Jul 25 2009

All that Glitters is Goldman Sachs

“If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain – an extremely unfortunate loophole in the system of Western democratic capitalism, which never forsaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.”  – Matt Taibbi

 

While many companies and individuals have been devastated and are only beginning to recognize encouraging economic signs, Goldman Sachs reported record 2nd-quarter earnings of $3.44 billion, or $4.93 a share, blowing away the analysts’ consensus forecast of $3.54 a share.  If you work for Goldman, you are probably feeling pretty good right now – at least about your compensation.  It is just possible that Goldman will come to regret achieving this remarkable profitability when the rest of the world is suffering.  It is as though they have suddenly reached the pinnacle and in the process they have drawn the wrath of the masses.  Many are suggesting that Goldman Sachs is playing with a stacked deck, and from what I have read I tend to agree.  But…I also recognize that most companies and individuals would gladly game the system (the way Goldman apparently does) if it meant they would enjoy the same remarkable success.

 

Let’s be honest – it’s easy to sit on the sidelines or from an unfavorable position and take potshots at Goldman.  We should really ask ourselves if we would actually slack up on our potential if we were in the same position.  I think the answer is no…we would not.  We would ride the wave until we could ride it no longer!  I only wonder if Gordon Gecko (Stanley Weiser’s brilliant character in Wall Street) was correct when he said, “…greed, for lack of a better word, is good…and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”  The rest of the world is wondering too – and only time will tell…

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