Parsing the PR lies of Goldman Sachs

CorporateSpeak is an inane language that conveys seriousness without any sincerity.
Consider this example from Goldman Sachs: “We are pleased to put these legacy matters behind us. Since the financial crisis, we have taken significant steps to strengthen our culture, reinforce our commitment to our clients and ensure our governance processes are robust.” This is Goldman’s rhetorical attempt to cleanse itself of the massive fraud it committed in selling tens of billions of dollars in worthless mortgage investments to its clients, contributing to the crash of our economy in 2008.
For its criminality, the Justice Department has now spanked Goldman Sachs with a stinging $5 billion penalty. But what lesson have the haughty banksters learned? Well, let’s parse that two-sentence Orwellian comment they issued. First, they term their crimes “legacy matters,” which means something from the past, implying that the bad was done by some previous regime. But – hello – the top executives who oversaw and profited from that criminal enterprise are still there, still in charge.
Then, the PR statement refers vaguely to a “crisis,” as though it was not one the bankers caused. Next, they refer to strengthening “our culture,” rather than calling it what it was: A corporate-wide mindset of anything-goes avarice. That culture needs to be eliminated, not strengthened, replacing it with common kindergarten ethics of fair play. Finally, they assert that we should believe that their self-governance processes are now “robust.”
Ha! “Self-governance” is Wall Street’s word for freedom to steal. And if you believe a $5 billion penalty will deter them, note that Goldman and the rest are robustly lobbying Congress to kill regulations that restrain their future criminality. Watch what they do, not what they say.
“Goldman to pay $5B in mortgage settlement,” USA Today, April 12, 2016.

Guess who is the biggest player in offshore bank scams?

The “Panama Papers” reveal a global web of the superrich hiding their wealth and nefarious deals in shell corporations set up by Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm.
Interestingly, though, very few of our country’s moneyed elite have surfaced as players in Mossack Fonseca’s Panamanian shell game. Perhaps US billionaires and corporations are just more honest than those elsewhere.
Ha-ha-ha, just kidding! Not more honest, just luckier. You see, America’s conniving richies don’t have to go to Panama to set up an offshore flim flam – they have the convenience of hiding their money and wrongdoings in secret accounts created right here in states like Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming.
The New York Times notes that it’s easier in some states to form a dummy money corporation than it is to get a fishing license. Indeed, the ease of doing it and the state laws that provide strict secrecy for those hiding money have made the USA a global magnet for international elites wanting to conceal billions of dollars from their own tax collectors, prosecutors… and general public.
State officials in Delaware even travel to Brazil, Israel, Spain, and other nations “to tell the Delaware story,” inviting rich foreign interests to stash their cash in corporate hideaways that the state sets up, no questions asked. Likewise, Nevada flashes a dazzling neon sign inviting the global rich to incorporate their very own shell corporations there, promising – shhhh – “minimal reporting and disclosing requirements.” The money-hiding industry is so hot in Nevada that it has attracted none other than Mossack Fonseca to get in on the action by opening a branch office there!
The law firm is being branded as a criminal enterprise for the superrich. Okay, but it shares that shameful brand with our own state governments.
“Need to Hide Some Income? Forget About Panama. Try Delaware.” The New York Times, April 8, 2016.
“A Global Web of Corruption,” The New York Times, April 6, 2016.
“Airing of Hidden Wealth Stirs Inquiries and Rage,” The New York Times, April 6, 2016.

How Donnie Trump saved America

Is this really happening? Is Donnie Trump really going to be the Republican Party’s nominee? More preposterous, try saying this: President Donnie Trump. Surely not. I was in Washington recently and went to the Lincoln Memorial. Looking up at the magnificent statute of Honest Abe, I swear I saw tears streaming down his face!
Still, whatever you think of The Donald, you’ve got to give the preening yellow-crested peacock credit for one important contribution he has made to America: He saved us from Ted Cruz.
As Molly Ivins wrote during George W. Bush’s terrible tenure: “Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” I’m channeling Molly’s spirit when I tell you that Cruz is seriously dangerous. He’s not merely an autocratic, plutocratic, theocratic extremist, but a conniving, lying, vainglorious egomaniac with dictatorial right-wing ambitions. He’s Joe McCarthy, without the charm or self-restraint.
As a junior tea party senator, Cruz made his mark on Washington by throwing a silly temper tantrum that literally shut down our government. But that doesn’t mean he’s against Big Government. Au Contraire, as we Texans say, Ted wants to head a monstrously-big, violent, and grossly-intrusive government. Again and again, he has revealed a harebrained, shoot-from-the-lip, chicken-hawk eagerness to start wars around the world and use invasive, unconstitutional police power here at home. In response to the Syrian refugee tragedy, for example, he said he not only would ban Syrian Muslims from entering the US, but he’d also have government authorities “patrol and secure” every Muslim neighborhood in America.
Holy Thomas Paine! This un-American extremist shouldn’t be allowed to visit the White House, much less sit in the Oval Office.
“Cruz Bows Out After Ind. Loss,” Austin American Statesman, May 4, 2016.
“Ted Cruz’s Bitter End,” The New York Times, May 3, 2016.
Cruz Splits with Trump over Muslim ban,, December 8, 2015.