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A Canadian Journalist Recalls His Banker Days, Or Was The Soul-For-Cash Exchange Worth It

Tyler Durden's picture




 

In the aftermath of the "Greg Smith" phenomenon, where now a variety of sources (for now of the terminated kind, but soon likely from those still on the payroll) have stepped up against the Wall Street and D.C. omerta, it is assured that we will see many more such pieces before the coolness factor of public employer humiliation. It is our hope that these lead to an actual improvement in America's criminal corporate culture (such as in "How a Whistleblower Halted JPMorgan Chase's Card Collections"), which is nowhere more prevalent than in the corner offices of Wall Street, long a place where "obfuscation" and "complexity" (recall that it was none other than the Fed telling us that "Liquidity requires symmetric information, which is easiest to achieve when everyone is ignorant") have been synonymous with legalized wealth transfer (after all, we now know that nobody ever read the fine print, and when the chips fell it was all the rating agencies' fault). Alas we are skeptical. But while we wait, here is a slightly lighter piece from the Globae and Mail's Tim Kiladze, who while not exposing anything new, shares with his readers just what the transition from "soulless banker" to a "less demanding, more fulfilling life" entails, and that it does, in the end, pay off. As Tim says - "The latter is a real option: I’m proof of it." Here is his story for all those 'wannabe Greg Smiths' who are on the fence about burning that bridge in perpetuity.

From the Globe and Mail

Why I gave up my six-figure salary and quit Bay Street

I still vividly remember the call that landed me on Bay Street. It was 2006, and on an overcast October morning, someone from the investment arm of the Royal Bank of Canada offered me my dream job. As I took in the news, I stared out the window of my tiny bachelor apartment that overlooked McGill University’s sprawling campus and couldn’t help but think: I finally made it.

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to work in finance. Though Gordon Gekko wasn’t exactly my idol, I yearned to be rich like him. The funny thing is, once I got what I thought I wanted, including a robust six-figure salary in my early 20s, I wasn’t nearly as enamoured.

As a junior banker or trader, you may not have much responsibility, but you see everything with fresh eyes. What I saw was an industry unbelievably out of touch with reality. The problems weren’t confined to the places I worked, RBC Dominion Securities and National Bank Financial; they were widespread. Retail investors are routinely gouged for ridiculous fees, and the Street is so clubby that rivals gang up on each other when someone tries to undercut the advisory fee schedule.

The Street’s culture was rotten. I once saw an investment banker become enraged when his plane ticket was booked economy instead of business class. “I’m not sitting in the back with the proletariat!” he declared.

I’m not the only person who was disillusioned. Whole books have been written about the recklessness of Wall Street, and Greg Smith’s op-ed in The New York Times is nothing less than an indictment of the culture of Goldman Sachs, his former firm.

While Mr. Smith and I had very different experiences, we made the same decision: to flee finance. I know so many others who wish they could do the same. Yet they never make the move because they are scared to part ways with their large paycheques, or they feel trapped by their big houses and private golf club memberships. When I left, one typically unemotional 30-something trader e-mailed me privately to say: “Good for you for having the balls to do this.”

Here’s the thing: it’s not so hard. Once you leave the office towers, you quickly realize that there is meaningful work beyond Bay Street.

---

When someone hears that I left banking behind, there is only one question that comes next: How big was the pay cut?

Big, I say. So big that after being hired by The Globe and Mail, I no longer met the $60,000 minimum salary for the Infinite Visa I once used to pay my bar tabs at Bymark and Vertical.

Almost three years later, I still miss the money. I probably always will. I miss not having to fret about my weekly budget. I miss not having to worry that someone at my dinner table will order an expensive bottle of wine, forcing me to opt out and drink by-the-glass alone. Sometimes I even have moments of rage when I hear rumours that someone I know has signed a new contract that guarantees a salary plus bonus of more than $300,000.

Then I remember why I left.

No longer do I arrive at my desk at the crack of dawn to mindlessly enter bond yields into a convoluted spreadsheet. No one tells me that my Banana Republic cardigan is too fashion-forward for the office. No longer does a superior tell me that I leave the desk to pee too many times during the day.

When I left Bay Street, I left something else behind: a sense that I was living in denial. Back then, I had to pretend that I didn’t hear or see certain things. While working on the Street, I heard people say that even if clever institutional investors like pension funds realize that a new deal isn’t worth buying, unsophisticated retail investors won’t know any better. I saw investment banks get paid millions of dollars to offer fairness opinions on proposed takeovers, while rarely raising an objection to any deal. And I saw research analysts getting paid enormous money, even though their predictions are so often wrong.

Having said goodbye to all that, I now get a certain pleasure out of hearing bankers, traders and corporate lawyers grumble about their bonuses, even though the annual cheques are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unlike them, I no longer have to use that number as my main measure of self-worth.

My friends on the Street know I’ve got it good now, too. Last year I watched the Super Bowl with a few of them, and during our post-game chit-chat one turned to me and said matter-of-factly: “You literally put a price on happiness.”

This doesn’t mean that investment banks or corporate law firms are the root of all evil. A number of my best friends still work on Bay Street, and some people I truly respect have been in the game for 30 years.

Most people in shiny office towers mean well. They really do. They love their kids, and they give loads of money to charity. The way they see it, every now and then they do something that is just a little offside, but it can’t be that bad.

What they don’t realize is that when everybody does just a little something wrong, it creates one hell of a mess. Rating agencies who bear some of the blame for the financial crisis relied on mathematical models that assumed widespread defaults weren’t possible. The analysts who trusted those models didn’t mean to nearly crash capitalism as we know it – they just took a shortcut.

In all fairness, no industry is perfect. (Have you ever met a car salesperson willing to offer you their wholesale price?) Journalists, too, deserve some blame for not raising more red flags about the excesses of the financial business, before the crisis reared its ugly head.

The big difference, though, is that bankers and traders make millions, and their poor due diligence can bring down financial markets.

Will Bay Street or Wall Street ever change? Probably not. Michael Lewis wrote Liar’s Poker to demonstrate just how crazy the 1980s were, and he’s since acknowledged that things only got worse.

Financial professionals who are as fed up as Greg Smith have two choices. They can try to stay the course, or they can opt for a less demanding, more fulfilling life. The latter is a real option: I’m proof of it.

A few weeks ago the Globe sent out a new job posting for our finance department, so I re-posted it on Facebook. Someone from Bay Street inquired about it and I initially laughed it off, telling him we could never match his current salary. But he was serious.

“You starting to feel like your soul is dying?” I texted to him.

“Starting?” he replied. “Dead my friend.”

 

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Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:12 | 2264915 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

"...for all those 'wannabe Greg Smiths' who are on the fence about burning that bridge in perpetuity."

Suggestion: Burn that bridge yourself before it crumbles beneath you.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:38 | 2264965 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

"all my life I wanted to be a gangster" - Henry Hill

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:43 | 2264971 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

This is exactly what I was thinking.

ff

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:06 | 2265210 macholatte
macholatte's picture

 

 

“I don’t see anyone wanting to be associated with someone who has muddied the waters.”

Did Greg Smith Commit Career Suicide?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2012/03/15/did-greg-smith-commit-career-suicide/

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:57 | 2265365 ZeroPower
ZeroPower's picture

Yes, he did commit career suicide. At least, in the finance industry... but it's what he wanted. WS/BS/the City is obviously no longer an option for him.

