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Mike Lux

Mike Lux

Posted: July 14, 2009 02:14 PM

Congrats, Goldman, on That Enormous Profit, Now When Do the Rest of Us Get Something?


If you've seen the news today, you know Goldman Sachs exceeded its second quarter expectations for earnings, making $3.44 billion after dividends. As I wrote yesterday, this gigantic, much better than expected profit is largely from engaging in the same risks that got Goldman and other companies into trouble in the first place -- taking massive risks on things like volatile currencies. The same risks that has helped lead the country to economic collapse. Apparently the only thing Goldman learned from the financial collapse was that the government would bail it out if it kept taking big gambles, which isn't the lesson I was hoping it would learn.

And hey look, even more thrilling, it's been reported in late June that the company plans to pay its employee record bonuses. Congrats, guys.

Okay, Goldman. So as long as you're paying record bonuses to many of the same employees that engaged in these wildly speculative trading ventures, how about paying back the $13 billion you got from AIG by way of the U.S.Treasury? Or the unrevealed billions (likely many tens of billions) from the Federal Reserve?

Now I wouldn't be so irritable about all this if unemployment wasn't still going up, and most economists weren't saying it will continue to go up through 2010. I wouldn't be so irate if unemployed folks were getting jobs, home prices were starting to go up again, and as a result bankers also made money. I wouldn't be so completely pissed out of my mind if we didn't already know, based on the last eight years, that the trickle-down economics of making sure the biggest banks recovered first just didn't work for everyone else in this economy.

It is time for a movement to take on the big bankers and change the economy so that it produces jobs for the rest of us.