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Matt Taibbi takes it to Goldman Sachs, and they are squealing.

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 12:11 AM
Original message
Matt Taibbi takes it to Goldman Sachs, and they are squealing.
Matt Taibbi's blockbuster piece in the July 9-13 issue of Rolling Stone, THE GREAT AMERICAN BUBBLE MACHINE, describes in brilliant, painful and infuriating detail how Goldman Sachs "has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression - and they're about to do it again."



A few grafs:


The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled-dry American empire, reads like a Who's Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.

By now, most of us know the major players. As George Bush's last Treasury secretary, former Goldman CEO Henry Paulson was the architect of the bailout, a suspiciously self-serving plan to funnel trillions of Your Dollars to a handful of his old friends on Wall Street. Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton's former Treasury secretary, spent 26 years at Goldman before becoming chairman of Citi-group - which in turn got a $300 billion taxpayer bailout from Paulson. There's John Thain, the asshole chief of Merrill Lynch who bought an $87,000 area rug for his office as his company was imploding; a former GoIdman banker, Thain enjoyed a multibillion-dollar handout from Paulson, who used billions in taxpayer funds to help Bank of America rescue Thain's sorry company. And Robert Steel, the former Goldmanite head of Wachovia, scored himself and his fellow executives $225 million in golden-parachute payments as his bank was self-destructing. There's Joshua Bolten, Bush's chief of staff during the bailout, and Mark Patterson, the current Treasury chief of staff, who was a Goldman lobbyist just a year ago, and Ed Liddy, the former Goldman director whom Paulson put in charge of bailed-out insurance giant AIG, which forked over $13 billion to Goldman after Liddy came on board. The heads ofthe Canadian and Italian national banks are Goldman alums, as is the head of the World Bank, the head of the New York Stock Exchange. the last two heads of the Federal Reserve Bank ofNew York - which, incidentally, is now in charge of overseeing Goldman - not to mention ...

But then, any attempt to construct a narrative around all the former Goldmanites in influential positions quickly becomes an absurd and pointless exercise, like trying to make a list of everything. What you need to know is the big picture: If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain - an extremely unfortunate loophole in the system of Western democratic capitalism, which never foresaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.

The bank's unprecedented reach and power have enabled it to turn all of America into a giant pump-and-dump scam, manipulating whole economic sectors for years at a time, moving the dice game as this or that market collapses, and all the time gorging itself on the unseen costs that are breaking families everywhere - high gas prices, rising consumer-credit rates, halfeaten pension funds, mass layoffs, future taxes to payoff hailouts. All that money that you're losing, it's going somewhere, and in both a literal and a figurative sense. Goldman Sachs is where it's going: The bank is a huge, highly sophisticated engine for converting the useful, deployed wealth of society into the least useful, most wasteful and insoluble substance on Earth - pure profit for rich individuals.

They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage. Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch ofreally smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They've been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s - and now they're preparing to do it again, creating what may be the biggest and most audacious bubble yet.

If you want to understand how we got into this financial crisis, you have to first understand where all the money went - and in order to understand that, you need to understand what Goldman has already gotten away with. It is a history exactly five bubbles long - including last year's strange and seemingly inexplicable spike in the price of oil. There were a lot of losers in each of those bubbles, and in the bailout that followed. But Goldman wasn't one of them.


BUBBLE #1
THE GREAT DEPRESSION

.....

BUBBLE #2
TECH STOCKS

.....

BUBBLE #3
THE HOUSING CRAZE

.....

BUBBLE #4
$4 A GALLON

.....

BUBBLE #5
RIGGING THE BAILOUT

.....





Taibbi writes on June 30, 2009 at his blog:



After my Rolling Stone piece about Goldman, Sachs hit the newsstands last week (unfortunately the piece is not yet up on the magazines web site, so I cant link to it yet but it is out in print), I started to get a lot of mail. Most of it was thoughtful and respectful criticism, although there was an amusingly large number of people writing in impassioned defense of their right, under our American system, to be ripped off by large impersonal financial companies. If my pension fund is buying from Goldman, and my pension fund loses lots of value, thats not Goldmans fault, wrote one reader. No one is forcing anyone to buy anything. The only thing Goldman is guilty of is making profits.

Im not even going to go there the psychology of a human being who would take the time to actually write in a complaint like that is so bizarre that it would take more time than I have today to even begin discussing it. One other complaint that I will address quickly, though, is the notion that I didnt tell Goldmans side of the story. Not exactly a balanced approach, complained one reader. You should take an ethics class. You have to give the other side a fair shot.

Actually I did contact Goldman and gave the bank every opportunity to respond to the factual issues in the article. Im bringing this up because their decision not to comment on any of those questions was actually pretty interesting.

We figured ahead of time that Goldman was probably not going to respond to many of the allegations in the article, since its MO in the past with regard to hostile journalists has usually either been to make bald denials or to simply avoid comment (thats when theyre not using the carpet-bomb litigation technique, as in the case of GoldmanSachs666.com). So what I decided to do the first time I approached them was to send a short list of simple factual questions. If the bank decided to engage us and educate us as to its point of view on these simple questions, we would send more queries and expand the dialogue.

Given this, I tried to make that first list of questions as basic as possible. I asked if Goldman would have turned a profit in Q1 2009 if it hadnt orphaned the month of December 2008. Then I asked if Goldman had made changes to its underwriting standards during the internet boom years; if Goldmans position was still that the steep rise in oil prices last year was due to normal changes in supply and demand; and if it could explain its 1991 request to the CFTC to have its subsidiary J. Aron classified as a physical hedger on the commodities market. Citing various sources, I also noted that some people had complained that its move to short the mortgage market in 2006 even as it was selling those same types of instruments proved that the bank knew the weakness of its mortgage products, and asked if the bank had an answer for that. And I asked if the bank supported cap-and-trade legislation, and if it was fair to say (as we planned to in the piece) that the bank would capitalize financially if such legislation was passed.

I intentionally put a lot of yes/no questions on that list. If the underlying thinking behind any of those questions was faulty, it would have been easy enough for them to say so and to educate us as to the truth. Instead, here is the response that we got:

Your questions are couched in such a way that presupposes the conclusions and suggests the people you spoke with have an agenda or do not fully understand the issues.


