Q&A: Michael Lewis Talks About the Banks That Brought Down GreeceRead the full interview here
by Jaime Lalinde (VF Daily)
Would the world be better off without Goldman Sachs? It seems that everywhere we turn that they are involved in some kind of sketchy, not really illegal, but gray-area-type behavior.
Yes, the answer is yes. The world would be better off without Goldman Sachs, and I don’t think it is just Goldman Sachs the world would better off without. If you waved a wand and wiped out Goldman Sachs, someone would step in and occupy that place. I think the world would be better off without the idea that Goldman Sachs embodies, which is that financial manipulation is a legitimate way to get really rich. If you look at the story of Goldman Sachs in the last six or seven years, you’ll see that they made an awful lot of money getting people to do stuff that never should have been done.
Since the departure of [former C.E.O.] Henry Paulson?
I would say the beginning of the end of the Goldman Sachs I admired was when it ceased to be a partnership. The minute it becomes a public corporation there is this moral justification for bad behavior. By saying, “We are doing it for our shareholders,” you have an excuse to do shitty things to people and do things that are bad for the world. Your job then requires you to generate profits by doing anything short of breaking the law so that you can maximize returns to your shareholders. This is a very dangerous financial attitude. It’s a shame that Goldman drifted into this because it didn’t used to be this way. It used to be “long-term greedy” and now it’s “short-term greedy.” It isn’t just Goldman Sachs we need to get rid of; it’s the concept of the public investment bank that is given a license to pursue short-term profits at any cost.
GoldmanSachs666 Message Board
According to the Collins English Dictionary 10th Edition fraud can be defined as: "deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage". In the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is a common purpose of fraud, but there have also been fraudulent "discoveries", e.g. in science, to gain prestige rather than immediate monetary gain
*As defined in Wikipedia
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Mr. Lewis (author of The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine) has quite definite opinions about the need for banks like Goldman Sachs. In an interview with Jaime Lalinde in Vanity Fair, Michael Lewis answers the following two questions about GS: