooks and the pols partners in crime. A minority of people were against the war? Debatable. They cooked up the war just like the banksters have been cooking this up for decades.  What does that have to do with the 'too bigs' currently pillaging the worlds economies? Other then the fact that the destructive wars like the financial industries are for profit, plundering and power. Widely known does not make this less of a crime, it only makes it obvious that entities like GS have wormed their way into every aspect of our global system of finance.          

    •  well and eurostats says (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, thethinveil

      that he lies .
      hard to guess what is right when all sides try to look good . i guess

      •  The risk.net article from 2003 article is (5+ / 0-)

        available on the internets, so that's not a lie.  Also interesting is its discussion of the EU budget document, negotiations of which expressly took up the question of derivatives of the sort Greece used.  They considered and rejected a rule that would require booking derivative liabilities just like any other debt.  

        I've tried going through the document, but it's pretty dense and tough to read (and I'm pretty OK at reading dense accounting jargon), but I'll take another crack at it tonight.  I'd like to be able to verify the claim that these derivatives were excluded from the liability side of the ledger.

    •  I won't attempt to address (7+ / 0-)

      the diarists motivation or agenda but there is some context, as you have noted, missing from the posts.  Felix Salmon covered the important point that other members of the European Union have also engaged in window dressing with the help of creative accounting:

      This wouldn’t be the first time that Goldman came up with a clever capital-markets deal to help a European country get around the Maastricht rules: as far back as 2004, Goldman put together something called Aries Vermoegensverwaltungs for Germany, in which Germany essentially borrowed money at much higher than market rates just so that the borrowing wouldn’t show up in the official statistics. And according to Balzli, Italy has been doing something almost identical to the Greek swap operation, using a different, unnamed, bank.

      It’s a bit depressing that EU member states are behaving in this silly way, refusing to come clean on their real finances. But so long as they’re providing the demand for clever capital-markets operations like these, you can be sure that the investment bankers at Goldman and many other investment banks will be lining up to show them ways of hiding reality from Eurostat in Luxembourg.

      This is not intended as a defense of Goldman Sachs but major reform is necessary because eliminating Goldman will only leave a void that will be gladly filled by another firm.  

    •  Also note that the article says the swaps ended (2+ / 0-)

      by 2007, which would imply that the current budget disaster is the result of normal Greek spending/GDP and not the result of recent swaps.  Sometimes I wonder whether some diarists even read articles beyond the catchy headline.

      •  -1 GS Point to SilverOz (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, shaharazade, driftwood, ozsea1

        Come on, this isn't even close your best water carrying.

        Where is the guile of your useless bank cartel sycophant style?

        •  The closest you ever got to an econ class (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cappy, Inland, AlexanderHamilton

          was when your communications 101 was across the hall.  Your lack of understanding the big picture here is laughable.  The entire PIIGS mess has little to do with Goldman and much to do with the potential collapse of the Maastricht Treaty (ie the Euro), as it is readily apparent that without funny finances (even from the beginning), countries like Greece were unable to comply without severely cutting social spending programs (which would set those country's into chaos).  Goldman likely did something that was unethical (in terms of the Maastricht Treaty, not the banking business, as revenue streaming is a common practice and not normally devious) and will likely pay in some way for their complicity, but to center on Goldman is to focus on Arthur Anderson and let Enron (Greece being Enron) off the hook.

          •  Actually, aside from the ad hominems...I agree w/ (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Noor B

            ...much that you are saying.

            Goldman was merely an enabler...but a key one, certainly.

            Then again, this blog is about the Democratic Party and U.S. politics, for the most part. So, I post about Goldman as a byproduct of discussing the United States' image on the world stage.

            And, for the record, to say that I don't understand the big picture--something you regularly accuse just about everyone in this community who disagrees with you--is total bullshit.

            I've certainly read and studied more European politics, and as it specifically relates to the EU and the Maastricht Treaty than most that visit this blog...I would venture to guess quite a bit more than you, in fact.

            But, keep on losing friends and putting off people...apparently, it's how you roll...down that slippery slope of incredibility...

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 03:28:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  If you had been reading anything... (8+ / 0-)
        ...you'd realize Goldman had been working with the Greek government crafting swaps (and related) deals up to this past November.

        But, as usual, you don't let the facts get in the way of your obnoxious (and fact-omitted) putdowns.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:19:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sunday's NY Times says you're ignoring facts! (6+ / 0-)

          Wall St. Helped Greece to Mask Debt Fueling Europe's Crisis
          By LOUISE STORY, LANDON THOMAS Jr. and NELSON D. SCHWARTZ
          Published: February 13, 2010

          ...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.

          It had worked before. In 2001, just after Greece was admitted to Europe's monetary union, Goldman helped the government quietly borrow billions, people familiar with the transaction said. That deal, hidden from public view because it was treated as a currency trade rather than a loan, helped Athens to meet Europe's deficit rules while continuing to spend beyond its means.

          Athens did not pursue the latest Goldman proposal, but with Greece groaning under the weight of its debts and with its richer neighbors vowing to come to its aid, the deals over the last decade are raising questions about Wall Street's role in the world's latest financial drama...

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:33:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How does this prove me wrong Bob (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Inland

            The article says Greece rejected the proposal.  I never claimed that Goldman didn't pursue more swaps, but clearly said that according to the Bloomberg article, the swaps ended in 2007, which makes the current crisis a budgetary problem more so than a swaps problem.  

            •  The articles notes numerous proposed and (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emal, greenearth, ozsea1, thethinveil, Siri
              executed deals...not just the one you're highlighting...and your argument is quire a crock, since it's clear the entire matter is akin to someone (Greece) telling their accountant (Goldman) to cheat on their taxes, with their accountant facilitating same.

