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195 comments

how much is that in seconds? (1, Funny)

negrace (984807) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543282)

how much is that in seconds?

Re:how much is that in seconds? (2)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543368)

The original sentence was only 4 years, but an unfortunate combination of some faulty leap year code and Y2K errors caused a misprint on the court documents, and IT support won't help change it back...

Shame (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543308)

It's a shame this is the only guy from GS who went to jail...

Re:Shame (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543398)

every day i see stupid people everywhere... and i wonder... isn't abortion legal? shouldn't they have all been aborted fetuses with a bunch of holes poked into their still-twitching heads by a sharp probe until they die and get flushed out the uterus like so much garbage? imagine the money we'd save on social services and how much easier it would be to drive places without some dumbass doing some stupid shit that endangers himself (which is ok) and you (which isn't). too many dumbasses leads to too big a government leads to too miserable a society for the small percentage of intelligent people who actually invent new things and contribute useful ideas and carry the weight of a whole mass of morons on their backs. fuck this shit.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543694)

On the news tonight, another sophomore discovers the works of Ayn Rand. Full story at ten.

Re:Shame (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543442)

If the same principle applied to this as it does to bank losses, every US resident would have to serve about five sixths of a second in jail.

GS is a big donor to the right people (4, Informative)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543744)

A million dollars buys you a lot.

Barack Obama (D)
Top Contributors

University of California $1,591,395
Goldman Sachs $994,795
Harvard University $854,747
Microsoft Corp $833,617
Google Inc $803,436
Citigroup Inc $701,290
JPMorgan Chase & Co $695,132
Time Warner $590,084
Sidley Austin LLP $588,598
Stanford University $586,557
National Amusements Inc $551,683
UBS AG $543,219
Wilmerhale Llp $542,618
Skadden, Arps et al $530,839
IBM Corp $528,822
Columbia University $528,302
Morgan Stanley $514,881
General Electric $499,130

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638 [opensecrets.org]

Re:GS is a big donor to the right people (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543776)

I wonder where the University of California gets it's money from.

Re:GS is a big donor to the right people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543992)

Fining cuntards who don't know how to use apostrophes.

Re:GS is a big donor to the right people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544456)

I wonder where the University of California gets it's money from.

Most of it comes from the state. The state of California spends billions of dollars every year on its 3 public university systems, the lion's share of which goes to the University of California schools (the University of California is a collection of 10 campuses, including UCLA and UC Berkeley). My question is what were they hoping to get out of it?

Re:GS is a big donor to the right people (2, Informative)

rbayer (1911926) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544656)

If you read the link where these numbers came from (I know, that would be WAY uncool around here), you'll see that "The organizations themselves did not donate , rather the money came from the organization's PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families."

Do you really think the University of California as an institution gave $1.5 million to Obama? Of course not, but add up all the generally left-leaning faculty, staff, grad students, and alumni across all the campuses and that number sounds much more reasonable.

Re:GS is a big donor to the right people (4, Insightful)

Grismar (840501) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543826)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not so naïve to believe US politics (or any Western country's politics for that matter) are free of corruption. But you're right there on the other end of the spectrum: making everyone supporting a political cause with money suspect.

If you think that's somehow helpful, power to you, but I don't see how it is. Of course you could be of the opinion that supporting a political cause with money is a bad thing for exactly that reason, but believing that would stop everyone from doing it would be no less naïve...

Well, Obama did hire Goldman's top lobbyist (5, Interesting)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543964)

As his Treasury Secretary's chief of staff. How's that for influence? And GE's CEO is on his economic team.

Question for you: If money doesn't buy influence, why do companies donate to candidates? And don't say because they are true believers - most donate to both sides.

Re:Well, Obama did hire Goldman's top lobbyist (1)

PixelScuba (686633) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544358)

I'm guessing there is some truth to that last comment... not so much "true believers" but they give money to people they think will support their cause/initiative. Of course Unions are going to give money to Democratic candidates because they are more likely to support collective bargaining agreements and the concept of unions. Just like business, the oil industry gives money to Alaskan senators and pro oil drilling people. I'm sure there are plenty of Unions who contribute to republicans and plenty of businesses support democrats... but lobbyists tend to send the money to the people who are most likely to support them. It's probably more a case of both; Lobbyists pay representatives who agree with their values... and representatives continue to take that money and vote that way to ensure they keep getting the money.

