General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Is Goldman Sachs robbing us blind?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (10007points) July 13th, 2009

From Matt Taibbi’s “The Great American Bubble Machine” in Rolling Stone Issue 1082–83.

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

Any attempt to construct a narrative around all the former Goldmanites in influential positions quickly becomes an absurd and pointless exercise, like trying to make a list of everything. 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.

They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage. Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch of really smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They’ve been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s — and now they’re preparing to do it again, creating what may be the biggest and most audacious bubble yet…..

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

janbb's avatar

I don’t know enough about it to have a strong opinion, but I would be leery of any argument written in as histrionic and extreme tone as this. While it is certainly appropriate to look at the investment banks and be angry at them, phrases like “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity” does not incline me to agree totally with the writer’s premise.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

The link provided with the question contains the rest of the article. I only posted the introduction.

CMaz's avatar

Where have you been? Banks need debt to operate. Debt is power. The bigger the bank, the more you owe, and the more they own you.

lilgiraffe's avatar

Well, if what the article says is true, then the people on the Goldman / ex-Goldman team orchestrating the market bubbles and being in the best position to profit from it, seems very likely.

In the end, money, politics, power, it’s all very tied up together, isn’t it? In a dog-eat-dog world, perhaps group identity is the thing that people feel that they can rely on. In this case, coming from one of the most powerful investment banks in the world. One would think that there are such ties amongst people from the top business schools as well.

kevbo's avatar

Goldman dismissed the article as the ramblings of conspiracy theorists.

What does it mean when one mainstream publication publishes an assertion that another mainstream publication is publishing (rambling) conspiracy theory?

The same phenomenon was true with Enron until it collapsed. They developed a culture where smart guys were paid to figure out ways to exploit every loophole in energy regulation, and that’s how we got the CA “energy crisis.”

It’s a shame so many people can groupthink themselves into raping the rest of society, but at the same time where does the effort to outdo one’s competition end?

I suppose if we lived in a society of abundance instead of scarcity, it would be different.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

“a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.”

This is why the founding fathers did their best to prevent democracy in this country and establish contract government. Unfortunately Lincoln and cronies buried that contract. There is also this problem. The constitution had already been hijacked before Lincoln.

Goldman Sacks is just a monster that was a long time in the making.

YARNLADY's avatar

The only ‘us’ that is getting robbed are the ones who don’t pay attention to their financial arrangements, and just go ‘blindly’ into things.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


“By the end of March, the Fed will have lent or guaranteed at least $8.7 trillion under a series of new bailout programs — and thanks to an obscure law allowing the Fed to block most congressional audits, both the amounts and the recipients of the monies remain almost entirely secret.”

This will rob all US citizens through debt and/or taxes.

YARNLADY's avatar

@chris6137 So you meant ‘us’ the taxpayers. If we could only pick and choose how we wanted our bailout money to be used, we could probably save an incredible amount of money. Perhaps with hit pieces like this, some good will come of it.

Garebo's avatar

Here is a clip of conspiracy blog I follow, problem is, he is usually right in his allegations and prognostications. I often wondered why past treasury secretary’s come from Golden Slacks, then goes back to them. Probably because they are a very influential fraternal organization of elitists that influence our government, more than the public realizes. The day they get in financial trouble like Bear Stearns, CitiGroup, AIG or the soon to go bankrupt CIT, then, you’ll know our free enterprise system is really done in this country-well, which it has been for 8½ years now.

“Goldman Sachs is in big trouble, but the media refuses to dig and get the same story the alternative media has dug up. As usual the SEC is looking in a different direction, as far away from the real action as possible.

“The latest allegation is front-running their own client orders, never mind everyone else’s. As we reported earlier they are using a government created program. A good question is are they front-running for both themselves and the government, which might make it semi-legal? Of course nothing ca be semi legal. It is either legal or it isn’t. Goldman has been confronted on the issue and refuses to answer detailed questions, just saying, “your suggestion that we monitor our website to facilitate front-running is untrue and offensive.” Unfortunately, this confirms our worst suspicions. If we were using the Goldman 360 portal for trading we’d stop until we at least investigate to make sure we were not being cheated. Where may we ask is the SEC? Camping out on the moon most likely. This episode is just beginning. This is another example of cross corruption and arrogance by both our government and Goldman.”

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@Garebo I don’t think it would harm free enterprise a bit if Goldman Sacks or any other organization went out of business. In Goldman’s case I do not think that they are free enterprise at all. I think they might do some of that but they are primarily a big fat tick.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther