Banks, Fraud & Looting
Bankers brought the world’s economy to the brink of collapse and then as the Occupy slogan says, “We got sold out, they got bailed out.” In many ways Goldman Sachs, one of the largest and most important investment banks, epitomizes all that is wrong with the economic system. Its CEO modestly announced that they were doing “God’s work.” There was a big brouhaha when Greg Smith, an executive director at Goldman Sachs, quit the firm with a blistering New York Times op-ed. Smith, said it had become “morally bankrupt” and he decried the “toxic and destructive” environment at the bank that put profits ahead of ethics. “It makes me ill,” he said, how callously people [at the bank] talk about ripping their clients off. I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as muppets.”
William Black is Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and senior deputy chief counsel of the Office of Thrift Supervision. He is the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One.