Online Payment

You share your thoughts online through blogging, you download movies and music online either for free or for a price, you love online gambling and you make it a point to indulge thrice a week, you met your wife online… There are thousands of things that are now possible once you go online, even paying the bills. Online payment is yet another reason why many people embrace technology and the convenience it offers.

Just to be clear, online payment is the term used when funds are transferred from a credit card or debit card to a company or a person via a website when there has been a purchase of products and services.

While making payments online is indeed handy, there is more to online payment than the convenience it provides both payers and payees. First, it is very environmentally friendly. You will not believe how many trees are saved because of this paperless payment option. Bills are made of paper, which means they are made from trees. Since you are not going to hand in paper bills to pay off a loan, you give the deteriorating forests in the world a greater chance of continued existence. The same holds true for checks.

Also, since online payment is available, online billing is not far behind. Companies need not send bills via mail. They can give clients bill updates through email or even text messages thus saving lots of paper, and ultimately, trees and forests.

Aside from saving forests, online payment saves money too. Since you can pay your bills without mailing the money or going to the bank, you do not have to worry about postage costs and gas prices. Plus, it is less likely that you will be late in paying your bills since online payments can be made wherever you are so you can say goodbye to additional fees.

Online payment is easy. You simple have to register then you can start paying bills.

Tips

1.Double check all the details especially the billing information and the credit card number.

2.It is better if you go to a website where you can pay not just one kind of bill. There are a number of sites where you can pay your credit card bills as well as your utility bills, and other bills for that matter.

3.Set up your account in a way that funds are only transferred when authorized. As they say, better safe than sorry.



Source by Jeffrey Arcones

Adventure Games – an Adventure to Play Free Online Games

Today free online adventure and action games can now be easily downloaded from different websites. Game lovers are preferring and love to play online adventure games today. For this, they register themselves on different gaming websites. Computers games are gaining popularity among the masses of different age group these days. Computer gaming has gained a wide popularity among the masses of all age groups. Now there is wide variety of adventure and action games available online. Even many of the gaming sites offer various types of games which can be download ‘free of cost’ to PC or laptops.

The adventure games are more popular among the masses than video games. Action and adventure games involve exotic games like wrestling, fighting, space travels, star wars, fictional adventures and situational games. Often this type of games come with rich graphics and animation. The adventure games involve issues like puzzle-solving etc, where the players have lot of opportunities to take active participation. Action games are more interactive. Action and adventure games consist of single-player game and multi-players games. In single-player mode, narration is used to be the main focus of the game. Many of the gaming sites, offer free adventure games which can be easily downloaded to the PC.

Computer games are important means of entertainment for kids, teenagers and to all age group people. Today masses spend most of their time playing online adventure games. With the coming up of various websites, it is easy to download games, free of cost. Now you can play exciting online games, as users would be getting it free. Games like shooting, billiards, war, puzzle, poker and lots more are there and users can choose from many options.

These interactive games are a good source to ensure maximum fun. The games could be automatically installed without any specific software. Games have changed the entertainment scenario completely in many perspective. They not only entertain the users, but also soothe the user’s mind. There are different options to choose from amongst the fun games. This include action and adventure, arcade, driving and racing, role playing, etc. Users can also buy games online at low cost or download free games on their computers following easy steps. Online games are available 24 hours without a single minute break. Games include various types and categories like adventures, action etc. But adventure games are most attracted by all ages. These games are easy to play and easily down-loadable. The games are loaded with sophisticated gaming features, these advanced technology games ensure interactive and thrilling gaming experience to the players.

But many people have to face problems finding the best free online games. Though it is not tough for those who regularly play games they don’t have a problem finding suitable games. There are free online games available on every second game website. If you are looking for a specific game, you can search the Internet, type the name of the game in the search box, and then you will have it right in front of you. There are games available for all age group whether a child, a teenager or an adult. Everyone can find many suitable games according to their likes and preferences.



Source by Nisha Garg

Gamblers And Investors Both…Sometimes Use Good Luck Amulets And Charms To Attract Winnings! Try The Indian Medicine Bag!

People Betting On Football…Lottery Ticket Buyers…Casino Enthusiasts…Poker Players…Horse Racing Fans…Online Poker Players…Get Some Assistance From Fate!

Indian Medicine Bag Good Luck Charms are an extremely powerful, popular and awesome good luck amulet reported to have helped many people WIN when they were gambling! There are many sports enthusiasts and gamblers, who believe in having a “Good Luck Streak” and they are all looking forward to their next Huge Burst of Winning Money!

Whether you bet fifty bucks on a game of Poker or Black Jack, or a thousand dollars on a football or basketball game, or even if you are in a Fantasy Football League, you could use some Good Luck, and there’s no better way to try to attract that good luck or good fortune, than with a magical good luck amulet, such as the powerful Indian Medicine Bag! Maybe you enjoy casino gambling or online gambling, and you still need some good luck!

For thousands of years, countless people have used various Good Luck stones, crystals, dice, coins, bones, and other items to bring them better luck and to try to attract the Goddess of Good Fortune to their side!

Your friends will be amazed when you start winning money like crazy! These Indian Medicine Bags also make an awesome gift! By the way, these types of good luck amulets, are always described (by law) as being for entertainment purposes only. Though we all know that they can sometimes turn your luck around in an amazing way and help you start winning!

When you do get on a huge winning streak because of one of these money attracting babies, please donate some to Breast Cancer Research! Thanks!

My name is Father Time, and I have a very cool website where I feature many gift items and also some magical, mystical Good Luck Charms! Click Here To See The Indian Medicine Bag!

Good Luck With All Of Your Financial Hopes, Dreams, and Desires!

Many Blessings!



Source by Father Time

Finding Online Multiplayer Sports Games

Finding Online Multiplayer Sports Games to play these days are very difficult. Why, most of the games are console games where you have to pay a pretty penny to get them and get set up. However, when you do find a good online game there are some things you will want to keep in mind. With several hundreds of gaming websites available, it may be confusing which ones are good.

When you are trying to find an Online Multiplayer Sports Game site, there are several aspects you need to pay attention.

I have made a list of some of them:

Does the site load with ease? This is very important because most online games will not be playable unless the games load fast. The fun you are seeking will be non existent.

Navigation. How easy is the navigation throughout the site, are you struggling to find the links or buttons on the gaming site?

Types of Games. Most flash games are easier to play because they load faster and you can play games for the most part without interruption. However, keep in mind, you may have to install the latest plugins regularly; otherwise most won’t load.

Sports Game variety. Are there enough variety of games in the site. By game variety, I mean; playing mulitplayer golf, multiplayer poker, multiplayer soccer, multiplayer bowling, or multiplayer racing and more.

Downloadable Games. If you visit a site with downloadable games and you wish to download games to your computer, it would be a good idea to make sure there are no viruses with the games. There are many online game sites that could infect your computer with viruses. A good rule of thumb is to have a good anti virus program that will prevent and scan viruses before they can attach and infect your computer.

Multiplayer Sports games. There are sites where you can go into a waiting room and send out a challenge and wait for someone to join you. So lets say you go into a multiplayer golf game and send out a challenge to someone and that person joins you. You decide you want to challenge that person for a bucket of balls as your wager. You win the game and get to add those balls to your total so you dont have to purchase any in the future. Or the round you play qualifies you to play in a pro am tournament for a chance to win $50,000. These types of multiplayer sports games sites are what I like and I find interesting.

As you play more games and you think you are an expert you can actully make money playing online games. Yes that is correct some players are making a good living either playing games or testing games. Either pay very well. All that matters is you have fun playing your online multiplayer sports games or whatever online games you chose.



Source by Benjamin SmithField

Poker Cash Game Strategy – Learn How to Win Cash Games!

Poker cash games are one of the most thrilling forms of playing a poker. The value in real or play money on each chip is written. In these games, the player can leave the table any time or just sit down. Poker cash games are the best way to earn a consistent income in playing poker games. Players in cash games have their own poker cash games strategy.

Poker cash games strategy is much more different compared to poker tournaments. Whenever the player gets low stacks of chips, he or she can add more chips. In proportion to the sizes of stacks of chips, the blind will always be small. Losing the bankroll will result to busting out of the poker game. And to avoid losing, the player should have larger bankroll. Always remember that the player should stay in focus in making the best decision moves and just play the cards well. Some of the popular poker games which require a good poker cash games strategy are Heads up Poker, Limit Hold’em, and No Limit Hold’em.