              Clearly, the Greek government's at fault here, certainly as much (if not moreso than Goldman) as Goldman...but Goldman enabled the deal. PERIOD.

              "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

              by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:44:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually it is not like cheating on taxes (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cappy, Inland

                since what Goldman did wasn't illegal.  Greece is akin to Enron here, and while Goldman is akin to AA, they didn't actually do anything illegal and if you read the article, it appears that the EU actually encouraged Italy to take a similar swap step prior to this (and not through Goldman).  The problem here is the speed to blame Goldman is missing the fact that Greece is unable to comply with the Maastricht Treaty without severely curtailing government spending and thus causing local chaos.  

                •  Usually, bobswern has a quote from Krugman (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cappy, SilverOz

                  as the first car in the crazytrain, but it turns out Krugman had an entire column on the Greek crisis and didn't even mention Goldman.

                  But this diary actually quotes a self serving pol trying to fix blame for a violation of spirit on the New York investment bank....turns out, it's not just the diarist who thinks it's good politics to pretend it's all Goldman's doing.

                  Subsidies without cost controls, regulatory reform means that citizens get a little more awful insurance at a huge cost to taxpayers. Like Part D but worse.

                  by Inland on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:13:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Makes you wonder why that is.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    greenearth
                  •  Once again, your distortion of my positions.... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...and the facts, as they're presented in this diary, are duly noted.

                    When things are twisted to prove a point, as you now do so often when thread-jacking in my diaries, the difference between credible commentary and bullshit becomes obvious to the community, as well.

                    You are your own worst enemy.

                    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                    by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 02:58:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  And Arthur Anderson WAS held (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenearth

                accountable in the Enron scam. No pun intended.

    •  +2 GS Points to Inland (9+ / 0-)

      Come dude, get the water buckets ready, you are in the hole -5 GS Points from yesterday.

      You know what I think is funny, Draghi is both a government official AND a former employee of Goldman Sachs.

      It's a double dip!

      And that's bullshit on Germany and you know it. They have balanced their budgets with their incredibly social safety net and have made the Deutscher bunds a safer bet than a US T-Bill.

      And now they are expected to bail out Greece and Goldman Sachs official so you don't cry yourself to sleep at night?

      At the cost of their own economic health?

      Your constant decrying and strawmen about how no one is holding Greece accountable is bullshit, as much bullshit as your "defense" of the illegal cartel actions of Goldman Sachs.

      •  Teabagger wannabe fail. (0+ / 0-)

        You think your ability to score points by pretending to be half crazed with anger, as if your tenuous emotional state and willingness to insult people are going to prevent anyone from noticing you're spouting gibberish.  The supposed leftists who think that teabaggers are the model to be emulated don't even have the virtue of orginality.

        Subsidies without cost controls, regulatory reform means that citizens get a little more awful insurance at a huge cost to taxpayers. Like Part D but worse.

        by Inland on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:54:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It was the first of many deals... (5+ / 0-)
      ...and Goldman's work with Greece continued throughout the ensuing 7-8 years...with much/most of that, up to as recently as this past November, being  done in a very opaque manner.

      Nice try, though!

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:15:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As usual, you're totally contorting the truth... (7+ / 0-)
      ...since there were multiple deals proposed and/or  executed by Goldman for Greece--most structured to obfuscate the Greek government's moves from the EU--all the way on up to just this past November!

      From this Sunday's NY Times:


      Wall St. Helped Greece to Mask Debt Fueling Europe's Crisis
      By LOUISE STORY, LANDON THOMAS Jr. and NELSON D. SCHWARTZ
      Published In Print: February 14, 2010

      ...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.

      It had worked before. In 2001, just after Greece was admitted to Europe's monetary union, Goldman helped the government quietly borrow billions, people familiar with the transaction said. That deal, hidden from public view because it was treated as a currency trade rather than a loan, helped Athens to meet Europe's deficit rules while continuing to spend beyond its means.

      Athens did not pursue the latest Goldman proposal, but with Greece groaning under the weight of its debts and with its richer neighbors vowing to come to its aid, the deals over the last decade are raising questions about Wall Street's role in the world's latest financial drama...


      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:39:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Say, where's your KRUGMAN "quote"? (0+ / 0-)

        He managed to write an entire column on Greece and not mention Goldman as a bad guy once.  Blame for Greece, for the euro, but not goldman.  Huh.

        Athens did not pursue the latest Goldman proposal

        So Goldman is Don Juan and Greece the virtuous virgin?

        The only reason that Greece didn't do the manuever is that it was a well known device from a decade earlier that would only postpone what Krugman rightly calls needed reforms.

        \

        Subsidies without cost controls, regulatory reform means that citizens get a little more awful insurance at a huge cost to taxpayers. Like Part D but worse.

        by Inland on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:01:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is plenty that Goldman et al DID to (0+ / 0-)

      loot and hollow out the American Economy using OTM (Other People's Money, usually borrowed pension fund money or insurance company money).

      They formed "Private Equity" partnerships to use borrowed pension fund money to buy out companies and have the R&D budgets and retained earnings disbursed to the buyout partners then took out huge loans and had those disbursed to the partners, then voided union contracts when the companies struggling under the huge debt burdens they had been place under went bankrupt.

      They sent the message write the loans and "don't worry about pesky ability to repay". Then securitized these loans as Collaterilized Debt Obligations, and sold them off and then bet against them by buying credit default swaps that paid upon default from AIG. And when they could not get enough loans to actually.

