"Savvy Businessmen" At Work: The Goldman Fleece

Credit "Goldman Fleece" to Mark Kleiman. See also Robert Stein on "The Ponzifying of America."

Simon Johnson writes:

Goldman Sachs has not only helped or encouraged some European governments to hide a large part of their debts, but it also endeavored to do so for Greece as recently as last November. These actions are fundamentally destabilizing to the global financial system, as they undermine: the eurozone area; all attempts to bring greater transparency to government accounting; and the most basic principles that underlie well-functioning markets. When the data are all lies, the outcomes are all bad – see the subprime mortgage crisis for further detail.

[MORE . . .]

A single rogue trader can bring down a bank – remember the case of Barings. But a single rogue bank can bring down the world’s financial system.

Goldman will dismiss this as “business as usual” and, to be sure, a few phone calls around Washington will help ensure that Goldman’s primary supervisor – now the Fed – looks the other way.

But the affair is now out of Ben Bernanke’s hands, and quite far from people who are easily swayed by the White House. It goes immediately to the European Commission, which has jurisdiction over eurozone budget issues.

Faced with enormous pressure from those eurozone countries now on the hook for saving Greece, the Commission will surely launch a special audit of Goldman and all its European clients.

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    I guess once again I will hope (none / 0) (#1)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 10:10:06 AM EST
    authorities in other countries will be able to stop the criminal behavior of authorities (gov and corp) in this country. Maybe someone will get after Cheney too.

    I knew it was up to the rest of the world during the Bush administration, but I was hoping with the new administration we would be cleaning our own house. But apparently not.

    I don't really see how that $1billion in hidden (none / 0) (#2)
    by jpe on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 01:38:30 PM EST
    debt is more destabilizing than the other $399 billion of debt.

    I guess it's magical debt.

    Is that an American Billion (none / 0) (#3)
    by ricosuave on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:26:05 PM EST
    or a non-American billion?  Different number of zeros.  But I can't imagine Greece has racked up what we would call a trillion.  Have they?