What Planet Are These People From?

April 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

I never intended for this blog to become a bash Goldman Sachs commentary but, OMG, what is with the senior management of this firm? Are they all moral morons? Psychopaths in suits? Ethically challenged to the point of farce? They have proven beyond a doubt they are rip-off artists with how they treated their clients and the world economy in the subprime mortgage scandal that Goldman was at the heart of…their actions show that the term ‘fiduciary responsibility’ is totally meaningless to them. When asked if Goldman had a duty to act in the best interests of its clients, Goldman senior exec. Daniel Sparks replied “I believe (italics mine) we have a duty to serve our clients well.” Uh, no Mr. Sparks, fiduciary duty of Goldman towards its clients is not a mere belief to be applied when, and only when, Goldman stands to make a lot of money by looking out for its clients, fiduciary duty is a moral right that is the very basis of your relationship with your clients. Fiduciary duty is the corner stone upon which the financial services industry is supposed to rest. When Goldman’s own senior execs are sending each other emails describing subprime based investments Goldman are pushing their clients into as “one shitty deal” and making “lemonade from some big old lemons” and “crap” I have to question the very reason for Goldman Sachs being allowed to exist as a firm. Goldman was not providing its clients with the service those clients were entitled to; instead Goldman, acting more like a giant casino than an investment bank, bet against its clients.  If Goldman knew these mortgage based investments were disasters waiting to happen, why didn’t they warn us about them instead of abetting the financial meltdown through its greedy self-serving actions?  Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s CEO, brazenly tells the US Senate panel that he doesn’t “think our clients care or should (my italics) care” what Goldman is planning to do. What?????? The clients of his firm have no stake in what Goldman is doing even when they are knowingly placing those clients in toxic investments? This statement is absolutely mind boggling. Fiduciary responsibility? What’s that asks Goldman.  Corporate social responsibility?  Never crossed our minds.  While Mr. Blankfein is the 2009 Financial Times man of the year because he knows how to profit big time by betting against his clients, the man is clearly demonstrating he is either ethically bankrupt or morally ignorant. Neither of these attributes is what society needs in a man in his influential position. The actions of Goldman Sachs show that it has jettisoned the reasons why investment banks were approved by society in the first place – to be financial intermediaries whose role is to transfer savings from one sector of the economy to another that needs capital and to provide stability and liquidity in the market to allow for the free flow of capital in the market. These were the reasons it was given its charter to operate in the market in order to benefit, be value-added to (in MBA-speak), society. Goldman, by its actions, has shown that it has discarded its given societal role to enhance the overall well-being of society in its heady rush for profit and executive bonuses at any cost. Just what is the social value of this moral black-hole of a firm?

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Entry filed under: banks, ethics, investments. Tags: .

Dehumanizing Language Here We Go Again

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