Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Jun 25, 2009

I was doing my usual perusing of the Internet this morning and wasn’t finding a whole lot worth pointing to… when I got sucked into an article that I couldn’t put down (or stop scrolling or whatever you call it now). So, I’m going to make it my only piece of morning reading.

It’s an article in the new Rolling Stone about Goldman Sachs. The author is Matt Taibbi — an excellent writer I follow at the blogging site, True/Slant.

The article, The Great American Bubble Machine, begins:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled-dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.

Maybe you already knew that. But Taibbi sorts through the history of Goldman and its “engineering” of this country’s financial bubbles – from the Great Depression to the Tech Bust:

It was as if banks like Goldman were wrapping ribbons around watermelons, tossing them out 50-story windows and opening the phones for bids. In this game you were a winner only if you took your money out before the melon hit the pavement.

From the Housing Crash to the Oil Spike to the Great Bailout to…

Well, I won’t spoil the ending. But Taibbi says Goldman is about to do it again.

Now, I’m not buying into this lock, stock and barrel, that Goldman somehow deserves all the blame or wrath for any of these bubbles. But there’s no denying that in recent years, anyway, Goldman has been there, leading the way. Taibbi lays out a pretty convincing case.

I guess you’ll have to buy Rolling Stone to read the whole thing. I posted the entire article here via the document downloading site, Scribd. But Scribd apparently did have the rights to it, and it was taken down.

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