      They sold the billions of dollars of stock in companies that they did not own, (naked short selling) under the Madoff expemption (by guess who) that exempts market makers and prime brokers from the 3 day settlement requirements. If the stock is not delivered within 14 days they have to (gasp) report the fail to deliver. Somehow a court found that the fact that 10 times as many shares have been sold short as the company issued, is not supposed to depress stock prices. So Wall Street prime brokers somehow have had a license to sell fake stock (in your company) for real money and there is nothing that the company can do about it.  
      This often results in the stock becoming cheap enough for the total value of the stock outstanding to be less than the total of the assets of the company, which then can become a target for a leveraged buyout/hostile takeover.
      This is why companies like Apple, IBM and Ford have at times spent billions buying back their own stock in the late 80s and 90s.

      Goldman and the rest of Wall Street have also turned their back on US manufacture of ANYTHING and have been 30 year champions of Chinese development.

      Goldman has done all of this which amounts to treason, and the same type of thing to the govt of Island, which really should take them to the World Court for fraud and fiduciary malfeasance.  

      But this thing with Greece? Not so much.

      To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

      by Bluehawk on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:52:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The chickens are coming home to roost... (6+ / 0-)

    The house of cards is beginning to come down. Greece is the first domino.

    The era of procrastination, half-measures, soothing & baffling expedients, & delays, is coming to a close. We are entering a period of consequences - Ch

    by PrometheusUnbound on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 04:16:37 AM PST

    •  I hope they have a revolution... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, greenearth, shaharazade, ozsea1

      ... and show the rest of us the way.

      •  Iceland has already had its revolution: (8+ / 0-)

        Mad-as-hell Icelanders won't be taking it any more:

        Then came the "kitchenware revolution" of last January [2009], where thousands gathered outside the Althing, the national parliament, and banged pots and pans to disrupt the business of parliament. These mass protests, virtually unknown in Iceland’s history, became part of a cathartic uprising that brought down the centre-right government which had been in the ascendancy in Icelandic politics for decades. The heads of the central bank and the financial regulator also resigned.

        The subsequent April elections were revolutionary and historic. The centre-left won a parliamentary majority for the first time. Parliament now boasted the highest number of first-time MPs, and the highest number of female MPs in its history.

        ...

        Since the protests, civil society continues to motivate and direct fundamental change. Grassroots organisations including think tank The Ministry of Ideas have sought to achieve something that the system itself could not.

        As part of a bold and ambitious initiative in active democracy, the first National Assembly was held in Reykjavik last month. Some 1,200 citizens randomly selected from the national register and 300 invited guests, including cabinet ministers and MPs, trade unions, representatives from the media and others, were brought together in a modern-style social partnership.

        The task of the National Assembly, comprising 0.5 per cent of the population, was to plan a future vision for the country. People were asked what sort of society Iceland should now build in the aftermath of bankruptcy.

        Participants were divided into roundtable groups of nine working at 162 tables. The process can be observed by searching for "Iceland National Assembly" on YouTube.

        Information technology made it possible to determine the priority order of the various values and themes.

        This process is regarded as the first attempt to crowd-source a socio-economic-political manifesto in history. By mining the data in a transparent way, consensus was quickly established among the 1,500 participants about which issues should take precedence, and why.

        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

        by lysias on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:15:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Iceland used the ancient Greek method (4+ / 0-)

          of choosing representatives by lot.  Sortition:

          Sortition, also known as allotment, is an equal-chance method of selection by some form of lottery such as drawing coloured pebbles from a bag. It is used particularly to allot decision makers. In Ancient Athenian Democracy sortition was the primary method for appointing officials, a system that was thought to be one of the principal characteristics of democracy. It is today commonly used to select prospective jurors in common law-based (Anglo-American) legal systems.

          The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

          by lysias on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:18:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I hadn't been following the Iceland story (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Noor B

          thanks for sharing.  that's encouraging.

  •  No....Greece (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, Sanuk, shrike, SilverOz, Rich in PA

    broke the spirit of Maastricht Treaty.

    GS may be the enabler but place the blame where it is truly deserving - with the corrupt Greek Government

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 04:48:24 AM PST

    •  GS is the accessory to a corrupt gov't (8+ / 0-)

      GS enabled the Greek Gov'ts actions and is totally absolved from any responsibility here. /rolls eyes (the two wrong behaviors are not mutually exclusive).

      And it's like all you GS apologist are in major denial of some very important facts about GS. (you all know who you are-so don't we). You all show up and buddy up regularly in these diaries like clockwork.

      It's like GS's US taxpayer funded bailouts (and I include the AIG backdoor bailout) never occurred.

      You know those GS bailouts and treasury dollars (and ability to change themselves literally overnight into a bank holding company)that saved GS's butt from bankruptcy.

      You know bankruptcy (had we the US not intervened) was the result of transactions and stunts just like those GS pulled in Greece and most likely elsewhere in the world.  

      You know those pesky facts and details that you all seem to conveniently forget. It's like you all forget those most important details and facts. You all act as if GS survived the crash in late 2008 on its own without help or money from the US taxpayers.  

      GS was saved from bankruptcy by us, the US taxpayers to live another day (unfortunately). Yep we enabled it to survive and in doing so enabled it to go on screwing another country and it's people all over the world. We enabled GS to continue to live it's warped version of the American Dream.

      The GS American Dream, a dream where you take out insurance on your neighbor's house and hope for it to burn down so you can make money. The American Dream, where you root for sovereign nations to fail, so all of you at GS can pad your pockets with ma$$ive profits while causing people all around you to suffer enormously. Yes that immoral and pathological version of the American Dream.

