Thursday, August 9, 2012

Probe of Goldman financial crisis? Gone thanks to the Justice Department

The U.S. Justice Department said it will not pursue criminal charges against Goldman Sachs Group Inc or its employees related to accusations that the firm bet against the same subprime mortgage securities it was selling to clients.

"The decision not to prosecute Goldman, a firm held up by critics as a symbol of Wall Street greed during the 2007-2009 financial crisis, highlights the difficulty in prosecuting crisis-related cases.

Few expected the bank to face criminal charges, but in April 2011, U.S. Senator Carl Levin asked for a criminal investigation after the subcommittee he leads spent more than a year looking into Goldman.

The accusations were aired in a heated 2010 Congressional hearing in which Levin grilled Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein for hours about whether it was morally correct for the firm to sell its clients products described internally as crap."
Ethics, morals and human dignity are all secondary to the profit margin these days, or so it seems. Bankrupt bankers have to be bailed out even though we can all see that they and other business leaders are unable to make progress towards solving the economic crisis.

No wonder then that our governments are completely incapable of facilitating conditions for the stability and improvement of people – because all social, political, educational and communal values exist solely to serve economic growth, which simply means growth in money supply, in GDP and in consumption.

As long as we are wedded to this financial archetype and its money model, the strong will exploit the weak, and our social and environmental fabric (and morals) will continue to fall apart.

The current economic crisis gives us an opportunity to look deeper and examine the consequences of confusing the means with the ends. Money has a place, of course, but we must keep it in its place and not allow it to dominate our lives in such a manner that we lose ourselves and become its slaves. Money was made to serve people, not the other way around.

Unfortunately, we have allowed money to become the master and prevail over all other moral, ethical and ecological values.

FBI Busts Phillip D. Murphy for Defrauding Investors

 Straight off the FBI presses, Philip D Murphy allegedly participated in a complex fraud scheme.

"A former financial services executive was indicted yesterday for his participation in a far-reaching conspiracy and scheme to defraud related to bidding for contracts for the investment of municipal bond proceeds and other municipal finance contracts, the Department of Justice announced.

The three-count indictment was filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Charlotte, North Carolina. The indictment charges Phillip D. Murphy, a former executive for a financial institution, with participating in a wire fraud scheme and separate fraud conspiracies from as early as 1998 until 2006."

In only a few minutes, an unscrupulous con artist or fast talking 'financial advisor' can swindle an unsuspecting consumer out of a nest egg that took a lifetime to build. Unlike muggers and thieves, investment fraud artists don't take your money against your will; they persuade you to hand it over willingly.
Here's how one convicted con man describes the way he targeted senior citizens:

"...The key is to become friends with the victim first. I always talked to someone several times before ever asking for a sale. I asked them about their life, listened to their stories, kept them company, flattered them. 'Edie, you couldn't possibly be 75 years young. Why my wife is only 35 and you sound just like she does over the phone!' Once they were my friends and trusted me, I could sell them until they ran out of money..."

You don't have to be wealthy to capture the eye of a con artist. Many of their prime targets are older consumers with little or no experience investing money.

Suspicious Sales Pitches

Beware of any promoter whose investment presentation:
  • Preys on fear. Con artists know senior citizens often worry about out living their savings or experiencing a catastrophic event that could wipe out savings. They may say the investment is a way to build up so much savings you won't have to worry.
  • Involves the latest trend. Be skeptical of promises of instant profits, as in pyramid schemes, where you must enlist others. Other recent frauds involve investments in wireless cable or telecommunications licenses or stations, so-called 'prime bank instruments,' precious metals and mines, international deals, and gas and oil drilling ventures.
  • Pushes you to invest money in a plan you don't understand.
  • Offers testimonials you have no way to check out.