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Just How Sorry is Goldman Sachs?

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 17, 2009 7:47 PM |

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa . . .

It is not everyday that the head of a major Wall Street bank issues an unsolicited and unspecified apology. In fact, in my 23 years on Wall Street I do not ever recall a Wall Street CEO issuing an apology in the manner that Lloyd Blankfein did today. What did Blankfein say? From a Bloomberg report, Goldman, Buffett Establish $500 Million Small-Business Program:

Blankfein, speaking at a conference today sponsored by Directorship magazine, apologized for Goldman Sachs’s role in some of the activities that led to the financial crisis, without providing specifics.

“We participated in things that were clearly wrong and we have reason to regret and we apologize for them,” Blankfein said at the New York event. The magazine named him its CEO of the year.

Wait a second. Blankfein admits that Goldman participated in activities that led to the crisis? Get Lloyd back in here and ask him for specifics.

“Things that were clearly wrong?” Like what? Lloyd, you are not getting off this easily, and neither should your firm get off so easily. You ran the show during this period. Does the buck stop at your desk?

Answer the questions: What activities? How were they wrong? Why are you regretful? How much did you make from these wrong activities?

The fact that you have the chutzpah to think you can issue a blanket, unspecified apology in an attempt to curry favor with the American public is the height of hubris and rings very shallow. I would go so far as to say your apology is mere words and talk. Talk is cheap.

Lloyd, rectify Goldman’s activities. Qualify and quantify these activities. Make restitution. Just how sorry are you? Let’s open this up to Sense on Cents readers and ask them what activities they might think your company engaged in which you now admit were wrong.

Readers, please share your opinions. What do you think Blankfein was referring to when he stated that Goldman “participated in things that were clearly wrong”?  I’ll get the ball rolling with a few possibilities:

1. Manipulated the equity markets via computer programs connected with high frequency trading.

2. Ran over Tim Geithner in the settlement of open positions with AIG.

3. Facilitated insider trading on behalf of hedge funds.

4. Intentionally misled lesser prioritized clients via trading huddles.

5. Abused privileged information provided by former Goldman execs now in government positions.

6. All of the above.

7. Other . . . please share your opinions.

Let’s send Lloyd a message that unspecified apologies are mere pandering. Without further substantiating his statement, he has only dug a deeper hole for the firm most vilified on Wall Street.


  • Bill

    You can read Galbraith’s The Great Crash to see how these freebooters and privateers at Goldman engaged in the same sort of thing then that Blankfein now apologizes for in the most recent raping of the financial sector. They’ll sail on, however, because they have bought and paid for the assholes in Washington who purportedly represent the interest of the public.

  • fiscalliberal

    First of all, we have not heard from any of the surviving banks in terms of how they would change the system to prevent another fisaco like this. They want to continue as is.

    Furthermore, I would suggest they did not run over Geitner. He and Paulson were complicent with Goldman. If you read Sorkin’s book and others, Geitner and Paulson had no trouble in dictating to Bear Stearns, Lehman and Merrill. However they ended paying off Goldman. You look at the results and the telephone logs in that period and how can you conclude anything different.

    More over Goldman was in the room while the decisions on AIG bailout were made – I have heard a lot of industry people on CNBG saying this was highly irregular.

  • Petricone456

    Blankfein has Helicopter Ben and Turbo Tim Geithner’s playbook and his firm is making a ton of money as a result…

    Take a look at home much money GS has been making from ‘interest income’ recently versus a few years back. There is billions in incremental profit that GS is making by levering all that free taxpayer money on its repo desk to lock in historically wide spreads on Treasuries, agency MBS, etc…

    Oh yeah, and that ‘weak dollar’ business we’re all talking about (its explained on page 1 of the Helicopter / Turbo playbook) kind of helps Goldman’s Fixed Income, Currency, Commodities (FICC) trading.

    One would think you’d never need to apologize for doing ‘God’s work’. However, I think the American public might be more willing to accept a Blankfein apology if GS dug a a lot deeper into its pocket and offered up more than $500 million to aid small businesses.

    • Larry Doyle

      In regard to the $500 million, don’t think for a second that GS and/or Buffett are doing that for anything less than a profit opportunity.

  • Lori

    Do not forget that the gold sachs backdoor bailout also bailed out international’s with American Taxpayer dollars!

    If they are sorry they should make restitution!

  • tim jones

    Isn’t it sweet that this Blankfein slimebag is giving $500 million to small businesses as a means of indicating how “sorry” he is for years of malfeasance?

    That happens to be $500 million of YOUR money, stolen via derivatives schemes concocted by Goldman and/or TARP money skimmed off the top.

    In 2006, Goldman Sachs paid its approx 300 partners approx. $15 BILLION dollars in bonus money alone, so their little “gift” of $500 million is like a tiny fraction of money they STOLE from USA investors through phony profits generated via multi-years of their derivatives schemes, notably shorting the housing market, shorting the gold/silver market, shorting tech stocks back in 2000, etc.

    Until those GS weasels are indicted and incarcerated, then their little “token” gestures of “compensation” for past crimes are entirely laughable and truly contemptible.

    • tim jones

      And one more important point:

      Let’s face facts: the only way any firm can generate the kind of gargantuan profits, year after year, that GS generates is via INSIDER INFO.

      Sure is nice to have a GS proxy (Rubin, Paulson, Geithner) sitting in the US Treasury, year after year, passing inside info to the Boys at GS head office, huh?

      Let’s just pray that these GS slimebags are thwarted in taking control of the State of California via their latest proxy, Meg Whitman, who sat on GS Board of Directors and stole millions, thanks to inside info passed to her regarding GS sponsored tech IPO’s.

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