Poker cash games strategy in playing heads up poker is very difficult to determine because the strategies to be used are based solely on the opponent. Some of the poker cash games strategies in playing heads up are to be prepared in re-raising a pre flop, to raise on the button always, to raise a pocket pair pre flop often and that Kings and Aces are worth a raise all the time. When these tips are put into mind, the player should not worry anymore because it paves the way in becoming the best heads up player.

One of the most common played poker cash game is the Limit Hold’em. It is the favorite kind of poker games by both pros and beginners. It requires an exceptional skills and different outlook in order to win a poker game. One poker cash game strategy for this is to play aggressively. The player should be very patient in waiting for the right hand and then raise the heart out immediately. The player should also try not to forget that pot odds are very important. Furthermore, the pots should also hit the draw. It is helpful especially when the player is already far behind. A Limit Hold’em player should have a standard 300 big bets as a bankroll size.

No Limit Hold’em is on of the most difficult poker games for the newbie as well as for the experienced players. Poker cash games strategy for this game is very much different from any other cash games. The player should always put into mind to play aggressively, to press a small advantage statistically, and to read the mind of the opponents. The player will not be in whirl when he or she instilled these strategies in his or her mind. The player will surely become a dominant poker player if he or she played with these things in mind.

Indeed, poker cash games strategy is what the best poker players have in mind in playing any kind of poker games.



Source by Sean Moronse

Poker Training Network Review, How To Create Massive Texas Holdem Income

Can you blend playing winning poker and multilevel marketing to live a more abundant life?

This Poker Training Network review can assist you to decide for yourself. In reality, it will provide you with insight into how you can earn massive income through the explosive growth of poker.

Before we go any further, I have to say that when I started writing this review, I had no desire to join this opportunity. As I was finishing my thorough research, for this PTN review, I got very interested. Actually, I made the decision to become an associate. Read on to understand why.

Poker Training Network Review

Poker Training Network (PTN) went into prelaunch near the beginning of September, 2009. They entered the market as the and only business to blend network marketing with the massive global appeal of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker.

Over 2 years and millions of dollars have been invested in R&D on the most state of the art, dynamic, elearning, poker training site ever launched. It is full of 3D animation, 3D graphics, and it is totally about poker. It’s a lot of fun.

The Management Team

PTN has a very qualified leadership team with more than 150 years combined experience in network marketing, online marketing, website development, social networking, software development, educational training, video production operations, and professional Texas Hold ‘Em Poker playing.

The Poker Market

The poker marketplace is massive! There are about 70 million players in the United States and greater than 300 million globally. The market is increasing toward 500 million fast.

If you play poker you most likely know other poker players, who know other poker players.

If you do not play poker, you probably know somebody who does play and who knows other Texas Hold ‘Em Poker players, who know other poker players.

PTN Products

Poker Training Network has a complete online training product for everyone. It does not matter if you are a just starting, intermediate, or advanced player, PTN can help you learn the skill of Texas Hold ‘Em.

PTN Poker-TEL
Poker-TEL gives you monthly access to world class training and education. Poker-TEL provides 100s of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker lessons with a lot more to come. PTN implements state of the art technology and a modern approach to learning.

PTN Poker Edge
Poker Edge is like your own special Texas Hold ‘Em Poker coach. You have access to various software tools that will coach you to evaluate your skill levels and guide you to improving your game.

Poker Training Network Business Opportunity

The PTN compensation plan is one of the most lucrative in the MLM business. It has a binary hybrid plan that pays cash five different ways. It includes Retail Sales, Team Commissions, Matching Bonuses, Advertising and Revenue Sharing Pools, Global Bonus Pools, plus a Luxury Car Program.

The economy has numerous talented people trying to find a way to increase or replace their income. And poker is a sport that most people love to play. PTN has a total online system to create a large national organization in the United States and soon to be worldwide.

Is This Opportunity For You?

Is PTN a business opportunity where you can have fun and live a richer lifestyle? Can you help others enjoy the sport of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker while you get wealthier?

Poker Training Network has a Facebook Poker Application that is in beta testing as I am writing this PTN review. That is big. It is an easy way to recruit people. Just ask them if they want to play and if they join up, you get the commission.

PTN has a proprietary online social networking Texas Hold ‘Em Poker site called CallingAllPlayers.com. It is the ultimate Internet based prospecting tool and lead generation engine.

