Earlier this morning, Morning Joe's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were joined by Fortune Magazine Managing Editor Andrew Serwer and our own co-founder/editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington in Carlsbad, California at the Fortune Magazine Most Powerful Women Summit to talk about how Wall Street has fared in the age of bailouts.
Asked about Goldman Sachs and their post-TARP fortunes, Serwer used a pretty telling metaphor:
SERWER: I mean, it's amazing to me that as we recover, you know, come out of this financial crisis, you know, you'd expect a company like Goldman Sachs maybe things are improving, make a little money. But they have a record quarter. In other words, they made more money in this three month period than they ever had in any other--
SCARBOROUGH: [archly] But they just made some good guesses, right?
SERWER: Well, I don't know if it's okay or not, but I think what happened is that the government has telegraphed to Wall Street, not only Goldman Sachs but the other firms what it was doing, what was going on, what the program was, and so, essentially, it's like telling a Goldman Sachs, "Hey, put your money on 32 Black" at the casino, at the roulette wheel. And the thing spins and lo and behold, where does it end up, Joe?
SCARBOROUGH: 32 Black?
SERWER: 32 Black.
That's a pretty significant statement from the Managing Editor of a magazine that's going to have Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein present the "Goldman Sachs & Fortune Global Women Leaders Award" at this very Summit. And it's hard to ignore the fact what Serwer describes is a risk-free system of wealth accumulation that bears no real working resemblance to the thing we know as "capitalism."
Remember back to the 2008 campaign, when so many people worried about "wealth redistribution?" Turns out the worry was very real, but the worriers themselves are all making out pretty well!