True, which is why Goldman gave more to Obama (2)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544554)

But hedged their bets by giving some to McCain, who ironically was leading in the polls until Lehman failed. Maybe these Goldman analysts are pretty damn smart after all. "Hey, we banks are a house of cards about to implode, so let's go with the guy who won't get blamed as 'Bush's third term.'" But just in case, we'll throw McCain some scraps as well.

Goldman Sachs: Recipients
2008 Cycle

Senate Obama, Barack (D-IL) $995,745
Senate Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $401,950
Delegate Romney, Mitt (R) $235,275
Senate McCain, John (R-AZ) $234,695
House Himes, Jim (D-CT) $150,498
Senate Dodd, Chris (D-CT) $112,500 (co-architect of "Dodd-Frank" watered-down financial regulation bill)

Re:GS is a big donor to the right people (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543944)

I thought Campaign Laws forbade giving more than $5000. How do they skirt around that rule?

Re:GS is a big donor to the right people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544086)

Legally? Many ways, but a more obvious one is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_action_committee

Re:GS is a big donor to the right people (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544596)

From a site mentioned above:

The organizations themselves did not donate , rather the money came from the organization's PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.

Because of contribution limits, organizations that bundle together many individual contributions are often among the top donors to presidential candidates. These contributions can come from the organization's members or employees (and their families). The organization may support one candidate, or hedge its bets by supporting multiple candidates.

Re:GS is a big donor to the right people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543946)

From the link: "The organizations themselves did not donate , rather the money came from the organization's PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families"

GS did not give Obama $1mm. GS Employees did. GS has a lot of Democrats.

Re:GS is a big donor to the right people (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544558)

Ah that's why McCain lost:

Merrill Lynch $373,595
Citigroup Inc $322,051
Morgan Stanley $273,452
Goldman Sachs $230,095
JPMorgan Chase & Co $228,107
US Government $208,379
AT&T Inc $201,438
Wachovia Corp $195,063
UBS AG $192,493
Credit Suisse Group $183,353
PricewaterhouseCoopers $167,900
US Army $167,820
Bank of America $166,026
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher $159,596
Blank Rome LLP $154,226
Greenberg Traurig LLP $146,437
US Dept of Defense $144,105
FedEx Corp $131,974
Bear Stearns $117,498
Lehman Brothers $114,357

Next time forget about voting, just tally the contributions.

Re:Shame (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544422)

So Goldman Sachs is pissed that someone that works for them stole something? Well, that's a switch.

America, how I love thee...

It's like the story of two con men who worked together on a scam, then, when they were splitting up the take, one says to the other, "You wouldn't cheat me, would you?"

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544770)

Never steal from the rich, they will throw the book at you.

It is only ok to steal from poor people, because nobody cares about them.

This is stupid (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543326)

The punishment does not fit the crime. Period.

This should be a *civil* matter. Garnish his wages, make him pay for restitution and loss of revenues, but this should not be a criminal offense.

The system is broken, and its because most people are technical laggards and people are just too lazy to fix a broken system.

Re:This is stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543370)

I don't think he's complaining. He'll have a jail cell with a thermaputic bed, a plasma screen, free food, computer with internet, and an xbox. Any work he does in prison will be paid back to him after his sentence so it's like an amazing treatment. Prison these days is almost like how nam was perceived in southpark.

Re:This is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543428)

He'll have a jail cell with a thermaputic bed, a plasma screen, free food, computer with internet, and an xbox.

The original xbox!? Oh, the horror!

Re:This is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543906)

xbox

Holy shit. Has someone alerted the ACLU to this?

Re:This is stupid (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544024)

He'll have a jail cell with a thermaputic bed, a plasma screen, free food, computer with internet, and an xbox.

And more dick than you can imagine.

Re:This is stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543756)

Why should it be a civil matter? Would you feel differently if he stole office furniture and had a thriving side business selling that stolen property? How is this different just because it was only a bunch of bits formed into code that can be compiled? Should it really be treated differently than stealing and selling anything else from the company?

Re:This is stupid (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543820)

Why should it be a civil matter? Would you feel differently if he stole office furniture and had a thriving side business selling that stolen property? How is this different just because it was only a bunch of bits formed into code that can be compiled? Should it really be treated differently than stealing and selling anything else from the company?

