Is Goldman Sachs the Most Evil Company in America?
I finally read the notorious Rolling Stone article about Goldman Sachs: "Inside The Great American Bubble Machine." I'm late to the party, but maybe you are too, so I'll grab a 6-pack and proceed...
In it Matt Taibbi absolutely lays waste to Goldman's reputation, alleging that Goldman knowingly creates bubbles, profiting on the way up and on the way down. He goes back to the 1920's and details 6 bubbles and Goldman's involvement in each:
- The Great Depression
- Tech Bubble
- Housing Bubble
- Oil Bubble (i.e. $4 gasoline)
- Rigging the Bailout (resulting from the housing bubble)
- Global Warming (i.e. a future carbon credits bubble)
Now, is he exacting with the details? No. But his argument sounds a lot truer than Goldman's response which: 1) writes the story off as yet another Goldman conspiracy theory 2) sounds like a lawyer speaking in technicalities, and 3) includes the line: "We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance of being a force for good."
When many of us question well-intentioned Google's "Don't be evil" mantra, I don't know how to respond to Goldman's tales of riding in on a white horse.
The 12-page Rolling Stone article takes a long time to read, but it's worth it.
And after you're done reading that, read Michael Lewis's satirical take on this.
-Anand (who is happy to be on Michael Lewis's side of the argument and is slightly regretting his lapsed Rolling Stone subscription)