Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Smartest Guys In The Room

Matt Taibbi analyzes Goldman's 2Q profits and comes up with the number in "Goldman Sachs has zero to fear from anyone in Washington."
We constructed this massive bailout infrastructure, and instead of pumping that free money back into the economy, the banks instead simply hoarded it and ate it on the spot, converting it into bonuses. So what does this Goldman profit number mean? This is the final evidence that the bailouts were a political decision to use the power of the state to redirect society’s resources upward, on a grand scale. It was a selective rescue of a small group of chortling jerks who must be laughing all the way to the Hamptons every weekend about how they fleeced all of us at the very moment the game should have been up for all of them.

Now, the counter to this charge is, well, hey, they made that money fair and square, legally, how can you blame them? They’re just really smart!

Bullshit. One of the most hilarious lies that has been spread about Goldman of late is that, since it repaid its TARP money, it’s now free and clear of any obligation to the government - as if that was the only handout Goldman got in the last year. Goldman last year made your average AFDC mom on food stamps look like an entrepreneur.
Do read the whole thing, if only to nod your head in grudging respect at how well Goldman Sachs scammed America. It would be one thing to get played by the likes of George Bush and the Crawford Keystone Kops, but Goldman Sachs has been buggering us professionally. It's a refreshing change of pace from the adolescent pawing and groping of the Bushies.

I can completely see the Goldman Sachs crew going over to Helicopter Ben and Timmy, using the words of Don Cheadle in Ocean's Eleven:

"It'll be nice working with proper villains again."

And like Danny Ocean's crew sticking it to all three of Terry Benedict's casinos in that movie, the Treasury got hit like a tornado and Goldman Sachs walked out with the money in plain sight.

It's disgusting, and yet you have to respect how well the plan worked. It was a con job of epic proportions, leading to a visible theft and everyone knew who was behind it. And yet they got away scot-free anyway. What can Obama do about it?


Now that's an American success story.

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