      GS only lived because we the US taxpayers saved their irresponsible, perverted, greedy sorry butts...and don't you ever ever forget that.

      To announce that there must be no criticism of the President....is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

      by emal on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:16:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Breathtakingly naive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah

    Its as if you think GS is somehow unique among world bankers.

  •  just in - Greece won't need assisstance (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, cappy, Inland, Sanuk

    Greece is ahead of its own deficit- reduction targets and will not require any bailout from the European Union, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said.

    "There’s is no actual need for" a bailout he said, after a meeting of finance ministers in Brussels to review Greece’s plan to trim the EU’s biggest budget shortfall.

    "Greece has not asked for a bailout."

    Euro-region finance ministers yesterday ordered Greece to prepare new deficit-cutting measures in case the government can’t show sufficient progress in reducing the shortfall by a March 16 progress review.

    (Bloomberg)

    http://www.bloomberg.com/...

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 04:52:44 AM PST

  •  Gambling Vs. Speculating Vs. Investment Vs. USA (7+ / 0-)

    finance since the raygun era began -

    Lets look at some language, and some definitions I'll throw out there.**

    GAMBLING - Go To Vegas, go to atlantic city -
    gamble nickles in a slot machine, gamble 20's on roulette, put money on the craps table ...
    or, gamble with a bit more 'skill' in poker or on the ponies or on football ...
    Gambling is gambling.
    Your RETIREMENT money shouldn't be, legally, used gambling.

    Speculation #1:
    diamond mines or gold mines or the next microsoft or the next google or the next oil field or the next flying machine or the next light bulb ...
    Your RETIREMENT money shouldn't be, legally, used on speculation #1, unless it is a small part of retirement dollars, and it is done by well regulated legally accountable professionals.

    Speculation #2:
    Ponzi scheme gambling. The more complicated & the more mathematical the CDOs / leveraged buy outs / puts & call options on index futures, the happier the chumps are that they're not putting their money into roulette or on the ponies. It sucks in people who think they're smarter AND who think that the roulette table or the ponies are too risky! ha ha ha.    
    Your RETIREMENT money shouldn't be, legally, used on speculation #2, at all, ever.

    Investment #1:
    Where you tuck your money away so you'll have it for a house or a business or retirement. A small % of this money can be used, PRUDENTLY, in well managed speculation #1 to attempt to help grow the economy - does this exist anymore?

    Investment #2: Just Speculation #2.
    This is what USA finance has become, again (see FDR's halloween speech 1936 - this ain't nothing new ) under Raygun and clinton and cheney ... and now we got Bernanke back! ha ha ha barack!

    The fuckers selling this shit as Investment #1 know what they're doing, and they ALL belong in jail until they're dead.

    rmm.

    ** Disclaimer
    I've taken 3 econ courses and about 5 accounting courses in my life - and a lot of math classes getting my math B.A. and my high school teaching credential.
    I've followed politics since at least 1968, when I was 8 and my father would argue with anyone, anywhere, anytime, about what a crook Nixon was - which was a feat, as we lived in Massachusetts! I thought many republicans were fascists when I was young, and since Raygun got elected there has been NO doubt that those calling the shots in the thug party are fascists.
    I do NOT give a flying fuck if you think I'm not credible. Ha ha ha. What have all the geniuses gotten U$ into the last 40 years?

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:34:42 AM PST

  •  Germans blaming the New York bankers? (4+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    Inland, shrike, SilverOz, annapaxis
    Hidden by:
    WisePiper, dark daze

    Good thing they don't have a history of scpaegoating people named Goldman and Sachs.

    The whole idea that the Greeks are far too stupid to get themselves into this mess without the help of shifty bankers is just silly.

    Oh by the way, as far as I know Goldman Sachs isn't a signatory to the Masstircht Treaty, not being a country and all.

    Sanctimony thy name is Joe Lieberman.

    by roguetrader2000 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:39:12 AM PST

    •  Sooo... investigating Goldman is "Jew Bashing" (18+ / 0-)

      c'mon, you can't be serious?

      Call it a Corporate Accommodative Democracy or Plastic Democracy if that makes you feel good. I call it Fascism.

      by CitizenOfEarth on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:44:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you on that part (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cappy, CitizenOfEarth, shaharazade

        I think the other part of roguetrader2000's comment is worthwhile, though.  It's the same point I've made about AIG-as-victim: these were dealings between equally sophisticated and amoral parties, and I'm not really inclined to attack the party that got the better of the other party.  Nobody should have been playing.

        Enrich your life with adverbs!

        by Rich in PA on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:50:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah right (10+ / 0-)

          The AIG bailout benefited Goldman to the tune of $20B and the full loss was conveniently passed onto the taxpayers. All these multinational businesses should be made to pay for their own idiotic behavior. But why would they when they can install shills (ex Draghi) into key govt positions and loot their way out of the mess.

          Call it a Corporate Accommodative Democracy or Plastic Democracy if that makes you feel good. I call it Fascism.

          by CitizenOfEarth on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:02:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I still don't blame the bailout per se (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trevzb, cappy, shaharazade, ladypockt

            I think it was and is important to keep the machine going.  The financial infrastructure is as important to our continued existence as a physical infrastructure, because this is the system we have.  The error was in not taxing the winners in a way that would recoup the money and disincentivize behaviors like the ones that produced the mess.  To that extent I blame Bush and Paulson less and Obama & Co. more.  The ideal, from a non-revolutionary perspective, would have been to save the functionality of the system but make sure that nobody gained from the save, and clearly Obama has failed on that score.

