Stephen Foley: Goldman is small fry among the sharks
Saturday 01 May 2010
US Outlook: Goldman Sachs's defence of its mortgage trading activities – that it was merely a humble market-maker, bringing together buyers and sellers, bulls and bears – survived the mauling on Capitol Hill this week, but when Goldman scalps are eventually claimed, I hope lawmakers don't decide their work is done.
The resignation of Lloyd Blankfein, should he decide to go, might satisfy public anger, but it wouldn't meet any measure of fairness.
To imagine that conflicts of interest and greedy traders are unique to Goldman is ludicrous. In fact, it was a relatively small player in the mortgage trading area. And, unlike some of the "financial supermarkets" such as Citigroup, it had no division originating the toxic loans which poisoned the system or "structured investment vehicles" that hid its exposure for far too long.
It may sound odd to say about a bank as politically and financially powerful as Goldman, but lawmakers still have bigger fish to fry.
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