In case you were wondering how it was possible, year after year, to achieve the returns on equity and incomes per employee that Goldman Sachs has racked up, the answer is that it wasn’t.
Not honestly, that is. I’ve been hearing for years about Goldman’s habit of shafting its unsophisticated clients (for example, smallish school departments who thought they were buying conservative investments from a respected firm, acting as their financial advisor, when in fact they were getting stuck with the toxic waste of the CDO business).
Now it seems that Goldman may have cheated the wrong folks.
European (especially German) taxpayers aren’t going to be happy about having to bail out Greece. And it turns out that Goldman helped the Greek government fudge the books. Appolonius of Rhodes would no doubt call the swindle the Goldman Fleece.
In a political environment where its campaign contributions matter less than they do in the U.S., Goldman could wind up in a world of hurt. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.