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Gaming the System The Foundation of the U.S. Economy
OilPrice.com ^ | 20/04/2010 | Charles Hugh Smith

Posted on 04/20/2010 3:22:40 PM PDT by bananaman22

The status quo not just incentivizes gaming the system, it has made it the primary way to get ahead in today's economy.

Gaming the system is not just encouraged--it has become the foundation of the U.S. economy. Without it, the status quo will implode. Goldman Sachs gamed the system to package guaranteed-to-default mortgages and present them to buyers as AAA-rated "safe" investments yielding a high return, while selling a hedge fund derivatives which were a bet against the mortgages. The hedge fund helped GS select the most likely to default mortgage tranches to raise the probability that their bet (going short) against the mortgages would rise to essentially guaranteed profitability.

This is the norm on wall Street and has been since at least the late 1990s, as revealed in the important book Fiasco: The Inside Story of a Wall Street Trader.

But it's not just Wall Street which the status quo rewards for gaming the system: the housing/credit bubble offered average Americans ample opportunities to game the system--a practice they continue perfecting as the Federal government desperately attempts to reinflate the housing bubble with wave after wave of trillion-dollar bailouts, mortgage guarantees and tax credits.

Let's start with Wall Street. Frequent contributor Harun I. referenced this Transcript of Bill Moyers Journal with Simon Johnson and James Kwak, authors of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, in a note on the status quo's extreme dependence on Goldman Sach's trading volume and thus its extreme vulnerability to collapse: Full article at: U.S. Economy


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: americans; economy; gaming; wallstreey

1 posted on 04/20/2010 3:22:40 PM PDT by bananaman22
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