Tag Archive for 'GOLDMAN SACHS'


NEW YORK, N.Y., August 18..Leah Schldkraut has a rallying cry: “Interns of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your non-paying, exploitative jobs.”

Schildkraut, youth labor specialist of the Anarcho-Feminist coalition, issued a call today for “all unpaid interns in all fields” to observe a general strike on August 21st. “Demand an end to this insidious form of bourgeois slavery,” she urged. “Withhold your valuable labor until you are given a retroactive minimum wage and shorter hours.”

In a press conference outside the Goldman Sachs headquarters on Maiden Lane in downtown Manhattan, Schildkraut denounced the “pernicious culture of unpaid internship, which not only exploits eager young people but widens the divide between the classes and the races by reducing the dwindling opportunities for middle-class and minority workers.”

Schildkraut harangued an indifferent lunchtime crowd of financial workers, who hurried by, immersed in their Blackberries. “Interns have been brainwashed into believing that the corporations are doing them a favor when in truth their labor is needed,” she declared. “They are covering seven figure executives on their summer vacations. They are helping to grease the trillion dollar corporate wheels during the dog days, while their mentors”—she paused, then scornfully repeated—”their mentors— are off on luxurious vacations paid for by the sweat and sorrow of bankrupted, dispossessed and demoralized workers.”

“In the newest turn of the exploiter’s screw you now have to pay for the privilege of working for nothing,” Schildkraut charged. She cited a recent article in the New York Times which revealed the existence of companies that arrange unpaid summer internships for a fee. “Thousands of families have laid out $8,000 to a company called Universe of Dreams which promises to secure hard-to-get internships at prime employers,” she said. “Many employers allow these companies to choose their interns, without even bothering to interview all the applicants themselves…”

The effect of this, Schildkraut said, is to exclude lower and middle class students from the intern market. “Even if they want to work for free their families cannot afford the extortionate fees of the recruiters.”

Schildkraut paused, trembling with indignation, and gathered herself. “Amnesty International, which represents the rights of political prisoners and oppressed peoples all over the world uses these recruiters to find interns, who will work long hours for no compensation. Do they not see the contradiction in this? No, they do not!”

Schildkraut also decried the “phony furlough” tactics of employers and state governments in which they give employees a forced unpaid holiday ostensibly to save money, but really “to get free labor.”

“So-called furloughed employees of the state government of California have come to work anyway to keep up with a punishing workload that will pile up and affect their productivity ratings. They know their supervisors are watching. If they don’t work for free their chances for promotion and advancement will be compromised…”

A young Asian man carrying bags of takeout Chinese tried to sneak past Schildkraut into the Goldman Sachs building, but she jumped in front of him.

“Excuse me, are you an intern?”

The young Asian man ducked and covered his face. “No intern” he said…”Food delivery…”

Schildkraut pursued him. “But didn’t I see you this morning in a suit carrying a laptop?”

A man at the curb called out. “Be careful, dude. Big Brother is watching…”

He pushed her away, muttering through clenched teeth. “Get outta my face, bitch. If the security cameras show me talking to you I’m done…”

The man at the curb laughed scornfully. “You won’t sell your revolution on Wall Street, girl.” He identified himself as Efraim Durg, a freelance lobbyist. “These people know they’re being exploited and they don’t care.”

“They don’t understand that corporations are using the downturn as an excuse to institutionalize free labor,” Schildkraut said. She quoted a study that showed the disparity between is rich and poor is at its greatest since 1917. “The capitalist system is creating an atmosphere of fear in order to have a more pliable work force.”

” They know that, baby,” Durg said with a patronizing smile. “This is what they have to do in order to get the plum job that will allow them to support gouging landlords, eat in overpriced restaurants, become secretive and vindictive and plot against their fellow workers. It’s either that or live with their parents, wait tables and sink into dissipation and despair…”

Schildkraut approached him with a suspicious look. “Who do you work for?” she asked.

“Nobody,” Durg replied brightly. “I’m on the cutting edge of the New Economy–the unknown intern. I’m lobbying for Goldman, but they didn’t hire me and don’t even know I exist. I’m hoping Lloyd Blankfein will pass by and say: hey this kid’s got originality and initiative. Let’s give him a chance to work for nothing.”


Igor Yopsvoyomatsky, Editor of paranoia.com,
Answers readers questions.

Dear Igor,

My cellmate, Jeff Skilling, here at Waseca Federal Penitentiary, says the “so-called bailout” is a conspiracy by Goldman Sachs to rule the world. Is this paranoia or fact?

Worried Lifer
Cellblock D

Dear Worried Lifer,

This is fact.

But first, a little background. The wealthy have been seeking to undermine the idea of Democracy since its inception. The notion that the collective action of yeomen, scribes and servants could prevail violates the elite’s equation of power:


Socrates questioned the Greek pseudo-democracy as the “rule of some one person or very few.” He was accused of impiety and subversion and sentenced to death. The Greek empire was subsequently overrun by Roman barbarians.