I can't seem to relate either to this story or Greg's. I suppose its because I'm but a pup compared to the BSDs which roam the office, each one with stories that all revolve around their end of year $value for xxxx year...

Juniors in this industry are treated like shit. First (and last!) time i was ever late to work, i show up at ~705 due to missing my tube stop, my boss looks at me with such dismay, normally having to see him before he makes it into the office at 630, this time he looks at me and says 'good afternoon'. But you deal with it, youre lucky to hold a job in this economy (have been hearing this for 4 years now)... it's something we've come to expect and live through for the riches that come in the future years. Do i feel huge resentment from some non-finance friends i still have from my college days? I suppose... what with bankers in the spotlight (and every finance person whether a banker or not being labeled as such...)  thanks to the GFC.

The fact of the matter is, very few work harder than the juniors freshly recruited into front-office finance jobs willing to work 90/100hr weeks over a bunch of spreadsheets. Is the job fulfilling? It's a case by case basis. Is one providing value? To each particular deal, i suppose...but only so that the value can be take to the associate i report to, back to his VP, who reports back to his MD who hates everything the junior typed in the past 12 hours and then makes him start over from scratch, on a Sunday morning to top it all off. Does one have a social life? Only during the "low season" 60-70hr weeks. Does one bitch and moan about their situation? Absolutely not, because theres 100 other people who may or may not be better suited to take the same position for less money and more committment. 

The job industry is such these days. You can say "hurrah" for leaving your high paid job and doing something (selfless? more fulfilling?) different, but that spot will quickly get filled by someone else, and you'll be stuck living a lifestyle which, for better or for worse, was one you thought you wouldn't return to after landing your first real finance gig.

 

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 16:02 | 2265382 akak
akak's picture

No offense, but if I had to live the life you describe, I would commit suicide, immediately and with no reservations --- and I exaggerate not even slightly.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 16:05 | 2265391 ZeroPower
ZeroPower's picture

None taken.

What it all comes down to, and believe me, anybody and everyone in finance is here for the same reason, is your paycheck. Not everyone can be a doctor, in fact most everyone can't be a doctor, and so the market deems their high salary as fair - and rightfully so. Moving down the ladder, can not everyone be a financier? Certainly not in the same league as doctors, but the sheer amount of the work and humility are such that indeed, most people opt not to go into finance, and thus again the market comes into play and proposes a higher salary on the industry's workers. If it wasn't for the salary, i wouldn't be in this field, nor would be most others. We're talking banking, trading, AM, PE, research, buyside and sellside alike... it's all the same, and it all comes down to how many 000s you get. 

The nice thing about humans is we're very adaptive..people change. Am i "stuck" here for good? Probably not. But probably making the most of it for now.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 16:21 | 2265437 akak
akak's picture

Naturally, one must decide, and can ONLY decide, what is acceptable or tolerable for him and him alone, and I thank God for human diversity, as even a "normal" 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday, mandatory overtime, wage-slave job (and I have had them) would now be (and really always was) little more than a living death for me.  I quit such a job (fairly well-paying, too) over a decade ago, to take an 80% pay cut and lower my annual income down to a near-poverty level --- and have never once regretted the decision.  My life has been infinitely richer in real, if not monetary, terms ever since, and I shudder to even think about ever going back to such a sterile, empty existence.  I have learned that the true riches in life do not and can not have dollar figures attached to them.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 16:21 | 2265441 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Trust me, when the day eventually arrives, you will look at the cardboard box of lucite cubes and say to yourself WTF? And no amount of zeros will alleviate the pain you will feel.

Think of the Bridge Over The River Kwai.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 23:53 | 2266485 AldousHuxley
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsN4-A1G5zc

 

Screams for help at China's secret 'black jails'

 

Some Chinese seeking help from the central government against local injustices are instead ending up in secret detention centres controlled by local politicians.

 

 

Chinese Organ harvesting from live Chinese

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnlnXTGoTBI

 

 

soul crushing job? tell that to Foxxconn slaves

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 17:39 | 2265659 Skid Marks
Skid Marks's picture

Save your pennies, every damn one of them. If your definition of "freedom some day" is a change of mindset then you will need a large bankroll to help you bail out.  I haven't had a "real job" in over 40 years. It just happened that I didn't like working for a paycheck and I evolved into a consultant/independant contractor. I always took a piece of the action, never a salary. If my clients, who became partners, made money, so did I and I made millions, lost some of it, made some more.  I am completely unemployable and don't care yet I have worked 24/7 for many years without ever keeping track of the hours.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 04:19 | 2266747 akak
akak's picture

I initially read your first line as "Save your penis".

Always good advice.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:40 | 2264972 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

It's good to know there is an awakening among people where they are able to see the truth that working for banksters is working for Satan. There should be no doubt in that.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:09 | 2265004 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Probably not quite as 'moral' as that

They can see Goldmans, JP Morgan et al are steaming broke so many times over it's beyond a fantasy these cancerous dinosaurs are still operating at all in the real world

So I'd suggest it's more like rats leaving a sinking ship

If they blow the whistle on the way out and hasten collapse we'll maybe forgive them though  ;)

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:43 | 2265164 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

 

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Them's Bible words. That repository of human wisdom and folly...

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:03 | 2265201 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I'll (+1) Zero Govt on that...

Peeps, generally, don't start GETTIN' RELIGION until the cash, bitchez, & drugs stop arriving by conveyor belt in their own lives...

It's part of the process... Nonetheless, I'll give a golf clap to the effort & hope it continues... Forgive me if I hold off on awarding any HERO medals just yet... (as it may be just sour grapes that the conveyor belt is still running at full speed for former colleagues)...

Junk me if you want ~ that's just how I roll...

 

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:44 | 2265069 evolutionx
evolutionx's picture

So after the tumultuous and very painful times that we are likely to experience in the next few years, the West will have a sustained period of decline. All the excesses in the economy and in society must be unwound. These abnormal and unreal excesses are not just corporate executives, bankers, hedge fund managers or sportsmen earning $10s to $100s of millions but also a total collapse of ethical and moral values as well as a breakdown of the family as the kernel of society.

 

more:

http://www.mmnews.de/index.php/english-news/6230-there-will-be-no-double-dip

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:50 | 2265081 john39
john39's picture

no worries, obummer and big gov will fix everything:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-na...

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:12 | 2265119 Blackfriday
Blackfriday's picture

H.F.S.  They are getting ready to seize whatever they want.  I'm sure the Anti Dog Eat Dog rule is next.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:36 | 2265305 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

Wow...I read the entire thing and my hands are shaking.  The Prepper in Chief, no?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:13 | 2264918 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

News flash! Bankers suck.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:34 | 2264957 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

No they don't all suck.

What happens over time is that some believe they are "special". The money makes them special. The deserve the special status that being wealthy and being a part of the club gives them. They subvert who they are for who they think being a part of the club means they should be.

It is not just bankers. Flash over substance, corners cut everywhere, 20 year olds who may not want to be a banker, now want to be Kim Kardashian. 

The bankers are just the symptom. The poster child. But they MOST DEFINITELY are not the only ones.

Women can tell you how big their engagement ring should be, men will tell you how big his future wife's breasts have to be and neither can tell you what kind of life they want to live.