You have to have swallowed half a lifetime of carefully-worded p.r. statements to see the message written between the lines here. That this is a non-denial denial is obvious, but whats more notable here is that they didnt stop with just a flat no comment, which they easily could have done. No, they had to go a little further than that and and this is pure Goldman, just outstanding stuff make it clear that both I and my sources are simply not as smart as they are and dont understand what were talking about. So the rough translation here is, No comment, but if you were as smart as us, you wouldnt be asking these questions.

So now word filters through that Goldman has issued yet another statement in response to the piece, this one by mouthpiece Lucas Van Praag (or Von Doom, as he apparently is often called). Again, the company does not take issue with any of the facts in the piece not one. Heres what he says (via Felix Salmon at Reuters):

Taibbis bubble case doesnt stand up to serious scrutiny either. To give just two examples, even with the worst will in the world, the blame for creating the internet bubble cannot credibly be laid at our door, and we could hardly be described as having been a major player in the mortgage market, unlike so many of our current and former competitors.

Taibbis article is a compilation of just about every conspiracy theory ever dreamed up about Goldman Sachs, but what real substance is there to support the theories?

We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance of being a force for good.


Okay, lets look at that bit piece by piece.

.....

In the middle of this weirdly substanceless retort, Von Doom then goes on complain about the lack of substance in the article, makes the predictable charge that the piece was a compendium of invented conspiracy theories, then moves on to reject the notion that the company inflates bubbles and profits in busts (about that last part: I recommend checking out Goldmans profit/bonus numbers in 2002, 2008, and 2009 to date. Im not sure how they can refute the notion that they have profited during the recent financial calamities). Lastly, he says that the bank is painfully conscious of the importance of being a force for good, which I noted with amusement is not quite the same thing as saying that that bank is a force for good, or wants to be.

So to sum up, this all translates as:

Taibbis bubble case doesnt hold water. To use just two examples, Taibbis internet bubble case doesnt hold water, and we didnt sell as many mortgages as Lehman Brothers. Taibbis article is a compendium of every other story about Goldman that doesnt hold water. We reject these theories that do not hold water, and are aware of the difference between right and wrong, making us legally sane according to the law.


Im aware that some people feel that its a journalists responsibility to give both sides of the story and be even-handed and objective. A person who believes that will naturally find serious flaws with any article like the one I wrote about Goldman. I personally dont subscribe to that point of view. My feeling is that companies like Goldman Sachs have a virtual monopoly on mainstream-news public relations; for every one reporter like me, or like far more knowledgeable critics like Tyler Durden, there are a thousand hacks out there willing to pimp Goldmans viewpoint on things in the front pages and ledes of the major news organizations. And there are probably another thousand poor working stiffs who are nudged into pushing the Goldman party line by their editors and superiors (how many political reporters with no experience reporting on financial issues have swallowed whole the news cliche about Goldman being the smart guys on Wall Street? A lot, for sure).

Goldman has its alumni pushing its views from the pulpit of the U.S. Treasury, the NYSE, the World Bank, and numerous other important posts; it also has former players fronting major TV shows. They have the ear of the president if they want it. Given all of this, I personally think its absurd to talk about the need for balance in every single magazine and news article. I understand that some people feel differently, but thats my take on things.




Well, well, looky here.


Taibbi reports:


NYSE Halts Transparency, Feels Goldman Program Trading Disclosure Is Unnecessary, July 2, 2009


"In a move set to infuriate and send many Zero Hedge readers over the top, the NYSE has taken action to make sure that nobody will henceforth be able to keep track of the complete dominance that Goldman Sachs exerts over the New York Stock Exchange. This basically ends our weekly Program Trading updates disclosed every Thursday indicating that Goldman has singlehandedly captured all of NYSE's program trading."
-- Zero Hedge



I'm sorry I didn't post this earlier, but I urge readers to go over to Zero Hedge and check out this post about the NYSE's recent decision to change its procedures... to protect Goldman Sachs from bloggers like Zero Hedge!

This is complicated stuff (for people with no financial background, like me, it's nightmarish) and I have a longer thing about this coming out later. But the essence of this story is that Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge has, for months, been complaining that Goldman has been manipulating the NYSE, in particular manipulating program trading in somewhat the same way (although perhaps not to the same extent) that they manipulated the commodities markets. In order to make his case -- and his theory has gained a lot of acceptance, to the point where Goldman had to respond to the allegations publicly -- he has been analyzing data the NYSE releases on program trading every week.

So what happened this week? The NYSE announced that it will no longer be releasing its weekly program trading data. This is quiet obviously a move designed to make it even more impossible to track what's going on in the NYSE and shield, in particular, Goldman Sachs. Let's hope there's a public uproar about this; Zero Hedge posted contact info for NYSE officials, and has urged readers to petition the exchange to restore the old rules in the name of transparency.

More on this later.







Kudos to Matt Taibbi for staying on Goldman Sachs' case.


Until this blood-sucking parasite is broken up into very small pieces and regulated severely, nothing will change.


Mr. President, the longer this goes on, the less capital you will retain.









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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. "Goldman Sachs "has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression..."
Interesting read. Thanks for posting. K&R
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. The full piece is worth the price of an issue of Rolling Stone
And if that's not in the cards, you can find it scanned on scribd.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
27. The full piece is linked in the OP. Easier to read than scanned version. n/t
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. Would that be the Matt Taibbi who famously posed as a porn producer
at a Wesley Clark "Meet-Up" and then wrote a hit-piece on Clark based on the fact that two twenty-something meet-up organizers looked shocked and confused? I mean really, a reporter posing as a porn movie producer. And then writing an article about a candidate based on a meet-up in a bar?

That Matt Taibbi?