Yes, because stealing some tangible property means that the rightful owner loses it. If you have an apple and I steal it, you no longer have an apple. If you have a painting and I copy it a thousand times, you still have your painting.

LK

Re:This is stupid (2)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544048)

If you steal code that allows your company to make huge profits by executing trades a microsecond faster than your competition in a field with only a handful of real players, you certainly have taken something away from your company.

How that should ethically compare to other crimes and "business practices" that should be crimes is a different matter. But you cannot argue that Goldman hasn't lost anything.

Re:This is stupid (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544356)

If I were able to make an exact duplicate of an object, I would be able to get an apple from your apple while allowing you to keep your apple. I suppose I could use the same trick on rare coins and make as many copies as I want without taking your rare coin. However, flooding the market with many copies of a rare coin would dilute the value of each individual coin, causing your coin to lose value even though I have not taken it from you. In the same way, information is valuable if not many people know the information. That's why trade secrets exist.

Re:This is stupid (2)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543904)

The system is broken, and its because most people are technical laggards and people are just too lazy to fix a broken system.

The system isn't broken. It's working as intended - following the golden rule. He who has the gold makes the rules.

The same old song. (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544442)

The punishment does not fit the crime. Period.
This should be a *civil* matter. Garnish his wages, make him pay for restitution and loss of revenues, but this should not be a criminal offense.

It always comes as a surprise to some folks when a white collar criminal - particularly one of their own class or profession - is caged.

Which is really the whole point of the business:

It teaches the lesson that no one is above the law. That no one is judgement proof.

Well, hardly surprising really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543328)

that a relatively minor crime should be punished like this, whereas his bosses, who contributed to a global economic meltdown, losing hundreds of millions of people their jobs, should still be free and getting those all-important bonuses again.
 

Those who should get 97 months... (5, Insightful)

dargaud (518470) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543334)

...are those who USE this algorithm.

Re:Those who should get 97 months... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543696)

No, they should be shot dead.

Re:Those who should get 97 months... (4, Interesting)

yorugua (697900) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543704)

You mean to do this: http://www.cpeterson.org/2011/03/10/why-gas-is-so-expensive-today-hint-its-not-libya/ [cpeterson.org]

from TFA:

in 1991, J. Aron—the Goldman subsidiary—wrote to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the government agency overseeing this market) and asked for one measly exception to the rules.

The whole definition of physical hedgers was needlessly restrictive, J. Aron argued. Sure, a corn farmer who bought futures contracts to hedge the risk of a glut in corn prices had a legitimate reason to be hedging his bets. After all, being a farmer was risky! Anything could happen to a farmer, what with nature being involved and all!

Everyone who grew any kind of crop was taking a risk, and it was only right and natural that the government should allow these good people to buy futures contracts to offset that risk.

But what about people on Wall Street? Were not they, too, like farmers, in the sense that they were taking a risk, exposing themselves to the whims of economic nature? After all, a speculator who bought up corn also had risk—investment risk. So, Goldman’s subsidiary argued, why not allow the poor speculator to escape those cruel position limits and be allowed to make transactions in unlimited amounts? Why even call him a speculator at all? Couldn’t J. Aron call itself a physical hedger too? After all, it was taking real risk—just like a farmer!

On October 18, 1991, the CFTC-in the person of Laurie Ferber, an appointee of the first President Bush—agreed with J. Aron’s letter. Ferber wrote that she understood that Aron was asking that its speculative activity be recognized as “bona fide hedging”—and, after a lot of jargon and legalese, she accepted that argument. This was the beginning of the end for position limits and for the proper balance between physical hedgers and speculators in the energy markets.

To look at this another way—just to make it easy—let’s create something we call the McDonaldland Menu Index (MMI). The MMI is based upon the price of eleven McDonald’s products, including the Big Mac, the Quarter Pounder, the shake, fries, and hash browns. Let’s say the total price of those eleven products on November l, 2010, is $37.90. Now let’s say you bet $1,000 on the McDonaldland Menu Index on that date, November 1. A month later, the total price of those eleven products is now $39.72.