Subversion of life to lifestyle is not just a "banker thing" it is just easier on all of us if we think it is.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:51 | 2264979 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

 

I came across this earlier today:

Taking the news this week at face value, the leadership of both Goldman and Dewey have been playing with fire in close proximity to their one critical asset:  A cohesive culture, one that looked beyond the self-interested short term to the greater good of clients and the integrity and sterling repute of the firm as a whole.
We are witnessing a war between two passions described by Adam Smith over 200 years ago his Theory of Moral Sentiments:

We desire both to be respectable and to be respected.  But upon coming into this world we soon find that wisdom and virtue are by no means the sole objects of respect; nor vice and folly, of contempt.  We frequently see the respectful attentions of the world more strongly directed towards the rich and the great, than towards the wise and the virtuous. We see frequently the vices and follies of the powerful much less despised than the poverty and weakness of the innocent. To deserve, to acquire, and to enjoy the respect and admiration of mankind, are the great objects of ambition and emulation. Two different roads are presented to us, equally leading to the attainment of this so much desired object; the one by the study of wisdom and the practice of virtue; the other by the acquisition of wealth and greatness. [...]

To attain this envied situation, the candidates for fortune too frequently abandon the paths of virtue; for unhappily, the road which leads to the one, and that which leads to the other, lie sometimes in very opposite directions.  But the ambitious man flatters himself that, in the splendid situation to which he advances, he will have so many means of commanding the respect and admiration of mankind, and will be enabled to act with such superior propriety and grace, that the lustre of his future conduct will entirely cover, or efface, the foulness of the steps by which he arrived at that elevation. [pp. 62—64, Oxford University Press edition, [1756] 1976]

In the cases of both Goldman and Dewey, blame for the peril the cultures now seem to be in may be widespread, but it has been actively or passively permitted to spread at the top.  That, you may say, is water over the dam.  So be it.

From Adam Smith Esq., a Legal Blog

(Dewey is a NY law firm that is about to implode)

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:01 | 2264996 IEVI
IEVI's picture

This reminded me of the following passage from Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck: “It has always seemed strange to me,” said Doc. “the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:46 | 2265005 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Steinbeck may well have thought of this passage when he wrote that, although this affliction is really nothing new, power corrupts.

What is very interesting is that there is little or no repect in finance for the wisdom of elders. When some grayhair like Volcker,  Whitehead or Corrigan says this is not right, they all laugh at them like they are old fools.

How can you maintain a cultural balance? The whole thing just spins faster and faster...gimme, gimme, gimme more.

Blankfein is the epitome of this.

NO CHANGE

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:29 | 2265151 IEVI
IEVI's picture

The new guard like blankfein can't even understand what the gray hairs are saying...morality has been lost.

Money and markets have become the center of modern societies and with that morality has been completely discarded for financial success. Men like George (“As a market participant, I don’t need to be concerned with the consequences of my actions.”)Soros are put in front of us by the MSM and held up as respectable. We are supposed to look past the immorality of the economic actions and focus on the billions... and it has worked. Kim Kardashian is a multi-millionaire with 14 million twitter followers. Compare that to ZH which has 82K or RonPaul who has 140K. 

Is it even possible anymore to rein in the immorality. Without the rule of law the immoral have been set free to wreak havoc on society and any natural consequences for immoral actions have been eliminated?

How does a society like this ever regain its moral compass?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:52 | 2265181 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

"How does a society like this ever regain its moral compass?"

the same way it always has... by crashing and burning and rebuilding, on the back of remorse......................(temporarily)

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:06 | 2266506 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

You mean the society that

  1. killed off the native Americans
  2. built agricultural economy off of African slave labor
  3. built railroads using Chinese slaves
  4. built concentration camps for Japanese Americans families while using the young men in WWII?
  5. using Mexicans as agricultural slaves
  6. using Chinese as blue collar slaves under the gun of communist military state
  7. installing military dictatorship in the middle east to get cheaper oil
  8. working young corporate wage slaves 50-70 hours a week with six figure college debt

 

Better just accept the fact that you were born privileged and any elitist claims to legitamacy is bunch of lies as they never had any morals to begin with.

 

Jews always made money by getting in immoral businesses where profit is fatter.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:59 | 2265193 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I don't know, but one troubling aspect of this is how the word progress is used as cover. Progress and innovation becomes the buzzword excuse for cut throat behavior. If you resist or suggest an alternative view you are ridiculed for being a Luddite of sorts.

Volcker had it right when he said that an ATM is the only useful financial innovation he has seen.

Did you catch the item about Italy having to pay 3 Billion to Morgan Stanley to unwind a swap position?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 18:22 | 2265762 CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

Just think of it all as Terminal Jewification. Operative word: #7.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 16:12 | 2265415 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

i was basically shining shoes at goldman sachs in 1987.  and i saw john wineberg and john whitehead all the time in the building and saw their behavior and their conversations and interactions.  (they had class and i mean that)

then it became rubin/friedman then it became corzine, then it became paulson.  and lastly lloyd-boy.  scandals like lloyd boy would have been out the door with no explanation in a day in the 80's and even in the 90's.  and it is not because of people unhappy with bonuses - you simply couldn't make those claims (meaning like greg smith did) then.  at that time, GS, they really were based on making fee-results based money off the clients and NOT bleeding the clients to death.  the motive was: 'we put together deals for them, we issue CP, we raise bonds, we get them financing, we make markets in what we issued, and for all of this, of course, we get a fee and we do enough biz to make good money and everybody is happy.  and mostly - 'we want our clients to maintain their good ratings, because this facilitates the process for both of us.' 

now - they simply are a trading house.

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 16:23 | 2265453 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I am sure Whitehead is appalled.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 20:27 | 2266030 donethat
donethat's picture

The 'Old Line' Investment firms put the partners capital at risk, EVERY DAY.

That was back in the time when every transaction delivered 'economic good'.

Now we have derivatives on derivatives.

You know who the winners are.

 

P.S.  It's Weinberg, not Wineberg.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 20:08 | 2266000 davood
davood's picture

I won't put Volker in the same sentence with the words "elder" and "wisdom" in it.

Volker's high interest rate policies help to devastate the economies of the "Third World" during the 1970s, especially in Latin America, and allowed the economic hitmen, aka John Perkins and company, to do their dirty deeds.

William: I am sure you know about the phenomenal Asterix and Obelisk comics series.  Wouldn't it be awesome and deliciously apropos to have a re-incarnation or re-adaptation or re-configuration of that "two Gauls fighting and winning against the Empire" comic strip for today's audience, now that we are witnessing and experiencing the death throes of the greatest empire in world's history.  It would be an instant and tremendous hit, most especially among all those living or surviving or dying under the boots of you know who, and those who just "love" Pax Americana, probably numbering in the billions (think: China, Middle East, Africa, South America, etc.).

If there is anyone out there who has the talent and, more importantly, the econfingeopolitical awareness and acumen to do such a marvelous thing, you would be it.  Anyways, just a little suggestion.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:25 | 2266534 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Paul Volcker, the previous Fed Chairman known for keeping inflation under control, was fired because the Reagan administration didn't believe he was an adequate de-regulator.

 

He was a founding member of the Trilateral Commission and is a long time member of the Bilderberg Group.

He is also private banker for the Rockefeller family, and the Rockefeller Center.

