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Crooks on the Loose? Did Felons Get a Free Pass in the Financial Crisis? NYU Law Video w/ Neil Barofsky, Lanny Breuer, Eliot Spitzer, and Mary Jo White

Crooks on the Loose? Did Felons Get a Free Pass in the Financial Crisis? NYU Law Video w/ Neil Barofsky, Lanny Breuer, Eliot Spitzer, and Mary Jo White


Must Watch Video

by on Feb 9, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More than three years after the one of the worst financial crises in U.S. history, the government has been severely criticized for its failure to criminally prosecute senior executives at the Wall Street banks that helped cause the meltdown. Have the feds been soft on banking execs? Are laws on the books inadequate for holding people criminally accountable? Has the Department of Justice been too timid or too intimidated by the complexity of the potential misconduct? Or is it the case that actions of the individuals who caused the crisis were potentially reckless and immoral, but not unlawful? Does the lack of prosecutions reflect a weakness in our system of justice? Or does it demonstrate the strength of a system that has resisted the political pressure to scapegoat executives who may have committed no crimes?

A panel of senior criminal justice officials, including a former New York State Attorney General, a former United States Attorney, and the current head of the Department of Justice’s criminal division, takes on these questions and more.

Panelists:
Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
Eliot Spitzer, Former Governor and Attorney General for the State of New York
Mary Jo White, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
Moderator:
Neil Barofsky, Senior Fellow, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law; Adjunct Professor, NYU School of Law

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How Long Will the Robo-Signing Settlement Be ‘Imminent’?

How Long Will the Robo-Signing Settlement Be ‘Imminent’?


IMO the reason they are trying to rush into a settlement today, rather than later, is because there is a new Ticking Time Bomb that is about to explode that will most likely cost these banksters in the 100’s of billions. So taking baby steps this settlement won’t harm them as much as the next robo-signing scandal will and they want this out of the way long before the next scheme plays in a court room near you.

AB-

Pity Shaun Donovan. The much beset upon Housing and Urban Development secretary has the thankless task of facilitating that long sought after agreement between the state attorneys general and the banks, the one that would finally put that nasty robo-signing scandal behind us.  Long anticipated, it was supposed to be signed by Christmas (not).

[AMERICAN BANKER]

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Liberals Blast Obama Administration On Pending Mortgage Settlement

Liberals Blast Obama Administration On Pending Mortgage Settlement


See this is how things get twisted because just today, Shaun Donovan announced that the Principal Forgiveness isn’t going to happen.

Fox News-

The Obama administration came under fire Monday from U.S. Democratic lawmakers and liberal groups, who argued that a forthcoming settlement over alleged foreclosure abuses won’t do enough to penalize the banking industry.

Administration officials and state attorneys general are have been putting the finishing touches on a settlement with major banks of foreclosure-processing problems that erupted into public view in fall 2010.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Associate U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perrelli were meeting in Chicago on Monday with Democratic attorneys general to review potential settlement terms, according to a spokesman for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who has been leading the talks.

The officials were scheduled to hold a separate conference call with Republican attorneys general later in the day, but no announcement of a settlement was expected this week.

[FOX NEWS]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Up w/ Chris Hayes:  Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer Says “No Deal” To Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

Up w/ Chris Hayes: Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer Says “No Deal” To Foreclosure Fraud Settlement


Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and Chris Hayes discuss the possibility of a reported agreement that may not hold U.S. banks liable for mishandling mortgage notes.

Is President Obama really going to use the State of the Union speech on Tuesday to announce a deal between big banks and all 50 state attorneys general? And if so, is it going to be a good deal for American homeowners? Or a good deal for the banks? Former NY Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer shares with Chris what he has heard the White House has been pushing for.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Banksters and Gangsters with Eliot Spitzer – Dylan Ratigan

Banksters and Gangsters with Eliot Spitzer – Dylan Ratigan


via Dylan Ratigan

I sat down yesterday with former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to go over some of the ideas in my new book, Greedy Bastards. Believe it or not, there is a good kind of greed, when money is invested to create real wealth, long-term. But that is not what we are doing today.

Spitzer, who went after both mobsters like Tommy Gambino and Wall Street firms, said both sectors “squeeze money” out of a sector, and that there are more parallels there than we would find comfortable. “The mob was at its most powerful when it was a monopolist,” he said. “Each has figured out how to use leverage” and “how to eliminate competition”. The three letters we have to understand to get Wall Street, Spitzer said, are “OPM” – Other People’s Money.

