"The Times of London’s mammoth 6,900-word piece on Goldman Sachs over the weekend contains plenty of fodder for those that see the investment bank as Wall Street’s top dog, as well as those that see it as a creepy, conspiratorial vampire squid of finance.
"But the key quote that’s getting attention comes in Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein’s exchange with a reporter after a question on whether there should be limits to compensation:
Is it possible to make too much money? “Is it possible to have too much ambition? Is it possible to be too successful?” Blankfein shoots back. “I don’t want people in this firm to think that they have accomplished as much for themselves as they can and go on vacation. As the guardian of the interests of the shareholders and, by the way, for the purposes of society, I’d like them to continue to do what they are doing. I don’t want to put a cap on their ambition. It’s hard for me to argue for a cap on their compensation.”"Even if you have serious questions about whether investment banks actually perform a useful societal function, there’s no reason to get all bent out of shape about Blankfein’s comments. The “impish grin,” that seems to go along with the abbreviated quote makes it clear that the head Goldmanite just can’t resist winding us all up a bit." (from The Wall Street Journal, Matt Phillips)
So, it’s business as usual, then, regardless of whether it makes most people howl at the moon with rage? Goldman Sachs, this pillar of the free market, breeder of super-citizens, object of envy and awe will go on raking it in, getting richer than God? An impish grin spreads across Blankfein’s face. Call him a fat cat who mocks the public. Call him wicked. Call him what you will. He is, he says, just a banker “doing God’s work”
What is God's work, you say--
So God made a banker
By Brett Arends - Marketwatch
To be read in the voice of Paul Harvey.And on the eighth day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need someone who can flip this for a quick buck.”So God made a banker.God said, “I need someone who doesn’t grow anything or make anything but who will borrow money from the public at 0% interest and then lend it back to the public at 2% or 5% or 10% and pay himself a bonus for doing so.”So God made a banker.God said, “I need someone who will take money from the people who work and save, and use that money to create a dotcom bubble and a housing bubble and a stock bubble and an oil bubble and a commodities bubble and a bond bubble and another stock bubble, and then sell it to people in Poughkeepsie and Spokane and Bakersfield, and pay himself another bonus.”So God made a banker.. . . .
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