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credit-default-swaps

Robert Scheer

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“What is this Goldman Sachs and why has it caused us so much grief?” is a question they must be asking in even the most remote of Greek villages, as they are throughout much of this economically troubled world. (Reposted)

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One percent of the adult human population qualifies as clinically psychopathic, exhibiting a lack of empathy and a knack for telling lies and getting away with it. That compares with 10 percent of wheeler-dealers on Wall Street, according to a recent study. American critic William Deresiewicz is not surprised. Update: The 1-in-10 figure is unsupported. See here.

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On Wall Street, a small number of investors are betting $4.8 billion that the U.S. government will fail to raise the debt ceiling in the next week and, subsequently, will default on its $14 trillion debt.

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Sure, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein once crowed that his firm was "doing God's work," but, as Stephen Colbert points out here, Blankfein never actually specified which God he was talking about. Perhaps it was Hades, Greek god of the underworld. Given the state of the Greek economy, that may not be too much of a stretch.

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It's not the only financial institution involved, but Goldman Sachs features prominently among the companies that the Federal Reserve is investigating in relation to Greece's recent debt calamity, Fed chief Ben Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

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