This is for all the Saturday morning InRoads monkeys out there…
Don’t know if anyone has been keeping track in the sidebar, but Matt Taibbi has opened up a floodgate of Goldman Sachs bashing, which I love of course. To be fair, they’ve brought it on themselves, with their recent announcement of record bonus payments in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression. But Taibbi has made it mainstream to call them out for the swindlers they are. Here’s all the must-read/watch pieces:
What you need to know is the big picture: If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain — an extremely unfortunate loophole in the system of Western democratic capitalism, which never foresaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.
More Taibbi: The Real Price of Goldman’s Giganto-Profits
Taken altogether, what all of this means is that Goldman’s profit announcement is a giant “fuck you” to the rest of the country. It is a statement of supreme privilege, an announcement that it feels no shame in taking subsidies and funneling them directly into their pockets, and moreover feels no fear of any public response. It knows that it’s untouchable and it’s not going to change its behavior for anyone. And it doesn’t matter who knows it.
Paul Krugman: The Joy of Sachs
The American economy remains in dire straits, with one worker in six unemployed or underemployed. Yet Goldman Sachs just reported record quarterly profits — and it’s preparing to hand out huge bonuses, comparable to what it was paying before the crisis. What does this contrast tell us?
First, it tells us that Goldman is very good at what it does. Unfortunately, what it does is bad for America.
Second, it shows that Wall Street’s bad habits — above all, the system of compensation that helped cause the financial crisis — have not gone away.
Third, it shows that by rescuing the financial system without reforming it, Washington has done nothing to protect us from a new crisis, and, in fact, has made another crisis more likely.
Then there’s the new scandal brewing involving the former employee who supposedly stole their software that has the ability to unfairly manipulate markets. Interesting that Goldman would come forward with this info only after the software was released into the wild. Surely they themselves never used it for nefarious purposes while it was still under their control! What makes this story all the juicier is that prior to the news, Zero Hedge had been tracking Goldman’s “program trading” volume on the NYSE for months and became convinced that they were manipulating markets. Possibly through “front-running”, in which, oh, say, they had a program that monitored their online client’s stock purchases. Before letting a purchase through, Goldman would then pre-buy the stock themselves, then let the client’s buy happen, then sell their own recently bought shares, which would have appreciated in value by an infinitessimal amount over the previous microsecond. Consider that Goldman’s online trading volume is twice as high as its nearest competitor. Further consider that as speculation mounted, NYSE suddenly announced they would no longer issue their daily program trading reports that Zero Hedge was analyzing. Cap that off with the twin announcements of rogue software and record bonuses, and I’m declaring it’s once again pitchfork and torch time.