Quite fascinating about Goldman Sachs

The sheer chutzpah of it all.

Definitely worth reading in full there.

21 thoughts on “Quite fascinating about Goldman Sachs”

  1. I can’t see why this isn’t illegal. Surely there is some sort of client misrepresentation if you make more from a bad price than a good one.

  2. I know I’ve said this several times, but I really can’t see any reason left as to why we haven’t started hanging the bastards yet.

  3. “we the state”: because the bastards own it.

    “we the people”: because no western society’s desperation:hope ratio has (yet) reached the stages where risking your own probable death to make a point seems at all likely to succeed.

  4. Really, that article’s only scraped the surface. The bigger picture is that everyone knew etoys was junk, and the whole point of the IPO was to shift the stock to suckers. Without the help of the big early customers, people would have noticed sooner that the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes, and the $20 price would have been unachievable.

    If you go to the big banks with a company that’s little more than a vast con, they’ll charge you far more than 7% to float it – it’s just that the fees are partially indirect.

  5. @IanB

    They need to do something illegal first. Unethical does not mean illegal.

    And while they may behave like shits, they did not allow 1200 people to die prematurely in their beds.

  6. “they did not allow 1200 people to die prematurely in their beds”: they would have done if they could have found a way to make money out of it.

  7. Dearieme>

    I’d very much doubt that. Bankers aren’t generally the type to wake up in the morning, eat baby-brains on toast for breakfast, and then spend the rest of the day chortling in glee as they bump people off.

    A much ignored factor in the whole banker-bashing is the fact that they’re not evil, just ordinary people with lots of money. They have done nothing other than respond to the incentives we set them.

  8. Sorry, who are we hanging here? Goldman, who probably did nothing illegal. Major investors, who are stupid? Minor investors, who are stupider?

    This is just life. Some people are in the know, some aren’t, some lose money and some make it.

    It’s no biggie, it makes no difference whatsoever to the lives of the average Joe, most of the chief whiners among whom are lazy and/or stupid, and everyone knows it happens.

    Not. A. Story.

  9. Dave: your incentives point doesn’t work the way you think it does here, and Dearieme is correct.

    Like NHS managers, bankers wouldn’t kill a thousand people for the lolz. Also like NHS managers, bankers can be responsible for thousands of excess deaths when that’s the way the incentive works.

    In both cases, there’s no explicit trigger-pulling or death-squad ordering, but it’s the direct consequence of decisions taken by the group in question (particularly cost-cutting decisions, whether those come from Whitehall or private equity fund managers).

  10. Interested: Wall Street likes to pretend that it’s socially useful, rather than a massively rigged casino that makes idiots worse off to the benefit of criminals, while doing no good whatsoever for anyone else. Felix is particularly firmly ensconced in the former camp, and hence particularly anti-crookery.

    I’m inclined to agree with you that it’s the latter. But that would be a disastrous outcome for Wall Street, since it would no longer be able to pretend it was full of Wealth Creators who’d be destroyed if they were taxed and regulated.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    To link back to an earlier thread, perhaps too this is part of the decline of the British (or Anglo-American) gentleman. It is easy to mock the City’s old fashioned “Good chap” philosophy. But a good chap does often know what he should do and what he shoud not do. And this may be legal but 1. I hope not, and 2. even if it is, a good chap should not do it.

    No set of laws is ever going to outlaw every shady piece of practice. But a good chap should know when he has gone too far.

    But then I am probably woefully naive about the City.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    john b – “Also like NHS managers, bankers can be responsible for thousands of excess deaths when that’s the way the incentive works.”

    Umm, no. Because NHS managers have a direct responsibility that bankers do not. That is why they are appointed to manage the NHS. Bankers do not even have much of an indirect responsibility because they don’t, or rarely, say that governments have to starve the poor. They say they have to spend less than they take in as tax. Where the cuts are is usually up to the government in question. They choose their own priorities.

  13. SMFS: you’re overthinking here. When I talked about bankers’ decisions killing people, I wasn’t putting it through the government bond market filter (which is largely bollocks anyway: governments at present can borrow as much money as they want at almost zero interest, but choose not to for ideological comedy reasons); I was thinking of banker-owned companies doing so. Which is universal.

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