Goldman Sachs Hearing: Senators Wield Oversimplified Metaphors, Execs Fight Back With Stonewalling (VIDEO) [UPDATE]
Did you watch any or all of the seven million hours of testimony yesterday in the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing, which pitted your hero lawmakers against an assortment of executives from Goldman Sachs? If you did, you learned a brand new word, "shitty." Use it in a sentence this weekend, maybe!
Of course, you also learned that while the populist spirit of your senators was strong (to say nothing of their desire to perform for the C-SPAN cameras), their level of understanding of the issues wasn't too terribly sophisticated. And so, all day long, we were treated to mispronunciations and sports analogies and comparisons to gambling -- a term deployed with the intent of instilling an underlying seediness until Senator John Ensign stepped in to momentarily defend his Las Vegas constituents. (Still, Ensign piled on with a "shitty" of his own, which was fun. Ensign saying something is "shitty" is like Hamlet remarking that something is "Danish.")
Of course, the larger problem with complaining about "gambling" is that hedging has been a feature of the derivatives market since the concept of "wheat futures." (If you were wondering how reform of this complicated issue ended up being the responsibility of Blanche Lincoln's Senate Agriculture Committee, this is why.) But the larger issue of "synthetic" derivatives is complicated and confusing, and one of the problems you see in this Senate interrogation is that one side -- Goldman Sachs -- has a fluency with the topic, and the other side does not.
But while it can't be denied that your senators were often at a loss to question Goldman Sachs in a sophisticated manner, it's nevertheless worth mentioning that the Goldmanites at the hearing were -- as the kids say -- total a-holes. And so, Ben Craw completes his Rashomon-esque take on yesterday's "Battle For The Little Guy (Insofar As It Can Be Said That A "Little Guy" Figures Into A Fraud Case With A Giant German Bank)" that played out in yesterday's Senate hearings with a mashup video of various Goldman Sachsers hemming, hawing, filibustering, and pretending to not be able to answer basic questions or follow simple instructions.
Yes, they come off like titanic dicks. The point is, they don't care. Not even the teensiest bit!
[Videos produced by the Huffington Post's Ben Craw. To see more of Ben's video's, click here.]