Well, gosh, that’s a 4.8 percent price increase. Since you put $1,000 into the MMI on November 1, on December 1 you’ve now got $1,048. A smart investment!

Just to be clear—you didn’t actually buy $1,000 worth of Big Macs and fries and shakes. All you did is bet $1,000 on the prices of Big Macs and fries and shakes.

But here’s the thing: if you were just some schmuck on the street and you wanted to gamble on this nonsense, you couldn’t do it, because your behavior would be speculative and restricted under that old 1936 Commodity Exchange Act, which supposedly maintained that delicate balance between speculator and physical hedger (i.e., the real producers/consumers). Same goes for a giant pension fund or a trust that didn’t have one of those magic letters. Even if you wanted into this craziness, you couldn’t get in, because it was barred to the Common Speculator. The only way for you to get to the gaming table was, in essence, to rent the speculator-hedger exemption that the government had quietly given to companies like Goldman Sachs via those sixteen letters.

Re:Those who should get 97 months... (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543994)

>But what about people on Wall Street? Were not they, too, like farmers

The difference between Wall Street and the farmer next door, is that the farmer creates wealth. The Wall Street trader does not create wealth. At all. Ever.

The argument fails on its first premise. Argument is invalid.

--
BMO

Re:Those who should get 97 months... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544336)

You've completely missed the point of the linked article.

Re:Those who should get 97 months... (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544766)

100% of this could be solved with a simple rule. Each time you buy, a random number is consulted. If your number comes up, you get physical delivery, ready or not. If you don't want your swimming pool and bath tub filled with crude oil, you'd better be a legitimate buyer and not just a commodities gambler.

None of the trading actually does the economy any good at all, it judt drives up prices fro consumers while driving them down for producers while the traders skim off the top.

This would make sense... (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543362)

...if all the top Goldman CEOs were put in jail for 8 years for their stunts that put the country into a major recession.

Re:This would make sense... (2)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543476)

...if all the top Goldman CEOs were put in jail for 8 years for their stunts that put the country into a major recession.

A public execution in lieu of a football season would make everyone's day.

Now now (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543670)

Now now... I know those guys are hated, and caused a global recession to line their pockets, and were giving themselves gigantic bonuses just as they were being bailed out by the government, and all, but that's no excuse to go back to barbaric times. Two wrongs don't make a right, ok? There's no reason to deprive the people of football for that.

Do what the Romans used to: have the executions at halftime :p

Re:Now now (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543724)

Executions? Have them fight it out. One gets to live.

Re:Now now (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543746)

Two men enter. One man leaves.

Re:Now now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544486)

Do it the other roman way.

Two men enter... one full lion leaves.

Re:This would make sense... (2)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543610)

Keep fucking dreaming! The only people who serve time when committing crimes in the U.S. are those without money.

Re:This would make sense... (2)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543998)

Aleynikov was getting paid $400K/year and had just been hired away by another company at 3 times that salary. Nowhere near the upper echelons of wealth, but certainly not someone who could be described as "without money".

He doesn't deserve 8 years. I can't imagine Goldman really wanted this to go to trial. I wonder if his legal counsel was particularly incompetent or if he was just thickheaded enough to insist on a trial for a crime he admitted to.

Re:This would make sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543880)

$147 bbl crude is what put the country into a recession. Get ready for round two, arriving soon.

wrong (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544116)

wrong, the $147 bbl crude is the aftermath of what actually causes recession - money printing.

That's right. Recessions are caused by mis-allocated resources, but governments cause recessions by printing money and propping up various businesses, inflating asset bubbles, all of which leads to mis-allocated resources.

Of-course in this case that USA is in now, the government also has destroyed the capital savings by all the printing, but also it grew too much, and through its growth, it has created too many rules/regulations/monopolies.

A working economy can afford a government, even if the government is grossly overweight, but an economy that is losing capital investment through inflation (money printing) and capital/jobs flight (regulations, income taxes, subsidies to preferred businesses), such an economy cannot afford to have government that taxes income and mis-allocates funds further through government departments and programs.

The $147 bbl crude is just a RESULT of the inflation, which is monetary expansion - printing. It's not just crude, it's all commodities and energy.

Stop the money printing, cut the government by an amount that would return it to pre-1913 levels, and you'll allow the economy to fix itself.

