Cross-posted at The Daily Kos.
The other day, I had a blog entry about how Goldman Sachs was planning on returning their TARP bailout money this week. My diary was about how they were complaining about operating in “this environment” and how I thought they should STFU and deal with it because intense oversight & scrutiny is their new reality.
However, after reading a bunch of the comments and reflecting on it, I’ve seen another side to this that makes me smack my forehard HARD! and go “DUH! It’s so OBVIOUS what they’re doing! How could I have missed it???!”
They’re robbing us in broad daylight.
Okay, maybe YOU saw this coming. Maybe you are smarter than me. I’m gullible I guess. I thought, “Well, they’re giving the money back early. That’s a Good Thing. Yay.”
But as many commenters pointed out, they got a big effin pile of money from AIG recently. $13 billion in fact. So basically what they got was a $10 billion short-term loan (without interest presumably) and then got a cash infusion from AIG that they don’t have to pay back. But that’s still our bailout money, it’s just on AIG’s ledgers now.
Here’s the thing, though: If AIG ultimately fails, we’re left holding the bag for the zillions of dollars of defaulted-upon debt and Goldman Sachs walks away with their hands in their pockets, whistling, not owing anyone a penny – despite having gotten a whole vault full of tax payer money.
Here’s the most galling thing about it, for me: they have the nerve to tell us how it’s good for America that they are getting away with what amounts to a $13 billion robbery of the national coffers:
Beleaguered Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs Group switched to offense Friday, contending that the $13 billion the firm received from bailed-out American International Group Inc. was fully justified and in fact was good for taxpayers. […]
Goldman Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said his company simply was trying to protect its shareholders — which now include taxpayers after the firm received $10 billion in financial rescue money last fall.
“If we had taken a discount, then we would have taken a loss to Goldman Sachs,” Viniar said in a conference call with reporters convened by the company to address its involvement with AIG. “We also have taxpayer money at Goldman Sachs and it’s part of our responsibility to protect that money and not lose it.”
So, let me get this straight. You made hundreds if not thousands if not tens of thousands of incredibly bad decisions, taking risks you had no business taking and, in the process, contributing to the collapse of the financial system of the United States of America. Now you’re getting paid 100 cents on the dollar on some of your debt from a company very likely to go bankrupt while their other creditors take a bath and get paid lots lots less than 100 cents on the dollar, creditors that include, for example, oh, I don’t know…the American taxpayers!!! And now we’re supposed to be fucking grateful? Really? You think we’re going to swallow that garbage?
My original premise may be right. It may still be true that the Obama administration was crafty in its response to the “AIG Outrage” and will use it to help push through the needed regulatory oversight provisions that would have been more difficult to pass in other circumstances.
But what is also true is that Goldman Sachs has managed to rob the American taxpayers in broad daylight. And now they want us to thank them.
I’m just sayin’…