Home > exploitation > “A great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”

“A great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”

from  David Ruccio

“relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” Matt Taibbi observed back in 2009.

And, in 2012, Goldman Sachs [pdf] made an extraordinary comeback in terms of capturing a larger share of the available surplus, with net earnings of $7.48 billion (compared to $4.4 billion in 2011), based on growth in the bank’s trading activity and “principal transactions” while keeping compensation and benefits close to where they were in the previous year.  


How else to describe it but in the following terms:

The bank’s unprecedented reach and power have enabled it to turn all of America into a giant pump-and-dump scam, manipulating whole economic sectors for years at a time, moving the dice game as this or that market collapses, and all the time gorging itself on the unseen costs that are breaking families everywhere — high gas prices, rising consumer credit rates, half-eaten pension funds, mass layoffs, future taxes to pay off bailouts. All that money that you’re losing, it’s going somewhere, and in both a literal and a figurative sense, Goldman Sachs is where it’s going: The bank is a huge, highly sophisticated engine for converting the useful, deployed wealth of society into the least useful, most wasteful and insoluble substance on Earth — pure profit for rich individuals.

  1. January 17, 2013 at 4:40 am

    Goldman is not on its own in declaring exceptional earnings in 2012.
    See news release from the Royal Bank of Canada below.
    Other big banks show similar results.
    The big question is: How did they manage to “earn” so much money while the world economy is in the doldrums? It would appear that the real economy and the financial casino have parted ways.

    ‘TORONTO, November 29, 2012 – Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) today reported record net income of $7.5 billion for
    the year ended October 31, 2012, up $1.1 billion or 17% from the prior year. Earnings from continuing operations of $7.6 billion were up
    $620 million or 9% from the prior year. Our results reflected record earnings in Personal & Commercial Banking, Capital Markets and
    “Our record earnings from continuing operations of $7.6 billion this year were driven by exceptional growth in Canadian Banking,
    Capital Markets and Insurance, demonstrating the earnings power of our diversified business model,” said Gord Nixon, RBC President
    and CEO. “This year, we extended our leadership position and executed our long-term growth strategy while maintaining our prudent
    risk and disciplined cost management.”
    Strong volume growth across all of our Canadian banking businesses, higher fixed income trading and corporate and investment
    banking results, and improved claims experience in Insurance drove our strong earnings this year. These results were partially offset by
    higher costs in support of business growth, moderated by our cost management initiatives, and increased provision for credit losses
    (PCL) in our wholesale and Caribbean portfolios.’

  2. sergio
    January 17, 2013 at 5:59 am

    That is what neoclassical economics does not tell you about. State and government is BAD, but bankers are so goood.

  3. Peter Hayes
    January 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Wasn’t it one of the RWER posts that announced a study of (I think of Europe, but my memory may be failing!) finance charges as a percentage of purchases? I believe s/he found in the neighborhood 35% of all expenditures flows to finance charges… and guess who receives the lion’s share of finance charges?

    The squid is pretty good visually, but I think a lot of parasites serve as apt analogies… malaria has some appropriate similarities (cycles of fever – good and bad… just like ‘business cycles’); maybe a fungus – so little visible on the outside, so much of it hidden in pervasive tendrils of death sucking the nutrients from killed cells…

    But, money seems to all that talks, especially in the US environment. How do any of us with another vision begin changing things for the better without destroying the good? RWER is a beginning, but we all know that many economists won’t even think about reading such a contradictory perspective…

  4. January 19, 2013 at 6:51 am

    :D Yay! Mucho bravuro & maybe some hope for this blog growing into a truly effective vehicle of ARE (actual reality economics) in the hopefully not too distant future, if we get one before being wiped out by Big Energy, Big Pharma, Big Chem & Big Banks and their ecocidal pursuit of winning at all cost.

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