*I thought Bush' religious rhetoric was embarassing enough, but now we have the hubris of Goldman Sachs. Pretty soon I should hear Rufus Wainwrights version of Hallejulah to remind me how lucky I am to live in a country with such sanctimonius freedom of religion. God is embarassed for sure by these greedy self righteous ijiots who have used him to steal from the rest of us and ruin my country.
Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs (GS), has put an unusual spin on the bank's activities. He says his firm is doing "God's work." This may seem like an audacious statement coming from a man whose company has been harshly criticized for planning to give many of its employees multi-million pay packages just a bit more than a year after the collapse of the credit markets.
Blankfein told The Times of London, "We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital. Companies that grow create wealth. This, in turn, allows people to have jobs that create more growth and more wealth. We have a social purpose." That is, of course, a social purpose that comes at a very steep price; it charges huge fees for raising money and handling M&A transactions, even if they eventually fail.
Goldman may be trying to publicize its role as a firm that finances the American economy and to hide its role in helping to create and market exotic money instruments like mortgage-backed securities. It wants the public to forget the money it made on the capital that the government gave it under the TARP program, and forget that it is not willing to reign in pay for even a year as a sort of penance for the financial community's and its own contributions to the collapse of the financial markets -- a collapse which has helped put millions of people out of jobs.