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Wikileaks Double Standards

Justice in an Oligopoly

In an official court proceeding, federal prosecutor Joseph Facciponti told a federal judge that "[Goldman Sachs] has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways."

That is a scandalous allegation, isn't it? A federal prosecutor admits that Goldman Sachs has market-manipulating software. What do you suppose happened?

Rather than indict Goldman Sachs for having software that "somebody [could] use .. to manipulate markets in unfair ways," the federal government indicted a computer programmer for stealing the code!

After a show trial where portions of the proceedings were sealed from the public view, Sergey Aleynikov was convicted:

A jury has found a former Goldman Sachs computer programmer guilty of stealing source code from the bank’s high-frequency trading platform.

The trial of Sergey Aleynikov, a 40-year-old Russian immigrant, spotlighted the world of high-frequency trading, which uses complex computer algorithms to make rapid-fire trades to exploit tiny price discrepancies. High-frequency trading has become a growing important source of revenue atWall Street firms. As a result, banks fiercely protect the code underpinning their businesses.

Mr. Aleynikov faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Sergey faces ten years in prison from stealing market-manipulating code, while Goldman Sachs gets to keep its code. 

Do you seriously want to argue that the United States is not an oligopoly resembling post-Soviet Russia?