We discussed how naked credit default swaps can be classified and regulated as online gaming, according to controversial figure Dick Grasso, who used to run the NYSE. Spitzer called the swaps market a “cesspool” which doesn’t do anything but let people “bet in a casino without any social utility.” Finally, we talked about how banking regulations are like the water coolant in a nuclear reactor for the fuel rods. Without them… meltdown!

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Eliot Spitzer: 5 Ways to Make Banks Pay for Their Secret $7 Trillion Free Ride – AlterNet

Eliot Spitzer: 5 Ways to Make Banks Pay for Their Secret $7 Trillion Free Ride – AlterNet


The CEOs of major banks maintained they were in good financial shape. Meanwhile, they secretly borrowed massive amounts from the government to stay afloat.

AlterNet-

Imagine you walked into a bank, applied for a personal line of credit, and filled out all the paperwork claiming to have no debts and an income of $200,000 per year. The bank, based on these representations, extended you the line of credit. Then, three years later, after fighting disclosure all the way, you were forced by a court to tell the truth: At the time you made the statements to the bank, you actually were unemployed, you had a $1 million mortgage on your house on which you had failed to make payments for six months, and you hadn’t paid even the minimum on your credit-card bills for three months. Do you think the bank would just say: Never mind, don’t worry about it? Of course not. Whether or not you had paid back the personal line of credit, three FBI agents would be at your door within hours.

[ALTERNET]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Goldman Sachs Said to Get Subpoena From New York Prosecutor

Goldman Sachs Said to Get Subpoena From New York Prosecutor


BLOOMBERG:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), the fifth- biggest U.S. bank by assets, received a subpoena from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office seeking information on the firm’s activities leading into the credit crisis, according to two people familiar with the matter.


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Goldman should be worried about subpoenas

Goldman should be worried about subpoenas


“I think we found a white elephant, flying pig and unicorn”

REUTERS-

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) executives have good reason to be worried about the risk of receiving subpoenas from the Justice Department, and investors should be concerned too.

The U.S. government has a real chance of finding inconsistencies between Goldman executives’ testimony to Congress and their internal documents, which means subpoenas could turn into something more serious, lawyers said.

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THE SARBANES-OXLEY ACT OF 2002 by Robert A. McTamaney

THE SARBANES-OXLEY ACT OF 2002 by Robert A. McTamaney


WILL IT PREVENT FUTURE “ENRONS?”


Click image below to continue to WLF.org’s PDF

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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NEW YORK’S MARTIN ACT: EXPANDING ENFORCEMENT IN AN ERA OF FEDERAL SECURITIES REGULATION by Robert A. McTamaney

NEW YORK’S MARTIN ACT: EXPANDING ENFORCEMENT IN AN ERA OF FEDERAL SECURITIES REGULATION by Robert A. McTamaney


Who’s afraid of the Martin Act? Today, the answer is most of Wall Street, and a healthy segment of
corporate America.

Click on image below to continue to WLP.org’s PDF

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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TAIBBI-ROSNER-SPITZER | re: GOLDMAN Email “UTOPIA” a White Elephant, Flying Pig and Unicorn

TAIBBI-ROSNER-SPITZER | re: GOLDMAN Email “UTOPIA” a White Elephant, Flying Pig and Unicorn


Matt Taibbi, Eliot Spitzer and Joshua Rosner on CNN discuss new fraud probe of three major banks. Big banks could go out of business.

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Internal emails indicate Deutsche Bank knew they were bankrolling toxic mortgages by Ameriquest and others

Internal emails indicate Deutsche Bank knew they were bankrolling toxic mortgages by Ameriquest and others


iWatch

In 2007, the report says, Deutsche Bank rushed to sell off mortgage-backed investments amid worries that the market for subprime loans was deteriorating.

“Keep your fingers crossed but I think we will price this just before the market falls off a cliff,” a Deutsche Bank manager wrote in February 2007 about a deal stocked with securities created from raw material produced by Ameriquest and other subprime lenders.

