Thursday, April 29, 2010

Goldman = greed without limits

Now here's the really weird thing. Confronted with the evidence of public outrage over these deals, the leaders of Goldman will often appear to be genuinely confused, scratching their heads and staring quizzically into the camera like they don't know what you're upset about.It's no t an act. There have been a lot of greedy financiers and banks in history, but what makes Goldman stand out is its truly bizarre cultist/religious belief in the rightness of what it does.

"The injunction of Jesus to love others as ourselves is an endorsement of self-interest". A few weeks later, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein told the Times that he was doing "God's work".

SHOOT: At the heart of this debate is this question: are profits uber alles justified?  Are you allowed to make money using tricky shennanigans?  Is money respectable in and of itself?  I think we know that Goldman's deals are ill gotten gains.  Are the Goldman boys anything more than bogus overpaid secondhand car salesmen?

The Randian belief [belief in individualism espoused by Ayn Rand] is dangerous because it can seem rational and even logical. But individualism is a close cousin of narcissim, and vanity and from there arrogance, hubris and delusion in the name of enriching yourself [often by impoverishing others].  This  isn't a sustainable or civilised act, especially not at the levels of self enrichment Goldman Sachs consider 'normal'. And let's be clear - anyone can make money by filching your investor or buyer over the short term.  Buyer's remorse though, whether buying a dud car or anything else, is a bitch.
clipped from
Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs
In the late 90s, Greenspan lobbied hard for the passage of a law that came to be called the Commodity Futures Modernisation Act of 2000, a monster of a bill that among other things deregulated the sort of interest-rate swaps Goldman used in its now-infamous dealings with Greece.
Both the Paulson deal and the Greece deal were examples of Goldman making millions by bending over their own business partners. In the Paulson deal the suckers were European banks such as ABN-Amro and IKB, which were never told that the stuff Goldman was cheerfully selling to them was, in effect, designed to implode; in the Greece deal, Goldman hilariously used exotic swaps to help the country mask its financial problems, then turned right around and bet against the country by shorting Greece's debt.
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