Goldman Sachs – how can one not pile on?!

I watched the news shows last night, and found it fascinating that MSNBC repeated the word “shitty” many times, while the News Hour on PBS and the Daily Show on Comedy Central bleeped it out.  The Senators on the committe held a contest to see who could reference the offending email the most. 

I was all prepared to have sympathy for Goldman Sachs, until I read the article in this morning’s Washington Post.  Left wing rag that it is, they spelled out the word “shitty” as used by a Goldman employee in an email to describe investments they were selling, although to their credit they kept that part of the article off the front page and buried on page A14.

What caught my attention was this paragraph:

” Goldman hired lawyers who formerly worked on the committee to prepare the executives; one of those lawyers once told a trade journal that the best strategy is ‘long, thoughtful pauses followed by rambling non-responsive answers.’  The executives practiced the technique.”

Re. Mr. Tourre’s email suggesting he was looking to sell mortgaged-backed securities to unsophisticated investors – when he was asked about it: “taking his time, he asked three times to identify which e-mail she meant and to repeat her question.”

So yes, they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are slimeballs, but why is everyone surprised and indignant?

This is a company that earned over $5 billion in operating income on $14.36 billion in revenues the first quarter of this year, a truly enviable operating margin of 35.9%.  This firm is an incredible collection of sales people.  Truly professionals.  These guys can bring in the money.  So when a Goldman Sachs account rep tells you what a great investment Abacus is, think about a Real Estate Agent enticing you with a sign that says “Gorgeous Inside.”  That’s when you take a little extra time to examine the foundation, and make sure the roof doesn’t leak.

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