I know it’s a clich, but at the moment I can’t think of another phrase besides the headline of this piece that would so aptly describe how seldom I find myself agreeing with the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.
Yet, here we are on April 15 and, sure enough, the moon is an amazing shade of cerulean blue!
The point of agreement with the Journal? Goldman Sachs. And I have to admit the firm is turning into a pet peeve of mine. I just can’t get past the feeling that due to its many friends in high places the former investment banking giant has gotten some really sweet treatment as the economic crisis has unfolded.
Here’s where I found myself agreeing with the Journal: “The point is that Goldman and other banks can’t have it both ways. If they want taxpayers to save them, then they have to take fewer risks and become smaller. Either that, or we need a new financial resolution or bankruptcy process that lets these companies fail while protecting the larger banking system.”
Goldman has made a big point of how it is just itching to repay the $10 billion in bailout funds it got from the government last year. It’s feeling particularly flush now that it has successfully pulled off a $5 billion stock sale.
Actually, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, it’s about $13 billion flusher than it might otherwise have been if the same government that gave it $10 billion last fall hadn’t also made it whole on some transactions with AIG. Yes, whole, as in 100% of the risk Goldman took was covered.