After the assassination of Julius Caesar, the Roman Emperors systematically eviscerated the Senate and all democratic institutions. Rome was later overrun by Goths and vandals.

There ensued a period of 15 hundred years in which the world was ruled by corrupt clerics and hemophiliac, schizoid, deviant monarchs, while their vassals expropriated all the land, treasure, social and cultural capital; and doled out patronage to their groveling favorites.

At the start of the American Revolution, the anti-democratic Loyalists, most of whom were of the wealthy merchant class, fled to Canada where they have been sniping at the US ever since.

The French Revolution had a short life of bloodshed and intrigue and was quickly overrun by Royalists and Emperors– then imploded into a series of fragmented “Republics” that had no national unity.

Southern slave owners sought to spread their feudal system across a growing nation. They were stymied by Lincoln. His elimination was guaranteed when he threatened to fully realize the equality promised in the Constitution.

During the “Gilded Age” financial capitalism made its first attempt to take over the country. Jay Gould’s move to corner the silver market ended in “Black Friday” and a major financial panic.

From then on a pattern was established. Financiers would manipulate markets and bribe politicians to expand their wealth. Soon, the value created by the productive classes would be unable to support the inverted pyramid of baseless speculation. The system would collapse, impoverishing millions. After a last minute intervention (J.P. Morgan 1907, FDR 1932, RTC, 1989) a slow recovery would take place. Once again the financiers would build capital and public trust in preparation for their next coup d’etat.

Petroleum added a new arrow to the quiver of the elite. Beginning with the Teapot Dome Scandal of the ’20′s oil and government became linked. The Rockefellers and the Dulles brothers started a revolving door between government ( CIA, State Dept.) and the oil business.

As oil controlled foreign policy, finance sought to shape the national economy. Again, heedless speculation led to the Great Depression of 1929. FDR’s New Deal was designed to change the emphasis of Government from insulating the consumers of wealth to protecting those who produced it. Social Security, which guarantees a modest pension to elderly workers, became the bete noire of the moneyed elite. On the very day of its creation a conspiracy was launched against it. The financier who climbed the heights and vanquished the beast would be celebrated in song and story…

Goldman Sachs has dispatched its double agents to fulfill what it describes as its “great tradition of public service.” The list of Goldman partners who have gone into Government is long and illustrious. Beginning with partner Henry Fowler in the ’60′s, they have served both parties as Treasury Secretaries.

Partner Robert Rubin was Clinton’s Treasury Secretary. During his tenure he managed to repeal the Glass Steagall Act passed during the Depression, which separated investment and commercial banks. This opened up hundred of billions of dollars of new business for the firm. Goldman partner Stephen Friedman was Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Partner Jon Corzine is Governor of New Jersey. Partner Robert Zoellick was US Trade Representative and is now President of the World Bank…The list is endless, Worried Lifer, trust me.

With every infiltration into Government Goldman’s wealth has increased. But its most daring coup came with the appointment of CEO Henry Paulson as Secretary of Treasury. During Paulson’s tenure as CEO (1999-2006) Goldman acquired an $18 billion exposure to subprimes and billions more in derivatives. Goldman was in the forefront of the movement to privatize Social Security, which would have added trillions more in profit. In 2002 Goldman analysts were accused of producing biased reports to benefit corporate clients.

A teetotaling Christian Scientist college football hero, Henry Paulson was the ideal double agent. He spent his early days trying to reassure the public and the Congress that the economy was recovering while his colleagues worked feverishly to liquidate bad debts. When that didn’t work he bailed out Bear Stearns. When that didn’t stem the tide of failure he got Fed Chairman Bernanke to release billions to the banks. But they hoarded the newfound money and refused to lend it to failing investment houses and hedge funds.

Paulson let Lehman Brothers, Goldman’s biggest competitor, go under, and thus got more business for the firm.

But when AIG started to totter he had to intervene to protect Goldman’s $25 billion investment in its defunct derivatives operation. He paid $85 billion dollars for 79.9% of AIG, a bargain basement price for a trillion dollar company. I am betting that soon some investor (maybe Goldman Sachs?) will offer $100 billion for the steal of the century.

Paulson’s most audacious move was yet to come. In a last ditch effort to save the fortunes of a few thousand very wealthy individuals he gave Congress a two and a half page proposal in which he asked for a blank check of $700 billion to save the banks. In a backhanded afterthought he said this might help the millions of mortgage holders as well.

He tried scare tactics. He tried a charm offensive. He even made the surprising tactical error of getting a discredited President into the act.

So far genius of the American system seems to have beaten him back.

But don’t be fooled. The financial conspirators are regrouping.

They’ll be back.


GREENPOINT, Brooklyn, September 19th…Imagine a crap table without a DON’T PASS line. A betting line without a point spread.

Imagine a world where you’re only allowed to bet for–not against.

A world where the house always wins.

“Unthinkable,” says Efraim Durg, CEO of Durgometrics, a hedge fund which specializes in high-risk sports betting.

But that’s what the SEC created yesterday when it banned the short selling of 799 financial stocks.

According to Business Week the companies covered are an “A to Z of nation’s powerhouse financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and commercial banks running the gamut from Bank of America to Charles Schwab to (Warren Buffet’s $147,000 a share) Berkshire Hathaway.”

The SEC’s action was echoed by the UK’s Financial Services ban on all short selling in Great Britain. By the end of business CALPERS (California Public Employees Retirement Service) announced that it would no longer lend stocks to short sellers.

“The fat cats are really stacking the deck this time,” Durg says.

Short sellers are the pessimists of the market. They borrow a company’s stock and sell it immediately, then buy it back when it goes down and pocket the difference. Short selling is a legal, respectable form of trading and is credited with keeping markets healthy by identifying corrupt and mismanaged companies. It’s been in existence since 1609 when a Dutch trader oversold his own company, betting that the English Navy would sink his ships. It was blamed for the Dutch Black Tulip crisis, which tumbled the bourses of Europe in the 17th. Century. Herbert Hoover blamed short sellers for the Great Depression, while J Edgar Hoover (no relation) threatened to investigate and imprison them.

Hedge funds were invented by short sellers to allow them to make larger bets. Recently short sellers were actually credited with forcing down the price of oil. Now they are the convenient scapegoats for a crisis caused by the greed and stupidity of “long” sellers who believe their assets should keep on appreciating no matter badly they are managed.

The anti short-selling rules had the predictable result of driving up the market, the Dow rising by close to four hundred points. Some stocks saw a 20 to 30% rise in their value.

“What goes up must come down” says Durg. “It was the perfect market for a short seller. And I was the only game in town.”

As an unlicensed, unlisted and unregulated hedge fund, Durg could create a market of his own. He started small, making a “proposition” to his few “clients.”

“I told them to pick a stock,” Durg says. “They would pay me a small premium which would be my “vig.” If the stock went down after a negotiated period I’d be stuck the difference. If it went up they’d be stuck…”

Durg’s eyes widen as he relates what happened next. “I started with four thousand in reserve capital, but as word spread through the neighborhood I suddenly had twenty-six thousand dollars in action.”

Looking to cover his bets, Durg went to Bolek Bernankovicz who takes numbers out of Paulsenki’s Paint Store. Bolek kicked in forty thousand in exchange for twenty per cent of the profits.

“But it wasn’t enough,” Durg says. “I blame the Internet and credit crisis. All these execs from Bear Stearns and Lehman sitting around with nothing to do until they’re indicted. By lunch I was looking at a $213,000 in bets.”

Durg couldn’t stop now. The market was skyrocketing. He was making a fortune

Durg called the Bank of Wroclaw, but couldn’t get a loan. He was desperate.

“I ‘m a bookie, I can’t operate on leverage,” he says. “I have to back my bets with real money.”

In a panic Durg and Bolek called Fat Funzi, a private lender in Red Hook. Funzi drove a hard bargain demanding half of Durg’s action.

“I was carving myself up, but I needed the cash,” Durg says.

In the next hour there was a rash of bank robberies, smash and grabs and senior muggings as Funzi raised the capital for his investment.

But it still wasn’t enough. Durg’s phone was ringing. His web site was crashing.

“I was getting calls from Tiblisi and Kandahar,” he says. “PayPal said they would expedite for five per cent. I had no choice.”

By close of business Durg had $17 million on his books and counting. “I was doing great in this short term bull session,” he says. “As long as the big boys tried to cover up all the bad news I’d be okay. But it would only take a rumor to send the market plunging. I could see myself doing the perp walk…”

Durg panicked. “I called the Treasury Department and got a voice message saying there was a 17 day wait to talk to a bailout specialist.”

Then, Durg had a miraculous visitation. “It was like I rubbed a lamp and a genie appeared.”

Mahmoud, who owns Saudi Sundries on Huron Street came with a proposition of his own. There was a call to Riyadh.

“It was late at night,” Durg recalls. “I could hear music, women laughing. A guy called Bin Taleeb came on the phone. I like your business plan, my friend, he said. I will buy fifty per cent.”

Taleeb bought out Bolek for $100,000 and Funzi for $250,000. By morning with over $30 million on the books and more coming, Durg put an ad on Craig’s list for “Certified Financial Advisors.” In an hour he had eleven thousand applications.

He had been running his operation out of the walk-in box at Golubchik’s, but is now negotiating for the executive suite in the soon to be empty Lehman Building.

It all happened so quickly, he says. “I got rich. There was nothing to it.”

But now Durg has time to plan his next move. He has put together a Board of Directors of Wall Street veterans, among them Stan O’Neal, Richard Fuld and Jimmy Cayne.

“I’m thinking of cutting my bets into tranches and issuing short-sale backed securities,” he says. “Derivatives is where the real money is.”