Saturday, December 19, 2009

All Goldman Sachs Wants For Christmas Is Some Guns

All Goldman Sachs Wants For Christmas Is Some Guns

This is a weird news piece. Not because it's about some god awful company that actually deserves to get lynched in the street by an angry mob, it's because this is the time of year where you're suppose to have good tiding to all and what not. Share with your fellow man. So perhaps when Santa checks his list and some how he doesn't let the Krampus kick the ever living shit out of them, those fine boys and girls at Goldman Sachs will get what they want from their christmas list.. That is, all Goldman Sachs wants is some guns for when the Mob justice comes along.
Arming Goldman With Pistols Against Public: Alice Schroeder

Commentary by Alice Schroeder

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- “I just wrote my first reference for a gun permit,” said a friend, who told me of swearing to the good character of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who applied to the local police for a permit to buy a pistol. The banker had told this friend of mine that senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.

I called Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag to ask whether it’s true that Goldman partners feel they need handguns to protect themselves from the angry proletariat. He didn’t call me back. The New York Police Department has told me that “as a preliminary matter” it believes some of the bankers I inquired about do have pistol permits. The NYPD also said it will be a while before it can name names.

While we wait, Goldman has wrapped itself in the flag of Warren Buffett, with whom it will jointly donate $500 million, part of an effort to burnish its image -- and gain new Goldman clients. Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein also reversed himself after having previously called Goldman’s greed “God’s work” and apologized earlier this month for having participated in things that were “clearly wrong.”

Has it really come to this? Imagine what emotions must be billowing through the halls of Goldman Sachs to provoke the firm into an apology. Talk that Goldman bankers might have armed themselves in self-defense would sound ludicrous, were it not so apt a metaphor for the way that the most successful people on Wall Street have become a target for public rage.

Pistol Ready

Common sense tells you a handgun is probably not even all that useful. Suppose an intruder sneaks past the doorman or jumps the security fence at night. By the time you pull the pistol out of your wife’s jewelry safe, find the ammunition, and load your weapon, Fifi the Pomeranian has already been taken hostage and the gun won’t do you any good. As for carrying a loaded pistol when you venture outside, dream on. Concealed gun permits are almost impossible for ordinary citizens to obtain in New York or nearby states.

In other words, a little humility and contrition are probably the better route.

Until a couple of weeks ago, that was obvious to everyone but Goldman, a firm famous for both prescience and arrogance. In a display of both, Blankfein began to raise his personal- security threat level early in the financial crisis. He keeps a summer home near the Hamptons, where unrestricted public access would put him at risk if the angry mobs rose up and marched to the East End of Long Island.

To the Barricades

He tried to buy a house elsewhere without attracting attention as the financial crisis unfolded in 2007, a move that was foiled by the New York Post. Then, Blankfein got permission from the local authorities to install a security gate at his house two months before Bear Stearns Cos. collapsed.

This is the kind of foresight that Goldman Sachs is justly famous for. Blankfein somehow anticipated the persecution complex his fellow bankers would soon suffer. Surely, though, this man who can afford to surround himself with a private army of security guards isn’t sleeping with the key to a gun safe under his pillow. The thought is just too bizarre to be true.

So maybe other senior people at Goldman Sachs have gone out and bought guns, and they know something. But what?

Henry Paulson, U.S. Treasury secretary during the bailout and a former Goldman Sachs CEO, let it slip during testimony to Congress last summer when he explained why it was so critical to bail out Goldman Sachs, and -- oh yes -- the other banks. People “were unhappy with the big discrepancies in wealth, but they at least believed in the system and in some form of market-driven capitalism. But if we had a complete meltdown, it could lead to people questioning the basis of the system.”

Torn Curtain

There you have it. The bailout was meant to keep the curtain drawn on the way the rich make money, not from the free market, but from the lack of one. Goldman Sachs blew its cover when the firm’s revenue from trading reached a record $27 billion in the first nine months of this year, and a public that was writhing in financial agony caught on that the profits earned on taxpayer capital were going to pay employee bonuses.

This slip-up let the other bailed-out banks happily hand off public blame to Goldman, which is unpopular among its peers because it always seems to win at everyone’s expense.

Plenty of Wall Streeters worry about the big discrepancies in wealth, and think the rise of a financial industry-led plutocracy is unjust. That doesn’t mean any of them plan to move into a double-wide mobile home as a show of solidarity with the little people, though.

