Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dowd Down on Goldman Sachs

Here's a bit from the NY Times op-ed by Maureen Dowd that talks about today's US Senate hearings on financial reform:
The wood-paneled Senate committee room had an old-school look. The combed-over committee chairman, Carl Levin, had an old-school look. And the Congressional hearing trying to illuminate surreptitious and avaricious behavior by an amoral, macho gang was the 2010 equivalent of the 1950s Mafia hearing depicted in “Godfather II.”

“Government Sachs,” as the well-connected Goldman Sachs is known, was called to account by the actual government on Tuesday. And the traders and executives who dreamed up the idea of packaging smoke were every bit as slick, evasive and dismissively unapologetic as Michael Corleone. He only claimed to trade in olive oil; they actually delivered the snake oil.

You know you’re ethically compromised when Senator John Ensign scolds you about ethics. The Nevada Republican is under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee and the F.B.I. for chicanery surrounding an affair with a staffer. His wealthy parents paid off the mistress and her husband, who was also on Ensign’s payroll.

“I think most people in Las Vegas would take offense at having Wall Street compared to Las Vegas. Because in Las Vegas, actually people know that the odds are against them. They play anyway,” said the righteous Ensign. “On Wall Street, they manipulate the odds while you’re playing the game. And I would say that it’s actually much more dishonest.”


As Americans lost homes and lined up for jobs, Goldman made $13 billion in 2009, and Blankfein got a bonus of, as he haltingly admitted to McCain, “um, um, nine million.”
Go read the whole article.

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