I wouldn't take anything Matt Taibbi wrote as indicative of anything, much less anything he wrote about finance or economics. Now maybe if he wrote something about the porn industry ... Nah, not even that. This is not a journalist.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Wow.
I hope you didn't pull any major muscles reaching for that one.
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ControlledDemolition Donating Member (901 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Seems like BS to me. n/t
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
61. Because...?
:shrug:
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Arctic Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Why is that even realitive to the article, considering he's been spot on about this robbery.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
65. Hope you're not holding your breath waiting for a reply. n/t
:kick:

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lsewpershad Donating Member (964 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
19. Good God
Did you really read the article? So much like you pukes to attack the messenger and ignore the facts or informed opinion. You should thank your God we live in a society where, people like you must be tolerated.
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
25. Hank Paulsen, is that you?
Edited on Fri Jul-03-09 10:28 AM by Jim Sagle
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liberalmike27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #2
35. Classic Neocon Stuff
Edited on Fri Jul-03-09 11:19 AM by liberalmike27
Reject the source, without regard for truth contained within the article. It allows for continued brainwashing, it allows for uninterrupted programming of your brain.

People are one thing, is that what you are saying, he is just a porn producer( though I am not going to bother checking into that). People are a lot of things, and the article rings very true to me. You should be more concerned with the obvious honesty of the piece, rather than where you read it, or who wrote it. Rejecting a source rather than dishonest content, is the fodder of idiots.

I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, and from the mistakes, I've found that I might recommend other ways of living. I've had people reject things, based on the mistakes before, rather than just giving a listen and seeing if it applies, or rings true.

I loved the part about "tossing a watermelon off the building, and seeing if you can get out (of the market) before it bursts" on the ground below. That was about it.

It's all accurate, no matter who wrote it. I might add, it was a collaborative piece. Gas prices were ginned up by futures traders. Regulations were trashed to allow all of this over the last 30 years, and yes, loans were purposely given, for short term gain and bonuses, to people who would have normally never been given loans in the past.
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dorkulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
75. That piece was hilarious and would only offend the most loyal and humorless Clark fan.
Taibbi is funny, irreverent, and also very smart. Sorry he picked on your boyfriend.
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mojowork_n Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
109. It's called investigative journalism.
Edited on Sat Jul-04-09 08:16 PM by mojowork_n
I read that "hit piece" and found it insightful, funny, sensitive, nuanced and extremely intelligent. Given how far Wesley Clark went in the primaries, you can add "prophetic" to that list. I could care less how Matt introduced himself at the Meet-Up. He could just as easily have said he was an insurance adjuster, or whatever. The point is that it really had nothing to do with what he was doing there -- being a 'fly on the wall,' a perspicacious, informed, aware observer.

Your assertion that "This is not a journalist" doesn't carry any credibility. Hope Wes Clark's doing OK, selling Segue's, or consulting, or whatever.

Edit PS --

Here's the all-time best essay on Sarah Palin. It's by Matt Taibbi. If you want to tell me again he's 'not a journalist' you better have something better to come back with than "he said, 'PORN'" in mixed company.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/23318320/mad_dog_palin
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jclincali Donating Member (76 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. Matt is fuckable, but dumb as a box of rocks.
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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. No, he's right on the money with this article
(no pun intended). His interview tonight on The Ed Show was excellent and not "dumb" at all. He's extremely courageous for researching & writing this important article.

But you're entitled to your opinion.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #8
33. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
14. Matt dumb?
:popcorn:
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. so why are you "shooting the messenger" - if you don't believe what he has
researched and written - why don't you write a post supporting the thievery of Goldman Sachs and give cites and links?

hope you enjoy your hopefully short stay at DU

:hi:
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #3
26. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
29. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
66. You guys are still funny. n/t
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
73. Wow
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-06-09 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
112. The Taibbi name has been respected in NY journalism for decades.
He's been around a lot longer than the last election.
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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 01:27 AM
Response to Original message
9. Great post.
This is extremely interesting, thank you. I forsee lots of research in my future.
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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
11. He was interviewed on The Ed Show today
The title of that video is "Was Goldman Sachs entrenched in the Bush administration?"
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30031533/

The two of them discussed a few of the points he makes in this article in a rational, professional manner.
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dmosh42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 04:59 AM
Response to Original message
12. Thanks for printing much of what we suspected....
And don't forget the other 'partner in crime', Morgan, Stanley. Both are an example of how to own the American gov't. But don't expect any anti-trust actions from the Obama administration either.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 07:06 AM
Response to Original message
13. This country is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO fucked

People fighting to keep fucking things up. I was thinking things are going to get better, then I read shit like this, and I really see no hope for that. I always thought this country was going to take a REALLY hard fall before it woke up, and it looks like that's still to come.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
16. In my opinion...
Goldman Sachs is the reason they let Lehman Brothers go under. That was their main competition. Now they have it all to themselves. Henry Paulson had a chance to chop off the head of his competition and he did. I think Goldman Sachs is calling most of the shots on our economy nowadays.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. I think you are correct re Paulson letting Lehman fall. It buried Goldman Sachs' competition.
When Bush inserted Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson at Treasury in May, 2006, the heist was in place.





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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #16
52. Jeb Bush was also involved in the Lehman Brothers meltdown.
Jeb got himself appointed to Lehman as a "private equity advisor" after he left the Florida governor's mansion, and then he and his cousin George Walker (why does the Bush Crime Family always recycle the same names over and over?) did to Lehman what brother Neil did to the S&L's back in the 80's.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. Absolutely. And, so far, he's still skating.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #52
76. Hmmmm... very interesting..
Jeb Bush, huh?
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
17. Excellent post, k & r nt
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
18. In DU terminology- this is MY "pony". We are fucked if Obama never gets around to disciplining
the Market.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
20. Money Quote
From a wise woman, talking about the reasons wealth gets concentrated:

"One of the things that is interesting about reading conspiracy theory is that much of what folks think is conspiracy is really many people acting in concert to make or protect their money." -- Catherine Austin Fitts

Lessons apply to the Bubble Kings at Goldmine Sacked.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #20
37. Cross-linked your thread here re Goldman Sachs taking over the Bush administration
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ro1942 Donating Member (701 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
21. thanks for posting
about the leaders of the american oligarchy, operating with the with a willing congress and president.
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scentopine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
23. Nothing short of massive protest march will have any effect
We need national leaders to organize a massive march in washington and/or wall street. Who can organize this?

We need caravans of cars from every state converging in washington.

I just don't understand how democrats can rave about Obama yet we have Geithner and Summers up to their old tricks!