            Enrich your life with adverbs!

            by Rich in PA on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:33:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The bailouts = looting (9+ / 0-)

              I agree. You can't let the system grind to a halt. BUT...

              Tell me why the bailouts gave total debt forgiveness to the likes of AIG, et al. Yet homeowners who have been foreclosed on or had to walk away from morgtages will carry that debt to their graves.

              The double standard is jaw dropping.

              Call it a Corporate Accommodative Democracy or Plastic Democracy if that makes you feel good. I call it Fascism.

              by CitizenOfEarth on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:47:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly (4+ / 0-)

                there were absolutely no freakin strings-requirements attatched to the bailout money whatsover.

                Dear US Bankstahs,

                Here's a blank check. Spend and use it how you wish, enjoy and have a nice day.

                Love always,
                Hank Paulson/Ben Bernanke and the US taxpayer.

                PS If you need more let us know, we'll be glad to assist.

                To announce that there must be no criticism of the President....is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

                by emal on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:25:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  or why they are not being (6+ / 0-)

                seriously regulated and trust busted across the board? When GS and the free market Visigoths are still running the money and in charge of the 'economy' the bail out it seems like we paid them extortion money and funded them to ante up for another hand. Meanwhile the real economy can just continue to rot because as Obama says we don't disparage wealth, were a nation of wealth creation. The only wealth we create is on the backs of the people here and globally and all the wealth is funneled to the 'too bigs' and their sponsors..    

                •  Yup. The Finance Regulation bill (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  emal

                  has been gutted of any serious reform. It will pass as a token bill to fool the unwashed that congress did "something" about the mess.

                  Really just like HCR. Wait to see the POS that comes out of Feb 25 HCR summit. As if the Senate HCR bill was not already a heinous windfall to Big Insurance.

                  Call it a Plastic Democracy if that makes you feel good. I call it Fascism.

                  by CitizenOfEarth on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 12:00:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  your comment (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greenearth, island in alabama

              is important to keep the machine going

              It is ridiculous to put the blame at Obama's feet...this monster or as you call it 'machine' was started under Prescott Bush, given a huge boost under Reagan and spoon feed under Bush Sr and given away by the little Bush.

              They got the money. I think to the tune of about 12T...They'll be back for more til there's nothing left.

              The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. -- Bertrand Russel

              by on2them on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:52:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't so much just that GS benefitted.... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, greenearth, driftwood, Siri

          ...it's that Goldman Sachs infiltrated the key power positions in the U.S. Government to make sure it came out the winner and AIG paid out 100 cents on the dollar.

          -5.38 -4.72 T. No public option? No mandate.

          by trevzb on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:06:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Greece outlawed all cash tranactions over $1500 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, Noor B

      this month.

      Tells me that tax evasion and corruption are SOP there.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:44:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blaming New York bankers....a novel concept. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Um... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emal, greenearth, Preston S, ozsea1

      The whole idea that the Greeks are far too stupid to get themselves into this mess without the help of shifty bankers is just silly.

      So the victimized party is responsible for its victimization due to being too stupid while the victimizer is...well...not reponsible?

      Did I get you right or did I misunderstand you?

    •  Could you clarify this please? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      Good thing they don't have a history of scpaegoating people named Goldman and Sachs.

      •  Pretty easy reference... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, greenearth

        ...to Germany's official history of anti-Semitism during the Hitler years.

        Goldman Sachs is a scapegoat, now. Nevermind that the company seems to have made a successful business model of co-opting national sovereignty by seeding national governments with GS employees eager to do its bidding.

        If you think that's evil, well you're clearly an anti-Semite conspiracy theorist, and as we all know, you're not welcome here at DKos.

        -5.38 -4.72 T. No public option? No mandate.

        by trevzb on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:04:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I just don't think GS had it planned this way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sanuk

      I can believe that Goldman Sachs helped fudge Greek finance people fudge some numbers by "borrowing from the future."

      Just as we folks in the United States have been funding schools, pension plan promises, health benefits promises, etc. by "borrowing from the future."

      And I can believe that people at Goldman Sachs took steps that pumped up company fees and their own commissions and bonuses while all of this was going on, and that, in some cases, they helped facilitate transaction that they thought were kind of crazy.

      But I just don't believe that anyone at Goldman Sachs (with the possible exception of any foreign spies, such as Turkish spies or something like that planted at the firm) consciously did anything to hurt anyone in Greece.

      I don't understand the details of these transactions, but my sense is that the Goldman Sachs people knew that they were helping the Greeks borrow from the future, but that they also thought that capital would continue to flow, and that the Greeks could just keep refinancing their obligations and putting off the day of reckoning. Even if some of the Goldman Sachs people were personally bearish, they probably experienced what I experienced as a tiny little 401(k) account holder: I was predicting market crashes that never happened for so long that I stopped really believing in my own bearish instincts. I sort of thought a crash would come, but I sort of thought that we'd keep muddling through.

      Then, of course, we did have a crash, and the crash was so bad that investments that seemed to be the purest plain vanilla -- plain old ordinary U.S. mortgage-backed securities -- turned out to be made out of cyanide, and our MBS cyanide turned all sorts of other "safe" investments into poison. I'm convinced that 90 percent of what looks so terrible now was about hard-working, well-meaning, somewhat unimaginative people who suddenly woke up in 2008 and discovered that the financial world was utterly, completely different from how they thought it was.

      •  Yep....it has to be those damned foreign... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emal, IM, greenearth

        But I just don't believe that anyone at Goldman Sachs (with the possible exception of any foreign spies, such as Turkish spies or something like that planted at the firm) consciously did anything to hurt anyone in Greece.

