Friday, April 16, 2010

SEC charges Goldman Sachs with fraud

(Fortune) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday charged Wall Street's most gilded firm, Goldman Sachs, with defrauding investors in a sale of securities tied to subprime mortgages.

The SEC said it charged New York-based Goldman (GS, Fortune 500) and a vice president, Fabrice Tourre, for their failure to disclose conflicts in a 2007 sale of a so-called collateralized debt obligation. Investors in the CDO ultimately lost $1 billion, the SEC said.

The SEC's civil fraud complaint alleges that Goldman allowed hedge fund Paulson & Co. -- run by John Paulson, who made billions of dollars betting on the subprime collapse -- to help select securities in the CDO.

Goldman didn't tell investors that Paulson was shorting the CDO, or betting its value would fall. When the CDO's value plunged within months of its issuance, Paulson walked off with $1 billion, the SEC said.

This is just the beginning readers. This civil action will turn into criminal, after all the court findings. This process will drag out for years, making hundreds of millions for lawyers. But the bottom line is, those greedy deceitful SOB's are going to answer to thousands of investors who were taken for a ride, including the government. We can now rest knowing justice will be served as the years pass.

Jack Herer, father of marijuana legalization movement, dies at age 70 in Eugene

I first saw Jack in 1989, in Northampton MA, at the first marijuana rally ever staged here in Massachusetts. A few years later, he was our featured speaker in Ashland at Stone Park, where the Selectman tried in vain to stop us. Thanks to the ACLU and attorney John Swomley, a federal judge ruled against the Town and the rally went on.

After reading Jack's book, "The Emperor Wears No Clothes", I was enlightened to all the uses of hemp and the truth behind marijuana prohibition. He and I had a few puffs and talked about the bigger picture and how we could make a difference. Jack was a formidable crusader, ruff and tumble type guy, who spoke the truth.

I am lucky to have known and crusaded with him. His work has paid off all around this country and his spirit will always be a part of our future.