General Assembly holds mock trial and journalist Chris Hedges reads
accusing Goldman Sachs of financial crimes against humanity
VOICEOVER: Manhattan, New York. In November, people from Occupy Wall Street held a mock trial of Goldman Sachs, accusing it of financial crimes against the 99 percent. The journalist Chris Hedges read a compilation of the charges.
CHRIS HEDGES, AUTHOR AND ACTIVIST: Goldman Sachs, which received more subsidies and bailout-related funds than any other investment bank, because the Federal Reserve permitted it to become a bank holding company under its emergency situation, has used billions in taxpayer money to enrich itself and reward its top executives. It handed its senior employees a staggering $18 billion in 2009, $16 billion in 2010, and looks set to hand out $10 billion in megabonuses in 2011. This massive transference of wealth upwards by the Bush and Obama administrations, now estimated at a staggering thirteen to fourteen trillion dollars, went into the pockets of those who carried out fraud and criminal activity rather than the victims who lost their jobs (some of whom we’ll hear today), their savings, and often their homes. Goldman Sachs’ commodities index is the most heavily traded in the world. The company hoardes rice, wheat, corn, sugar, and livestock and jacks up commodity prices around the globe, so that poor families can no longer afford basic staples, and many literally starve. Goldman Sachs is able to carry out its malfeasance at home and in global markets because it has former officials filtered throughout the government and lavishly funds compliant politicians, including Barack Obama, who received $1 million from employees at Goldman Sachs in 2008 when he ran for president. These politicians in return permit Goldman Sachs to ignore security laws that under a functioning judiciary system would see the firm indicted for felony fraud, or, as in the case of Bill Clinton, these politicians pass laws such as the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which effectively removed all oversight and outside control over the speculation in commodities, one of the major reasons food prices around the world have soared. In 2008 and 2010, prices for crops such as rice, wheat, and corn doubled or tripled, making life precarious for hundreds of millions of people. And it was all done so a few corporate oligarchs, the 1 percent, could amass personal fortunes in the tens of millions and often hundreds of millions of dollars.
VOICEOVER: After listening to more testimonies, the general assembly of Occupy Wall Street deliberated and declared Goldman Sachs guilty of financial crimes against humanity. A march was organized to deliver the verdict of this popular trial. Police arrested 16 people, including journalist Chris Hedges, among others, during the rally outside the headquarters in lower Manhattan. Reporting from New York, this is The Real News.
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