        Yep it has to be those damned evil minded foreign (and muslim too) Turkish spies' doing....

        Otherwise GS would never ever dream of doing anything like that, right?

        (Get it Greeks? It must have been the doing of the Turkish spies planted in GS. GS is not your enemy, the foreigner Turks are...o.k.? Get it? )

        •  Well, or U.S. spies of some kind. I can (0+ / 0-)

          honestly believe that Goldman Sachs is so important, and so easy for a good finance student to infiltrate, that smart spy agencies might try to infiltrate it.

          If, say, I were the government of Turkey and really wanted to be mean to Greece, I could imagine (before the financial crisis) trying to do that by infiltrating Goldman Sachs. Or, vice versa.

          Basically, a few years ago, the way for any capitalistic democracy to attack another capitalistic democracy might have been to mess with their relationships with their investment bankers.

          But, as far as I can tell, without actually understanding the transactions involved, it sounds as if well-meaning Goldman Sachs people, who may or may not have understood how risky the arrangements they were making actually were, simply used standard financial engineering techniques to push the need to pay bills off into the future.

          If, say, you have a pension plan at a company that is not especially old-fashioned about its finances, chances are your employer is using some technique to put off meeting its pension obligations to you, without any involvement of giant investment banks whatsoever.

          And, again: I'm sure there's some crookedness involved. But I think most of crookedness probably involved unnecessary transactions and inflation of fees, not attempts to bring Greece to its knees. What has brought folks to their knees is that the world suddenly changed in a way that most people with a vague understanding of finance and economics found to be shocking.

          Example: Before the crisis, I could have believed that AIG and Lehman Brothers had rigged the system completely in their favor. But I never could have believed that they would have collapsed. I thought they would have bribed someone or blackmailed someone to protect them and keep them going. So, to me, what was shocking about all of this mess is how honest the system has turned out to be. If Goldman Sachs, for example, really were a firm full of all-powerful crooks, they would just be hiding the Greek problems in a bunch of new securities, and we still would have no idea that there were any real problems.

          •  Interesting... (0+ / 0-)

            If, say, I were the government of Turkey and really wanted to be mean to Greece, I could imagine(before the financial crisis) trying to do that by infiltrating Goldman Sachs.

            But, as far as I can tell, without actually understanding the transactions involved, it sounds as if well-meaning Goldman Sachs people, who may or may not have understood how risky the arrangements they were making actually were, simply used standard financial engineering techniques to push the need to pay bills off into the future.

            If Goldman Sachs, for example, really were a firm full of all-powerful crooks, they would just be hiding the Greek problems in a bunch of new securities, and we still would have no idea that there were any real problems.

            Do you always take your audience on Dailykos as idiots?

            I am curious...

            •  Correction... (0+ / 0-)

              Do you always take your audience on Dailykos for idiots?

              •  Do you know anyone at Goldman Sachs? The (0+ / 0-)

                people I've met who've worked there, or known about working there (example: Jon Corzine; some random interns) have been nice, bright Democrats, or very moderate Republicans, who just wanted to get rich by helping people find creative ways to borrow money, sell stock or fudge their accounting.

                I'm a fan of conspiracy theories, and I can believe that all sorts of damaging conspiracies and garden-variety frauds were going on at Goldman Sachs, but I just don't think that anyone like Paulson or Corzine had "bankrupt Greece and Iceland" on their to-do lists.

                I think they were helping clients cook the books, in ways that might or might not have been legal, but also in ways that they thought would remain safely hidden for many years to come.

                But their financial engineering helped bring the house of cards down and also helped people see the rot that was inside the house of cards.

                They probably deserve to go to prison for the same reason that drunken drivers ought to go to prison, but I'm just not sure that they were the intentional destroyers of civilization some people are making them out to be.

              •  I've now gone and looked quickly at some of your (0+ / 0-)

                recent comments and haven't found any detailed comments you've posted explaining what happened at Goldman Sachs, or giving first-hand accounts of what goes on there.

                If you could post links to your first-hand accounts of what goes on at Goldman Sachs, that would be wonderful.

                •  A miracle...lol! (0+ / 0-)

                  If you could post links to your first-hand accounts of what goes on at Goldman Sachs, that would be wonderful.

                  Links to "my first hand accounts" of what goes on at GoldieSucks?

                  That would be a miracle...lol!

                  I never claimed to be a miracle maker...

                  And I do not make biased (and jingoistic) assumptions about imaginary possibilities claiming that the "mean and foreign Turkish spies" must've done it while "well meaning" GoldieSucks must've been simply "fudging the books to help their clients get rich quick" as such, either ...

                  Why are you attacking the Turks for? You got a problem with the Turks? Yes?

                  Do you have links to your first hand accounts of the spy roster belonging GoldieSucks, listing the mean and foreign Turks in it?

                  They probably deserve to go to prison for the same reason that drunken drivers ought to go to prison, but I'm just not sure that they were the intentional destroyers of civilization some people are making them out to be.

                  "Intentional destroyers of civilization"?

                  Who might that be?

                  Harming the Greeks? Intentionally? Not like the way GoldieSucks (unintentionally)does? tee he he heeeee

                  Aha!!Let me guess...

                  Who could that be?

                  You mean the Japanese, right?

                  No? The Eskimos?

                  Lollllll!!!!

                  I heard the Greeks are laughing at you too...

                  BTW, how do you like my "GoldieSucks" supplement? Creative huh? I coined it but you are welcome to use it, if you wish...in your book fudging- jingoistic "civilized" world.