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Merrill Lynch Lawyer Told Eliot Spitzer: “Be Careful, We Have Powerful Friends”

Merrill Lynch Lawyer Told Eliot Spitzer: “Be Careful, We Have Powerful Friends”


Spitzer to Holder: Prosecute Goldman Sachs or Resign

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Spitzer to Failed Regulators: “Do Your Job” – Don’t Go to Lunch with Investment Bankers

Spitzer to Failed Regulators: “Do Your Job” – Don’t Go to Lunch with Investment Bankers


I asked Eliot Spitzer what he would do with the regulatory system if he were king.  He said he did not consider it probable that he would soon be king, but then he offered this simple fix:

He would get the SEC to start doing its job.

Continue reading…Yahoo-Finance

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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“Not a single executive has gone to jail” – Charles Ferguson @ The Oscars 2011 – Best Documentary ‘INSIDE JOB’

“Not a single executive has gone to jail” – Charles Ferguson @ The Oscars 2011 – Best Documentary ‘INSIDE JOB’


Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that’s wrong.” – Charles Ferguson 2011

From Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End In Sight”), comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, INSIDE JOB was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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MUST WATCH | ‘INSIDE JOB’ The Global Financial Meltdown

MUST WATCH | ‘INSIDE JOB’ The Global Financial Meltdown


From Academy Award® nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson (“No End In Sight”), comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

Narrated by Academy Award® winner Matt Damon, INSIDE JOB was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in bear stearns, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, fannie mae, FED FRAUD, federal reserve board, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, geithner, goldman sachs, insider, investigation, jobless, lehman brothers, mbs, mortgage, Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud, note, racketeering, Real Estate, repossession, RICO, securitization, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD, sub-prime, trade secrets, Trusts, Wall StreetComments (0)

With Banks Under Fire, Some Expect a Settlement: NYTimes.com

With Banks Under Fire, Some Expect a Settlement: NYTimes.com


From left, Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times; Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News; Ramin Talaie for The New York Times

From left, Andrew Cuomo, the New York attorney general; Robert Khuzami, of the S.E.C.; and Preet Bharara, of the United States attorney’s office. The agencies are investigating Wall Street.

By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ and ERIC DASH

Published: May 13, 2010

It is starting to feel as if everyone on Wall Street is under investigation by someone for something.

News on Thursday that New York State prosecutors are examining whether eight banks hoodwinked credit ratings agencies opened yet another front in what is fast becoming the legal battle of a decade for the big names of finance.

Not since the conflicts at the center of Wall Street stock research were laid bare a decade ago, eventually resulting in a $1.4 billion industrywide settlement, have so many investigations swirled across the financial landscape.

Nearly two years after Washington rescued big banks with billions of taxpayer dollars, half a dozen government agencies are still trying, with mixed success, to peel back the layers of the collapse to determine who, if anyone, broke the rules.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department, the United States attorney’s office and more are examining how banks created, rated, sold and traded mortgage securities that turned out to be some of the worst investments ever devised.

Virtually all of the investigations, criminal as well as civil, are in their early stages, and investigators concede that their job is daunting. The S.E.C. has been examining major banks’ mortgage operations since last summer, but so far, it has filed a civil fraud claim against just one big player: Goldman Sachs. Goldman has vowed to fight.

But legal experts are already starting to handicap potential outcomes, not only for Goldman but for the broader industry as well. Many suggest that Wall Street banks may seek a global settlement akin to the 2002 agreement related to stock research. Indeed, Wall Street executives are already discussing among themselves what the broad contours of such a settlement might look like.

“I would be stunned if any of these cases go to trial,” said Frank Partnoy, a professor of law at the University of San Diego. “I think Wall Street needs to put this scandal behind it as quickly as possible and move on.”

As part of the 2002 settlement, 10 banks paid $1.4 billion total and pledged to change the way their analysts and investment bankers interacted to prevent conflicts of interest. This time, the price of any settlement would probably be higher and also come with a series of structural reforms.

David Boies, chairman of the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, represented the government in its case against Microsoft and is now part of a federal challenge to California’s same-sex marriage ban. He said a settlement by banks might be painful but would ultimately be something Wall Street could live with. “The settlement may be bad for everyone, but not disastrous for anyone,” he said.

A settlement also would let the S.E.C. declare victory without having to bring a series of complex cases. The public, however, might never learn what really went wrong.

“The government doesn’t have the personnel to simultaneously prosecute several investment banks,” said John C. Coffee, a Columbia Law School professor.

