Maureen Dowd missed the point of Lloyd Blankfein's claim that he is on a mission from God - she didnt ask the question of whether they are REALLY in the business of financing real productive activity OR are they just the biggest casino on the Wall Street Strip, gambling like madmen on derivatives and other imaginary 'instruments' with pensioner's life savings.
"The Great Vampire Squid has gotten religion.
In an interview with The Sunday Times of London, the cocky chief of Goldman Sachs said he understands that a lot of people are “mad and bent out of shape” at blood-sucking banks.
“I know I could slit my wrists and people would cheer,” Lloyd Blankfein, the C.E.O., told the reporter John Arlidge.
But the little people who are boiling simply don’t understand. And Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, who unforgettably labeled Goldman “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” doesn’t understand.
Banks, Blankfein explained, are really serving the greater good.
“We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital,” he said. “Companies that grow create wealth. This, in turn, allows people to have jobs that create more growth and more wealth. It’s a virtuous cycle. We have a social purpose.”
When Arlidge asked whether it’s possible to make too much money, whether Goldman will ignore the people howling at the moon with rage and go on raking it in, getting richer than God, Blankfein grinned impishly and said he was “doing God’s work.”
Whether he knows it, he’s referring back to The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism — except, of course, the Calvinists would have been outraged by the banks’ vicious — not virtuous — cycle of greed and concupiscence.
Blankfein’s trickle-down catechism isn’t working. Now we have two economies. We have recovering banks while we have 10-plus percent unemployment and 17.5 percent underemployment. The gross thing about the Wall Street of the last decade is how much its success was not shared with society."
November 11th, 2009
Blankfein's "social purpose" is indeed to make capital available to businesses and consumers, but the derivatives and especially the credit default swaps that caused the collapse of the world economy serve no purpose whatsoever other than to line bankers' pockets.Packaging worthless loans and pawning them off like hot potatoes to hapless patsies serves no "social purpose" and in fact is a criminal enterprise. And insuring these bogus securities serves no "social purpose" other than to enable that criminality.Banks are indeed in business to facilitate business, but the bankers who ruined our economy treat banks like vehicles to make themselves as rich as possible at everyone else's expense, and of course there are no meaningful penalties for what they've done because money rules our government and bankers' shills administer it.
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