Rarely do Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree on much of anything these days—but both parties were strong in their condemnation of Goldman Sachs and its apparent willingness to give advice to its investors that directly contradicted its own predictions, to bet on those predictions, and perhaps cause the economic collapse of 2008. <a href=”http://www.businessinsider.com/live-goldman-sachs-senate-hearing-2010-4″>From McCaskill (D-MO) to Ensign (R-NV), Senators called Goldman Sachs some pretty nasty names</a>.
And the casino analogies are appropriate, except that in a casino, as Senator Ensign pointed out, the rules don’t change during the round of play. Goldman kept changing the rules. It was very profitable for them, but a disaster for the economy.
And yet, this whole coterie of Goldman Sachs executives went on and on about their lack of regret (never mind remorse). It’ll be a long time before I trust them to give ME any investment advice!
One thing I don’t see anyone else picking up on is the possible implication of Former Goldman CEO/former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Here’s an excerpt from the link above (it goes backward, from bottom to top):
12:56: McCaskill: Tourre, do you typically let people like Paulson pick the assets that go into a security they’re betting against?
Tourre: In every synthetic buyer situation, the buyer has to be involved. There are always suggestions from the interested party.
12:53: McCaskill: What’s clear here (from all these emails) is that there wasn’t a great deal of confidence in this “Timberwolf” but the sales people were being pushed to move it.
12:51: McCaskill is reading from emails…
12:42: What’s Paulson doing in the room with the guy picking the assets? Was IKB there? Weren’t they going to be a better to?
Tourre: At what time?
McCaskill: At the time Paulson and ACA met.
Tourre: No, we didn’t know they would be a part of the deal then.
McCaskill: Well, why wouldn’t you tell IKB that Paulson, who they were betting against, was in the room when the deal was being created? That just seems weird to me.
12:42: What about ABACUS?
Tourre: Goldman and Paulson selected ACA.</blockquote>
I don’t think we’ve heard the whole story yet. It promised to be verrrrry interesting.