PTN has a complete online recruiting system with awesome videos that sell PTN offerings and the business for you. PTN give you an online prospecting and contact management system as well.

There is no competition, no products to stock or ship. Everything is online. This can be a once in a lifetime opportunity for you. PTN is a remarkable business to be in.

You get to play a sport that is a lot of fun. You get to share PTN with others and you get to earn money from that.

All of these are the reasons why I enrolled in this business and you ought to as well.



Source by Jim Hageman

The Growth & Popularity of Slot Machine Games

We live within seven miles of an Indian casino. The casino opened fifteen years ago. At that time the slot machine games were three line nickel and quarter machines. There were a few dollar slots. All the slots were reel slots machine games. You played them by putting in coins one at a time and were paid in coins coming out into a tray under the machine.

Today there are slot machines that have as many as 100 lines. You can play any denomination from one cent to ten dollars. The slot machine games are now video games and are quite interactive. The machines make special sounds when you are winning and some of them even wish you luck when you hit the spin button. Today the machines accept all denominations of bills and pay you with a printed ticket that can also be inserted into another machine. There is still a sprinkling of the reel machines in the casino, but these are quickly being eliminated. Some people believe that the reel slot machine games had better odds than the video games; however the experts state that this is not true.

When the casino first opened there were more blackjack tables than slot machines. The building was little more than a steel shed with carpeting. Today there are over four thousand slot machine games, blackjack tables, poker rooms and a hotel with over six hundred rooms. There are four restaurants, a coffee shop, candy store and a full spa. They have also added on a conference center and auditorium. They host many big name concerts through out the year. They employ over eleven hundred people. This is quite an accomplishment in fifteen years time. Many people credit the advancements in the video slot machine games as the main reason why the casino is doing as well as it is.

There are bus loads of people that come to the casino on charter trips from the five state area. The casino has greatly improved the lives of the Native Americans that live in this area. They have built a new school, clinic and a great deal of housing. They have also built a government center and have re-established their tribal courts. There are many people that complain that they do not pay off well enough at the casino. They feel the slot machine games are set too tight. The gaming commission did sanction them last year for not paying off the proper percentage, but that does not seem to stop people from coming. We have heard that they are going to start a support program for people that have a problem with gambling.



Source by John Wellington

Are There Signs of Lying?

Are there clear signs of lying? Unfortunately, study after study shows that most people might as well flip a coin to determine if a person is lying, rather than trust their intuition or lie-detecting skills. However, the research also shows that some people ARE consistently good at detecting lies. That’s a rather important fact, and although it is typically ignored, it is not disputed by the researchers. They usually just mention it briefly, as though the small number of people who have these skills makes it insignificant.

Rather than brush them off as insignificant, it may be better to look at what these people are doing. Doesn’t that seem like a more useful approach? And when we look, we see that one thing these human lie-detectors do is to use what they know about the individual.

How To Tell If Someone Is Lying

When you watch for signs of lying, you need to use what you know about the behavior of the person. In other words, try to think like a polygraph operator, by comparing behavior in persons under suspicion to their “base” behaviors. Look for a change in behaviors that may indicate lying.

For example, if a man always moves around in his chair, then this trait can’t be considered as an indication of lying. On the other hand, if he is normally very calm under pressure, but starts shifting in his chair after certain questions, that is more likely to indicate lying. Always look for these personal habits and indications of lying.

By the way, this shows the flaw in the common scientific opinion which says you can’t tell if someone is lying. Most research tests for things like eye-avoidance or sweating or hand movements, and finds that none of them reliably indicate a lie. However, they are looking at indicators only statistically, based on a general testing of a group, without relation to any known character traits or habits of the individuals being tested.

I’ll use an extreme example to show the flaw in this approach. Suppose that out of a group of 100 people, 50 always looked away from you when they lied, and 50 always focused more directly on you when they lied. Those would be great indicators once you learned which people in the group had which behavior, right?

But a researcher asks the question, “Is looking away correlated with lying?” He has all 100 subjects lie when answering a question, and when 50 look away and 50 look right at the questioner, he determines that there is no correlation between looking away and lying. He’ll also note that there is no statistical correlation between direct eye-contact and lying. This is despite the fact that in our example all 100 people give clear indicators that they are lying.

You see, he is looking for “universal indicators.” It would be nice if there were some good universal signs of lying, some things that everyone did when lying. While there are some signs that are better than others, this approach has met with limited success. However, when you take what you know about the individual into account, you can do much better.

