Saturday, June 25, 2011

Goldman Sachs' Role in the Greek Financial Crisis

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Aasif Mandvi explains how Goldman Sachs helped hide the Greek financial crisis from European banks.

This just blows my mind. Why these bankers aren't rotting in a cell somewhere just proves that the ruling class is just untouchable! Bankers have inflicted more damage on the global economy that all the terrorists combined, and their punishment is to get bonuses and be set free to do it again.


K T Cat said...

Don't you think that Goldman Sachs' role is basically that of a secondary explosion? What role would GS have played had the Greeks simply paid for what they wanted as they went along and not gone deeper and deeper into debt?

What do you conclude when you focus on GS versus the Greek people's determination to have things they didn't earn?

Kelly the little black dog said...

I see the their contribution to the Greek crisis as just one of many questionable acts taken by GS in the last decade. Everyone focuses on terrorists with guns and bombs, but everyone seems to be missing the fact that organizations like GS legally leave massive destruction in their wake. Clearly its a much larger institutional problem. As long as we treat corporations as entities ONLY responsible to shareholder earnings, we should not be surprised when they savage the world to do so.

My larger point was to point out how there is ordinary theft, and legally sanctioned theft. The legal kind exacts far more damage on ordinary people.

K T Cat said...

How about this: GS as a Payday lender? They provided a legitimate financial service to people who they knew were making bad decisions, a service that they knew would end badly for the Greeks.

Of course, like all Payday lenders, they can reasonably claim that if they didn't do it, someone else would. Can you keep someone who is determined to do stupid things from doing stupid things?

K T Cat said...

Is your thinking along these lines?

Kelly the little black dog said...

"Can you keep folks from doing stupid things ..." No. But you can keep others from enabling them. A number of economists have said that the modern Greek economy has always been a disaster. The difference now is that they have the Euro to prop them up. GS knew the the EU would bail them out, so there was no risk to them. Independent of Greece, GS basically was perpetuating a fraud. A legal one, but a fraud none the less. They took crap, put lipstick on it and pushed it as a supermodel. People accepted it largely because they thought GS would behave in a reputable way. Why folks keep giving them the benefit of the doubt is a mystery to me. If the damage stayed there I wouldn't have a problem with it, but the rest of us keep having to clean up their mess. And they profit handsomely.

K T Cat said...

I just don't buy your argument at all. The Western world in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries collectively believed in the power of government and have increasingly used it to try to solve all kinds of problems for which it wasn't suited. The end result was that people thought they could vote themselves money. Like the boiling frog, since borrowing a little didn't seem to do any damage, borrowing a little bit more should have been just fine.

The world doesn't work like that. You have to earn what you get. Borrowing more and more and more leads to destitution, GS or no GS. If GS had been completely scrupulous and pure as a Franciscan monastery, how would things have been different? The Greek debt load wasn't created by GS, it was created by a Greek society that saw government as it's guarantor of personal security.

Kelly the little black dog said...

No disagreement that the Greeks are the source of their problems.

GS decided to make money selling the Greek problem to the rest of the world. That in itself it not the issue. Its that they did so by lying to everyone they sold the debit to. Its the same pattern they used here. Take crap. Stir it up enough so that no one can tell its crap and sell it to everyone else. Now the Greek problem stops being just their problem and becomes everyone else's problem.

It has nothing to do with the role of government. It has to do with GS perpetuating a fraud!

Without the GS financial hocus pocus the rest of the Euro countries would have seen the problem clearly and cut off the Greeks long before they doubled the size of the hole they've dug.