The latest salvo came on Thursday from Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York attorney general. His office began an investigation into whether banks misled major ratings agencies to inflate the grades of subprime-linked investments.

Many Americans are probably already wondering why this has taken so long. The answer is that these cases are tricky, like the investments at the center of them.

But regulators also concede that they were reluctant to pursue banks aggressively until the financial industry stabilized. The S.E.C., for one, is now eager to prove that it is on its game after failing to spot the global Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Bernard L. Madoff, or head off the Wall Street excesses that nearly sank the entire economy.

The stakes are high for both sides. At a minimum, the failure to secure a civil verdict, or at least a mammoth settlement, would be another humiliation for regulators.

Wall Street wants to put this season of scandal behind it. That is particularly so given the debate over new financial regulations that is under way on Capitol Hill. The steady flow of new allegations could strengthen calls for tougher rules.

Even worse would be a criminal charge, which could put a firm out of business even if that firm were ultimately found not guilty, as was the case with the accounting giant Arthur Andersen after the fraud at Enron.

“No firm in the financial services field has the stomach for a criminal trial,” Mr. Coffee said.

Bankers have been reluctant until now to take their case to the public. But that is changing as Wall Street chieftains like Lloyd C. Blankfein of Goldman take to the airwaves and New York politicians warn that the city’s economy will be endangered by the attack on some of the city’s biggest employers and taxpayers.

“In New York, Wall Street is Main Street,” Gov. David A. Paterson has said. “You don’t hear anybody in New England complaining about clam chowder.”

There are broader political consequences as well. At the top, there is President Obama, who was backed by much of Wall Street in 2008. Many of those supporters now privately say they are disillusioned and frustrated by his attacks on their industry, which remains a vital source of campaign contributions for both parties.

Closer to home, the man who hopes to succeed Mr. Paterson, Mr. Cuomo, is painting himself as the new sheriff of Wall Street. Another attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, rode a series of Wall Street investigations to the governor’s mansion in 2006.

But ultimately, it is what Wall Street does best — making money — that is already on trial in the court of public opinion.

Put simply, the allegations against Wall Street were prompted by evidence that the firms may have devised and sold securities to investors without telling them they were simultaneously betting against them.

Wall Street firms typically play both sides of trades, whether to help buyers and sellers of everything from simple stocks to complicated derivatives complete their transactions, or to make proprietary bets on whether they would rise or fall.

These activities form half of the four-legged stool on which Wall Street’s profits and revenue rest, the others being advising on mergers and acquisitions and helping companies issue stocks, bonds and other securities.

“This case is a huge deal. It has the potential to be the mother of all Wall Street investigations,” said Mr. Partnoy of the University of San Diego. “The worry is that the government will go after dealings that Wall Street thought were insulated from review.”

Even some Wall Street executives concede that all the scrutiny makes proprietary trading a bit dubious. “The 20 guys in the room with the shades drawn are toast,” one senior executive of a major bank said.

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Spitzer & Black: Questions from the Goldman Scandal

Spitzer & Black: Questions from the Goldman Scandal


Spitzer & Black: Questions from the Goldman Scandal

Monday, 04/26/2010 – 6:37 am by Eliot Spitzer and William Black 

money-question-150Spitzer and Black argue that the Goldman revelations underscore the need for serious financial reform.

For those who have spent years investigating fraud, it was no surprise to hear that Goldman Sachs, the (self-described) jewel of Wall Street, is the latest firm to emerge from the financial crisis with tarnished reputation. According to a lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Goldman misrepresented to its customers the quality of the toxic assets underlying a complex financial derivative known as a “synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO).”

As you may now have heard, the story involves a pair of Paulsons. As CEO of Goldman, Hank Paulson oversaw the buying of large amounts of CDOs backed by largely fraudulent “liar’s loans.” When he became U.S. Treasury Secretary, he went on to launch a successful war against securities and banking regulation. Hank Paulson’s successors at Goldman saw the writing on the wall and began to “short” CDOs. They realized that they had an unusual, brief window of opportunity to unload their losers on their customers. Being the very model of a modern investment banking firm, they thought that blowing up their customers would be fine sport.

