Thursday, November 5, 2009

Being Goldman Sachs VII

The Huffington Post reports that Goldman Sachs is back to doing the exact same thing that nearly brought the global economy to a stretching halt and required the American taxpayers to be on the hook of over $700 billion of TARP which was originally suppose to rescue the tumbling housing market and get banks to begin lending again, none of which has happened. But Goldman Sachs is back to business as usual:

On three out of every five days this year, Wall Street's leading firm has made at least $100 million trading stocks and bonds, and creating and entering into derivatives contracts.

Out of 194 trading days through the end of September, Goldman Sachs earned at least $100 million from its trading division on 116 of them. The firm lost money from its trading activities on just one day during the three-month period ending in September, federal regulatory filings show. It made at least $50 million on four out of every five trading days.

The documents show just how much of a trading firm Goldman Sachs has become since the financial crisis mushroomed in September 2008. The firm generated about $4.5 billion in pre-tax earnings off trading and investments during the third quarter, compared to a $761 million loss in the same period last year.
So, do you think there will be another near collapse and Americans will lose their retirements and be asked to bailout these Wall Street banks again to the tune of multiple trillions this time? They are now bigger than before and are much too big too fail, so says the wisdom of Wall Street and Congress. Yeah, I once believed what I was being told too.

Goldman Sachs and the other top Wall Street banks just gobbled up smaller banks and resumed their same risky derivative practices. What are we going to do? Goldman Sachs has not repaid all of the money owed to us, not to mention that Congress and the Fed did not invest wisely on our behalf like any astute investor would. We got virtually nothing for our investment while Goldman Sachs and the rest rack in billions for themselves.

9 comments:

Stephen Tremp said...

Personally, I expect to see a double dip recession as the financial shenanigans and greed of Wall Street and the ineptness of our politicians has yet to be fully manifested. And you should consider adding a FOLLOWERS button to your site.

Stephen Tremp

google said...

We did get something if it prevented a true depression.
But, I hope the congress can get reforms that mean something through.
I also think we should stop and take a deep breath and remember who would have been president if Obama lost. And I wish the politicians in congress were inept. Some of them suck, by they are not inept. If they were actually inept, Obama would be able to run circles around them and get what he wants.

Judith Ellis said...

A double dip recession, huh, Stephen? Ugh! Many of the politicians have been so utterly incompetent and self-serving that it is difficult to see why it is that the people keep voting these same ones back in office. People are all over President Obama as if he alone can bring about change while we utterly disregards our responsibility in this our representative democracy. It is debatable today if that's indeed what we actually have considering the lobbyists influence in Washington and the likes of Bernanke, Geithner and Summers who were obviously a part of the problem.

I am wholeheartedly for term limits and campaign reform. I am also not so partisan. I look forward to seeing what Christie will do in New Jersey. The exits polls show that people still have a high regard for President Obama who campaigned for Corzine but did not vote for him. I like this independent streak. I'm rather pragmatic. We need more pragmatism in Washington. Campagin reform and term limits will help. I'm so sick of the same old faces and the same old policies. Many politicians need to go fishing or sewing or both. :-)

Judith Ellis said...

Google - Nice name! :-) You bring up a good point about the Great Depression. But there is something that is very distressing about the comment seeing that those who brought us to the crises have been rewarded on both the front end and back end while the people have lost big. Yeah, it was that GS executive who recently spoke about enduring the inequality (billion dollar bonuses) in order to have greater opportunity. He actually quoted the Bible, saying, "To whom much is given much is required." Aren't we the ones who gave?

The original purpose of the TARP to help small businesses and homeowners gave way to Wall Streetbanks and AIG and their international counterparties. Goldman did exceptionally well in this regard. The money may have been better used in small banks and credit unions who deal directly with the community, including small businesses.

Yes, it looks like the Fed were able to avoid a Great Depression but incapable of demanding that these Wall Street banks to the people. Who invests without profitable returns. If there was a Great Depression, by the way, the banks would be in trouble too. But now we have the banks making record profits while the people suffer.

Do pass through again!

Judith Ellis said...

Oh, Stephen, regarding "Followers" there is just something that's a bit off-putting to me about that. But I do have regular sites that I love and visit often and there are some regular commenters here too. A bit strange, eh? But who knows, I may just do it one day. :-) Good to have you here.

Marion said...

Judith, I just heard on the nightly 'blues'---to add insult to injury---that the big Wall Street companies (CITI Bank and Sachs were two named)are getting huge supplies of the H1N1 Vaccine, while most regular folks are being handed numbers to stand in long lines to 'maybe' get the vaccine. This country just keeps on blatantly rewarding the rich and stepping on the poor and middle class. It makes me very, very sad and depressed---even hopeless. What is wrong with our leaders to let these things happen?????

The numbers alone posted in your piece are more money than I've made or will make in my lifetime of working. It's a sin, pure and simple. Blessings!

Judith Ellis said...

Marion - Do NOT be hopeless; you are NOT helpless! Our problem is that we need to organize and demand from our elected officials just want we want to see. There is strength in numbers. What you have described here is more like a Feudal System with the kings and lords being the executives of Wall Street and you know who the peasants are, of course--the people. I had not heard of this H1N1 story but this is quite disheartening indeed. But we CAN do something about it and we MUST!

Marion said...

Judith, you always cheer me up and you've got ME reading political news and beginning to believe I can make a difference. You're a great influence.

I read the following today at Politico.com and it deeply disturbed me considering the state of the economy and our country in general:

"As Washington reels from the news of 10.2 percent unemployment, the Center for Responsive Politics is out with a new report describing the wealth of members of Congress.

Among the highlights: Two-hundred-and-thirty-seven (237) members of Congress are millionaires. That’s 44 percent of the body – compared to about 1 percent of Americans overall."

This blew my mind. No wonder they are so out of touch with us middle class folks! I wonder if a common man could even get elected to office considering the cost of campaigning. What do you make of this? Blessings!

Judith Ellis said...

Marion - I am so happy that you are becoming more informed and involved. I love having you here. You also inspire me. Thank you, my dear friend.

It does not surprise me in the very least that Congress members are so wealthy with Cadillac health care benefits. Many are lawyers and the like and perhaps have come to Congress with some wealth. But what disturbs me is that many are so aligned with big business that they vote against our interest, doing damage I think to our representative democracy.

I wonder, Marion, what is the base salary for Congress members. Should they be making so much more beyond this? But in Senator Bayh's case that I wrote of here the other day his wife sits on four prominent health care boards and made $2.1 million as a board member. So, while Bayh didn't actually earn the income, his household benefited from his wife’s memberships.

The problem is that it is difficult not to see that Bayh's decisions are so influenced by her board memberships, not to mention that his wife did not get these board memberships UNTIL he became a senator. Bayh is against the public option.

Thanks for this information, Marion.