In fact, to take this to the next level, you should note exactly how a person behaves when he or she lies. That way, you’ll have a decent indication he or she is lying the next time you see that behavior repeated. The more personal indicators you are aware of, the more certain you can be that the person is lying.

Consider this: If such psychological “tells” or signs of lying were meaningless, there would be far fewer consistent winners in poker. There ARE consistent winners at poker, by the way, and they often win because they are good at spotting a “bluff.” (They also know the odds, of course). That is strong evidence right there that there are signs of lying which are useful.



Source by Steve Gillman

Horse Racing Handicapping Losing Streaks and Life

Did you ever wonder how other gamblers and horseplayers handle losing streaks?  I am in the middle of one, or should I say, hopefully near the end of one, as I write this.  Yes even old dinosaurs like me who have played the horses since the chariot races still go through losing streaks.

Let me tell you about my, “long dark night of the soul,” so that you may get something that will help you through your next rough patch.  I sell horse racing systems, but before I will put one on the market, I test them and actually play them myself.  That is how I manage to offer a no questions asked guarantee on everything I sell.

That is also why I try a lot of things in order to find that one right thing that works well enough to help a fellow horse player.  So that is why, on October 5th of 2009 I started working on a toteboard system that follows the money and hopefully will be profitable over the long run.  It is now November 6th, 2009 so I have been testing it for over a month.  I have 160% of my bankroll left, so I am ahead at the time of this writing.

However, I was at 230% of my bankroll just three days ago!  That means I have been on a nasty losing streak.  The worst part is, I have had such high hopes for this method of picking winners by following the money, but now I don’t know if I will lose back everything I have won.  It could have just been a fluke and this may be another blind alley, a dead end, I’ve certainly been down plenty of those while learning how to handicap horse races.

Should an old gray beard like me have so much trouble with a losing streak?  After all, I’ve had them so many times that I’ve lost count.  Of course, I’ve also had more than my share of winning streaks, too.  The answer is, no matter how many times you live through them, losing streaks are still the pits and test you over and over.  Handicapping horses for profit and really working at this business is a constant test and you are only as good as your last series of bets.  Do the winning streaks help?  Of course it helps to remember them as a reminder.

It doesn’t matter when you’re losing, though.  It starts to dominate your thoughts, especially as you watch the money slipping away and don’t know where the bottom is.  I suppose people who play the stock market feel the same way when it starts to slide.  We speculators can’t help but wonder, “Where is the bottom?”

The worse thing you can do is to go on what the poker players call, “Tilt.”  You have to keep your equilibrium and maintain a healthy attitude and lifestyle.  

First of all, don’t start the negative self talk.  Nothing will dig you into a pit faster than that internal dialogue that is negative or fearful.  Gambling and playing the horses is streaky, it is a fact of life and if this is the path you choose then you’d better be ready for it.  So chin up and shut up or start with the positive self talk, “Everyday in every way, I am getting better and better and this is just a stepping stone, however rough it may be, to success.”

It doesn’t matter if you totally believe it, say it anyway.  Like they say, “Fake it until you make it.”  Just as long as you are always honest with yourself about your winning and losing and the impact it has on you and loved ones.

Speaking of loved ones, that is another important part of living through a losing streak.  Stay connected with people.  Tonight I called my grandson and we talked about saxophones, martial arts, winter weather, and other things.  It helps to remember that there is a whole world out there filled with many things and sharing those things with others is the best way to clear your mind and stay upbeat.  It also means you’re not neglecting the ones you love and who love you.  It is bad enough that you are on a losing streak, don’t put them on one, too.

If you don’t have any close relatives or friends, then strike up a conversation with a stranger and talk about the weather, baseball, the government, anything that will start your brain working on something other than the track and losing or winning.  We humans are social animals and interaction with other people is like a healing balm, even if it is a little difficult to get a conversation going, even if what you really feel like doing is crawling into a cave and licking your wounds.  Look around yourself and see the world.

Tomorrow I am going on a day trip with my Sweetie and taking care of health related business.  That is another thing that you must do, take time off and get involved in something other than the track and gambling.  Have conversations, see different scenery and locales.