Come on people. What does it take to get people out of their comfy chair and fuzzy slippers out on the street making noise that matters!!!!!
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #23
67. They can and will just ignore and/or marginalize any march or protest.
What might work is a general strike. I know it's old fashioned, but the only way to hurt them is to take their money away. When millions of people stop playing their game, they pay attention.

The parasites are utterly dependent on us, we don't need them at all and are far better off without them.


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scentopine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #67
72. We won't be marginalized as long as we are loud and strong
Loud and strong show of real people with real jobs who pay taxes and are sick of it. This is every bit important as the civil rights marches.

What we don't need are these tiny regional protests. We need people who can organize and mobilize people to take a walk in Manhattan and stop to give speeches and noise in front of Goldman Sachs and demand that justice for these crooks ripping us off every day. It has to be serious unlike a bunch of ignorant rednecks with tea bags hanging from their hats.

Torture, wiretapping, wall street rip-offs WTF? Why are people just sitting on their asses? We need to stop expecting president fairy tale to do what citizens of the country are required to do under these circumstances - protest. Its our right as citizens and if we let CIA, NSA, FBI, HSA on and on keep infringing on the constitutional safegaurds on our rights as a free people, we will lose what little power we have.

We are not powerless en mass. If you want a better future we need to protest what is happening today. We can't keep expecting other people to do the work we need to do ourselves.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #72
74. We had millions, as in multiples of millions of people marching against the Iraq war
in every major city across the nation, we marched and demonstrated for weeks. Did you know that? Did anyone? I think ABC gave it one brief mention on the nightly news one night and a few little papers did very good pieces along with the free weeklies and it was pretty thoroughly discussed here on DU, check the archives.

But John & Mary, and Jethro & Bobby Sue never heard a peep.

During the 60s we still had a fairly diverse press with hundreds of companies competing with each other to report stories and we had 3 television networks with independent news divisions that competed with each other but not the entertainment divisions.

Today we have 96% of all media owned and controlled from 6 boardrooms.

That's why they can ignore us.


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scentopine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #74
79. Yes, I played a small part in that locally - it got pissed on
Regional protests do not work. We need everyone from across country in one place at the same time. It would get noticed instead of small splinter groups in locales no one notices.

100 protests spread across country each with 1000 people each is not same as one protest in Wash. with 100,000.

You are right about the media, maybe one stop is in Times Square right in front of NyTimes/ABC/CBS etc. Even our hipper than thou local "independent" weekly here pisses on protests with hipper than thou smugness. I look at it more as a problem of lazy people waiting for someone else to solve problems.

Its all we have left as there is no one left in this country who represents the public. Its all about this new entity with super rights known as the "corporate citizen" If we don't demand justice we deserve what we get. Things are completely unacceptable as they are. It isn't going to change with flowery oratory.






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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
24. I would add
"So the rough translation here is, No comment, but if you were as smart as us, you wouldnt be asking these questions."

that they are also saying, "And we aren't going to answer these questions, because you're too stupid to understand the answer anyway."


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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
28. If someone would write what each manipulation translates into in people's lives
then people would start to understand what's going on. To say they created the bubbles so they could get the highest profits possible is too dry. If someone says that but adds what it means in everyday lives then people would pay attention.

Just one example is the housing bubble which translates into a real domino effect in real life. From super-inflated prices to impossible to pay mortgages which result in foreclosures and homelessness. That's the power of Goldman Sachs. In their cavalier manipulation of the markets they affect real people in real and very painful ways. Even though the first victims are people who couldn't afford to buy houses, the prices of houses take a nosedive and contractors and the companies they purchase their equipment and materials from in order to build or maintain properties go out of business which in turn causes more homelessness and more pain. The domino effect is on. The more people become unemployed the more companies who depend on consumers to buy their products will close which creates more unemployment.

Meanwhile Goldman Sachs profits hugely. The more we hurt the richer they get. If the housing market isn't making them money anymore they move on to artificially inflating the price of gas. We hear the oil companies make their largest profits ever while in real life people are literally losing their jobs and literally dying for lack of health care which is just beyond their reach. There isn't a shortage of health care availability. There's plenty for everyone except that the insurance companies must make a profit first. If people's illnesses cut into that profit then they are refused service. They die. So when anyone writes all that abstract stuff using economist lingo few people understand what is being said, much less that it is something that affects their lives in a very personal and up close way. People die when Goldman Sachs makes a profit. People in everyday life and people in wars.
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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. Excellent point, eloquently made
I'm bookmarking it. And I wish the truth were not so tragic.

What you've said in 3 paragraphs is that the most powerful entity in our country, which in effect is in control of our country, is a gigantic predator whose target is the American people. It is set in motion to destroy people (economically first, but eventually in totality) through one major industry at a time.

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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. Thank you.
People dying for lack of health care in this country is like someone starving to death in a grocery store. The food is all there but it's just out of reach because the store owner won't let you have it because you don't pay him a premium every month. And you can't pay for the food because it's too expensive because the store owner must make a huge profit first.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #28
43. "People die when Goldman Sachs makes a profit." thank you.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
30. !

NOW we have Your Childrens Money too !!!
And there is not a fucking thing you can do about it!
Now THIS is Bi-Partisanship !
Better get used to it!!
Hahahahahahahahaha!

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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
32. In our corporate run world there is not a hell of a lot we can do to stop
them BUT there is hope for the future. When global warming and oil peak hit they will be as much in the path as we are. That is the only good thing about those two disasters.
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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #32
41. they will level the playing field, won't they?
noone will be immune to the devastation.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #32
44. no, they won't be.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #44
49. There are some things money cannot buy. Or at least that is what
I am hoping.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. false hope. money ruled the scene in the middle ages when the city-states of italy controlled
Edited on Fri Jul-03-09 02:48 PM by Hannah Bell
world trade & coinage - no oil necessary.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. That is true but these asses have built their empires on oil dependent
theories. There will always be someone who rules because they are the biggest or the richest - I just don't think it will be the ones who are doing it now - who worked so hard to destroy all we had.
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
36. Taibbi writes this, and yet
Edited on Fri Jul-03-09 11:42 AM by librechik
he says it's crazy to think there might be something fishy about the official WTC/9/11 story!

And WTC was the corporate headquarters of Goldman Sachs!