 

Jewish banksters hate Volcker for putting their wall st. scams out of business so that American main st. can propsper properly.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 05:23 | 2266776 davood
davood's picture

Come on.

Founding member of TC and long time member of Bilderberg trying to save main street at the expense of the Jewish banksters and Wall Street?!?  What planet are you living on?

What Paul Volcker (cryto Ashkenazi Jew?) was trying to do was to prevent a total seizure or collapse in the US "treasuries" or what I call US "toiletries" market, among other very important things, i.e., runaway inflation, by raising interest rates to the moon.

This article by Martin D. Weiss describes what happened: http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/bond-market-bubble-8384 , but I think it was his Crash Profits book that explicitly stated the increase in interest rates was to save the USTs from going into the toilet bowl (where it rightly belongs) and everyone else to experience financial armageddon.

Of course back then, the US was a creditor nation.  Today, there is no way the Fed will raise it's key interest rate without killing the USD, destroy what's left of the real estate market, implode what's left of the US economy, etc.  But this is a side issue to my previous point which still stands.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 05:41 | 2266782 akak
akak's picture

I think it is safe to say that there have never been any "heroes" to be found among anyone who has ever been a member of, or even tangentially associated with, the Federal Reserve.

But I do enjoy Bix Weir's theory that Alan Greenspan was and is such a hero, having laid the groundwork in secret, over decades, to restore the dollar gold standard via the Fed, and having communicated that plan surreptitiously to the public through a children's comic book ("The Road to Roota").  Never have I seen nor read a psychedelic mushroom trip more succinctly put to pen.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:47 | 2264980 Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

Oh yes, they all suck.  They work with an imaginary concept called money, which they are allowed to create.  They are tempted by the riches and they are guided by it.  The gamble on the lives of every person in the world and they accept that their clients are criminals,  no, they rely on the fact that their clients are criminals.  They are part of a racket, a mob, and it is organized crime to steal from anyone they can.    And none of them ever worked a day in their life in such a profession. It was always theft, day one.

We need to stop pretending or this will repeat.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:58 | 2264989 Neo
Neo's picture

I think you are absolutely correct, Lizzy. I dont give a crap about bankers, but they are not the only bad guys here.

This isn't biblical shit either, this is reality. If you think you can solve our probems by just stringing up the bankers, your part of the problem.

Wake up, the rot is all around you, and maybe even in you.

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:46 | 2265074 giddy
giddy's picture

...ummmm... what is the bible if not the story of human moral history?  OK -- if not "biblical" then maybe "Shakespearean"?  It's a tragedy told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing...  Faulkner nailed it as well... 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:54 | 2265356 TwelfthVulture
TwelfthVulture's picture

If you seek "facts," read non-fiction.  If you seek "truth," read fiction.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:47 | 2266575 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

greedy banksters + corrupt politicians + idiot voters + regulators sleep at the wheel + arrogant Federal Reserve = America today

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 19:23 | 2265882 luna_man
luna_man's picture

 

 

"Neo"...Yeah, but let's start with the CRIMINAL bankers!

 

Eventually, we'll be after ALL the CRIMINALS!!

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:54 | 2265184 malek
malek's picture

 Women can tell you how big their engagement ring should be, men will tell you how big his future wife's breasts have to be and neither can tell you what kind of life they want to live.

Right to the point.

Is that your quote? May I use it from time to time?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:43 | 2265329 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

I am afraid you're right.

The average banker is no less despicable than his average customer.

Clogs to clogs in 240 years.

Our whole "civilistion" is rotten through.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:30 | 2264922 sIewie the pi-rat
sIewie the pi-rat's picture

what an asshole dipsht, i don't know much about bay street but let me tell you his experience is no effing defferent than mine when I told the team leader at  the local supercenter that he could take his greeter job and all that chinese made crapola  and stick it up his ...

 

and when my landlady give me a hard time when the rent is late, i too miss the money but then i think back to the morning chants and cameras in the associates bathroom  and i know i made the right decision but to write about like some dickfaced prima donna lamenting the loss of a visa infinite card -- listen emeffer   see if you qualify for a snap card - I do  and I am proud of it

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:54 | 2264985 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

"i don't know much about bay street"
You could have stopped there...
Wait... You should've stopped there...
Better.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 04:48 | 2265096 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

you should not have let the circus leave town without you, son!

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:19 | 2264926 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Nothing will change as long as the Govt is bought and paid for by the banksters.

 

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson, (Attributed)
3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

 

Laughing out loud from the grave. Sheeples were too busy and even more now due to lack of education and think their Fucking IPADS and crap gonna save their azzz. Sure keep buying into the hype of crap and keep on buying as whore street selss you the crap and nothing to show for as far as real life is concerned.

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:21 | 2264930 Cursive
Cursive's picture

More and more people are channeling their inner Thoreau these days.  Understandable.  This is the reaction to a hyper-materialistic society.  HDT is back with a vengeance (and I'm enjoying it).

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_David_Thoreau

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:33 | 2264955 Amish Hacker
Amish Hacker's picture

Since Thoreau's time, desperation has gotten a lot noisier.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:22 | 2264932 The trend is yo...
The trend is your friend's picture

When the ponzi ends,  the best part will be to see all these research analyst's, traders, portflio managers etc that think they actually have a clue and get paid enormous sums of money lose their jobs.  It's easier to live without money nevering having it then it is to have it and lose it.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:30 | 2264940 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture

Qui Tam or Whistle-blowers Severance... coming to a Bankster near you?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:31 | 2264945 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

I have come to the conclusion that there is no justice on this earth for the banksters. Nor the politicians, media and regulators that they have bought off.  They have all traded their collective souls for cash.  They know it. They can lie to everyone else, but they still have to look in the mirror.  And their conscience.  I can only hope that there is some justice in the afterlife. The only thing one takes with them upon death is their character. Lloyd may think he is going "God's work".....but so does every other psychopath. If man is made in "God's image", then as humans we can logically deduce that God will not be happy with those thieves.  The love of money is truly the root of all evil.    

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:33 | 2264954 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Time to pack Politicans, Banksters and familes and send them to Afganistan and Iran to fight, if they come back ok if not o well.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 19:31 | 2265898 luna_man
luna_man's picture

 

 

I like the way you think!... (this time) "I am Jobe"

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:01 | 2264994 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

Karma.  Every man must meet his maker, whether in this life or the next. 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:11 | 2265011 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Karma is kind of a bullshit concept designed to make us feel better about our seleves.

Having spent a lot of time at a childrens hospital, i am not sure it really exists.

When you see the most adorable bald 7 year old girl, with rare stomach cancer, whose mother died of cancer 6 months after she was born, one wonders what is karma exactly.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:38 | 2265043 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Having spent some time considering such weighty matters, I will share one view:  the secret lies somewhere in the quality of the time and not the quantity thereof or for that matter the quantity of junk accumulated (you can't take it with you).

The more you simplify and live in the present, the easier it is to grasp. The karma is the heaven or hell you create by your actions.

The system is designed to inculcate the exact opposite of these ideas. It is monocultural.

Finally, as you most surely know, some kind and willing person such as yourself can help that girl live a fuller life, however short and tragic it may seem.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:04 | 2265104 giddy
giddy's picture

...you are beginning to see something Einstein thought critical: time and space are illusions.  So is "spending ones time" on the acquisition of material weath.  When we begin to see life in terms of "quality" and not "quantity" it starts to make sense. 

