Nobody likes being scammed. It turns you into a victim, it shakes the foundations of your inherent trust in your fellow man, and, most importantly, it usually involves relieving you of your precious money. That's your favorite stuff! But sometimes, when a scam is clever enough, you almost don't mind being ripped off. Sure, it still sucks that you're out some ramen funds, but you have to admire the ingenuity of the con, right? Now, what happens when those clever little scams are being run not by lovable street urchins with rigged card games, but gigantic heartless corporations?
Goldman Sachs Takes America for a Ride on the Aluminum "Merry-Go-Round"
Think back to when life was all Pop Rocks and comic books and hilariously incorrect assumptions about sex. Your insatiable need for said Pop Rocks and comic books that inadvertently reinforced all that incorrect sex stuff -- it all required money. And earning that money, your allowance, required you to do chores, like clean your room. So you'd shuffle all your toys from the floor to the closet. Then your mom would discover that you'd transformed your closet into a barely contained plush-and-plastic avalanche, and you'd shuffle all your stuff underneath your bed. Then your mom would discover all the crap you'd crammed underneath your bed, and the process would repeat in a never-ending cycle of filth and lies. Such is childhood.
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Except for the porn, which was crammed underneath your brother's bed.
For years, Goldman Sachs used the method we just described to ever so gently dry hump your wallet whenever you popped open a can of soda. We're talking about the aluminum trade, and over the past three years Goldman and their cohorts have managed to fleece American soda connoisseurs out of more than five billion dollars of hard-earned drink machine change.
First, Goldman bought out all the Detroit-area warehouses where bulk aluminum was stored. Then they effectively drove up the worldwide price of the metal by artificially increasing the wait times for aluminum orders more than tenfold. But they couldn't just perpetually stockpile the aluminum and let the prices climb ever higher, because there were regulations in place requiring them to ship a certain amount of it each day. So ship it they did ... to another warehouse. That was also owned by Goldman. From the closet, to the bed, to your stupid sister's room (fortune favors the bold), and back to the floor. Repeat. The price of aluminum went up, Goldman collected rent on it for the entire time they shuffled it among their many warehouses, and you eventually paid more for that can (via increased soda prices) -- win-win-lose!
"One for you, one for me. Two for you, one, two for me."