Step back Matt, and get some perspective.

As you yourself now say, their tentacles are everywhere.

We need a new 9/11 investigation to rule out certain things--especially now that we do know
a large percentage of the "evidence" they considered was obtained through torture, and those
folks have now recanted.

Journalist Matt also believes it's nuts to think there was corruption involved in the 2004
Ohio election. I wish he would actually investigate, as he seems to have done for this story,
instead of being a tool for the debunkers.
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troubledamerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #36
80. Oh no you DI'HINT
Uh-oh. You went there.

Some very interesting questions you have there.
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dorkulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #36
94. Maybe he's just more of a discriminating intellect than you are.
If Matt had found any of the truther "evidence" convincing, he would not have shied away from that.
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troubledamerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #94
108. With that screenname, is your comment satire?
One good ad hominem comment deserves another?
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
38. recommend
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tiny elvis Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
39. You'd think it was a crime to be rich
Not one violation of the law was reported therein. If you don't like G-S, you are free to make more money than them. Then you can make it legal for anyone to punch Henry Paulson in the head.
What is Taibbi's complaint? Selfishness causes suffering? Thanks, Taibbi Lama.
converting the useful, deployed wealth of society into the least useful, most wasteful and insoluble substance on Earth - pure profit for rich individuals.

Is he renouncing capitalism? I think not. So what is his complaint? Is it that the game is not fair? If the game is not fair, then one refuses to participate, and we are back to renouncing capitalism.
Is Taibbi saying anything at all, except that G-S are not good people?
in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy

This is how a dissatisfied capitalist thinks. "Organized greed" is some abstract poetic bs that avoids the philosophy of inherent class conflict over wealth. It is the same with "disorganized democracy". The gov is organized, so that's a yoofumism for the common class.(sic)
What I mean is that Taibbi is a confirmed conformist capitalist, a[]square, but a whiny one. He is making the usual liberal complaint within the bounds of good Americanism. His sentiments are sweet and without wax, but supportive of corporate governance in their foundations. The game is conceded before he's begun.
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morgan2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. when a company is dictating the rules and the exceptions to the rules
capitalism doesn't work. Large concentrations of wealth can manipulate markets. One can't go out and make more than Goldman Sachs, because they don't have access to the capital they have.
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tiny elvis Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #40
45. when a company is dictating the rules and the exceptions to the rules
that is capitalism at work. That is its goal. What do you think is the goal of the capitalists who make up capitalism?
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #45
50. That's just horseshit. nt.
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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #50
59. +1
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #45
68. Try reading "The Wealth of Nations" instead of simply parroting what you've been told.
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tiny elvis Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #68
83. be practical
Control of anything through money is an important function of capitalism. Things that restrict that function are not capitalistic.
"Read this book." What can that mean? Anything, so I will take it to mean that what I said is true in practice, but not in theory.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #83
85. Read this book, that created the entire system you are basing your opinion on,
means this; You have no idea what you are talking about and are simply repeating what you've been told or heard by or from someone else that has no idea what they're talking about but is parroting what they've been told or heard...

Reading is what one does when one wishes to learn. Adam Smith created a brilliant system, but it's precepts have been ignored. Any system built on a faulty foundation will inevitably collapse, and that is what we have done here in the US. We've ignored, or purposely neglected, the foundations of capitalism and the parasites profit from it's repeated collapses, in fact they modified it so that those collapses happen more frequently and more severely.

It's like the self-proclaimed Christians that have never read the Bible, there is declaration with no understanding.


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tiny elvis Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #85
86. I was right
You are saying that my comment is true in practice, but not in theory.
It is like Christianity. Christianity is only what Christians do, especially if they don't read.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #86
87. No you're not right, you don't know what you're talking about. Oligarchical rule
has nothing to do with capitalism, in fact capitalism is a system to rid humanity of an oligarchy.

You said, and I quote, "when a company is dictating the rules and the exceptions to the rules(,) that is capitalism at work."

That is 180 degrees away from capitalism, thus my suggestion that you learn what capitalism is...


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tiny elvis Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #87
90. that's pretty vague
and platitudinous. More of "The bad results don't count." I understand that Adam Smith was against stealing and killing.
Capitalism is not just a theory. It has never come close to accomplishing your stated mission. What capitalists do is its vector. It creates oligarchies with greater efficiency than its predecessors, and cannot fail to do so.
hitting the hay
please try to avoid calling others stupid
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #90
107. I didn't call you stupid, if I thought that I wouldn't bother talking to you.
Edited on Sat Jul-04-09 03:33 PM by Greyhound
I'm merely encouraging you to learn about something which you have not yet learned, but will effect every aspect of your life for as long as you live in this country.

Ignorance of finance and the economy is epidemic in the US and that's how the parasites have been robbing us for over a century.

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." - Henry Ford


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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. So you're saying we're on the right track as things are now?
Edited on Fri Jul-03-09 01:42 PM by checks-n-balances
Taibbi is pointing out how it's being abused and how it is trampling democracy. Just because congress has been on a downward slide enacting legislation against deregulation and making things "legal" doesn't mean it is right or better. For centuries this country has had laws against usury by the banking industry; now, deregulation of that industry has made it legal but clearly detrimental to our economy and, eventually, destructive to the middle class (not to mention lower income people).

Congress did away with market regulation at the turn of the 20th century. Now we're back to the Robber Baron age in the 19th century with laissez-faire ("free market") capitalism when the chasm between the rich and poor was Dickensian. It will NOT get better if it continues this way. The game is rigged in favor of the top .02% who get all the tax breaks, hold the purse strings and own the government.

These rightwingers complaining about how the government owns the markets couldn't be further from the truth. Corporations (i.e. Goldman Sachs) own the government and, charitably put, that's Corporatism.

Democracy and Corporatism are at war, and Corporatism is winning. In a nutshell, that's what Taibbi is pointing out.

BTW, yoofumism=euphemism
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tiny elvis Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. nope
yoofumism is a iughamism for euphemism
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #39
48. Too bad people like you are so confused about capitalism...

