Goldman-Sachs and Sex Trafficking

An investigation by the New York Times has discovered that the biggest forum for sex-trafficking in America is owned, in part, by none other than Goldman-Sachs…

[An] emporium for girls and women — some under age or forced into prostitution — is in turn owned by an opaque private company called Village Voice Media. Until now it has been unclear who the ultimate owners are.  That mystery is solved. The owners turn out to include private equity financiers, including Goldman Sachs with a 16 percent stake.  Goldman Sachs was mortified when I began inquiring last week about its stake in America’s leading Web site for prostitution ads. It began working frantically to unload its shares, and on Friday afternoon it called to say that it had just signed an agreement to sell its stake to management.  “We had no influence over operations,” Andrea Raphael, a Goldman Sachs spokeswoman, told me.

Isn’t it funny how these wall street-ers never know what they own until they’re told?  ‘Plausible deniability’, anyone?  And though the Times notes that Goldman probably didn’t know what was going on, it notes nonetheless, that…

… for more than six years Goldman has held a significant stake in a company notorious for ties to sex trafficking, and it sat on the company’s board for four of those years. There’s no indication that Goldman or anyone else ever used its ownership to urge Village Voice Media to drop escort ads or verify ages. Elizabeth L. McDougall, chief counsel for Village Voice Media, told me Friday that she was “unaware of any dissent” from owners.

If you own something- even in part- you bear responsibility for it.

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One thought on “Goldman-Sachs and Sex Trafficking

  1. wken 5 Apr 2012 at 9:17 pm

    They know what they own. Any of their deniability is completely dishonest. They know exactly what they own … but they don’t care because there’s money to be made.

    I wouldn’t be too surprised to find out that these upstanding corporate citizens help themselves to some of the services, too. They sold their souls …

    There’s a reason why Jesus said it’s not easy for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God and why Paul said that all kinds of evil are rooted in the love of money.

    But, of course, obviously the answer is to deregulate and trust these people to monitor themselves.


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