The Evil Empire
“. . . I urge you to beware the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire . . .”
The biggest story of 2009, moreso probably than the inauguration of America’s first black president, revolved around the Great Recession and the implementation of the stimulus package that staved off depression. The current headliner is the latest revelation of Goldman Sachs’ greedy deception and the reckless, insidious profiteering of Wall Street. I am, however, mostly just regurgitating the overstatements of others. I don’t understand the way the markets operate and I still underestimate the effect of business on politics. And so I’m grateful for articles like this: The Great American Bubble Machine.
It really is all about the Benjamins. I’ve got a pretty wide Buddhist streak in me, one that aspires to moving beyond material pursuits and all the dangers of attachment – especially of the fiscal variety. That means that I generally practice disinterest in all things economic, including the extremes of booms and depressions, because the fundamentals of it seem insane. They’re also incredibly hard to wrap one’s head around with only a casual interest. Look, it’s easy to understand the major elements of the Iraq war or a natural disaster, but words like ‘dividend’ mean nothing to me. There’s no experiential reference point to me, so the paper politics of giant corporations remain a mystery. Even speculation is a nebulous word.
But Matt Taibbi knocked it out of the park with that article. Setting the context, explaining the insider language, and painting a portrait of a modern monstrosity. It’s beautiful and horrifying work. And I immediately thought about President Reagan’s Evil Empire speech, and pulled the quote at the beginning to strike at my own indifference.
Goldman Sachs, y’all. Mind blown. Meet the enemy.
Matt Taibbi article was awesome and on the mark
Is anyone really surprised that Goldman Sachs rip us off? Just look at one of your monthly bills
Somewhere in one of them there is a mistake and just guess in whose favor it’s in. I don’t want to get into the financial reform because it sounds a lot like the health care reform blah blah blah. Not to mention I can’t listen to that drown by Mitch McConnell, Hey Mitch during the Bush Administration you were explaining how these banks were to important and too big to fail, 18 months that same Mitch McConnell is telling us how they should be allowed to fail. So like healthcare reform, financial reform is needed not Washington Bullshit.
I’m still pissed that were in Iraq under false pretenses, But we bought a bad bill of goods and 6 years later were paying the price, in both human treasure and fiscal budgeting. But back to today’s consumer rip-off and the subject is Goldman Sachs. So they sold the big idea on the front page and sold it short on the back page, to put it simply. To put it in easy cooking terms we can all understand. They made the recipe for a cake. Didn’t use the same ingredients for the cake (said they did though) Sold the cake, and made a load of profit doing it.
Or in other words I’m sure we have been in drinking establishments that WATER down the booze. This as we all know is wrong. It’s always been wrong but people and places still do it. Go figure.
via npr: The SEC said the fraud, a blow to the reputation of Wall Street’s most powerful firm, was orchestrated in 2007 by a Goldman vice president then in his late 20’s. The employee, Fabrice Tourre, has since been promoted to executive director of Goldman Sachs International in London.
Tourre, the SEC said, boasted to a friend that he was able to put such deals together as the mortgage market was unraveling in early 2007.
In an e-mail to the friend, he described himself as “the fabulous Fab standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstrosities!!!”