A wise person once wrote that the essense of life was to "turn things into thoughts".   Money is not the root of all evil -- but the LOVE of money is.  It leads to wasting ones precious years in moral bankruptcy.  One day helping a child in need gives more substance and sustanance than 12 years working for Goldman.  That you may take to the bank...

BTW -- much admire your posts.  Both for humor and substance.  Thanks.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:19 | 2265124 Yardfarmer
Yardfarmer's picture

"some kind and willing person such as yourself can help that girl live a fuller life"

you just opened up your soul and i was underwhelmed by cloying sentiment. maybe you should design some Hallmark sympathy greeting cards with your prodigious photoshop talents. i can see you on Oprah. i am going to be the first of many to junk myself for such unbelievable and obnoxious cynicism directed at such a super soul as yourself.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:31 | 2265153 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I said OM not Um...and you certainly have spent little time around someone prematurely but terminally ill.

If you had you would not be such a flaming five star asshole.

Shove that up your Oprah, douche bag.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 21:35 | 2266187 ekm
ekm's picture

I love your artistry, but it's pretty easy to insult anonimously.

Please, refrain from insulting anonimously unless you unveil you identity. If you do, go for it, insult as much as you want.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 08:36 | 2266862 memyselfiu
memyselfiu's picture

I'm going to anonymously spellcheck for you. Please don't take it as an insult, I'd hate to be chastised.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:18 | 2266525 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Dharma loses a lot in translation.  Suffice it to say, we ALL must choose between doing that which is easy and that which is right.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:26 | 2265144 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Well that particular girl, is actually in my nephews class at school.

Her cancer is currently in remission, although she remains in treatment.

She is bald, and comes to school with her feeding tube. At first the nephew and his friends were concernced that the tube "hurt her", i assured him it did not (1st hand experience).

And regardless of what one can do for this little girl, what she has done for her school, can never be repaid (not talking money here).

http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/03/10/kids-take-on-cancer

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2077902/Cancer-girl-Diamond-Ma...

I too have considered the quantity vs quality debate. 

You cover personal Karma, very well!

The "karma" most often discussed is not that of personal but rather that of others. Such that karma perse, provides some false notion of consequences, that occasionaly absolves humans from pursuing justice. Karma also seeks to blame the "bad actor" for something that has happened to them. I find that troubling as well. And could write a Ph.D thesis on the subject ;)

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:50 | 2265178 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I won't go into details, but I know precisely what you are talking about. It is gut wrenching and it certainly puts you in a reflective state of mind concerning what is important.

Culturally I see how Asians are generally mindful of their score in life. Most of them believe that good will only come to those who do good. It varies by country.

The idea that karma provides absolution is flawed.

Getting back to finance, it is very interesting to see how these different cultures adapt to or resist the Anglo Saxon model. One could write a book about that.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:57 | 2265368 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

wb7 - it is approaching my time to leave this blog.  i'm seriously fearing arrest.  nobody on here earns my respect as much as you do, for knowledge, artistic value, mature responses, thoughtful.  i could go on.

i was raised a catholic and they taught me 'man is better than animals because he has a conscious'.  we've all pored over anything and everything from plate to socrates to thomas mann etc.

i will be corrected, because i haven't seen it anywhere put so succinctly as i have myself.  and people have hated me for this.

'man is animal that can choose not to be so'

for a sane healthy person, it is up to the individual.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:49 | 2266582 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Thank you kindly, don't worry too much, if and when the shit hits the fan you will be one of many.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:35 | 2265051 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Where do you think psychopaths go to learn about the importance of humility and compassion?  Maybe a short life in a refugee camp or a children's hospital?

What goes around comes around, call it what you want.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:42 | 2265063 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

It has lots to do with how you are raised. You really can't control that. If you wind up being a consummate asshole it usually requires some tragedy, crisis or near death event to shake you out of it.

There is no shortage of consummate assholes in the halls of finance.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:08 | 2265108 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

some people are born assholes.  raising children (and mine are wonderful) you quickly come to the realization that you have very little control over your child's personality.  you can point them in the correct direction but breeding has much more to do with how someone turns out than we care to admit. 

pinker's book, "the blank slate: the modern denial of human nature" is excellent reading on this topic and even contains enough bush bashing to satisfy the most ardent liberal (although they will not like his conclusions regarding human nature).  pinker jumps through hoops to present his conclusions in "progressive" clothing but at its base, "the blank slate" is a profoundly conservative (or more accurately libertarian) book.   

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:44 | 2265169 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

i'll post a portion of an amazon review of pinker's book by jesse fuchs becuase he does an excellent job of summarizing pinker's thesis:

"It's the second half of the book that's really worth your money, though, in which Pinker nimbly inverts virtually every Social Constructionist theory to demonstrate that what superficially seem like noble and idealistic (if misguided) principles -- that people are "born good" and it's society/parents/the media that ruins them -- are actually far more nihilistic and bleak in their implications than the much more likely thesis: we're incredibly complex animals whose instincts, while able to be subverted or counteracted by our conscious minds, cannot be completely ignored. To me -- an nth generation leftist who nearly ended up a Republican by the end of college, thanks to the truly ludicrous theories being bandied about in the early 90s -- the most valuable thing this book does is provide a basis for maintaining a progressive ideology without having to subscribe to pie-in-the-sky theories about how men and women are precisely identical other than their reproductive organs, violence is entirely a product of a dysfunctional culture, rape could not possibly have an evolutionarily adaptive purpose, and all children who end up doing wrong as adults are the products of shoddy parenting. As Pinker points out over and over, the problem with this sort of conflation of Is and Ought (i.e., nature and morality) is that you wind up painting yourselves into a corner -- if it turns out that, say, rape does have an evolutionary adaptive source, one would be forced to conclude that therefore it's okey-dokey. Better to separate the two and conclude that rape is evil because it's a horrific act of violence that can scar the victim for life, not because it's "unnatural," and to try to figure out how the circumstances that cause it to arise can best be prevented.

Pinker has his flaws, of course -- he can be glib at times, he doesn't always attempt to be even-handed, his cultural references are hit-or-miss (if anything, Public Enemy is an _anti-_gangsta rap group, and Borges and Wallace are certainly examples of modernist/postmodernist writers that don't fail to account for human nature and aren't merely products of stylistic oneupsmanship), and he fails to address the pressing issue of how evolution could possibly have selected for his goofy-ass Geddy Lee mullet. But flaws aside, this is an incredibly valuable work that points to where the Left is going to have to go in the 21st century if it doesn't want to wind up eating its tail as it did at the end of the 20th. As Peter Singer put it in his essential treatise, "A Darwinian Left": "Wood carvers presented with a piece of timber and a request to make wooden bowls from it do not simply begin carving according to a design drawn up before they have seen the wood. Instead they will examine the material with which they are to work, and modify their design in order to suit its grain. Political philosophers and the revolutionaries or reformers who have followed them have all too often worked out their ideal society, or their reforms, and sought to apply them without knowing much about the human beings who must carry out, and live with, their plans. Then, when the plans don't work, they blame traitors within their ranks, or sinister agents of outside forces, for the failure. Instead, those seeking to reshape society must understand the tendencies inherent in human beings, and modify their abstract ideals in order to suit them." Or, as King of Ants E.O. Wilson more succinctly said of Marxism: "Wonderful theory. Wrong species."