Your argument is stupid and invalid (2)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544288)

Your argument is invalid, and that's why - other prices are not rising, except for some commodities.

Look, oil has risen from $37 at the bottom of the financial crisis. Now it's back to $100. That's increase of 2.5 times! Inflation generally requires ALL prices to come up, and this hasn't happened so far - prices for non-energy-intensive goods and services are stable (within a few percents). There's no real inflation in the USA.

And please notice the part: "In the USA". Because there's also no inflation in the Eurozone! And the exchange rate of euro vs. dollar has not changed much since the start of the crisis (not by 2.5 times as it would be implied by oil prices).

What happens in reality is peak oil. There's a strong demand for energy from China, India and Brazil which have economies growing fast (China is back at 10%-a-year growth!) and there's just not enough oil.

"Stop the money printing, cut the government by an amount that would return it to pre-1913 levels, and you'll allow the economy to fix itself."

Yeah, fix itself in the sense "emasculate". Right into the Greatest Depression. Fiat money is one of the greatest inventions of the 20-th century.

PS: stop whining about 'inflation destroying savings'. You ain't seeing no inflation. Read about 1000% a year inflation after the USSR collapse - that'll teach you what the REAL inflation is.

Re:wrong (1)

braeldiil (1349569) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544420)

Because the economy was perfect in the 1800s. It's not like the US had 23 recognized recessions in the 1800s, including one bigger than the great depression. Even a passing look at economic history shows that the current economic regime, including the Fed, leads to a significantly more stable economy, with shorter and less frequent downturns.

Re:This would make sense... (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544688)

It was the relying on a single source of, especially, foreign energy.

Enough blame to go around for that (1)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543910)

I'm no fan of the investment banks - I think they have long passed from capitalists to parasites on real business.

But, in fairness, if the Fed hadn't pumped the credit bubble with low interest rates, Fannie and Freddie hadn't helped by pumping it further by buying endless questionable loans, letting banks make more loans that they simply couldn't have otherwise, and had greedy home "buyers" not bought homes they couldn't afford, thinking they'd flip them anyway for a profit, those derivatives that Goldman traded would have been pretty good investments. Had the ratings agencies been accurate, many of the derivatives would not have been marketable anyway.

A perfect storm of clusterfuck. Plenty of blame to go around.

Re:Enough blame to go around for that (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543986)

The only thing which separates Fed employees from Wallstreet is a couple of years and a career change (either way).

Re:Enough blame to go around for that (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544338)

The problem is, the responsibility of the Fed is very narrowly defined. It's basically responsible for the inflation and unemployment, and that's all (and really, it should stay this way).

The Fed is not responsible for auditing banks for predatory lending practice or regulating the derivatives. Had the Fed raised the rates, the USA (and probably the rest of the world) would have gone into a recession which would have stopped the predatory lending. But the moment the rates were lowered again, the predatory lending would have picked up the steam again.

Also, raising the rates during the period of low inflation is quite harmful in itself.

Re:This would make sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544064)

Why should they sit in jail at the peoples' expense? They ruined many people's lives, so their lives should be forfeit as well. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but crucifixion would get the job done nicely. None of this painless "lethal injection" bullshit, please.

Alternatively, you could bury the GS senior partners alive in caskets with a night vision camcorder and a flashlight in each one. Pipe the video feeds to the big screens in times square. After what these assholes caused, watching them scream, plead, and frantically claw at the casket lids (in vain) would be music to my ears.

Re:This would make sense... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544066)

Hard to see how GS caused the recession when they were the ones NOT inflating the housing bubble by taking a huge position in CDO's, etc. In fact, weren't they the first of the banks to say this stuff (CDO's and other mortgage-backed securities) was no good? Weren't they the first of the banks to get defensive capital (Warren Buffet's investment) as the shit was hitting the fan? Weren't the GS underwritten CDOs the best performing?

Like them or not, but they weren't the cause of the recession.

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/sep/24/business/fi-goldman24
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/dec/21/goldmansachs.useconomy
http://www.hks.harvard.edu/m-rcbg/students/dunlop/2009-CDOmeltdown.pdf (p4, p63)

Re:This would make sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544078)

In the US your rights increase proportionally with your wealth. And yes, godhood is possible, there simply isn't a single person who has that kind of money yet.

