Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Real Price of Goldman’s Giganto-Profits

Bloggers Note: The figure above is taken from the article below by Matt Taibbi, which tells of the many, many other ways Goldman has been picking taxpayer pockets than by merely raking in profits from stock-market manipulation. For a refresher on the meaning of “Value at Risk” or "VaR" plotted in this figure, check out an earlier blog of mine. But be sure not to miss the full article by Matt Taibbi, only the first three paragraphs of which I reproduce below.

July 16, 2009

by Matt Taibbi

So what’s wrong with Goldman posting $3.44 billion in second-quarter profits, what’s wrong with the company so far earmarking $11.4 billion in compensation for its employees? What’s wrong is that this is not free-market earnings but an almost pure state subsidy.

Last year, when Hank Paulson told us all that the planet would explode if we didn’t fork over a gazillion dollars to Wall Street immediately, the entire rationale not only for TARP but for the whole galaxy of lesser-known state crutches and safety nets quietly ushered in later on was that Wall Street, once rescued, would pump money back into the economy, create jobs, and initiate a widespread recovery. This, we were told, was the reason we needed to pilfer massive amounts of middle-class tax revenue and hand it over to the same guys who had just blown up the financial world. We’d save their asses, they’d save ours. That was the deal.

It turned out not to happen that way. We constructed this massive bailout infrastructure, and instead of pumping that free money back into the economy, the banks instead simply hoarded it and ate it on the spot, converting it into bonuses. So what does this Goldman profit number mean? This is the final evidence that the bailouts were a political decision to use the power of the state to redirect society’s resources upward, on a grand scale. It was a selective rescue of a small group of chortling jerks who must be laughing all the way to the Hamptons every weekend about how they fleeced all of us at the very moment the game should have been up for all of them.

...find rest of article here

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