Now that corporations own our politicians, our government and our courts, they can get away with anything. Nobody will stand up to them. Which is why it was somewhat of a surprise that the SEC filed a civil claim against Goldman Sachs charging them with fraud.
Personally, I suspect it's a sweetheart deal. It will let the Democrats look good for this year's election, while they pretend to clamp down on Wall Street but actually do nothing. And it will allow Goldman to "settle" the claim, in exchange for a full release and confidentiality provision, which will get them off the hook for the really big crimes that we'll never even hear about.
Since John Roberts thinks Goldman is a "person," why can't we send the Blanking "person" Blankfein and all the other Goldman insiders to prison? Why no criminal charges when they steal billions of dollars?
Hint: Goldman Sachs was the second largest contributor to Barack Obama's campaign in 2008, in bundled contributions from their employees. http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?id=N00009638&cycle2=2008&goButt2.x=11&goButt2.y=4 (#6 and 7 were Citigroup and J.P. Morgan.) Wall Street loves Obama, and paid him a lot of money. Now what is the likelihood that Obama is going to see his most generous contributors sent to prison?
We need an independent prosecutor to take Goldman-Sachs and all its smarmy insiders apart, bring such charges as are appropriate, including criminal if proper, and throw some corrupt Wall Street asses into prison.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Goldman Sachs developed a strategy to profit from the housing meltdown and reaped billions at the expense of clients, a Senate investigation has found.
Top Goldman executives misled investors in complex mortgage securities that became toxic, investigators for a Senate panel allege. They point to e-mails and other Goldman documents obtained in an 18-month investigation. Excerpts from the documents were released Monday, a day before a hearing that will bring CEO Lloyd Blankfein and other top Goldman executives before Congress.
Blankfein says in his own prepared remarks that Goldman didn't bet against its clients and can't survive without their trust.
The Securities and Exchange Commission this month filed a civil fraud case against the bank, saying it misled investors about securities tied to home loans. The SEC says Goldman concocted mortgage investments without telling buyers they had been put together with help from a hedge fund client, Paulson & Co., that was betting on the investments to fail. ....
But Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said Monday: "I think they're misleading the country. ... There's no doubt they made huge money betting against the (mortgage) market." ....
The subcommittee, which is investigating Goldman's role in the financial crisis, provided excerpts of e-mails showing a progression from late 2006 through the full-blown mortgage crisis a year later. Levin said they show Goldman shifted in early 2007 from neutral to a short position, betting that the mortgage market was likely to collapse.
"That directional change is mighty clear," Levin said. "They decided to go gangbusters selling those securities" while knowing they were toxic.
[Goldman Sachs] earned a blowout $3.3 billion in the first quarter. [Goldman made $3.7 billion from its short positions].
[Essentially the accusation is that Goldman was selling to the world the mortgages, or collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), while at the same time but in secret Goldman was betting that the mortgage market was going to collapse. Collateralized Debt Obligations means this: they bought millions of dollars of lousy mortgages from banks, pushing banks to loan money to every tom, dick etc., knowing full well many of those mortgages would not be repaid, people would default; they took all the mortgages, mushed them together, then sold off percentage interests to people, which they call CDOs. This actually made it harder for investors to examine the mortgages, since they only bought a fraction of thousands of different mortgages. It was a con.]