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TMFEditorsDesk (< 20)

Is Goldman Sachs the Most Evil Company in America?

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10

July 29, 2009 – Comments (13) | RELATED TICKERS: GS , GOOGL

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)

 

13 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 29, 2009 at 3:27 PM, FleaBagger (29.03) wrote:

I loved the Michael Lewis article. +1 rec.

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#2) On July 29, 2009 at 3:27 PM, cbwang888 (25.95) wrote:

GS was the one came out with acronym BRIC ( in 1999?). They advocated and ecouraged people to pour money into emerging market. That caused manufacturing jobs loss in western world and help BRIC getting much stronger financially.

 

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#3) On July 29, 2009 at 5:19 PM, starbucks4ever (97.35) wrote:

"Is Goldman Sachs the Most Evil Company in America?"

Very briefly: Yes. 

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#4) On July 29, 2009 at 5:49 PM, TMFRhino (98.11) wrote:

While I think Matt Taibbi is very well spoken and an interesting read, he doesn't exactly take pains to balance his argument.

For my .02, the best read on "big finance's" grip on US policy would still be "The Quiet Coup" by Simon Johnson.

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#5) On July 29, 2009 at 6:06 PM, caterpillar10 wrote:

GS generating \ exploiting bubbles & 'frontrunning' differs from off-book owners skimming casino revenues or loan sharks 'busting-out' (formerly) legitimate businesses only by magnitude and the college degrees held by the players involved. Taxed? None of the above:-)    

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#6) On July 29, 2009 at 10:28 PM, TMFEditorsDesk (< 20) wrote:

Will anyone defend Goldman Sachs? Surely, if they can infiltrate the highest levels of government, they can infiltrate this fool blog, no?

-Anand

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#7) On July 29, 2009 at 11:16 PM, caterpillar10 wrote:

i'm sure they have an 'eagle eye' type computer monitoring this very post as i type it but it doesn't matter now cuz i'm already on their 'list' for other posts and as a stock holder i would be disappointed if they weren't on top of cheeky insolence such as this no matter how insignificant.

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#8) On August 04, 2009 at 12:35 AM, memoandstitch (< 20) wrote:

I'll add more fuel.  Do you know who spread the rumor and triggerred the collapse of Bears Stearns?

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#9) On August 04, 2009 at 1:43 PM, BuJules (< 20) wrote:

And what does this say about, the much revered by Fools, Warren Buffet, who invested heavily in GS last year? He doesn't invest unless he knows a company intimately. Do you think he is a lower-case fool, or something more... chilling?

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#10) On August 06, 2009 at 4:42 AM, caterpillar10 wrote:

Warren is one of the very few who has managed to screw them - 40% return on special preferred stock.

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#11) On August 06, 2009 at 7:13 AM, SRF4REAL (68.34) wrote:

GS decided that is was time for average investors to beef up AIG capital before another bailout was necessary yesterday.  With their high speed computers and front running shop they anonymously triggered an insane rush of capital to enter the taxpayer owned failure with no legs... mission accomplished.  Now they will take their chips off the table and leave retail investors holding an empty bag of hot air, again.

 See also Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc...

They are the embodiment of everything crooked about our market and our governnment. 

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#12) On August 06, 2009 at 9:22 AM, vishtr (< 20) wrote:

Aww jeez, I didn't realize it was this evil. I would have invested long ago. Fits well into my 'evil' portfolio. You'd be suprised how well a portfolio of tobacco, liquor, firearms, defence and finance will do.

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#13) On August 06, 2009 at 12:45 PM, caterpillar10 wrote:

in the fall of 05 i set up a put position on Fannie FNM....couple days later i see USA Today in a news stand and the front page lead story, in so many words, is FNM broke & top execs are all indicted or soon-to-be-indicted dirt bags, and rookie-that-i-was thinks, whoa, that was quick, guess i'll go home log-on and cash in:-) i was so dadgum excited i had to stop at a mickydees and pee on the way there....only to find it had gone up 2 points! f'n goldmaaaaaan!!!!

 

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