We all now know that no executive of a bank will ever be investigated or prosecuted for the accounting control frauds he committed that resulted in the financial crisis of 2008. Human beings have a craving for justice to be rendered to those who commit fraud and especially to those who have become super-rich by poaching the savings and pensions of others. The human mind is fully capable of making up a recipe to remedy that injustice.
Take, for example, the story from Norse mythology about the father who decided to divide his sons’ shares of his inheritance by the amount of gold each son could hold in his mouth (from The Globe and Mail, Saturday, May 11, 2013, p. R12). Gold as a “mouth-tale” is an effective metaphor and suits our fantastical purposes.
We are often told by the world of commerce that we are all “consumers” no matter what we buy even if it is not digestible as food: we consume resources; we consume products; we consume wealth–all very involved with the mouth and its greedy ingestion of “things.”
What better way for the gods to reiterate their rating of Goldman’s value (long-term avoid) than by how much gold Blankfein can literally hold in his mouth and consume! What better way to depict the character of Blankfein than by his “consuming his own gold.”
A yearly salary of $21 million for 2012 is a lot of gold to “mouth!”
Thus the fantasy world, where there is justice, metes out the painful digestion of justice on those who deserve it.
Goldman Sachs is Ring-Fenced From Criminal Prosecution
An investment bank (Goldman Sachs) can commit fraud and the executives do not have to admit to wrongdoing;
An investment bank is allowed to forge foreclosure documents and the executives just have to promise not to do that again;
When an investment bank gets into trouble by taking huge risks, it becomes a commercial bank so that it can obtain liquidity from the Federal Reserve and the executives keep their lucrative positions;
When an investment banks commits fraud, it pays a fine;
When an investment bank commits criminal accounting control fraud, it pays a fine;
No matter what fraud, or unethical, or immoral action an investment bank commits, the executive compensation continues to increase year after year after year;
Investment banks are pathologically unable to see or understand the harm that their frauds cause even when pensions, wages and salaries, and savings of the middle- and working-classes are decimated because of the actions of investments banks like Goldman Sachs.
Goldman Sachs’s Alchemy
Goldman Sachs are alchemists who turn gold into base metals: they turn handshakes into corruption. Take the situation in the UK where Goldman Sachs shook hands with Dave Hartnett of the HMRC, to get a reduction in the taxes owed by Goldman. Goldman Sachs sought to cheat on taxes and the Head of Tax agrees. Then the exchequer secretary to Treasury seeks to discredit the whistleblower who exposes the deal that will cheat taxpayers of needed revenue and he assures others that he desires to protect the reputations of others and himself.
We are aware of the tenuous positions of whistleblowers who report on the nefarious actions of captured governments and rotten bankers who cheat the public with impunity. Then there is the media that can be co-opted by government or business to carry out such actions as the discrediting of whistleblowers. So individual whistleblowers are vulnerable to the corruption and might of the state’s structures. From government department to government department–Hartnett, Gauke, Haydon and Morse–few honest men can be found.
Only the whistleblower, Osita Mba, is shown in all his bravery while the cowards that cheat in government and in banking show themselves as undignified and base, the creations by the alchemy of Goldman Sachs.