Twenty-odd years ago, one of my gentile cousins told me she worked at either Goldman Sachs or Salomon Brothers. At the time, I was a grad student in philosophy, and knew so little of the world of finance that they sounded the same to me.
A Jamaican security guard at my school, a man old enough to be my father, once told me, "You're the only Jew I know who doesn't have any money!" In recent years, I began trying to learn about the arcane financial world, though Peter Brimelow's financial columns proved more difficult to decipher than Hegel in the original German. And yet, by the end of August, my cramming left me feeling ready to get rich playing the market.
(Fortunately, by the time the meltdown came, I still hadn't gotten around to placing those "buy" orders.) Then, when I finally started to see a glimmer of light regarding the world of finance and was able to understand some of what Peter was talking about, and Craig Roberts was reborn as an economic sage, I got the memo that trying to understand finance was a big waste of time, because:
The author of the memo was not Hermann Goering, but one of my people, David Brooks. A Jewish neocon heralding the return of the F??hrer Principle against the "nihilists"? David Brooks, call your therapist.
Meanwhile, I've got Goldman Sachs (GSG, for Goldman Sachs Group) on the brain, though not unlike with Brooks, the problem seems to have more to do with power than with finance. Since the calls for a bailout began, it seems like every name involved either in the meltdown or the bailout works or used to work at GSG: Lloyd C. Blankfein (current GSG CEO); current Treasury Secretary and bailout architect Henry Paulson (former GSG CEO); Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin (ditto); National Review's Thomas L. (Dusty) Rhodes (former GSG vp, vice chairman, and partner); Gary Gensler (former GSG partner and later, Clinton Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for financial markets); World Bank President Robert Zoellick (former GSG managing director), et al.
Already last December, Ben Stein thought Goldman was playing both sides in selling "toxic debt," while one of its top economists, Jan Hatzius, predicted the meltdown. Stein assumed that everything Goldman did, including Hatzius' dire warnings, was part of a malignant grand sales strategy. On Saturday, blogger Skeptical CPA floated the theory, according to which Warren Buffet has recently been acting as Goldman's front man, in order to bring about the bailout. And just now, while searching through books on Barack Obama/Dunham/Soetoro, what should I find at Amazon but the following blurb about the author of Obamanomics: How Bottom-Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle-Down Economics [?!]:
A former investment banker for Goldman Sachs, John R. Talbott is the author of four books on economics and politics, including "The Coming Crash of the Housing Market," a bestseller that predicted the current housing and mortgage crisis. He's appeared on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, CBS Marketwatch and written for the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
The DSM V is going to need a new entry for "Anti-Goldman-Sachsism," the obsessive belief that Goldman Sachs and its proxies are to be found behind all dramatic fluctuations in the financial markets.