It is numbing to see how the bad behavior of banks seems to be excused as "Boys will be boys!" The apologists chant that mantra. Everyone supporting Goldman accepts as normal that the TBTF banks act unethically and fraudulently in order to make massive amounts of money. Goldman remains a standard to aim for while fraud has become business as usual.
The following link contains videos and analyses as reminders of what Goldman Sachs has really done to earn its name of Vampire Squid.
Greg Smith Isn't the First to Leave Goldman Sachs Over MoralsSee the rest of the article and the videos here
By Paul Solman - PBS Newshour
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One last part of our interview with Nomi Prins may be relevant to the Greg Smith situation, so we reprint it here for the first time:
PAUL SOLMAN: So you were what they called a "quant"?
NOMI PRINS: Yes, I was always a quant, always with numbers and math and analytics and I think that was a part of the allure of Wall Street, where could you go with that? And I sort of got into it and became hooked. Any Type A personality on Wall Street wants to do as well as they can in the environment that they're in, and I think that was part of how I rose through the ranks of different companies and ultimately became managing director of Goldman. But there was always a sense that the business of making money for the sake of making money isn't inherently soulful; it just isn't. It really does make you feel bad and I didn't like some of the transactions that we were doing.PS: What was a discomforting deal?
NP: Well there was one deal, for example, about life insurance companies or health insurance companies who were losing money because they had effectively made bets that certain patients would die of AIDS sooner than they were dying, and so as AIDS medicine was becoming stronger and better and keeping more people alive longer//One company came to us to ask how they could structure some sort of a derivative or some sort of a deal in order to help them make money in the event that people would live too long.//I remember saying to the person in my group who brought it up to me: Do you see what's going on behind this? He was, like: So? I'm, like: It just feels wrong, it just feels wrong!PS: Not a lot of people say that on Wall Street, do they?
NP: A lot of people don't say that on Wall Street and a lot of people, myself included, don't really think about the ramifications of the transactions they do. When trading emerging market bonds, you don't think about people in Third World countries who are suffering because all this debt is trading around at higher levels than they can ever possibly use to sustain their own existence.
You don't think about the ramifications that you are trading or packaging the debt or creating derivatives on top of Third World countries where those people aren't necessarily benefiting from anything you're doing. In fact, it's their increased debt and impoverishment that gives you the tools to work with to make money out of. You don't think of that because you're just looking at those tools, and everything is very short term and it's like: 'Well, we need to make money now, and we're competing with other firms, and they have this kind of product so we need to have this kind of product.' The question isn't, 'What does this kind of product do to people?' The question is: 'How do we sell more of this product than our competitors?'