"

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:17 | 2265199 akak
akak's picture

I was taught the lessons of nature vs. nurture from my earliest days myself, as I am the middle child of three, having a younger sister (born of the same mother), as well as an adopted older brother, and let me tell you, while my sister and I were and still are alike in many ways (and like both our parents as well), my adopted brother was utterly out in left field compared to the rest of us.  Being younger than he, I cannot count the number of times that, upon entering a new school, which he had of course already been attending, I was told "What?  You are HIS brother?  No way!"  He in fact could NOT have been more different than the rest of us.  The fact that he was rather profoundly handicapped by low intelligence and wildly erratic and extreme emotional imbalances as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome (not recognized when he was adopted, but quite abundantly obvious later on, and verified by documentary evidence years after his adoption to boot) only made matters that much worse, and my childhood was a constant turmoil of stress and unhappiness as a result.

Having known other such families with adopted children, I can only caution ANYONE thinking of it to carefully weigh the consequences of potentially throwing together radically and fundamentally different personalities in the same household.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:03 | 2265202 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I don't know how you can be born an asshole but you can become one pretty fast if the conditions are right.

Isn't that right Yard Farmer?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 18:37 | 2265793 CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

The prejudice against assholes on this site is truly disturbing. Try living w/o one. Evil has a purpose. Imagine GoodWorld. What a bore.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 07:30 | 2266824 Bob
Bob's picture

Fair enough.  It's important to keep it to its appropriate place and function, however.  Lipstick doesn't change an asshole. 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:47 | 2265334 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

lizzy - let's meet.  :)  you get it.  karma and heaven might just be what the sociopaths dumped on us when kings and popes were the ruling class.  to keep us down.  they weren't particularly good at explaining why they were walking on everybody, so they came up with promoting the concept (i am serious) - 'we know we are screwing you all - but don't worry - we are in for a lot of trouble later - so keep you heads down and let us keep stepping on them like they are grapes.  in the end, you will be rewarded'.  things changed - today the kings and popes no longer rule.  the bankers always had power, but today they rule.  and there new karma is - 'sure we are making money - but we are going to help you get an even bigger return on your money, if only you believe in us, we are after your best interests'.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:28 | 2266540 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Karma does NOT mean what you think it does.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:14 | 2266516 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Karma is determined by your adherence to Dharma.  You've been given a chance to exercise your compassion, use it wisely.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 04:43 | 2266760 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

+1

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:39 | 2265317 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

mr. dingleberry - the fact is - they are sociopaths.  they don't have a conscience, they don't care about anybody else, their spouse, their mother, their children.  they want only for themselves and there are no limits.  it's difficult to understand because you may be well-rounded, normal person.  a person with 'normal' or 'sane' traits can't really understand the minds of ones that are diseased, which is why they are so good at taking advantage of us, or making really bad problems for us.  (going postal, mass murder, etc.)

i couldn't find any succint google defintions for sociopaths - but read a few.  they really don't care anything about morals, ethics or anybody else.  they are adept liars and users.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 07:40 | 2266833 Bob
Bob's picture

Sociopathy and "sociopaths" exist on a continuum just as most things human or otherwise.  I've had plenty of experience with the blue collar examples serving lifetime prison sentences and most actually do have some attachment to/love for family, though it may be less "absolute" than the rest of us claim for ourselves. 

The popular conception of sociopaths is too simple.  In the case of banksters and such, they enjoy a strong component of narcissism that shapes their lives.  The two "types"  overlap a great deal . . . picture a venn diagram.  Of course, these days the universe outside the circles is itself predominantly sociopathic, imo.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:09 | 2266512 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

There is a way out for you:  http://www.worldvision.org

Alleviate some suffering.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:32 | 2264950 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Mary Schapiro, SEC Chairman, Proposes Tougher Rules On Money Market Funds

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/15/secs-chairman-mary-schapiro-pro...

Because she nneds a job on Whore Street after her stint is done at the Sex Exchange Commisiion.  Spineless Bitch. SEC the inbred agencies with bunch of laywers who have no clue about audits. Hiding behing laws and regualtions MOFO's is not real job.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:32 | 2264952 toady
toady's picture

This is very similar to my experience, except I worked in IT. I HATED IT, but I did it for the money. I knew I wouldn't last, because I hated it, but 15 years @ 6 figures, plus staying off the materialism bandwagon, allowed me to leave that world behind.

No more staring at screens looking for missing punctuation for me!

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:34 | 2264958 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Good for you. Detach from the materials will make you richer. Screw the marketing hype and crap.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:37 | 2264963 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture

 

 

'Mea culpas & now I've changed' douchwoggles leaching out.  U didn't give a phuck while U made a buck.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:38 | 2264966 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

i dont care if every last one of them writes an op-ed

i still say to their faces..........JUMP YOU FUCKERS

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:43 | 2264974 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

One of my friend has turned like that... he exchanged his soul for bankster money. I can't be friend with him anymore... I don't hang around with scum.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:47 | 2264981 monopoly
monopoly's picture

This is a beautiful post and obviously from the heart. I have mentioned many times here that it is nice to have "what you need". A cave for you and your significant others, a car and or truck that works well to complete needed chores, some things that now we all think basic, computer, TV, clothes you need, some savings, (mostly worthless), and maybe a little extra for a trip or two from time to time.

What human being needs to have multiple cars, houses, boats, servants, and  50 suits from Brooks Brothers or 100 dresses and purses from Neiman Marcus. What the fuck is that all about. Does that make you a better human or a better parasite feeding off of others? How can they feel good about themselves when they represent 10% or less of the people in this country. What makes that OK> They are so insecure, so flipant and so narcissistic as to make them less human. But it is the law of the land. The few rule over the many, and that is not changing. I am glad I am not a part of it and feel good about my senior "baby boomer" years. 

It is not going to change. At least not just by asking and hoping. They will continue on until it all blows up again, and I assure you it will. It will not even begin to change until our "spring" begins. And am afraid all I see moving forward is fall, then winter again. The first move, peaceful as it should be will be the "march of millions" on Washington, and I still do not even see a flier advocating that....anywhere. So settle in and continue to prepare, as it is not changing anytime soon.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:02 | 2264993 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Suggestion:  Don't waste you time on that fetid swamp on the Potomac, Washington DC.  Build a community someplace, or with someone, you love.

Right now I'm stacking firewood for next winter.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:06 | 2265002 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

The only material goods which actually matter, at all, are the ones that are necessary for survival; that is, food, clothing and shelter from the elements.  Everything about what we are as human beings, beyond physical survival, is meant to be experienced on a level beyond the material, in the realm of the natural, the social and the spiritual.  None of those three things can be aided in any way by industrially produced products.  The entire thing is simply a complex illusion designed by the insane forces of industry and state to produce a situation which enables unlimited “progress and development”, to no determinable end.

The things we need to live meaningful lives are directly inhibited by an obsession with the material, in such as way that a rise in the material is equivalent to a drop in happiness and contentment.  We are thrown into a world where it is impossible to draw meaning from our own actions, working in offices so that we can purchase commercial food products in a sterile supermarket, rather than working the land or hunting in the forest.  When we surround ourselves with material objects, we lose our connection to the natural world.  These objects and the noise they produce come between us, and we lose the capacity to commune with one another.  A connection to the divine cannot hope to be maintained in such an environment.

People who “have nothing” are content because they have everything.  They have a connection to the earth, to each other, and through that, they are able to experience the mystery of the divine.  It is western man, with his electronic gadgets and SUVs and psychiatric drugs who has nothing; he gave up everything when he was tricked into trading his soul for the flashing lights of the material world.

I don’t know about you, but I want back what this system has taken from me, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get it.  The movement that I am proposing is nothing less than a reclamation of our own humanity, and everything that means.

http://whale.to/c/truth19.html

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:54 | 2264986 Dermasolarapate...
Dermasolarapaterraphatrima's picture

"Why steal less, when you can steal more" sums up the entire article.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:59 | 2264991 Monkeyfister
Monkeyfister's picture

 

Goldman Heir On Greg Smith Op-Ed: 'Spot On'

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/henry-goldman-iii-goldman-sachs...

Goldman Sachs just ain't what it used to be. Even according to a guy with the last name Goldman.

Henry Goldman III, the great-grandson of Goldman Sachs' founder Marcus Goldman, told Business Insider that he thinks Greg Smith's op-ed in The New York Times criticizing the investment bank’s "toxic" environment was "spot on." Smith's piece, which also served as his resignation letter from the firm, argued that Goldman's once client-focused culture shifted to one that valued profit above all else.

"I thought the article was a reflection of Wall Street in general and 'let buyer beware,'" Goldman told Business Insider. "It's certainly something friends of mine have discussed ad infinitum."

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:20 | 2265027 sIewie the pi-rat
sIewie the pi-rat's picture

huffington post  and business insider together in one post singing the praises of gregory smith

speaks volumes as obama2012 campaign starts up, whAT SAY WHAT mITT IS exactly the kind of bankster st. gregory was referring tooo? sarge, say it ain't so, say it ain't so

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 21:30 | 2266177 ekm
ekm's picture

Hm, I thought it was only me thinking that Business insider is Obama's website. That's why I've stopped checking it it's been few months already.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 04:13 | 2266745 cowpieflapjack
cowpieflapjack's picture

Huffpost? That's not a source, that's a pipeline. Even Wiki has, marginally, more credibility.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:18 | 2265023 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

The money is a trap. 

Welcome back to real America.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:34 | 2266551 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

It's NOT Money, it's currency, which has very little basis in reality.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:33 | 2265040 chunga
chunga's picture

I find this trend very encouraging and sincerely hope it continues.

Clear conscience aside; just when is it ok to break the law?

The lawyers are in the trenches right now and if they are defeated who knows what will happen after that.

I pulled these files from PACER yesterday. (found at hamlet link)

THE MEN FROM MERS

This Court Order was signed on January 5, 2012 by the Honorable John McConnell Jr., United States District Judge. Judge McConnell was very clear in his Order. All foreclosures under this order were "STAYED". Meaning STOP. Right now. STOP.

Well now, in what is impossible to view as anything but a clear and deliberate violation of the Order, the Law Office of Nicholas Barrett & Associates, specifically carried out by Foreclosure Mill Attorney Joseph Dolben on behalf of their TBTF clients.

In case there is any doubt that they knew exactly what they were doing when they brushed aside Judge McConnell's Order and sold the Cooke's home at auction, I direct your attention to "Exhibit A"

All eyes are on this judge. If he does nothing; his "Stay Order" was just a knuckle-ball.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:18 | 2265125 antisepticWipe
antisepticWipe's picture

If that judge doesn't do anything he should put a stay order on himself. Your graphics guy is no banzai...lol. funny though

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:34 | 2265158 chunga
chunga's picture

No fair setting the bar to Banzai's level. Gimme a break I'm just an amateur.

Yes, the judge should dismiss with prejudice. That took a lot of balls by the BAC, AHMSI, attorney. He pretended he never got the email warning which was great fun; until the return receipt notification was filed as "Exhibit A".

I am glad the homeowner's attorney is hammering the living shit out of them.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:43 | 2265067 Olympia
Olympia's picture

...Simple things happening all over Europe in exactly the same way. It was the same loansharking Goldman Sachs, that was financing the European Investment Bank and “connived" with Simitis the fiscal data of Greece, so that ECB would be justified to buy Greek bonds using Goldman Sachs money, so that Bobolas could undertake the overcost public works ...Bobolas, who was a Goldman Sachs’ partner ...it's a self-serving behavior ...and who pays for it? Fools of course! After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the loan sharks’ “trashes” have “flooded” Europe.

This was the whole trick! Simple, quick and with minimum risk. They corrupted the political leaders of the European Union and they “flattened” everything. All these beasts –Pronti or Barroso- under the auspices of the loan sharks took important posts in the European mechanisms. Using the cheap borrowed dollars of Germany, they “printed” the cheap ECB Euro in Frankfurt. Using these cheap Euro they grasped the expensive Euro of the countries and turned it into debts. They eliminated the Euro securities and all that was left in the market was the Euro bonds. Euro value was stored in the ECB vaults and the countries were left with debts. That was the “game”!

http://eamb-ydrohoos.blogspot.com/2012/01/global-debt-crisis.html

Even the pseudo-imperialism of Germany is to blur the people ...to hide the loan sharks from the view, the German imperialists appear. What is happening nowadays in Greece, it happens everywhere. German Siemens seems to have a leading part in the loot of Greece. Is there a German Siemens or is it the long “arm” of Goldman Sachs? Deutsche Telecom seized OTE at a dirt-cheap price. Is there the German Deutsche Telekom, when it belongs to the loan sharks of Deutsche Bank? Is there a German Deutsche Bahn, that claims for OSE (Greek Railway Company)? Who owns Deutsche Bahn? The Germans do? ...this is ludicrous. Germans do not even own Germany.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:53 | 2265085 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

 

 

Arming Goldman Sachs With Pistols: Alice Schroeder-2009 

Obama Executive Orders Impose New Gun Rules-2011 

We must protect the Central Banking fibers of our Global Nation. Only those who work to expand our mission will be granted immunity by possessing a firearm under new US laws. 

There is no spoon  <<<<<<-------------

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:54 | 2265091 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

“I’m not sitting in the back with the proletariat!” he declared.   <------    this guy is in need is serious reeducation

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:06 | 2265109 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Your onto a new teleprompter reelection campaign theme. Brilliant! 

Eat your proletariat

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:05 | 2265101 Tegrat
Tegrat's picture

My take is that banks are required to provide capital and funding for many business ventures.

 

Without banking

  - the Internet (and ZH) as we know it would not exist. Yes our gov, DARPA started it, but now it's 100% supported by small to large corporations all created by funding of a bank in some sorts

 - Nearly every home built in the world starts with a funding from a bank. Since 1977 and the CRA  the government has been releaxing requirements and eventually forcing lenders/banks to keep high risk (sub/altA) loans for every prime loan (or go out of biz) 

 - Nearly every medium to large business transaction involves a bank.

 - Nearly every company that produces the products you consume, you local PM dealer, your survival supply company, your ammo/gun and toilet paper companies started with funding from a bank

- If I dicovered/produced a product and wanted to go to market, most assuredly a bank and it's funding would be involved.

I dont see banks as bad. I see them providing a service and product thats integral to every product I consume. The culpability lies more with the polititicians who take the corprorate bribes of many corporations - not just banks. And worse, the politicians who provide public funding to their pet projects. To blame the gun salesman (corporation) and not the person who planned and executed the murder (politician)  makes it clear that I dont see things the same as most on here.