                  Eh?

                  •  You're trolling; I'm allowing for shades of gray (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm not saying that Turkish spies used Goldman Sachs to attack Greece.

                    I'm allowing for the possibility that weird things could have happened and that there could have been genuine intentional, harm-doing evil going on at Goldman Sachs.

                    But I'm also saying that the most likely explanation for what's gone on in Greece is that normal human folly, lack of awareness, and aggressive accounting probably caused most of the problems.

                    •  Shades of Gray... (0+ / 0-)

                      Sorry sclminc but specifically targeting a whole nation of people (the Turks) as possible spies planted in GS intending to harm Greece and basing that "possibility" on no other proof than their "foreignness" is called jingoism, in my book.

                      Besides...I am touched by your forgiving attitude towards GS:

                      "Normal human folly"..

                      "Lack of awareness"..

                      "Aggressive accounting"...

                      But I doubt if you would be equally generous when it comes to judging the Turks, even if they have nothing to do with this issue.

                      Is it because they are foreign? Brown? Not as civilized as GS?

                      Shades of gray? Nah.

                      It is black and white from where I see...

                •  sclminc (0+ / 0-)

                  On second thought...

                  Never mind...

    •  This is a pretty lame comment... (9+ / 0-)
      ...to which I'm responding.

      You don't have to "break the law" to harm society. There's a gazillion examples of this truth throughout recent history.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 07:24:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What, GS remilitarized the Rhineland? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, RenderQT

    Oh, sorry, wrong treaty.

    Enrich your life with adverbs!

    by Rich in PA on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:51:23 AM PST

  •  I think it may be time to raid GS offices (5+ / 0-)

    Write up a subpoena. I'm pretty certain we have evidence of fraud in the above.

    I think a few days spent looking through their proprietary documents might be enlightening.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 05:53:06 AM PST

  •  Love the Paulson speaks timeline. Words upon (14+ / 0-)

    words.  The short term use of words.  This man really wreaked havoc on the spirit of the letter.  Used it and abused it.  Paulson and his ilk are criminals. They perpetrated the biggest heist in the history of the world. They bankrupted nations, people, economies.  They destroyed the world as it was.  Offering color coded danger signals for us to be on alert for 'terrorist'.  And they were and are the terrorists.

    'If we lift our voice as one, there's nothing that can't be done' MJ

    by publicv on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:06:25 AM PST

  •  Uhh Survivor Bias Anyone ? (3+ / 0-)

    You dont stay in the top income decile without a job, meaning those in that bracket all still have jobs......

    You need a study among all persons who lost jobs, then time to gain new ones at what income, or at least model movement between the deciles as a flow at various times before and after the Depression started.....

    You also need to normalize for job movement among incomes- top earners no doubt change jobs far less often than bottom earners.
       

    Out of my cold dead hands

    by bluelaser2 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:26:10 AM PST

  •  A few more thoughts... (8+ / 0-)
    1. As I mentioned above, keep using the word "financial terrorists" or "economic terrorists"  to describe G-S and their ilk. We've got to get that meme out there.
    1. Greece only represents 2.5% of Eurozone GDP and this crisis may have a silver lining; maybe it'll force Greece to adopt much needed reforms.
    1. The financial terrorist community (Wall Street and the City of London) and their useful idiots in the media are using the current situation to distract from the catastrophic deterioration of the US and UK economies in an attempt to weaken Europe, their ideological and business rival. What you read in the media is the financial terrorist equivalent of Al Jazeera news for Al Qaeda -- even worse.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:29:11 AM PST

  •  I voted for Perot in 92 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trinityfly, greenearth, J M F, annapaxis

    20% of us did. What we voted for was financial responsibility. What we voted for was stopping the outsourcing of America by the banksters and their CEO cronies. We haven't gone away. Republicans have proven their complete and total incompetence and (unproven) criminal inability to manage the financial affairs of this country. By protecting banksters and aiding and abetting the coverup of corruption and fraud at the highest levels of our financial system, the Obama administration and top Democrats like Representative Frank and Senator Dodd are proving that they also are incapable of managing our country's finances. Republicans and Democrats need to realize that their actions are feeding the rise of another Perot style movement (not the current Republican tea-bagger movement). How incumbents answer these question "Why aren't the banksters being prosecuted? Why are you protecting these criminals?" may well determine whether a real third party forms.  The current policy of extend and pretend - which includes our government colluding with Banksters to lie about bank finances via changing the accounting rules - endorsed by the FED and the Obama administration will only work until it doesn't. I believe the day of reckoning is coming and there is nothing the Obama administration can do to stop it. Unless Obama prosecutes banksters he will be tarred with the same brush as Bush, Bernanke, Paulson, etc. Right now, I can tell you that I am, to copy a phrase from the past, "mad as hell, and won't take it anymore".

  •  I voted for Perot in 92 (9+ / 0-)

    20% of us did. What we voted for was financial responsibility. What we voted for was stopping the outsourcing of America by the banksters and their CEO cronies. We haven't gone away. Republicans have proven their complete and total incompetence and (unproven) criminal inability to manage the financial affairs of this country. By protecting banksters and aiding and abetting the coverup of corruption and fraud at the highest levels of our financial system, the Obama administration and top Democrats like Representative Frank and Senator Dodd are proving that they also are incapable of managing our country's finances. Republicans and Democrats need to realize that their actions are feeding the rise of another Perot style movement (not the current Republican tea-bagger movement). How incumbents answer these question "Why aren't the banksters being prosecuted? Why are you protecting these criminals?" may well determine whether a real third party forms.  The current policy of extend and pretend - which includes our government colluding with Banksters to lie about bank finances via changing the accounting rules - endorsed by the FED and the Obama administration will only work until it doesn't. I believe the day of reckoning is coming and there is nothing the Obama administration can do to stop it. Unless Obama prosecutes banksters he will be tarred with the same brush as Bush, Bernanke, Paulson, etc. Right now, I can tell you that I am, to copy a phrase from the past, "mad as hell, and won't take it anymore".