Finally, when you’ve aired your brain out enough and have given yourself time off, get back at it again with renewed resolve to make it.  Keep notes while you are gambling and know your ROI and what bets you have made.  Review everything and find your weak spots and strengths.  Be willing to admit your mistakes and also realize that sometimes it isn’t you or your method, gambling is just plain streaky.  If you can look at the long run, the big picture, and see that you are ahead at all, then you are very fortunate.

Making 10% profit over the long run is very good in this business, sorry if I just popped your bubble, but that is the reality of betting on horses for profit.  If you aren’t making it, that means you are one of many people who are in the process of becoming a successful horse player.  Stick with a good system, don’t bet with money you can’t afford to lose.  Take time off (people in all other lines of work do) and eat healthy food and exercise because we horseplayers have a tendency to let ourselves go, which in turn affects our ability to think clearly and have the stamina to win.

Above all else, enjoy your days at the races, if you’re not, then maybe it is time to take time off and assess your methods and motives.  Life is short and should be enjoyable for the most part.  Just as we use systems to beat the races, the are systems to get the most out of life, what I have just shared with you is a pretty good start on the basics.

Enjoy your days at the races.



Source by Bill Peterson

How Goldman Sachs Ripped Its Clients' Faces Off

Justice Litle, Editorial Director, Taipan Publishing Group

http://www.taipanpublishinggroup.com/taipan-daily-042010.html

By now you’ve likely heard the news… the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has charged Goldman Sachs with fraud. Goldman (GS:NYSE) stock plunged in response, dropping more than $14 billion in total market value.

Rest assured, this fraud accusation is a very big deal…

Of course, you won’t see Goldman execs frog-marched to jail in handcuffs anytime soon. And Goldman might even succeed in beating the SEC’s rap. (They’ll surely hire the best lawyers on the planet to help them do it.)

Nonetheless, the news is hugely important, due to all the behind-the-scenes factors involved. (For one thing, political risk on the investment banking side and the hedge fund side has just shot through the roof. That’s very bad news for the market.)

We’ll get into the complex question of just how this news could impact markets in another post. Today, though, we want to focus on another question. Just what did Goldman do?

A Brand-New F.I.A.S.C.O.

Perhaps the best way to understand the charges against Goldman Sachs is to first read a book more than 10 years old. The name of the book is F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street, by Frank Partnoy. It was first published in February 1999.

The book is Partnoy’s tell-all description of his former life as a Morgan Stanley derivatives salesman. F.I.A.S.C.O., the acronym in the book’s title, stands for “Fixed Income Annual Sporting Clays Outing.” Every year, Morgan Stanley’s rough-and-tumble bond trading derivatives team would get drunk and go shooting. In their minds, they were probably shooting at clients.

Partnoy, long out of the investment banking biz, revealed things in the book that clients were never supposed to know. Like the lingo of “ripping a client’s face off,” for example, or the game of “blowing up” a client.

In Morgan Stanley terms, to “rip a client’s face off” meant to sell them a booby-trapped derivative trade. The client, for whatever reason, thinks he’s getting a lucrative deal on a highly exotic derivative product that will provide capital gains, steady income, or both. But in reality the client has just signed on for a fancy mugging.

When the trades blew up (as they inevitably did), Morgan Stanley would be on the other side – ready to collect all the money that the client lost. In this, the one-time white shoe investment bank was like a dynamite-rigged bucket shop.

Basically, the Morgan Stanley derivatives department of the 1990s was focused on finding gullible clients who had no clue as to the risk of what they were actually buying… selling them booby-trapped time bombs… and then profiting on the other side of the trade when the client blew up.

This is what Goldman Sachs did to its clients for a fee. In exchange for a hefty sum, Goldman convinced some of its less-than-bright customers to load up on a subprime deal that was engineered to fail. The clients thought they were making a sound investment that would provide them with steady income. In reality, they were being set up to get their faces ripped off.

The main difference is that, this time, Goldman was only acting as middle man. Whereas Morgan Stanley itself was on the other side of the trade in the 1990s, this time a giant hedge fund was the one looking to make a big score. Goldman Sachs acted as matchmaker for a fee.

The “Fabulous Fab”

On the Goldman Sachs side, the player at the center of the mess is an obnoxious 31-year-old Frenchman named Fabrice Tourre. The SEC has filed civil charges against both Tourre as an individual and Goldman Sachs on the whole.