 

 

 

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:51 | 2265179 malek
malek's picture

Very funny.

And where is the capital they are providing coming from?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:11 | 2265226 noob
noob's picture

Very funny!!!

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:13 | 2265120 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

When the only way to deal with a problem is to walk away, that says a lot about the nature of it right there. In the case of Wall Street I think it applies to their customers too. 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:15 | 2265242 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

i enjoyed greg smith's article and i had longtime wall st. friends ask me about it.  why?  i did some time at goldman, years ago, and i saw the change.   and i saw the change coming and left.  (but it wasn't any better at that point most other places)  :)

this guy was just a kid, and is still just a kid.  he had no depth or inside information.  he was 26, 27 and found out it wasn't for him.   fine.  leave.

just like some people find out after dating, they are gay.  big deal.  this is nothing. i t really isn't

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:17 | 2265122 Heroic Couplet
Heroic Couplet's picture

Makes you realize the Republican senator from Texas, Phil Gramm and his fukkups are beyond anything Nancy Pelosi and a handfull of Democrats could ever dream of. It's a pleasure to see bankers and Republicans going into an election year.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:18 | 2265126 Anarchyteez
Anarchyteez's picture

James Taggert, is that you?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:21 | 2265133 digalert
digalert's picture

I'm still waiting, the time will surely come. The banksters and government handmaidens will begin feeding on themselves. It won't be voluntary either, but a fight for survival. These bastards have been fairly insulated from the real world. Myself, speaking from the "proletariat" can tell you that there's a whole lotta folks still pretty pissed off...with long memories.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:22 | 2265136 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

 

 

Repeal of Glass Steagall, Derivatives & out of control Hedge Funds! 

(At 1.38 ) Even, I never inhaled or had sex admits to his failure.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 16:57 | 2265536 ekm
ekm's picture

Quite interesting.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:23 | 2265139 Anarchyteez
Anarchyteez's picture

Couplet

Omg, he she still believes in democrats and
Repulicans. How embarrassing. Geez.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:37 | 2265141 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

It's not just the banks, it's every business. In fact it's most people.  To everyone, everyone else is the bad guy.  The IRS who wants all our money, the Government who wants more power, the Corporations who pay little or no taxes, the Rich who keep getting richer off the backs of those producing, the Poor wanting to live off taxpayers, the Employer who says his/her employee goofs off to much, the Employee who says his/her employer is exploiting him/her.  I could go on and on but I'm certain that everyone reading this can come up with plenty more. 

Society has again lost it's way as it periodically does.  This time is different though, we went beyond the point of no return.  Only total collapse will give it a fresh start.  EAT, DRINK, and be MERRY..............

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:25 | 2265143 The Beam
The Beam's picture

I have seen this too. I have seen numerous people get out of the game. It kills some of their souls. It ultimately comes to how much one can one take (if they are a good person).

I am a big fucking kid. I will stay a big kid and keep caring about people. I saw my friend's parents go unemployed and broke in the late 80's, early 90's. I got into this to help people. I will continue to try to help and educate people. If that costs me my current job or a spot at another firm....SO BE IT!

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:31 | 2265155 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

I’m still waiting for, but anticipating a report any day now about some disgruntled Wall Street employee who went to management with his or her grievances and managed to get some new ethics policy implemented. You know, a shining example of the upstanding correct way of handling it internally. It’s probably just taking them a while to hire an actor with enough knowledge of Wall Street practices to sound convincing to the public.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:49 | 2266580 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

I can think of 15+Trillion reasons why it's far too late.  Who'd believe them at this stage of the game?

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:43 | 2265168 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture

Bay st , wall st , 21 jump st and sesame street

The all meet at the conner of  illusions st and make believe

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:49 | 2265175 malek
malek's picture

Sounds like the guy is basically asking himself: "Why didn't I take the blue pill?"

His problems started way before, in moments like when he received his Infinite Visa card. He may have felt honored or flattered. I would have laughed about the "Infinite" marketing blabber and reminded myself that most things in life are passing.
Or when he felt "I finally made it." Was there a healthy, modest, but not pessimistic "for now" echoing in his thoughts then too - or did his mindset assume "and I'll never go back from where I came!"

The big difference, though, is that bankers and traders make millions, and their poor due diligence can bring down financial markets.

He's missing the point. If they had brought down the financial markets in '07, everything would be good. Instead they brought down real capitalism (the one where failures happen and are allowed to happen).

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 15:38 | 2265313 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Great piece on Russia Today -

http://rt.com/programs/capital-account/mf-global-fund-melin/

on MF Global and J P Morgan. This channel has some really good reporting and questions.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 16:38 | 2265489 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

The problem is: When a stock goes up wildly, that is printing money exactly like Uncle Ben, but without the "loan into existence" part. This is where the comparisons to God come into play.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 16:50 | 2265524 gwar5
gwar5's picture

"I am Greg Smith"

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 18:31 | 2265780 JustinObodie
JustinObodie's picture

In 1985 I was offered an open check book to implement a very sophisticated census based geo-demographic marketing/information model I had designed for a growing global media concern. It was something every ambitious exec dreamed of. There was only one problem: a toxic/dishonest corporate culture. The model was (potentially) powerful and in the hands of a cynical corporation could be developed/fine tuned and used intrusively.

I remember discussing (over drinks) with fellow execs where this model could take us, as a society that is, and the power it could afford the CEO of this global concern (especially if that CEO was in bed with government). Big Brother was a term I used a number of times, and predicted that our CEO (a grub) was positioning himself to be the most powerful (and corrupt) of his kind. My colleagues were fascinated with the financial and manipulative possibilities of this model, but simply didn't get my Big Brother concerns. Nobody cared. They still don't.

I resigned the following day - I didn't want to help a grubby (toxic) corporation become more powerful than it already was, even though my resignation wouldn't make difference in the big scheme of things.

Since then I have worked for myself and haven't regretted a bit of it. I choose who I do business with (I've knocked back heaps of work), and conduct my business within my own ethical framework (based on honesty and trust), in the manner that suits my lifestyle (I never missed out on family stuff, lots of holidays etc.). I suppose "freedom" would be the best term to describe it.

My advice to employees who have ethical problems with their employer is to simply find another job, as soon as possible. Peace of mind always trumps greed. I feel sorry for corporate good fellas: money but no soul; but we can have both, if we want.

BTW, the CEO I worked for is the guy who is currently having a little bit of trouble (with the law) over in the UK just now, stuff about privacy and corruption. I wonder if any of my colleagues remembered my 1985 predictions.

 

 

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society" Jiddu Krishnamurti.

 

 

 

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 21:25 | 2266163 ekm
ekm's picture

Good decision.

I'm with you. My SANITY is my only concern.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 18:32 | 2265784 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

I read every one of { These POSTS} .

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 20:45 | 2266079 ItsDanger
ItsDanger's picture

I think these articles need to focus more on the negative impact on the economy and the treatment of clients.  Really, firms like this dont contribute much to the ecomony yet suck a lot out of it.  Most of what they provide could be totally automated, ie. they arent necessary.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 00:41 | 2266565 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

I wonder how much he's got saved up.  Well, hopefully he didn't blow his cash away.

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