Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Conspiracy theories, the financial crisis, and Goldman Sachs

I've seen the author of this op-ed piece, William Cohan, on C-Span's Booknotes TV program. He's a very interesting speaker. In this piece he discusses Goldman's connections in the Government and how they've maneuvered their way through the crisis, and used many connections to their benefit. The general conspiracy thesis here is that the government lets Goldman's competitors fail or forces buyouts/mergers, leaves Goldman in a stronger competitive position than before, and sees that taxpayer funds get to AIG which in turns pays off Goldman's bad bets.

I kindof like conspiracy theories anyhow, but this one has a particularly resonant ring to it.

Quote from the article:

Goldman has since received some $13 billion in cash, collateral and other payouts from A.I.G. — that is, from taxpayers.

Goldman recently reported an "unexpected first-quarter profit of $1.8 billion."

...and we're upset about bonuses in the millions of dollars at AIG?

Here's a link to a review on his book about the collapse of Bear Sterns called House of Cards.

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