Saturday, October 03, 2009

In (Half-hearted) Defense of Goldman Sachs

An open letter to:

Matt Taibbi,

You’ve written an entire litany of articles viciously attacking Goldman Sachs and I can’t say I didn’t enjoy them. In fact, I loved them -- every last word. Goldman Sachs deserves no better. They are scum. We both on can agree on that much. That being said, I feel obliged to defend them. The fact that they are scum will likely lead to a half hearted defense, but I feel I must try.

The major component missing from your articles is the explicit acknowledgement of the government’s involvement in the whole mess. You portray Goldman as if they snuck a guy (Henry Paulson) into an unwitting government and orchestrated an Ocean’s 11 type precision heist. You see Goldman as the master planner and craftsman, while the government is dragged around blindly on Goldman’s leash. This may very well be so and I’m the first among my friends to point out the blundering stupidity of government in every realm. But isn’t it missing the bigger picture? That even under the most conspiratorial lens, isn’t it plainly obvious that the government was the tool of Goldman; that had Goldman been without this tool, they would have been completely harmless. Like a chicken shit husband who wants to kill his wife but doesn’t have the guts; although, malicious and evil and vile, he’s still harmless, that is, until he finds a hit man.

Goldman’s hit man was and is and will continue to be the US Government. Just like all evil big businesses throughout the history of the USA as it “progressed” from a mercantilist to the corporatist and fascist government we have now, Goldman has just sought its slice of the pie. Goldman isn’t some lone wolf. It is but the leader in the pack of wolves seeking out their dinner (and yacht and mansion and private jet) at the expense of the American taxpayer. So long as there is government, there will be the fleecing of Americans; so long as there is big government, there will be rapacious population just trying to get its piece. Some will prosper through the electoral system and will line the coffers of themselves and their friends. Everyone else will sit around pointing fingers at the beneficiaries while completely missing the obvious thief: the government. It’s not just the Republicans, nor just the Democrats, it’s the established cartel they form known as the US Government. Goldman is the Giant Floating Head, but government is the man behind the curtain. They are one and the same, but the man behind the curtain is who gives the Giant Floating Head all of its power.

It seems your solution to this whole fiasco is to take all the Goldman execs out back and put them out their misery, close the doors to the company forever, and put so many regulations on the industry that the SEC will know every time an investor takes a shit. But why? So that Goldman can be replaced by JP Morgan at the front of the line for all the government’s insider information? Or Bank of America? When Goldman exits, there will be another to take its place. Thus is the role of government: to redistribute. That’s why DC is full of lobbyists. If DC had no intention of supplying benefits to the lobbyists, the lobbyists would not supply their time and money to DC. The power of politicians begins the symbiosis of big business and government as well as the parasitic relationship between government and the people.

Sure, Goldman participated in the housing bubble, took its clients, bent them over and introduced them to some unpleasant foreign objects, and then watched the country flop around like dead fish at the aftermath, while having “its” money laundered from the government through AIG. But who was there encouraging, financing with cheap credit, and subsidizing housing the whole time? The Government (with the Federal Reserve attached at the hip)... the true enemy of every American… of humanity itself.

Thank you.