Placing Henry Paulson into power so that he can bail out the banks that he favors is the result of capitalism?? Some of us view this as welfare for the rich, or the collusion of state and corporation, in other words: corporatism. Left to its own, this type of government could evolve into a fascist state, what was once called a "Third Way" alternative to both failed capitalism and communism, when it was sold to Nazi Germany.
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tiny elvis Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #48
54. I was confused
Now I see that capitalism is good. If something is bad, it is not capitalism. It is badism, which is defined as being not capitalism.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #54
58. Black and white....

it is not. Unregulated capitalism certainly is BAD, but when it leads to monopolized banking where the politicians can be bought and paid for, then it has evolved into something else. When there is no longer any competition, capitalism ceases to exist.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #54
70. Don't blow your wad yet
You've almost made 100!
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #70
88. LOL!
Literally, and now the dogs are barking and waking up the house.
:rofl:


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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #39
62. No one worth billions ever earned it themselves...someone else earned it for them
Interesting how you defend that sort of system.
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gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
47. Just wow. May justice prevail over these parasites.
Goldman-Sachs is like a breeding ground for all biological entities that would eat their host until the host dies, without realizing they will kill themselves off - unless they jump to another host. I imagine this is a problem throughout the universe. What is the cure? Obviously we are infected to a terrible degree.

Their long-term success sure is an argument against the existence of a benevolent God who's looking out for the best interests of creation.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
56. Thank you very much for the link to the full article. K&R for this worthwhile read
Outstanding article. I will insist my son read it at his first opportunity. That's about the highest compliment I can give.
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troubledamerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
57. 100% Conspiracy Theory
I 100% agree with the article, but there's no denying that Taibbi is accusing GS of conspiracy.

Where are the DU Coincidence Theorists? Why aren't they attacking Taibbi?

Why don't people understand that if you don't believe in conspiracy, then you don't believe in history?
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. There are people attacking Taibbi on this thread. (n/t)
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #57
95. I'm not convinced
There isn't enough evidence that Goldman was a large enough player to be the cause of some of the economic disasters. He doesn't list how much Goldman spent buying oil futures, for example.

Taibbi does show that Goldman has been cheating people for a long time. I don't think they were the only ones though.

The whole article needs more evidence.
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
63. Goldman Sachs bubble is about to be burst by a thoughtful prick.
I hope Obama is that prick.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #63
64. that's why he stacked his admin with goldmanites. cause he plans to destroy them.
lol
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
69. Let's not forget Warren Buffett's involvement:
Warren Buffett's Goldman Sachs Warrants Rebound From Deep Losses

Warren Buffett's warrants to buy over 43 million shares of Goldman Sachs at $115 each are almost back "in the money."

MarketWatch's Alistair Barr reminds us that Goldman's rally in recent months has greatly increased the potential value of those warrants.

They were essentially thrown into the deal as a sweetener when Berkshire Hathaway bought $5 billion worth of preferred stock from the firm at the height of the credit crisis last fall.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/29860039/


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shireen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
71. comparing them to vampire squids is to insult all vampire squids.

goldman-sachs deserves to be an adjective in itself, to describe something that is the epitome of a sleazy, manipulative, greedy, lawless organization that's devoid of all human decency.
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Beavker Donating Member (784 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
77. I'm not a Wall Street broker, but I've worked close enough
to this industry for long enough to realize that Wall Street (and sometimes just nobodies that can hack someones system) can and do manipulate the market. The same market that dictates you and your loved ones financial well being. These handful of players with all the chips call all the shots. It's not completely unlike our inept Congress Men and Women that vote based on their own interests instead of yours, but I can't vote a greedy Wall Street CEO out of his job. I can vote out a Senator. My stock (ownership) is the same as Warren Buffets in that regard. 1 vote per person.

That's why I feel it's a shame that this kind of stuff doesn't get a closer look. Why? Because that is where peoples' money comes from in this country and those with the money are the ones that hold the cards. The average citizen (I think of my Mom or Dad) that know little to nothing about the stock market, do not have the knowledge of how it works nor the time to care, outside hoping that their recent 401K statement is higher than the last. They are making money or not. That's it.

I heard CNBC themselves say the Market finally responded correctly to bad news on the jobs data. It went down. So many times, no one, even the traders that I work with can explain why "the Market" (rich people or the managers of their pooled assets) decided to buy or sell today on what data.

I'd just love to see more reporting and media coverage from the Left a bit. It's all about Health care, Torture, DADT, etc. All very important I agree. But where it seems we Democrats/Left Wingers/Progressives/Liberals are lagging is in the economic debate. That is inherently GOP territory via CNBC, Fox Financial, even MSNBC in the morning hours during the open Market. Obama could rectify all the aforementioned things. They might even help in the financial debate, but if the economy doesn't get rolling, and Corporate America start getting on the Obama Bus a little more, he's toast.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #77
106. "lagging is in the economic debate" - i've noticed the same.
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Autonomy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
78. Any of us,
including Matt Taibbi, could be bought with a small fraction of the money those guys are making.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
81. Recommend. I'm sending this article to everyone I know, including my right-wing family.
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thread-bear Donating Member (58 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
82. Does anyone know who G.S. investors are?
Who are the people that benefit from G.S.'s profit,are they a small group,are they Americans? I'm not asking about the top people mentioned in the article. My energy bill has been raised dramatically in the last two years. The sky is the limit if these people control our energy prices. As I type this,I'm watching a tv program telling us we're all doomed if we don't allow it to happen. We need an independent prosecutor and an independent press.
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BobTheSubgenius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-03-09 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
84. Whatever else Matt Taibbi may (or may not) be, he is often HUGELY entertaining.
Witness (no pun intended) this excerpt from a book he wrote on his "infiltration" of one of those mega-churches. This part is about the long weekend retreat he attended.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/20278737/jesus_made_me_puke/print

I swear - you will never look see a clown the same way again.
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ContinentalOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
89. OK, so how do I get in on this cap & trade scam?
Looks like there's no way to stop them. May as well try to profit off of it.
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SOS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #89
105. Here's a place to start
http://www.ghgworks.com/3b10-offsetsales.html

It's a Goldman operation, ready to rip off another trillion of our money.
My first thought was "How do I buy these VERs?"

Since cap and trade is rigged scam, we might as well buy in now.
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LostInAnomie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 03:16 AM
Response to Original message
91. I knew cap & trade had to be a scam.
Edited on Sat Jul-04-09 03:17 AM by LostInAnomie
It was always too idiotically complex of a plan to work honestly.

