“Depending on whom you ask,” Goldman Sachs is either “really good at what they do,” said Boyd Erman and Tara Perkins in Canada’s The Globe and Mail, or “the beneficiary of a giant government conspiracy.” How else to explain the well-connected bank’s $3.4 billion quarterly profit? For starters, there’s evidence that Goldman is “making money the old fashioned way: it’s earning it,” through smart trading and helping to sell government bonds.
“Sure, give Goldman credit” for its big quarterly profit, said Zac Bissonnette in BloggingStocks. But that gain would be “completely wiped out” without the $13 billion gift taxpayers gave Goldman, through AIG, to cover its lousy bets. We should be “absolutely outraged” that all we got in return for our “generosity” was worthless AIG stock.
What’s with “all the Goldman haters?” said Ryan Barnes in Seeking Alpha. Goldman Sachs is doing well because for decades it has hired “the smartest, most Machiavellian young people on the planet.” The market has been extremely volatile, and that’s when the smartest traders make the most money. Goldman has those traders—how does that make them “intrinsically evil”?
“The geniuses at Goldman screw up like everyone else,” said Charlie Gasparino in The Daily Beast, and without the $10 billion federal bailout, plus the $13 billion from AIG’s taxpayer bailout, Goldman would be “toast. Finished. Kaput.” But here’s the bigger problem: Goldman’s “doozy” of a profit will be from “embracing much of the same risk that nearly led to its demise,” only this time it’s gambling with taxpayer dollars.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 13 deliciously garlicky dishes for summer
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- The best online movies to watch this weekend
- Four annoying sounds you need to stop making
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 10 things you need to know today: August 23, 2014
- The real-life events that inspired Game of Thrones' Red Wedding
Subscribe to the Week