The People v. Goldman Sachs, a personal account (photo by Adam Lempel):
What a day. It started with a hearing at Liberty Square—the people vs. Goldman Sachs. Victims came to tell of the suffering they have endured at the hands of this criminal firm. And after the verdict was reached, the victims were arrested while the guilty were protected by the police. Hours later, I found that the New York Post is calling for further arrests and an end to free speech, part of a broader misinformation blitz launched by the mass media intended to set the stage for the state to break up Occupy Wall Street.
One woman came to the mock trial at Liberty Square to express her grievances over how Goldman Sachs has ruined her life. The organization she works for had invested money in Goldman, and most of it got wiped out by the sub-prime mortgage bubble. She has seen her paycheck, which had already been paltry, cut in half, and it will likely evaporate entirely in a few months because of Goldman’s fraud—the firm played both sides of the game by packaging worthless mortgages as collateralized debt obligations (CDO) and selling them to pension funds, banks and other institutions under the guise that they were secure all the while betting against these very securities through credit default swaps (CDS). As Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibi reports, they knew they were selling shit, and “Goldman’s mortgage department accounted for 54 percent of the bank’s risk.” The object was to maximize profits at everyone else’s expense. And they wiped out millions of people, from small investors to pensioners to ordinary workers. Read the rest of this entry