Tag Archives: Finance

Goldman Sachs and the politics of financial reform

Last night, I couldn’t fall asleep so I ended up mulling over the fraud case against Goldman Sachs (GS) for about 3 hours. Here’s my (totally uneducated) take:

Bottom line, this case against GS is not a gamble by the government. The administration wants financial reform much more than they want to “get” GS, but because midterm elections are around the corner and Democrats are already expected to lose a fair number of Congressional seats, the administration really can’t afford to have Republicans running around telling people that financial reform is Maoism in disguise (or in the best interest of the banks…with the Republicans still auditioning opposition strategies, it’s like amateur hour on the Hill). So. What is to be done? How do you pass real financial reform in this political climate without more than a mock brawl? Apparently if you’re particularly savvy, you bring a charge against the most loathed bank on Wall Street based on a disclosure issue that may not actually be technically illegal, but that very clearly sounds like something that should be. The ambiguity of the law is the SEC/administration’s ace in the hole. Either GS settles or loses and financial reform happens because the issue is very clearly illustrated for the public by one great example, or GS wins and financial reform happens because the entire country is incensed that whatever GS did isn’t illegal. Either way, financial reform passes.

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Official Cramer-Stewart Interview, Pt. 3

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Official Cramer-Stewart Interview, Pt. 2

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Official Cramer-Stewart Interview, Pt. 1

Watch Jon Stewart take Jim Cramer down like a skilled big-game hunter. Can we consider Cramer big-game? Is there a minimum size requirement?

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Bernie Madoff Grinds My Gears

According to a Rasmussen poll out today, when asked whether or not Bernie Madoff or his wife should be allowed to keep any of their money stolen in the $64.8 billion Ponzi scheme, 81% of respondents answered no.

81%. Definitely a majority.

But what about the other 19% of schmucks who either responded yes, the Madoffs should be able to keep some of their money, or that they aren’t really sure? Who are these people? Are they also running Ponzi schemes? Who looks at what Madoff did and says “eh, could have been worse. Let him keep some for his effort?”

Let’s pretend that Bernie Madoff’s crime wasn’t stealing enormous amounts of money from trusting investors, but rather staffing his household with illegal “indentured servants” from somewhere in Southeast Asia (I’m keeping this high-class). Asking whether or not he can keep some of the money he stole is sort of like asking the INS to let him keep a couple of his, let’s be honest, slaves because they do a particularly ¬†good job on the floors and it’s just so hard to find adequate help these days. Would anybody be running polls on this, let alone considering the request with even the remotest amount of seriousness? Of course not!¬†

Bernie Madoff cheated a huge number of people out of an exorbitant amount of money. Simply because his crimes allow him to dress and live well, doesn’t make him a VIP member of society. So no, Bernie Madoff should keep absolutely nothing. And as for his wife being allowed to hold on to $70 million to live on while Bernie is in prison? ARE THEY NUTS? This woman needs $70 million dollars to survive on? Does she eat diamonds?

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