If you haven’t been reading Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi on the ubiquitous government presence of the Goldman Sachs investment bank, what are you waiting for? Here’s a teaser from his long, detailed history of the company’s entanglements with a succession of administrations (if reading’s not your thing, you can watch him talk about it here):
The bank’s unprecedented reach and power have enabled it to turn all of America into a giant pumpanddump scam, manipulating whole economic sectors for years at a time, moving the dice game as this or that market collapses, and all the time gorging itself on the unseen costs that are breaking families everywhere — high gas prices, rising consumercredit rates, halfeaten pension funds, mass layoffs, future taxes to pay off bailouts. All that money that you’re losing, it’s going somewhere, and in both a literal and a figurative sense, Goldman Sachs is where it’s going: The bank is a huge, highly sophisticated engine for converting the useful, deployed wealth of society into the least useful, most wasteful and insoluble substance on Earth — pure profit for rich individuals.
Taibbi recently augmented his well-reported screed with an extended blog post on Goldman’s recent report of gargantuan profits since the beginning of the year:
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.