He really didn't have a good defense. As he was explaining them you could see the wheels churning: He realized that they sound ridiculous.
SHOOT: The mere fact that you have a group of people who invent games and financial ploys that no one can understand, creates a scenario perfect for arrogance. Arrogance is the same as cocky, and arrogant people have contempt for those around them. That contempt extends to cheating money out of investors and then using euphemisms and epithets 'dumbed down' to explain to the masses that 'we did nothing wrong' because you can't even understand what we do. Actually you don't have to understand the finer details to know whether you've been filched. The money trail is also a damning bit of evidence. At GS they breathe money out of thin air in a system none but a few have access to...a system above the law. Really?
He knew he was the smartest guy in the room—smart enough to know that he shouldn't convince people of that.
There wasn't a single second where he had to throw his weight around and say, 'You guys are just idiots.' He wasn't condescending, but I'm sure he was thinking, 'The people that have the power in this country really don't understand how the system operates.' Even more disturbing is that they-meaning the U.S. government-created the system.