It doesn’t look too good for Goldman or Tourre. Even if they win the case, the bank’s reputation has been severely damaged. The following e-mail excerpt was shown on the front page of The Wall Street Journal weekend edition:

The whole building is about to collapse anytime now. …Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab… standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created…

In the same e-mail, “the fabulous Fab” admitted he created the trades “without necessarily understanding all of the implications.”

So here we have a hotshot trader who sold toxic waste to a bunch of rube-like clients… saw the blow-up coming in advance… and then bragged about side-stepping the carnage.

Built to Spill

It’s not a crime for an investment bank security to go belly up. Clients can and do lose money on a regular basis. The crime, in the eyes of the SEC, had to do with the fact that Goldman Sachs packaged and sold a deal that was intentionally designed to fail by the hedge fund that dreamed it up.

The fact that Goldman failed to warn its investors – saying to them “just so you know, this deal was put together specifically at the request of someone who wants to short it” – was a breach of fiduciary duty.

The deal in question was known as Abacus 2007-AC1, or “Abacus.” Abacus was created at the request of John Paulson, the hugely successful hedge fund investor who made billions of dollars in profit from the subprime crisis (including a personal profit approaching $4 billion).

Paulson wanted Abacus created so he could buy credit default swap insurance against it – not unlike wanting a house built in a highly flammable brushfire zone, so that one could then take out fire insurance on that same house.

Abacus was something known as a “synthetic collateralized debt obligation.” In plain English terms, Abacus was a collection of highly risky subprime mortgage bonds. These bonds paid a high rate of interest, precisely because they were so risky. This high interest rate attracted institutional investors with more greed than sense.

Sharks and Minnows at the Poker Table

Another way to understand what happened is to picture a giant poker table. John Paulson turned out to be the “shark” at the table – the sharp, savvy pro who knew exactly what he was doing in expecting the bubble to burst.

The gullible Goldman Sachs clients were the “minnows” at the table – i.e. the novice poker players who thought they knew what they were doing, but clearly didn’t. These minnows were players like the German bank IKB, which took on way too much risk in various subprime deals and went tapioca in result.

Paulson’s hedge fund brainstormed the Abacus deal as something to sell to the minnows. They wanted the minnows to buy and hold the toxic assets so that Paulson & Co. could bet against them. When subprime blew up, the minnows lost more than a billion dollars… and Paulson made a cool billion. (Plus billions more in other places.)

Minnows, meet shark.

Goldman Sachs played the role of gracious host for this little poker game. On the one hand, Goldman called in the seasoned pro (Paulson) to fill the key seat at the table. On the other hand, Goldman filled up the rest of the seats with “shark bait” – the less than savvy players who were destined to lose their shirts.

Fraud, or Something Else?

So is Goldman Sachs guilty of fraud as the SEC charges? You can read the full text of the SEC charges here:

The Commission brings this securities fraud action against Goldman, Sachs & Co (“GS&Co”) and a GS&Co employee, Fabrice Tourre (Tourre) for making materially misleading statements and omissions in connection with a synthetically collateralized debt obligation (“CDO”) GS&Co structured and marketed to investors…

The “materially misleading statements and omissions” have to do with the fact that Goldman knew Abacus was engineered to fail (by design of its savvy originator) yet failed to mention this to the “minnows” on the other side.

More evidence for the “fail by design” charge came from the fact that Paulson shopped around, looking for the worst mortgages possible to go into the deal. For instance, subprime mortgages from Wells Fargo, a rival bank, were rejected by Paulson because they were perceived as too high quality, i.e. not junky enough.

Some will say the out-of-luck Goldman clients – the ones who lost big, fueling Paulson’s massive gain – should have embraced the principle of “caveat emptor” (buyer beware). And all things being equal, that is true.

But still… if a public company were to create a spin-off for the express purpose of letting executives short the spin-off’s stock, wouldn’t you want to know?

Whether or not Goldman is guilty of fraud as the SEC asserts, they are certainly guilty of treating their clients (or at least half their clients) like sheep to be sheared – or rather chum for the sharks.

It’s like the old poker saying goes: “If you’ve been sitting at the table for half an hour and you still can’t tell who the fish is… then the fish is you.”

Tomorrow we’ll take a closer look at why the Goldman fraud charges have serious implications, and are not just a tempest in a teapot.

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Source by Justice Litle