Huffpost Business
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Raymond J. Learsy Headshot

Facebook and Goldman Sachs

Posted: Updated:

Goldman Sachs has access to money. But more important to Facebook at this point of its ascendancy is whether Goldman Sachs has trust. The question is already being widely bandied about in the business news world, such as in the CNBC story "Wall Street Wonders if Goldman Will Double Cross Facebook", which quotes a Wall Street executive as saying, "we would have killed to be in this deal". Clearly a myriad of investment houses/banks would have stepped in to fill the financial role Goldman has undertaken. A financial role that would not have come with the spurious baggage with which Facebook is now associating itself

Facebook is one of the great triumphs of the American system. Innovation, courage, personal risk, entrepreneurial vision, a classic success story of the best of the American way. One in which each American, in varying degrees depending on one's individual construct, can be proud.

But now it has aligned itself with an organization that during the height of the financial crisis -- a crisis that has yet to be resolved -- profited handsomely. While millions were losing their jobs, Goldman made enough off the nation's misery to gather at the time a monstrously large bonus pool of $23 billion. This while having parlayed away their once proud imprimatur to sell financial products to the unsuspecting -- financial instruments engineered to fail -- not only costing the buyers hundred of millions in losses, but creating additional millions in gains for those who 'cleverly' bet against them (instruments that would be described in solemn Congressional hearings as "sh*t").

And it goes on, shorting municipal bonds which they had underwritten, getting preferential treatment under the AIG bailout in the billions while others were being bankrupted throughout the nation and thrown out of their homes. Allegedly speculating in the billions on oil futures
(http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0413/096-sachs-semgroup-goldman-goose-oil.html)
thereby helping to push oil prices to levels that brought $4/5 per gallon gasoline to the nation at an economic rent that became an important factor in the financial crisis to follow.

And now to attach the emergently celebrated name of 'Facebook' to that of a company whose actions at a time when the country needed financial help and vision rather chose to profit heedlessly is profoundly sad.

Mr. Zuckerberg, we would have hoped you would know better. And to those who might want to ascribe it to his youth, please remember Napoleon became First Consul of France at the age of 28.