Stool Pidgeon (4, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543404)

How many Goldman employees went to jail for stealing taxpayer dollars?

Re:Stool Pidgeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543990)

I'm not sure, but you can bet it was the result of careful analysis into how many it would take to start skimming off the heretofore-untapped prison economy. A year from now, prisoners will be able to buy and sell good behavior credits, work furloughs and conjugal visits. Five years down the line, once Goldman's control is complete, they'll be able to buy and sell years from their sentence. By that point, Goldman's non-prison efforts will forego any semblance of caring about what is and isn't illegal as all sentences will have been effectively transformed into effectively miniscule fines.

Re:Stool Pidgeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544132)

You mean all that TARP money they paid back at 23% return?

A little crazy... (4, Interesting)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543434)

Pushing the code off to a free hosting service is highly questionable, even if he claims he meant to be moving OSS and screwed up. But wow... 97 months for "interstate transportation of stolen property"? If it's still the case that he didn't use or distribute that source, and even cooperated all along... that seems awfully harsh.

10: Screw Customer 20: GOTO 10 (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543436)

10: Screw Customer
20: GOTO 10

Didn't actually "steal" anything (2)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543456)

I wish we could get away from using the words "steal" and "theft" to describe making a copy of somebody's data. You could call it a copyright violation, or a violation of a legally-enforced monopoly. Both of those descriptions create a more accurate understanding for the public of what's going on than the word "stealing" does.

If you sneak into a library, take a book, and never return it, everybody would agree that you "stole" the book. But if you take home a library book, type up a copy for yourself, then return the original book to the library, would most people describe that as "stealing"? More to the point, should you go to prison for 8 years?

Re:Didn't actually "steal" anything (1, Interesting)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543572)

A book isn't the same as a piece of source code. How about if you sneak into someone's house, find a patent application, memorize it, and then file the patent yourself?

should you go to prison for 8 years

For copyright a violation? No. For theft of unpublished intellectual property? Yes.

Re:Didn't actually "steal" anything (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543632)

A book isn't the same as a piece of source code. How about if you sneak into someone's house, find a patent application, memorize it, and then file the patent yourself?

Given the number of dead obvious patents filed and accepted, and upheld... I thought this was legit.

Re:Didn't actually "steal" anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543652)

How about if you sneak into someone's house, find a patent application, memorize it, and then file the patent yourself?
Still not theft.

For copyright a violation? No. For theft of unpublished intellectual property? Yes.
But the latter isn't what occurred, the former is.

Re:Didn't actually "steal" anything (1)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543770)

How about if you sneak into someone's house, find a patent application, memorize it, and then file the patent yourself?

Well, if the only thing you take with you when you leave the house is the knowledge stored in your head, you still haven't "stolen" anything in the way I prefer to use the word. The original owner still possesses all the property he did before you entered his house -- you haven't deprived him of any of it.

Now, if you rush to beat him to filing the patent application, then you are certainly guilty of fraud. You're probably also guilty of trespassing in his house. He could make a great case for a civil lawsuit against you on many grounds, including making the case that any financial benefits you reap were both unfair and a result of malicious action against him, and that he therefore deserves to collect some amount of damages. But I don't see how you have "stolen" anything from him, except in a metaphorical sense, or if you prefer in an "indeterminate" sense, based on theoretical future benefits which the law has no business presuming to guarantee.

Re:Didn't actually "steal" anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544138)

Well, how about I sneak into your house, find all the passwords to your financial accounts, copy them, replace them, then publish them in a note like this on a website you don't read. It's theoretically predictable that all your money will disappear but

      did I steal anything? did I commit fraud?

Re:Didn't actually "steal" anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543750)

If an employee took all of Google's search engine and data center management code and gave or sold it to the Chinese government, would you call that stealing, or is that some widdle ol' infringement which should maybe be punished at most by some community service work over at the senior center. Hey, what did Google lose?

Re:Didn't actually "steal" anything (1)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543860)

Some copyright violations result in more financial harm to the copyright owner than others, and I never said we should abolish copyright law. But in your scenario, Google wasn't actually dispossessed of any of their property. So I'd prefer to avoid using the word "stealing" to describe making a virtual copy of their data. I am aware that the law is happy to refer to copyright violations as theft, but the case is not hard to make that lawmakers haven't elegantly tracked with the progress of technology over past decades (in fact, they could usually be described as clueless).

what prison? (1)

romanval (556418) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543474)

is this a white collar 'campus' prison with conjugal visits, or a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison?

