We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have very mixed feelings about that company. I can respect any company as successful as them. I can't respect how they are able to consistently rig the system...which they DO. Most on Wall Street are aware of it.
I can appreciate your views regarding GS. I'm a fan of the free market, so the concept of "letting them do their thing" makes sense.
But a review of the events surrounding the CDO meltdown, and GS/Paulson's activities in that market lead me to believe that there was MUCH MORE than just "smarts" going on. They deliberately chose to put lousy mortgages in their portfolios, and didn't tell people they planned on making these portfolios even worse by adding more. They simply had a rejoinder that said the portfolios were possibly subject to change and may not resemble what was presented at time of purchase. Hardly a reassuring concept, in retrospect.
The concept that GS LOST money on the CDOs and the subprime market is absurd and foolish:
They were rigging the market to make money, and when they didn't make as much as they wanted, they rigged the market further by bringing down AIG, Lehman and getting the government to fund their financial piracy.
I am admiring of GS in this sense - they are VERY SMART and VERY CONNECTED. Good for them on both counts.
But I am also pretty sure they are dirty, and that they are successful because they rig things.