04/14/2011 08:14 am ET | Updated Jun 14, 2011

Simon Johnson: Could Goldman Sachs Fail?

If Goldman Sachs were to hit a hypothetical financial rock, would they be allowed to fail -- to go bankrupt as did Lehman -- or would they and their creditors be bailed out?

I asked this question on Sunday to four leading experts (Erik Berglof, Claudio Borio, Garry Schinasi, and Andrew Sheng) from various parts of the official sector at the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) Conference in Bretton Woods -- and to a room full of people who are close to policy thinking both in the United States and in Europe.  In both the public interactions (for which you can review video here) and private conversations later, my interpretation of what was said and not said was unambiguous: Goldman Sachs would be bailed out (again).