Friday, November 13, 2009

The Gospel According to Mammon, and Craazyman

Naked Capitalism has a great, but technical, story about how Goldman was selling securities to unwary investors, then betting against the securities, and collecting money from both the government (through AIG, when the securities defaulted), and by collecting on the bets that they made against the securities.

How did they make sure the securities defaulted? They sabotaged them. They sold them to investors (pension plans, small towns, whoever), and then willingly sabotaged them.

It's kind of like selling a house to someone, taking out insurance on it, and then setting the house on fire as soon as the sale goes through so you can collect the insurance money. Except that in Goldman's case, they had already collected "insurance" from the taxpayer.

No one ever said these guys weren't smart.

Of course, Lloyd Blankfein, the Goldman CEO, thinks that they are doing God's work. Which would explain, I guess, why their executives demanded and got flu vaccines before the public did.

Craazyman commented on this story, and his comment is not technical, and it made my day:

And Don John entered into his house, which they called a john, and sat upon his pile, which reacheth up as unto a heaven, and called his disciples and said unto them.

“When ye go to the market place let not your communications be Yeah and Nay, as the hypocrites do, for truly they will have no reward for their labors.

But when ye pray, and prepareth ye to greet thy neighbor, entereth into thy closet so that no man seeth, and let thy words be as snakes in the grass, who slink and slither and coil, yeah around themselves as it were, into a knot.

Nor forgive ye men their trespasses against thee, for there be no profit in mercy nor doth pity increaseth thy stature. And deception be not an abomination, nor doth tickery reduceth thy pile, and even as ye confound thy neighbor and be as a briar unto him, ye shall find favor in the lord of hosts and ye shall prosper.”

And the disciples did as they were instructed and their words were as snares and as the tounges of serpents, and their words numbered even as the stars in the heavens, and they bound the multitude into a great vexation, for the multitude was rendered as a man whose pile bloweth away like a house of sand, yeah unto the ends of the earth, as in a storm.

The Gospel According to Mammon, VI, ix – xii

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