John Paulson (unrelated), who controls a large hedge fund, also wanted to short CDOs and he, too, recognized that there was a narrow window for doing so. The reason there was a profit opportunity was that the “market” for toxic mortgages only appeared to be a functioning market. It was, in reality, a massive bubble in which ratings and “market” prices were grotesquely inflated. The inflated prices were continuing only because the huge players knew that the prices and races were fictional and were covering it up through the financial equivalent of “don’t ask; don’t tell.” According to the SEC complaint:

In January 2007, a Paulson employee explained the company’s view, saying that “rating agencies, CDO managers and underwriters have all the incentives to keep the game going, while ‘real money’ investors have neither the analytical tools nor the institutional framework to take action.”

We know from Bankruptcy Examiner Valukas’ report on Lehman that the Federal Reserve knew that the “market” prices were delusional and refused to require entities like Lehman to recognize their losses on “liar’s loans” for fear that it would expose the cover up of the losses. Valukas reports that Geithner explained to him when interviewed (p. 1502) that:

The challenge for the Government, and for troubled firms like Lehman, was to reduce risk exposure, and the act of reducing risk by selling assets could result in “collateral damage” by demonstrating weakness and exposing “air” in the marks.

Goldman and John Paulson worked together. One of the key things to understand about shorting is that it is extremely valuable if other major players short similar targets at the same time. By helping Paulson take advantage of Goldman’s customers (the ones that lacked “the analytical tools” to avoid being hosed), Goldman not only earned a substantial fee, but also aided its overall strategy of shorting the toxic paper.

Goldman created a deal in which John Paulson played a major role in selecting the toxic paper that would underlie the investment. He picked assets “most likely to fail – quickly” and studies show that he was particularly good at picking the losers. At this juncture, there is some dispute as to whether ACA was complicit with John Paulson and Goldman in picking losers (ACA initially invested in the synthetic CDO, but then transferred the risk of loss to German and English taxpayers).

What isn’t in dispute is that Goldman, ACA, and Paulson all failed to disclose to purchasers of the synthetic CDO that it was designed to be most likely to fail. The representation was the opposite: that the assets were picked by an independent entity with their interests at heart (ACA). Goldman claims it’s a victim because while it intended to sell its entire position in the synthetic CDO to its customers, it was unable to sell a chunk. One feels the firm’s pain. Goldman tried to blow up its customers to the tune of over $1 billion, but were unable to sell them the last $90 million in exposure.

The Goldman scandal raises several important questions: Did John Paulson and ACA know that Goldman was making these false disclosures to the CDO purchasers? Did they “aid and abet” what the SEC alleges was Goldman’s fraud? Why have there been no criminal charges? Why did the SEC only name a relatively low-level Goldman officer in its complaint? Where are the prosecutors?

In a December New York Times op ed, we, along with Frank Partnoy, asked for the public disclosure of AIG emails and key documents so that we can investigate the deceptive practices exposed by the Goldman case. Goldman used AIG to provide the CDS on most of these synthetic CDO deals (though not the particular one that is the subject of the SEC complaint), and Hank Paulson used tax payer money to secretly bail out Goldman when AIG’s deceptive practices drove it to failure.

The SEC’s Goldman fraud complaint points to fundamental problem in the financial sector that has been at the root of the financial crisis — one that still exists today. The market is not transparent. It has been fraudulently manipulated to enrich managers. Investors lack clear information to make decisions about what they are buying. A continuing absence of real consumer protections makes people like those trying to obtain mortgages before the crash understand that they were, in many cases, being ripped off. According to internal Goldman Sachs e-mails, the company vice president, 31-year old Fabrice Tourre, did not really understand the complex deals he was making. And yet we note that many of these Goldman-style deals were “insured” by AIG. Without transparency, regulators cannot properly see all these kinds of deals in the aggregate. So they can neither stop the fraud nor prevent catastrophic results.

We applaud the SEC lawsuit, but it will not solve the problem. Unless our financial system is reformed to put adequate protections and checks and balances in place, we can expect this kind of fraud to continue. Financial executives will continue to take risks they do not understand. Those who control the flow of capital will continue to churn out profits with socially disastrous consequences.

Related Stories:

Taibbi: Will Goldman Sachs Prove Greed Is God?

Jon Stewart on Goldman Sachs (Red Hot Energy and Gold – Global…, 4/20/10)

Posted in concealment, conspiracy, corruption, goldman sachs, matt taibbi, S.E.C.Comments (0)


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