Cool Hand Lloyd

No, talk of Goldman and guns plays right into the way Wall- Streeters like to think of themselves. Even those who were bailed out believe they are tough, macho Clint Eastwoods of the financial frontier, protecting the fistful of dollars in one hand with the Glock in the other. The last thing they want is to be so reasonably paid that the peasants have no interest in lynching them.

And if the proles really do appear brandishing pitchforks at the doors of Park Avenue and the gates of Round Hill Road, you can be sure that the Goldman guys and their families will be holed up in their safe rooms with their firearms. If nothing else, that pistol permit might go part way toward explaining why they won’t be standing outside with the rest of the crowd, broke and humiliated, saying, “Damn, I was on the wrong side of a trade with Goldman again.”

(Alice Schroeder, author of “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” and a former managing director at Morgan Stanley, is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

So far the scariest thing they've had to experience was michael moore yelling outside with a megaphone. It really is a shame that those fears aren't grounded to some reality. If Americans actually cared about their thievery, they'd be dead by now. Their heads would be on pikes all along wall street as a warning to the rest.

As Thom Yorke would say it best, When I am king, they would be the first against the wallwere king. I can't say I've read all Ayn Rand, so someone who is better read with that piece of shit could tell me if the Captains of industry arm themselves in her stories, that would be really helpful. Thanks in advance.

I'm not advocating violence. Nor do I want to be on a terrorist watch list (I'm already on one, by the way) But how hard would it be to set off a truck bomb at the underground parking garage of the Godlman Sachs headquarters? Cause I don't think guns will protect you from that.

No no. I don't think anyone is actually going to ever going to do a god damn thing to them. The best hope we have is that one of these guys is overcome with guilt for what they have done and uses the gun on themselves.

I mean, who would have guessed that they would have been playing with other people's money like it was Monopoly money. If only there were this risk averse with other people's money as they were in getting these firearms to protect themselves. These must be the minor execs because anyone pulling a salary plus the bonuses over 500k usually has private security force with them at all time.

But the problem comes back to Americans. Yes us, the fine Americans that along with most of humanity, is easily wowed by wealth and status symbols, which the corporations have in spades. Just take a rich guy in a great suit driving a porsche go into a rural town and I tink more people will be completely envious than angry. Even if that same mane goes into the system and;

*manipulates agriculture futures and makes a pile of money*
*drives agriculture prices into a free fall*
*uses pile of money to buy great suit and porsche*
*drives around rural area*
*destitute farmers look with envy at the hard working smart man with the suit and porsche*
*farmer thinks one day his son will make it like that guy has*
*son ends up in art school, now teaches English in Indonesia*
*daughter gets phd and works at CDC barely paying off loans*
*farmer dies from sclerosis*

That is your America. Yes, that it is.

But really, why is Goldman Sachs even bothering with guns? It's not like they're hoarding golden dubloons. All these banks have are computer banks running high frequency trades and delaying transactions to charge fees on poor people. But hey, I would implore the people of this nation to move your freedom tray and get off your ass and be outraged. At this point we just don't care and are asking what mischief will those rascals get into next week??!?


Anonymous said...

All this is written because of the Financial industries in ability to self-regulate.

There are many prima facie offenses that can be prosecuted under RICO statutes or outside of RICO. Basically you have a group acting in a common purpose. Group is two or more persons, or entities. Purpose can be to commit a crime, dismantle important capitalist rules of law, loot homes and business entities during a once in 12 year flood, deceive a group of senior citizens in pre-meditated fashion (confuse/mislead them for financial gain). Common purpose can be distributing toxins or drug, under the nose of local authorities, anything that is disruptive of the peace or endangers the public in some way. Group acting in common purpose to deceive, can be as wide spread as a large corporate mentality; for example Enron was a large corporation engaged in furtive deception in the culture that was disruptive and could have provoked social discord. Common purpose to deceive, includes pattern omission or incident of concealing information officers of the corporation, had obligation to disclose.

Being a custodian of other people's money qualifies an obligation to disclose, a lot of information. Custodians of other peoples money cannot deceive or act in pattern omission, without triggering breach of duty clauses.

