Sunday, February 14, 2010

Did Goldman Sachs Use One Of Its High-Powered Computers To Rig An Online Vote?

I linked before to Richard Curtis' video putting forward the idea that there should be a Robin Hood tax, where certain banking transactions would be taxed a meagre 0.05% with the proceeds going to good causes. Apparently there has been a recent surge in the no vote on the online poll.

Around 3:41 pm yesterday, the technical team watching the vote counter on a grass root campaign's website noticed that the “no” votes increased dramatically.

A few days ago, asked the public to vote on a "tiny" tax on bankers that would donate no more than .05% of each banking transaction to the poor.

They say it would raise more than $100 billion pounds.

Robin Hood’s security team said that it traced the erroneous votes to two computers, one of which is allegedly registered to Goldman, according to The Telegraph.

A spokesman for Goldman said the bank had “just received this information and is investigating fully”.

It must be a slow news day if I am linking to this, because I am honestly not remotely surprised.

Click here for full article.


Steel Phoenix said...

If this was fraud, it was very sloppy. Who has both the skills to do this and not the understanding that it can be noticed and traced if it all comes from one location? It shouldn't take a high powered computer to do this.

On the vote itself, they put the spin on it a bit too thick. First the Bush-style name of the bill, then making it sound like the amount taxed is so tiny it would hardly be noticed and finally bragging about what a huge amount of money it will bring in. Either it is going to cost a lot and make a lot, or it isn't.

There are a couple more economic realities to address here. It isn't the banks who will pay this tax, they will pass it on, and If people are being taxed per transaction, it will simply cause them to make fewer transactions.

The question of the effects of the velocity of transactions on the value of currency in a fiat system is an interesting one.

It will be also be interesting to see what this does to the markets. I think it likely it will reduce speculation on small promising startups in favor of large long term investments in major corporations.

Kel said...

Either it is going to cost a lot and make a lot, or it isn't.

I totally disagree, SP.

0.05% of anyone's money isn't a big deal to most of us, unless we are talking about people living in dire poverty.

The 0.05% only becomes a very large amount of money because of the size of the transactions that these bankers are dealing in.

It isn't the banks who will pay this tax, they will pass it on

It really does seem to me as if there is no way ever to get these guys - the very guys who created a situation where they lost so much money it became our duty to bail them out - to ever stop feeding at the trough and stop trying to make us pay for their mistakes.

This is why I keep saying that there has to be more regulation. Left to their own devices, they will always make their profits private and their losses public; and that is simply scandalous.

Steel Phoenix said...

They didn't make their losses public, the government did.

It isn't .05% yearly, it's every single transaction. It isn't the size of the percentage that concerns me, it's the frequency. As I said, people will still make large transactions, they will just do so much less frequently.

Since when does a new kind of tax ever end up staying small? This is the foot-in-the-door stage.

Kel said...

They didn't make their losses public, the government did.

No, they made their losses so huge that the government were faced with the choice of either bailing them out or watching the entire financial system collapse.

It isn't .05% yearly, it's every single transaction.

I understand that and have no difficulty with that being the case.