  •  The USA has proven TOO BIG not to FAIL to be (9+ / 0-)

    under the thumbs of Goldman Sachs (GS)' henchmen Paulson, Geithner, et al in powerful Gov't positions, because it's all too easy to fill a few key positions with corporate shills to rule our vast country.  

    Our government is so far removed from most of We the People and so centralized, special interest lobbyists/shills can easily usurp power.  

    GS can turn We the People into helpless, cooing babies, by shaking their corporate media rattle, while they easily take sweet, candy bailouts from our US Treasury.

    However, the EU's population is too sophisticated to become brainwashed bags of tea, who misdirect their anger at the wrong people (liberals instead of lobbyists), and closer to managing their ruling elite.  They have a fighting chance to tell GS to take a hike.

    Because there may be too many disparate governments and too many news organizations to infiltrate in smaller EU countries to pull off their heists, let's hope that the EU is the Achilles heel of GS, and brings them down, before they completely bankrupt us.

    Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by CIndyCasella on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:37:44 AM PST

  •  Another "savvy" move by Blankfein and the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trevzb, greenearth, thethinveil

    capitalist pigs at Goldman, right Barack?

  •  accounting crimes against humanity (10+ / 0-)

    Creative accountants earn high incomes by finding ways to violate the spirit of sustainable economic society without triggering a successful prosecution.  The ones who say "But it was actually legal"  are the greatest villains.  Which is ironic, since the point of accounting is supposed to be finding truth, for the protection of investors and society.

    Who among the accountants who stalk these diaries (burrow owl, silver oz, many others) had the balls to write a stinging rebuke of the FASB mark to fantasy rule last March that created our current fake boomlet?  Who among them will agree that accounting tricks damage society?  Who among them have a picture of the big Enron E on their office wall with the words underneath "Never Again!"

    Creative accountants and their buds the tax attorneys have gamed the American dream to death.  The are, in practice, traitors.  To that charge they will cry vehemently "But we broke no laws".  Still, there is a such a thing as crime against humanity, and the accounting profession, in failing to uphold fraud-free professional standards, is collectively guilty.

    The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein -- best book ever, I nominate for a Nobel Prize!

    by xaxado on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:02:15 AM PST

    •  Excellent! (6+ / 0-)

      clap clap clap...save this comment you've nailed it...clap clap clap.

      To announce that there must be no criticism of the President....is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

      by emal on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 08:34:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "The are, in practice, traitors." (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emal, greenearth, xaxado, Siri

      This is both true and a politically powerful notion that cannot be repeated often enough.

      The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop!

      by Wolf10 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:52:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blame the banksters and corrupt politicians (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      The banksters made up the credit default swaps and the crap they sold as investments.  They defrauded the investors along with the help of the ratings agencies.  As an unemployed accountant with health problems, who has been out of work for over two years, I resent your blaming my profession.  Most accountants, unless they work for KPMG or one of the large CPA firms don't understand these toxic investment insturments either.  
      Corrupt politicians removed bank regulations intentionally so they could line their pockets as well.  History replays itself when you let it.

      I'm 55, unemployed, uninsured and have gone from upper-middle class 20 years ago to poverty now.  I worked as an auditor for many years.  An Accountant can't usually stop or detect fraud if there's collusion by multiple parties involved to cover it up.  There is no such thing as a 'fraud-free professional standard' because we are not psychics.

  •  Goldman broke the Maastricht Treaty?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Margot, greenearth

    Last I checked, Goldman Sachs was a bank, not a sovereign entity -- the kind that can be parties to international treaties.

    I realize that in reality GS is a law entirely unto itself, but I'm not sure it's a good idea for diplomats to start treating it that way.

    •  Nice snark n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, ozsea1

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 09:38:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, Goldman MADE Greece break it. (0+ / 0-)

      Or something.  After all, why wouldn't politicians looking for someone to blame not settle on a New York investment bank?  I don't expect them to avoid the temptation of easy demonizing if the diarist can't.

      Subsidies without cost controls, regulatory reform means that citizens get a little more awful insurance at a huge cost to taxpayers. Like Part D but worse.

      by Inland on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:04:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Contort and thread-jack much? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, xaxado, ozsea1, Siri
        Once your shallow "arguments" are refuted, you resort to ad hom's and baselessness...and, ultimately, in the exploding head routine...you're making a mess...go clean yourself up...

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:46:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  More flights of fancy from you. (0+ / 0-)

          All I did was quote from one of the links you provided, and you're having a fit.  

          Once your shallow "arguments" are refuted,

          Yes, because demonizing Goldman for violating the spirit of a treaty it wasn't party to is so deep and thoughtful.   Not one note johnny at all.

          Say, why aren't you quoting from Krugman's column, rather than some second rank German who, like you, finds it expedient to blame New York investment firms for the Hindenberg?

          Subsidies without cost controls, regulatory reform means that citizens get a little more awful insurance at a huge cost to taxpayers. Like Part D but worse.

          by Inland on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:55:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  "Why have no bankers been shot?" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, xaxado

    Question asked by Bill Maher in his recent stand-up.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop!

    by Wolf10 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 10:17:48 AM PST

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