Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Goldman Sachs CEO - He is, he says, just a banker "doing God’s work" - Since When Is God's Work Tyranny And Tax?

We are truly living through Orwellian times. All remarks in this article made in support of Goldman Sachs are dubious at best and generally very, very, very misleading. Didn't make bad bets? Didn't need a bailout? Were hedged? You have got to be kidding me. This is ex post facto hubris and lies. An attempt to reframe public opinion based on propaganda and bulloney. To rationalize legalized theft.

And the remarks in the article by the NYT's journalist Andrew Sorkin are incredibly ignorant and representative of the systemic failures of American journalism. Sorkin remarks that people want to see the Wall Street banks fail again. Get real. People want a society with a rule of law. And that means people are held accountable for corruption, destruction of our economy and to receive compensation based on merit. That would be virtuous merit not mafioso merit. Especially when the taxpayers are backstopping Goldman Sachs and Wall Street to the tune of 12+ trillion dollars while American citizens' lives are literally collapsing. People want banks and financial institutions which serve society, not prey on society. Goldman Sachs would simply not exist today were it not for American taxpayers. And for this firm to be paying its employees record compensation when they are still being supported by trillions of dollars of our money is part of the most heinous crime ever perpetrated on the American people. Period.

I want to repeat something we have said countless times. A point that apparently is missed by a very large majority of the populous including Goldman's CEO. Goldman Sachs is a consumer of capital. It creates no capital for society or the economy. Its businesses - investment banking, mergers & acquisitions and trading & trading services to financial firms - create no new capital. This isn't an opinion. It is a fact that anyone who understands the concept of capital clearly comprehend. Frankly, I could write a financial text book on how all of the businesses Goldman participates in literally destroyed the American economy over the last few decades. Literally. To a depth that would astonish the vast majority of people including, apparently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, who apparently supports a very destructive economic model for no other reason than it has served him well.

Goldman Sachs and Wall Street banks consume society's wealth. They are a tax. And while Wall Street serves what has become a marginal purpose of marrying investors with creators of capital while collecting a tax for doing so, as we have highlighted numerous times over the last few years, Wall Street as an institution is an extremely inefficient undemocratic dinosaur. One that employs methods of monopoly rather than the democratic marriage of investors and creators of capital. One that benefits the very few for no reason of merit but instead simply of monopoly. They are no different than the hoodlums who have gained control of the world's oil resources or cocaine resources and use power and corruption to control these resources. And, I am not exaggerating in that statement. As we have remarked before, a much more efficient model is a distributed capital market which more democratically allocates capital at the point of demand. And often without the intermediary taxes Wall Street levies upon society.

In other words, Goldman's CEO would likely be shining shoes as a career were his company not part of a monopolistic Wall Street gatekeeper created and endorsed by Washington politicians. The system has become systemically fraudulent and truly serves no meaningful purpose.

Wall Street's profit bubble is indicative of the extent of tyranny and tax it is imposing on society. Somehow I have a hard time marrying tyranny and tax with "doing God's work". More "free market" neoliberal bullshit. Maybe Goldman's CEO could enlighten us with his remarks in a forum where informed citizens are able to provide a counterweight to his bully pulpit statements of feigning reality.

Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.

Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.

Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.

Wall Street's con game continues. Karma is a bitch.
posted by TimingLogic at 5:32 AM