This whole article makes you sick. This whole country worships these vampires and monsters like them because they are "the smartest guys in the room" that have the magic touch. In truth, they only have access to politicians that help them develop creative ways to rob us. It's disgusting how many people equate these leeches' well being with our country's.
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voteearlyvoteoften Donating Member (548 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 06:08 AM
Response to Original message
92. Taibbi uses his slingshot against a giant
Taibbi sees the big picture and is an orignal thinker. We need more like him. The entire bailout scheme smacked of piracy in the 21st century. Keep it up Matt I have immense respect for you and just renewed my Rolling Stone subscription for your work.
Happy independance day everybody!
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
93. Wow! Tremendous article. Thanks for posting.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
96. BUBBLE #4: $4 a gallon (part 1)
BUBBLE #4: $4 a gallon


Taibbi:


By the beginning of 2008, the financial world was in turmoil. Wall Street had spent the past two and a half decades producing one scandal after another, which didn't leave much to sell that wasn't tainted. The terms junk bond, IPO, subprime mortgage and other once-hot financial fare were now firmly associated in the public's mind with scams; the terms credit swaps and CDOs were about to join them. The credit markets were in crisis, and the mantra that had sustained the fantasy economy throughout the Bush years - the notion that housing prices never go down - was now a fully exploded myth, leaving the Street clamoring for a new bullshit paradigm to sling.

Where to go? With the public reluctant to put money in anything that felt like a paper investment, the Street quietly moved the casino to the physical-commodities market - stuff you could touch: corn, coffee, cocoa, wheat and, above all, energy commodities, especially oil. In conjunction with a decline in the dollar, the credit crunch and the housing crash caused a "flight to commodities." Oil futures in particular skyrocketed, as the price of a single barrel went from around $60 in the middle of 2007 to a high of $147 in the summer of 2008.

That summer, as the presidential campaign heated up, the accepted explanation for why gasoline had hit $4.11 a gallon was that there was a problem with the world oil supply. In a classic example of how Republicans and Democrats respond to rises by engaging in fierce exchanges of moronic irrelevancies, John McCain insisted that ending the moratorium on offshore drilling would be "very helpful in the short term," while Barack Obama in typical liberal-arts yuppie style argued that federal investment in hybrid cars was the way out.

But it was all a lie. While the global supply of oil will eventually dry up. the short-term flow has actually been increasing. In the six months before prices spiked, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the world oil supply rose from 85.24 million barrels a day to 85.72 million. Over the same period, world oil demand dropped from 86.82 million barrels a day to 86.07 million. Not only was the short-term supply of oil rising, the demand tor it was falling - which, in classic economic terms, should have brought prices at the pump down.

So what caused the huge spike in oil prices? Take a wild guess. Obviously Goldman had help - there were other players in the physical-commodities market - but the root cause had almost everything to do with the behavior of a few powerful actors determined to turn the once-solid market into a speculative casino. Goldman did it by persuading pension funds and other large institutional investors to invest in oil futures - agreeing to buy oil at a certain price on a fixed date. The push transformed oil from a physical commodity, rigidly subject to supply and demand, into something to bet on, like a stock. Between 2003 and 2008, the amount of speculative money in commodities grew from $13 billion to $317 billion, an increase of 2,300 pcrcent. By 2008, a barrel of oil was traded 27 times, on average, before it was actually delivered and consumed.

As is so often the case, there had been a Depression-era law in place designed specifically to prevent this sort of thing.

.....



(cont'd)

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #96
97. BUBBLE #4: $4 a gallon (part 2)
BUBBLE #4: $4 a gallon



Taibbi:


.....

As is so often the case, there had been a Depression-era law in place designed specifically to prevent this sort of thing. The commodities market was designed in large part to help farmers: A grower concerned about future price drops could enter into a contract to sell his corn at a certain price for delivery later on, which made him worry less about building up stores of his crop. When no one was buying corn, the farmer could sell to a middleman known as a "traditional speculator," who would store the grain and sell it later, when demand returned. That way, someone was always there to buy from the farmer, even when the market temporarily had no need for his crops.

In 1936, however, Congress recognized that there should never be more speculators in the market than real producers and consumers. If that happened, prices would be affected by something other than supply and demand, and price manipulations would ensue. A new law empowered the Commodity Futures Trading commission - the very same body that would later try and fail to regulate credit swaps - to place limits on speculative trades in commodities. As a result of the CITC's oversight, peace and harmony reigned in the commodities markets for more than 50 years.

All that changed in 1991 when, unbeknownst to almost everyone in the world, a Goldman-owned commodities-trading subsidiary called J. Aron wrote to the CFTC and made an unusual argument. Farmers with big stores of corn, Goldman argued, weren't the only ones who needed to hedge their risk against future price drops - Wall Street dealers who made big bets on oil prices also needed to hedge their risk, because, well, they stood to lose a lot too.

This was complete and utter crap - the 1936 law, remember, was specifically designed to maintain distinctions between people who were buying and selling real tangible stuff and people who were trading in paper alone. But the CFTC, amazingly, bought Goldman's argument. It issued the bank a free pass, called the "Bona Fide Hedging" exemption, allowing Goldman's subsidiary to call itself a physical hedger and escape virtually all limits placed on speculators. In the years that followed, the commission would quietly issue 14 similar exemptions to other companies.

Now Goldman and other banks were free to drive more investors into the commodities markets, enabling speculators to place increasingly big bets. That 1991 letter from Goldman more or less directly led to the oil bubble in 2008, when the number of speculators in the market - driven there by fear of the falling dollar and the housing crash - finally overwhelmed the real physical suppliers and consumers. By 2008, at least three quarters of the activity on the commodity exchanges was speculative, according to a congressional staffer who studied the numbers - and that's likely a conservative estimate. By the middle of last summer, despite rising supply and a drop in demand, we were paying $4 a gallon every time we pulled up to the pump.

.....



(cont'd)


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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #97
98. BUBBLE #4: $4 a gallon (part 3)
BUBBLE #4: $4 a gallon


Taibbi:


.....

