My former colleague used to aspire to be a member of Goldman Sachs, be it an employee, shareholder, or in whatever capacity. Goldman Sach is like the Lord of the Ring in the financial world. It was THE investment banker and whoever made money through its recommendations or in association with Goldman Sachs are millionaires, if not billionaires. Now, that's fine if you believe in the free market and also that big is beautiful.
Naturally, until or before Lehman Brothers, no one dares question anything Goldman Sachs or what your investment banker advised you to do. These days though, that's a different story altogether. For some reason, I never did like Goldman Sachs or Merill Lynch. I know they are powerful and they are profitable. But, people who worked/work there are also very arrogant. Not only are they snobbish, they think they own the world. Ok, they may even think so but they shouldn't act so, imho.
As they say, pride comes before a fall. And fallen they did.
I'm very uncomfortable with so much free market in the U.S. as with free speech. While it is true that it's the cornerstone of democracy, anything that gives an individual or a group of individuals power to the extent that it is bigger than another government in the world, there is potential danger in that. Goldman Sachs' earning is possibly even bigger than the GDP of some countries in this world. Think about the significance of that? Doesn't anyone?
In reality, the world financial market is so huge now that it accounts for a major portion of World's GDP. If you stripped out this industry, what accounts for productivity and real production is insignificant in comparison. The way I see it, other than the basic requirements of the capital markets, moving of liquid assets around the world, and forecasting of the economies, people are really overpaid. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. There is no doubt about this. You don't need to be an economist to know that. It's all out there for you to see. Most people will lament their luck for being born poor or for not being street smart enough to join any of these investment bankers. But, don't forget that Nick Leeson single handedly brought down a 200-year bank too! And he's not even a graduate to begin with. How did that happened? Lack of monitoring & shareholders' greed to begin with! There is no midas touch & no one is big enough not to fail!
Granted, there are people who espoused the skills and expertise of Goldman Sachs. I've heard statements like whatever Goldman Sachs touches turns Gold! There are also those who are jealous of Goldman Sachs' successes. And yet, there are others who think Goldman Sachs is a necessary evil. Whatever it is to you, it is a force to be reckoned with.
To me, Goldman Sachs needs to be monitored by some regulatory bodies, if not already. It is getting too big and too powerful. Whatever that is too big and too powerful at some point poses danger to the society (in this case, societies). While in Goldman Sachs case, it's the world at large. If there is tremor in Goldman Sachs, even the villages in Madagascar will feel the aftershocks! You can be sure no one will escape it.
God Helps Us All When That Happens!!!
For those who are interested in reading about the recent case against Goldman Sachs, here are some prominent and useful articles:
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a bank holding company that engages in investment banking, securities services and investment management. Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869, and is headquartered in the Lower Manhattan area of New York City at 85 Broad Streetand has its secondary office at 30 Hudson Street, Jersey City, New Jersey. The firm has offices in some financial centers and acts as afinancial advisor and money manager for corporations, governments, and wealthy families around the world. Goldman is a major dealer insecurities, offers its clients mergers & acquisitions advice, underwriting services, asset management, and engages in proprietary trading, andprivate equity deals. It is a primary dealer in the U.S. Treasury securities market.
Former Goldman Sachs employees Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson served as United States Secretary of the Treasury after leaving the firm; Rubin under President Clinton and Paulson under George W. Bush.