Friday, February 12, 2010

Goldman Sachs (GS) Doing God's Work in Manipulating Public Polls on UK Banker Tax

I was going to originally title this post "A New Low for Goldman Sachs" but really, there are so many lows I have lost count, and I don't know where this one would rank among all the work Goldman Sachs does.  Seriously now, stories like this are so over the top they would be denied if this was offered as a piece of fiction.

Here is the background... in the UK there is a proposal called a "Tobin Tax" -  a tax on bankers that would be used to pay for some social services.  Here is the website where it appears they were running a public poll and I embedded the video below.

So there is a poll on the site asking the public if they think it's a good idea.  Lo and behold, in this era when the banksters appear to have all the government and central banks powers working for them, with Main Street an after thought, the assumption would be this poll would have a resounding amount of yes votes.  But it appears within a span of 20 minutes, some 5000 "no" votes hit the poll.  To put that number in perspective there are only 33,000 votes total as I type this.... so a massive outpouring of support for the banks?

Ah... but God's work was happening behind the scenes. The UK Guardian tells us what happened:
  • Supporters of a "Tobin tax", including churches, trade unions and charities, projected a giant slogan on the side of the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street earlier this week, urging the public to join the campaign for a small tax on every trade in financial markets, from share deals to foreign exchange transactions. They say this could raise tens of billions of pounds to tackle poverty and climate change abroad, and prevent savage public spending cuts at home as the government struggles to pay for the bank bailouts.
  • Campaigners for a "Robin Hood tax" watched with alarm as thousands of votes poured into their website, rejecting their proposal for a levy on City wheeler-dealing, to raise money to fight poverty and climate change.
  • After a bit more investigation, though, the unlikely backlash against the rob-the-rich plan – almost 5,000 no votes against the Robin Hood tax within 20 minutes – turned out to emanate from just two computer servers, one of which was registered to the investment bank Goldman Sachs.  (folks - you can't make this stuff up)
  • Between 3.41pm and 3.57pm yesterday, little more than 24 hours after the Robin Hood tax campaign's high-profile launch, supporters noticed a sudden spike in the number of people rejecting the plan in their online poll. More than 1,700 came from a Goldman-registered server, with the rest from what appeared to be a personal address. (I wonder if that was Hank Paulson's laptop?) It was unclear whether the stunt involved an individual or a number of people.
  • Goldman said: "We have just received this information, and we are investigating the matter fully." (haha - translation: fire that idiot in IT!)
  • A spokesman for the Robin Hood tax campaign said the "dubious" votes had been discounted. "It's great that public support for a tax on banks' financial transactions is making people in the City of London sit up and notice," he added.
Whatever you think of the tax... this type of 'work' is truly awe inspiring.  And I don't mean that in a good way.

These are the things someone caught Goldman doing, which is why I often say (from my perch on the grassy knoll) can you imagine the things we will never catch?  Truly, so much of "God's work" is being done without Goldman getting their proper due - we would be so blessed to know half of what is happening in the bowels of 85 Broad, New York, NY.

On a completely unrelated note (ahem), the trader who allegedly stole Goldman Sachs quant code - I assume the same code that helps Goldman to winning percentages that make no sense unless you are the house [Nov 4, 2009: Goldman Sachs Q3 Winning Percentage: 98.4%], was sentenced to 25 years in prison this week.  (edit: I misspoke - Sergei the 'rogue trader' has only been indicted, not yet given his sentence - apparently up to 25 years is the possibility)  Amazing how efficient the court system is (what was that? 6 months to complete such a high profile case) when Goldman is involved.  But then again, it was a matter of national security i.e. Government Sachs.  Anyhow, if the website suddenly goes down - you know what happened to me.

We can only hope Goldman's plans to conquer one country after another, by installing "Goldman values" can overcome this small misstep.

[Jul 21, 2008: It's Goldman Sachs World - We Just Live in It]
[Mar 17, 2009: Your TARP Dollars Hard at Work Supporting Goldman Sachs Employees]
[Jun 25, 2009: Rolling Stone - Goldman Sachs, The Wall Street Bubble Mafia]
[Jul 17, 2009: Jon Stewart - the Pyramid Economy, with Goldman Sachs as the Eye]
[Aug 27, 2009: Goldman Sachs Trading Huddles]
[Sep 10, 2009: Goldman Sachs CEO: "Ok, I Admit - Some of Our Innovations were Socially Useless"]

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