What is even more amazing is that the letter to Goldman, along with most of the other trading exemptions, was handed out more or less in secret. "I was the head of the division of trading and markets, and Brooksley Born was the chair of the CFTC," says Greenberger, "and neither of us knew this letter was out there." In fact, the letters only came to light by accident. Last year, a staffer for the House Energy and Commerce Committee just happened to be at a briefing when officials from the CFTC made an offhand reference to the exemptions.

"I had been invited to a briefing the commission was holding on energy," the staffer recounts. "And suddenly in the middle of it, they start saying, "Yeah, we've been issuing these letters for years now." I raised my hand and said, 'Really? You issued a letter? Can I see it?' And they were like, 'Duh, duh.' So we went back and forth, and finally they said, 'We have to clear it with Goldman Sachs.' I'm like, 'What do you mean, you have to clear it with Goldman Sachs?'"

The CFTC cited a rule that prohibited it from releasing any information about a company's current position in the market. But the staffer's request was about a letter that had been issued 17 years earlier. It no longer had anything to do with Goldman's current position. What's more, Section 7 of the 1936 commodities law gives Congress the right to any information it wants from the commission. Still, in a classic example of how complete Goldman's capture of government is, the CFTC waited until it got clearance from the bank before it turned the letter over.

Armed with the semisecret government exemption, Goldman had become the chief designer of a giant commodities betting parlor. Its Goldman Sachs Commodities Index - which tracks the prices of 24 major commodities but is overwhelmingly weighted toward oil - became the place where pension funds and insurance companies and other institutional investors could make massive long-term bets on commodity prices. Which was all well and good, except for a couple of things. One was that index speculators are mostly "long only" bettors, who seldom if ever take short positions - meaning they only bet on prices to rise. While this kind of behavior is good for a stock market, it's terrible for commodities, because it continually forces prices upward. "If index speculators took short positions as well as long ones, you'd see them pushing prices both up and down," says Michael Masters, a hedge-fund manager who has helped expose the role of investment banks in the manipulation of oil prices. "But they only push prices in one direction: up."

Complicating matters even further was the fact that Goldman itself was cheerleading with all its might for an increase in oil prices. In the beginning of 2008, Arjun Murti, a Goldman analyst, hailed as an "oracle of oil" by The New York Times, predicted a "super spike" in oil prices, forecasting a rise to $200 a barrel. At the time Goldman was heavily invested in oil through its commodities-trading subsidiary, J. Aron; it also owned a stake in a major oil refinery in Kansas, where it warehoused the crude it bought and sold. Even though the supply of oil was keeping pace with demand, Murti continually warned of disruptions to the world oil supply, going so far as to broadcast the fact that be owned two hybrid cars. High prices, the bank insisted, were somehow the fault of the piggish American consumer; in 2005, Goldman analysts insisted that we wouldn't know when oil prices would fall until we knew "when American consumers will stop buying gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and instead seek fuel-efficient alternatives."

.....




(cont'd)

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #98
99. BUBBLE #4: $4 a gallon (part 4)
BUBBLE #4: $4 a gallon


Taibbi:



.....

But it wasn't the consumption of real oil that was driving up prices - it was the trade in paper oil. By the summer of 2008, in fact, commodities speculators had bought and stockpiled enough oil futures to fill 1.1 billion barrels of crude, w(h)ich meant that speculators owned more future oil on paper than there was real, physical oil stored in all of the country's commercial storage tanks and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve combined. It was a repeat of both the Internet craze and the housing bubble, when Wall Street jacked up present-day profits by selling suckers shares of a fictional fantasy future of endlessly rising prices.

In what was by now a painfully familiar pattern, the oil-commodities melon hit the pavement hard in the summer of 2008, causing a massive loss of wealth; crude prices plunged from $147 to $33. Once again the big losers were ordinary people. The pensioners whose funds invested in this crap got massacred: CalPERS, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, had $1.1 billion in commodities when the crash came. And the damage didn't just come from oil. Soaring food prices driven by the commodities bubble led to catastrophes across the planet, forcing an estimated 100 million people into hunger and sparking food riots throughout the Third World.

Now oil prices are rising again: They shot up 20 percent in the month of May and have nearly doubled so far this year. Once again, the problem is not supply or demand. "The highest supply of oil in the last 20 years is now," says Rep. Bart Stupak, a Democrat from Michigan who serves on the House energy committee. "Demand is at a 10-year low. And yet prices are up."

Asked why politicians continue to harp on things like drilling or hybrid cars, when supply and demand have nothing to do with the high prices, Stupak shakes his head. "I think they just don't understand the problem very well," he says. "You can't explain it in 30 seconds, so politicians ignore it."




It all makes sense now.



Break up Goldman Sachs into confetti. Reimpose strict financial sector regulations that were wantonly destroyed by a wealthy, but greedy few. Bring on the indictments. Vote out corrupt politicians, if the courts don't reach them first.













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voteearlyvoteoften Donating Member (548 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #99
100. pay attention
somebody should
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
101. Do not underestimate Morgan. They have been ruining the economy for more than a century.
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
102. Kicking!
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ldf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
103. yeah, mr. president
Edited on Sat Jul-04-09 12:43 PM by ldf
read this.

send these people to jail, even if it means part of your administration.

(yeah, like THAT is going to happen.)

our constitution may be shredded, and in tatters.

our economy is in the toilet, while all the money ends up in the pockets of the rich.

and homos are still homos. no change there. so what if we are kicking some of the brightest and most needed out of our military. we can STILL donate to you!!! be patient. dry powder, picked battles, and all that.

but we may, just MAY, get a public option for health care that is, still, funneled through the insurance industry. (channeling candice, "How Divine!")

let's counting our blessings...

uh.. zero.

:grr:

edit, to make sense?

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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
104. Another kick!
Thanks for posting this, Seafan. Great stuff.

:kick:
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gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
110. Kick - this is too damn important
There are people and corporations that must go down if we are to survive. Goldman Sachs is one such case.
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-05-09 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
111. Kick. This is a must read.
Nothing like the truth to bring out the trolls. Seems to me it would be a simple task to verify Taibbi's story by finding out if these financial elite worked at Goldman or not? Paulson, Summers, Rubin, et al
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