The Incas sacrificed people … the Democrats sacrifice corporations

Your Charles Krauthammer moment. But first give me a few paragraphs to set up today’s GS hearings. I will not defend Goldman Sachs. But what occurred in today’s Senate hearings today was a day of nonsense. Once again the Senate dodges its role and responsibility by demonizing another.  In the past it was AIG, BOA and Merrill Lynch. Today it was Goldman Sachs.

Let me say I have always had a problem with index funds, and synthetic financial instruments backed by nothing more than trading activity. Selling short has never been a family trait. Betting on failure has never been an option.

But I do understand the role played in futures trading as well as commodities trading and hedging. Make no mistake hedging is critical to a smooth flowing economy, Without it farmers would never survive a draught, airlines would never survive a gas spike, and investment banks could find themselves wiped out and a source of needed capital eliminated.

Thus I am perplexed by the Senate outrage today when they talk about GS “bilking customers”, by betting on failure. First of all, every customer (all institutions) was well aware of the risk, which is why trading is limited to “the wealthy”. Clearly e-mails show GS was selling instruments that some thought were crap. But even GS wasn’t positive. They held em too. And the buyers clearly thought the risk was well worth the reward at the end of the rainbow.

But the argument today never focused on the role these instruments played in the crisis. Just on GS’s ethics in trading them. Which makes the hearings a day long gas bag fest. A point that Charles Krauthammer makes more eloquently than I. I’ve included Levin’s potty mouth just to set up Charles.

As Charles points out, let’s not forget that ground zero in this whole financial meltdown started when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac encouraged low interest, high risk loans, repurchased them, packaged them and sold them as investments. Wall Street followed. GS was just one small part of a big money grab that has the Federal Government as a facilitator.

7 replies
  1. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    Boy, that Carl Levin is one (BEEP) senator. He's running the old misdirection play to demonize Wall Street and distract people from the (BEEP) performance of (BEEP) lawmakers in creating the (BEEP) situation with their (BEEP) policies.

    • winnifredthewoebegon
      winnifredthewoebegon says:

      BWAHAHAHAHA!  Tim, you're killin' me!  ROFL    Hope you don't have a (BEEP) day and the sun is shinin' in Alabama!

  2. donh
    donh says:

    What happened to the days when  Pentagon officials were dragged before congress and publically grilled as to why somebody paid $600 for a hammer and $400 for a toilet seat? Now it is only the high priests of capitalism that are dragged before Torquemada.

  3. winnifredthewoebegon
    winnifredthewoebegon says:

    Can't do it now…Tim-in-Alabama beat me to it…That's what I get for sleeping!

    Can I assume you'll be addressing this three-ring circus today?  It would definitely lighten the mood a bit from yesterday's health care discussion….

    Will be with ya in spirit til bio exam is over!  God bless!

  4. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    I watched too  (maybe a little too much, and saw McCain and Ensign and other Reps beat up on GS, not just the Dems). I don't think a good answer is to divert attention away from GS and back to Fannie and Freddy. The SEC has filed a suit against GS which I don't think is frivolous. And we don't really know if the buyers knew that GS believed that they selling c..p, as GS tried to imply in the hearings.

  5. tom
    tom says:

    Not often does news make me roflol,but Charles takes the cake!

    KRAUTHAMMER:

    "When the Incas had a crop failure they would take someone up on the hill and they would execute them.This process is the same except it has a little less dignity.

    I'm sure the language was cleaner in the Inca process.

    And the idea that somehow this is all Goldman Sachs, and what you had in the Goldman Sachs deal was sharks trying to outsmart other sharks. These were not securities sold on the street to individuals you and me. It was one institution holding a security that it thought was not good. Therefore it sold it.

    When you sell a house or a car, you have your reasons. You may have a moral obligation, but nobody expects you always to disclose every single reason why it's being sold. Apparently if Goldman didn't, it's a crime of some sort.

    This is absurd. Congress is as culpable as is Wall Street and this whole exercise is a way to imply it's all big bad bankers in Wall Street and not Congress, which is hugely responsible for the entire collapse."

    ~Grand Slam

    Tom in Bristol

  6. gillie28
    gillie28 says:

    Huge admirer of Krauthammer.  He always brings a common sense analysis, with humor.

    Not an admirer of Spiro Agnew, but his writers (William Sapphire and Pat Buchanan) came up with some excellent alliteration that can be applied to this Congress (both parties):

    nattering nabobs of negatitsm

    hopeless, hysterical, hypochondriacs of history

    Here's my humble contribution:

    Weaselly, whiny, wastrels of Washington

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