Goldman Sachs was fundamentally responsible for the crash of 2008, but by that time its former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Henry 'Hank' Paulson, had been installed as US Treasury Secretary to begin the bank bail out policy, with enormous benefit to Goldman Sachs, in the closing weeks of the Bush administration. Goldman Sachs was also instrumental in the collapse of the economy in Greece that started the 'euro panic' that later engulfed Ireland.
Generally speaking, they have as many stars as other firms, but they are low-key about it, because that's not the Goldman way, but their bench is a lot deeper. I think Goldman has as many A players, but more importantly they have fewer C players. And no firm, I have noticed, has the depth anywhere like that.
William D. Cohan
American business would be run better today if there was more alignment between CEOs' interest and the company. For example, would the financial crisis of 2008 have occurred if the CEO of Lehman and Morgan Stanley and Goldman and Citibank had to take a very small percentage of every mortgage-backed security... or every loan they made?
I started out as a lawyer and came in laterally to Goldman Sachs. So I learned myself that life is unpredictable. That you really should, in terms of your career, try to be excellent at what you're doing. I think if you focus on your job, and you focus on being broad in the context of your job, the next jobs follow from that.
Mysterious can be cool, if you're in Hollywood and everyone's happy. But it can be really bad if people perceive that the financial interests are adversarial, that there's money versus people. A lot of Goldman Sachs people went into government, so at a time when there's a distrust of institutions, some of that reflects on us.
In truth, it's not the shareholders of the American International Group who benefited most from its bailout; they were mostly wiped out. The great beneficiaries have been the creditors and counterparties at the other end of A.I.G.'s derivatives deals - firms like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, Barclays and UBS.
The basic scam in the Internet age is pretty easy even for the financially illiterate to grasp. It was as if banks like Goldman were wrapping ribbons around watermelons, tossing them out fiftieth-story windows, and opening the phones for bids. In this game you were a winner only if you took your money out before the melon hit the pavement.
It's easy to see why politicians would be drawn to the populist pose. First, it makes everything so simple. The economic crisis was caused by a complex web of factors, including global imbalances caused by the rise of China. But with the populist narrative, you can just blame Goldman Sachs.
Miss Goldman is a Communist; I am an Individualist. She wishes to destroy the right of property; I wish to assert it. I make my war upon privilege and authority, whereby the right of property, the true right in that which is proper to the individual, is annihilated. She believes that co-operation would entirely supplant competition; I hold that competition in one form or another will always exist, and that it is highly desirable it should.
Voltairine de Cleyre
We're not going to beat Barack Obama with some guy who has Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island accounts, owns shares of Goldman Sachs while it forecloses on Florida and is himself a stockholder in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while he tries to think the rest of us are too stupid to put the dots together to understand what this is all about.... People matter more than Wall Street.
What the mortgage bubble was all about was big banks like Goldman Sachs taking big bundles of subprime mortgages that were lent out largely to low-income, highly risky borrowers, and applying this kind of magic-pixie-dust math to these bundles of securities and slapping AAA ratings on them.
They look for a victim to chivy, and howl him down, and finally lynch him in a sheer storm of sexual frenzy which they honestly imagine to be moral indignation, patriotic passion or some equally allowable emotion, it may be an innocent Negro, a Jew like Leo Frank, a harmless half-witted German; a Christ-like idealist of the type of Debs, an enthusiastic reformer like Emma Goldman.
But the question is, historically, part of the group that you're a part of - whether it's racial, gender, religious, whatever - how has your group fared historically? The groups that you're a part of? Like, for me, as an atheist, Jew, I'm gonna go on, uh - oh and Emma Goldman is one of my great heroes and I really think that anarchism is a fantastic principle by which to fashion a utopian society even if we can't get there. Like historically, that does not go well.
There are a few people out there with whom you fit just so, and, amazingly, you keep fitting just so even after you have growth spurts or lose weight or stop wearing high heels. You keep fitting after you have children or change religions or stop dyeing your hair or quit your job at Goldman Sachs and take up farming. Somehow, God is gracious enough to give us a few of these people, people you can stretch into, people who don't go away, and whom you wouldn't want to go away, even if they offered to.