Breach of Duty falls under Constructive Fraud. A type of fraud that is prosecutable under criminal statute. Fraud is actual or constructive. Actual fraud consists of deceit, artifice, trick, design, some direct and active operation. Includes cases of successful deployment of any cunning or deceptive act to circumvent law or cheat another (cheat a group of people like senior citizens, trick them into a position of liability for mis-management at banks, they did not manage).

Constructive fraud consists of BREACH OF DUTY, which in a pattern of behavior can be shown to produce gain or advantage to the dishonest broker or executives at fault. Again, being a custodian of other people's money qualifies an obligation to disclose. Custodians of other peoples money cannot deceive or act in pattern omission, without triggering injustice @ breach of duty.

Using RICO statutes are about prosecuting a group of two or more, acting to perpetrate criminal acts. It is not theory. It is a provable fact: There is evidence of a small group being organized, acting in operations, (daily work product, ongoing pattern) brokering mortgaged backed securities, they would call AAA to broker at the premium rate, but later turned out to B-rated or lower; and no refund was given. Provoking social unrest: no regulative authority trying to hold offending executives accountable or liable for having fiduciary duty to make disclosure.

This is an unacknowledged problem of large banks which operate under the honor principle of self-regulation. They do not acknowledge when they have a fiduciary duty. This is a stain of failure for many regulatory agencies in the United States. We recently hear lobbyist behind each President, talk through our President, to Afghans, about controlling corruption, when here at home our Presidents are on sabbatical, taking extended vacations - foundering. With lobbying groups behind them, both Presidents, are like absentee landlords. They travel the world without proper clothing. In other words, all talk and not a step in the right direction in support of deterrent. ...This results in flawed leadership example or non-leadership moonwalk "going forward" ... places "reform" ahead of deterrent.

Anonymous said...

- - - -

Meaningful and good leadership places deterrent (action) ahead of paper "reform." When a nation has good deterrent, it does not need reforms.

Assurance in our current system is perfected, by laying down meaningful deterrent. Today or last year. Could not do it in 2008? Then do it at any time in 2009? Fail to self-regulate - you get milk white substance of failed leadership ... wait for it ... "reform."

(Incidentally, I support self-regulation. But when self-regulation is used to cover up Breach of Duty ie: Constructive Fraud on massive scale, or high crime against a group of people such as abuse of our elderly, provoking unrest in country which threatens stability in a culture, I think this should be met with stiff criminal prosecution. I call on all financial executives who observe their fiscal responsibilities, and take pride in it, distinguish themselves. You should be the ones pounding fist for prosecution of substantial breach. This will do more to restore public trust than any “reform” ever will.)

Again I say, we need deterrent not reform. Republicans and democrats alike. Kick these the fraudsters in prison. Cut yourself loose from these behemoths. Let them fall on their own work product and be accountable. Restore trust in our system. Good leadership knows when too much abuse, is too much abuse. NOT heroism. Good leadership knows when our senior culture is being mistreated, called a second time to be in a place of liability for mis-management while wall street is rolling out lobbyist to say how marvelous and sacred is their executive compensation corporate bylaws in the east coast. Fluff. Make determined and sustained outcry. This is more about self-preservation and preserving a small step of integrity when others around you are abusing trust, engaging sedition or acting to destabilize the culture.

Side note: Self-regulation is not about letting others do their worst. You let that happen and it drags down the industry and threatens national stability. The result is a wave of ridiculous “reform.” You know this already. If the financial services industry and small community bank industry do not care for self-regulation, it will get "reform;" like second hand smoke ... breath it in ... “reform.”

You have to be able to PROVE your ability in leadership and KNOW when enough is enough or when too much is too much. Too much abuse is bad for the industry. You have to have a line in your mind. Community bankers who did NOT benefit from TARP or PPIP or TALF, need to do a better job of self-regulation, or they will loose the ability to self-regulate. You need to be the ones from inside, making demands for criminal prosecutions that deterrent rise up in magnitude to send out the message for the next generation, as to what is NOT tolerable. Otherwise you will forfeit all the ground you have made in the last 50 years. All of it.

Anonymous said...


As for what we wish for Christmas? That at mass or other ceremonies on Christmas eve, the pipe organ blows and curiously summons all large bank executives to go to the hudson, jump in and drown themselves. Imagine that headline: 26,000 Bank Executives in N.Y. Drown Themselves on Christmas Eve.

Now that would give everyone west of the Hudson, something to be happy about in the new year.