After finishing his sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543528)

He will have to report to local authorities and all neighbors within a five-mile radius that he used to work for Goldman.

Re:After finishing his sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543594)

Personally, I'd rather live next to a sex offender than someone who worked for Goldman. A sex offender only screwed a few people. Goldman and all those other companies screwed a whole country.

Re:After finishing his sentence (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543882)

Considering that most people on the sex offenders lists didn't rape anyone and are on for sex crimes that aren't violent or against children (peeing in public, mooning someone, having sex with another student in their high school, taking a nude picture of themselves, and such), I'd not have any problem living next to a registered sex offender, though I admit I'd look to see what their crime was to see if I should care.

It reminds me of the police. Most people would think that living close to a policeman would be safe, but those living with cops are more likely to be beat than those that don't (cops have a higher incidence of domestic violence and, rather than admitting that police work attracts violent sadistic people, the cops blame the tough job of raping our rights, I mean keeping us safe, for it).

Here, you can have it back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35543578)

See, no harm done!

Clear Message (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543722)

Well, I think there is a clear message here. If you're a talented programmer, never ever work for Goldman Sachs!

Do not work for GS - just not worth the risk (1)

alexmin (938677) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543738)

This case makes it clear that potential risks involved in working for Goldman Sachs in technical position just not worth the risk. Likely that very few tech people are senior partners which is the only way to make any serious money there. From the circumstances of the case it seems that Aleynikov got sued because he pissed off his manager by taking higher paying position elsewhere and making it known. Unfortunately for him GS has deep connections in the government so banal civil case got blown out into criminal "IP theft" investigation.

Re:Do not work for GS - just not worth the risk (1)

gravos (912628) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544184)

I tend to agree with you, but in this economy I doubt they are going to have any trouble finding workers

Re:Do not work for GS - just not worth the risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544776)

You must work for JPM. Seriously you think this makes it look like GS is a bad place to work? That if you upload sensitive code outside the firm, that you'll be punished to the maximum extent law permits? Of course.

The fact is the quants at GS make a fine living and there are plenty in senior positions, even a healthy representation among the partners. (Profiles of partners exist online; e.g. http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2010-11-18/golman-sachs-partners-2010).

Best places to work: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2010/full_list/

Oversentencing (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#35543892)

I'm usually against conspiracy theories (real life is full of surprises), but such harsh judgment also make me think that prosecution and judge are huge friends with Goldman (it is just a theory, of course - it could be prosecution which feels all warm inside thinking about Goldman and incompetent judge). I mean, stealing code which is not your own is bad, but 8 years?! People with more far reaching consequences don't get even 4! Ok, I know, US is strange place for justice, but come on!

As side note, I think stock market have gone very sideways. If there is any sanity, it will soon leave that chocked up rat race.

Re:Oversentencing (1)

oh2 (520684) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544272)

Harsh sentence compared to most violent crimes Id say. Few rape sentences run that long for instance.

F*^&k GS!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544056)

The people at Goldman should be in prison. I wish he got away with it so that he could put in hands in their pockets just like Goldman did with the american people.

Not the real criminal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544298)

High frequency trading should be the criminal act, but I suppose about everything the banks do these days is criminal.

Honor among thieves? (1)

xkr (786629) | more than 2 years ago | (#35544434)

So, as I understand it, a programmer was sentenced to 97 years in prison for stealing the algorithm that Goldman Sachs used to steal money from other people.

The single most critical element of any market, including a stock market, is that it is, “fair.” That means, the same price and the same terms for everybody. In fact, these are the same words used by the NY stock exchange and NASDAQ.

But how is using super computers for millisecond arbitrage “equal terms for everybody?”

How do you think that hundreds of top employees at Goldman can take home over $1 million a year in compensation? With overtime?

Re:Honor among thieves? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35544762)

How do you think that hundreds of top employees at Goldman can take home over $1 million a year in compensation? With overtime?

1) Most people who work for Goldman's are NOT trading high frequency.
2) Yes, overtime. Ask anyone who's ever worked there how often they do a 9-5.

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