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Goldman Sachs CEO gets $16.2 million pay package

Lloyd BlankfeinGoldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein's compensation increased 14.5 percent to $16.2 million in 2011 despite a sharp decline in profits and share price during the year, leaving the bank open to more attacks on its pay policies.

Blankfein's pay boost includes stock awards from previous years that vested in 2011, and therefore does not reflect the amount that Goldman's board awarded him strictly for the company's performance last year.

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Companies that avoid paying US taxes want 'tax holiday'

Apple CorporationThe companies have avoided U.S. taxes on almost every penny of their international profits by keeping the money offshore. And nearly that entire haul has been designated by top executives of those firms as “permanently” or “indefinitely” reinvested abroad, partly because of the 35 percent U.S. tax rate companies must pay to bring home foreign money.

That $455.6 billion, along with hundreds of billions more dollars in other earnings parked overseas, lies at the center of a tug of war between lobbyists, Congress and the White House over how to tax international profits.

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Finance expert says speculators are behind high oil and gasoline prices

Speculators responsible for high gas pricesFinancial speculators are gambling on oil the same way they gambled on the housing market a few years ago — a frightening prospect for the fragile economy, a Democratic congressional committee was told Wednesday.

"It is similar to the gambling Wall Street did on whether or not people would pay their subprime (below-market rate) mortgages in the mortgage meltdown," said Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland and a former federal regulator of financial markets. "Now they are betting on the upward direction of the price of oil."

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Explaining Central Banking To The Publicly Educated

How has this central banking scheme "helped"?  It hasn't.  It actually ended up destroying scarce resources as it fooled the participants in the economy for a period of time into thinking they were more wealthy than they really were.


Don't understand economics?  And the thought of even trying makes your eyes cross?

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The Wall Street gold rush in foreclosed homes

Wall St. gold rush Dan Magder recently gave up a top job with private equity firm Lone Star Funds to strike out on his own and become a landlord.

He's joining a growing list of big and small investors who see fat profits to be made in renting out foreclosed homes, especially now the U.S. government is moving ahead with a trial project to sell big pools of single-family homes that Fannie Mae currently owns in some of the hardest-hit housing markets.

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US economic model broken, says survey

“If the American economic system is set up to reward risk takers, what happens when the majority of Americans are no longer willing to take risks?” said David Bowers, managing director of Absolute Strategy Research, a London-based investment consultancy that commissioned the research.

Fairness was the biggest perceived flaw in the economic model – only 20 per cent of Americans said it “distributes wealth and income fairly”. Majorities said the US system did not provide equal opportunities for everyone or reward people for their hard work and skill.

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How Goldman secretly bet on the U.S. housing crash

Goldman SachsIn 2006 and 2007, Goldman Sachs Group peddled more than $40 billion in securities backed by at least 200,000 risky home mortgages, but never told the buyers it was secretly betting that a sharp drop in U.S. housing prices would send the value of those securities plummeting.

Goldman's sales and its clandestine wagers, completed at the brink of the housing market meltdown, enabled the nation's premier investment bank to pass most of its potential losses to others before a flood of mortgage defaults staggered the U.S. and global economies.

Only later did investors discover that what Goldman had promoted as triple-A rated investments were closer to junk.

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