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Goldman Heist Raises a "Fairness" Issue

In medieval times, the penalties for theft were often severe, up to and including public hanging. But some forms of theft were considered more serious than others, and thereby more likely to draw the death penalty.

If a starving peasant stole, say, bread, from another peasant, that particular crime was more likely to draw "leniency" in the form of a beating or prison time. But the form of theft that was most likely to draw the maximum penalty was when a poor person stole something from a rich person, particulary something (such as fine meat, fruit, spices, or jewelry), that the poor person normally would not have access to.

Then the crime of "theft" was aggravated by the (unwritten) crime of violating class boundaries. Such may be the case with Goldman Sachs, and the recent stealing of its proprietary data by a rogue employee, Sergei Alenykov.

Theft, and its relation, stealing trade secrets, is serious enough. But the seriousness with which the crime is being treated may be due to the fact that it was perpetrated against GOLDMAN SACHS, which as we know, is a de facto arm of the U.S. Treasury. (In the old days, crimes against the "Crown" were particularly serious.) And Goldman Sachs, not only an operator of the U.S. government, but an advisor to the government of Greece, and other countries, is "practically" a sovereign state in and of itself.

www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/business/glob...

Hence, the alacrity with which the U.S. authorities responded to Goldman's complaint that the missing data could confer an "unfair" advantage on the lucky possessor. But as we know, Goldman is all about seeking "unfair" (but legal) advantages in "doing God's work."

seekingalpha.com/article/188364-goldman-...

How dare one of the "unwashed" and a foreigner to boot seek for himself the "unfair advantages" belong only to the "anointed"? And while we're on the subject, can the man be burned at the stake for heresy as well?

The prosecutors seem to see it that way. Let's see if an American judge and jury will feel the same way.