Lauren F. Winner
There are a few people out there with whom you fit just so, and, amazingly, you keep fitting just so even after you have growth spurts or lose weight or stop wearing high heels. You keep fitting after you have children or change religions or stop dyeing your hair or quit your job at Goldman Sachs and take up farming. Somehow, God is gracious enough to give us a few of those people, people you can stretch into, people who don't go away, and whom you wouldn't want to go away, even if they offered.
Lauren F. Winner
Odonianism is anarchism. Not the bomb-in-the-pocket stuff, which is terrorism, whatever name it tries to dignify itself with, not the social-Darwinist economic 'libertarianism' of the far right; but anarchism, as prefigured in early Taoist thought, and expounded by Shelley and Kropotkin, Goldman and Goodman. Anarchism's principal target is the authoritarian State (capitalist or socialist); its principle moral-practical theme is cooperation (solidarity, mutual aid). It is the most idealistic, and to me the most interesting, of all political theories.
Ursula K. Le Guin
The dirty little secret of what used to be known as Wall Street securities firms-Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns-was that every one of them funded their business in this way to varying degress, and every one of them was always just twenty-four hours away from a funding crisis. The key to day-to-day survival was the skill with which Wall Street executives managed their firms' ongoing reputation in the marketplace...
William D. Cohan
This is what class warfare looks like: The Business Roundtable - representing Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and others - has called on Congress to raise the eligibility age of Social Security and Medicare to 70, cut Social Security and veterans' COLAs, raise taxes on working families and cut taxes for the largest corporations in America.
From the days of Spartacus, Weishophf, Karl Marx, Trotski, Belacoon, Rosa Luxenburg, and Ema Goldman, this world conspiracy has been steadily growing. This conspiracy played a definite recognizable role in the tragedy of the French revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the 19th Century. And now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their head and have become the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.
If there is a true measure of a person's soul, if there is a single gauge of real divinity, of how beautifully a fellow human honors this life, has genuine spiritual fire and is full of honest love and compassion, it has to be right there, in the eyes. The Dalai Lama's eyes sparkle and dance with laughter and unbridled love. The Pope's eyes are dark and glazed, bleak as obsidian marbles. Pat Robertson's eyes are rheumy and hollow, like tiny potholes of old wax. Goldman Sachs cretins, well, they don't use their own eyes at all; they just steal someone else's.
For Socrates, all virtues were forms of knowledge. To train someone to manage an account for Goldman Sachs is to educate him or her in a skill. To train them to debate stoic, existential, theological, and humanist ways of grappling with reality is to educate them in values and morals. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death. Morality is the product of a civilization, but the elites know little of these traditions. They are products of a moral void. They lack clarity about themselves and their culture. They can fathom only their own personal troubles. They do not see their own bases or the causes of their own frustrations. They are blind to the gaping inadequacies in our economic, social, and political structure and do not grasp that these structures, which they have been taught to serve, must be radically modified or even abolished to stave off disaster. They have been rendered mute and ineffectual. 'What we cannot speak about' Ludwig Wittgenstein warned 'we must pass over in silence.
I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you... What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language." I began to ask each time: "What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?" Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared" or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever. Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.
Vanishing cream for the mind, English writer Jeremiah Creedon calls it. It's beholding the mote in your brother's eye, says the Bible, while disregarding the beam in your own. Denial is refusing to listen to the voice that awakens you in the night and whispers, "You know, you really are an incredible jerk and you ought to do something about it!" "Beware thoughts that come in the night, " cautions William Least Heat Moon at the start of Blue Highways, his evocative journal of self-discovery on the back roads of America. "They aren't turned properly. They come in askew, free of sense or satisfaction, deriving from the most remote of sources." Samuel Taylor Coleridge called those remote sources "an aching hollow in the bosom, a dark cold speck at the heart, an obscure and boding sense of something that must be kept out of sight of the conscience, some secret lodger, whom they can neither resolve to reject or retain." Denial is keeping from ourselves secrets we already know. It's choosing to forget what we can't bear to remember. It's making people tell us what we want to hear so we can keep believing the lies we've told ourselves, keep punishing those who dare to make us listen to the truth. Denial is the psychology of self-deception, the mind's deliberate failure to see things as they really are in order to protect ourselves from ourselves, says Donald Goldman, author of Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception. Familiar words of denial: It's not about the money. I am not a crook. I was only obeying orders. Business is business. I can quit whenever I want. I don't remember.