Brief thoughts on Goldman Sachs

Alright, so let’s just be honest, here.  I’m not sure if Goldman Sachs did anything illegal.  As far as I can tell, their crime is that they made a ton of money when most people in this country, as well as our respective governments, lost money.  Last time I checked, that’s not a crime — that’s just a byproduct of capitalism.

Goldman Sachs’s job, and most other for-profit companies’ jobs, is to do as well for itself, financially, as possible.  As long as they play by the rules that the state has set, they’re not actually engaging in illegal activity.  Sure, said activity may or may not have had completely shitty side effects, but again, that doesn’t make it illegal — just, maybe, immoral.  For example, if I wanted, I could constantly harangue my boyfriend and make his life a living hell.  While that would be cruel, it probably wouldn’t be considered illegal.

People are pissed, and today’s Senate subcommittee hearing shows that it’s easy, and kinda fun, to point our fingers at others.

However, legislators should (but won’t) approach the situation in this manner: Until proven otherwise, it looks like Goldman Sachs behaved in a legal fashion.  If they followed the laws but still screwed over everyone else, it’s not Goldman’s fault; it’s our legislators’ and administrators’ failure, and their damn fault.

These hearings would be like if NBA referees got together and called in Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Larry Bird, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and other stars and yelled at them for scoring points to the detriment of others.  These players are just trying to get what’s theirs, and happen to be good at it.  If we have such a moral problem with Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100+ points in a game, we should change the game’s rules for the future, not yell at Wilt the Stilt for doing his job too well.

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One thought on “Brief thoughts on Goldman Sachs

  1. Politicians and legislators don’t know anything about finance. Neither do I, and that’s why I abstain from telling others what they can and cannot do. The SEC seems to drop the ball on all the huge Ponzi schemes, and go after politically unpopular targets to look like they are doing something besides watching pornography all day.

    The best feedback mechanism for unethical behavior is often reputation. If Goldman really screwed its buyers, people would stop buying things from them.

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