Full disclosure: I was a vice president at Goldman Sachs back in the day. It was a meritocracy, a rough-and-tumble private partnership, honest — and a great place to learn. Then the company got into bed with our government.
Today, Goldman is a government-funded, regulated monopoly. As long as it plays by the rules of the permanent ruling class of politicians in Washington, its people are allowed to get rich so long as they act like they feel bad about it, which is the liberal article of faith.
Goldman, Morgan, et al., were forced into making a deal with the devil, the federal government and Democrats, agreeing to massive regulation after the mortgage crisis of 2009 — which, ironically, was caused by them being so regulated (redlining and Fannie Mae-backed fraudulent loans). To assure themselves almost a monopoly, or at least an oligopoly, Goldman has to bow to the many layers of regulations now imposed by the likes of Elizabeth Warren and her comically disastrous Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Any time the government names something "protection" or "bureau," watch your wallets. The only thing a bureau protects is its perpetual, taxpayer-funded existence. To put this in context, Jeffrey Epstein was "protected" by the "Bureau" of Prisons.
Goldman recently announced it would no longer take public a company that only has straight white men on its board.
This policy, one Goldman itself is new to, is another hypocritical ruse to appease Elizabeth Warren's regulators at the CFPB who have put politically correct hardships on an industry they want to protect from competition and milk for campaign cash. In short, regulators can make life easy or hard, depending on how much cash you cough up to the elected officials.
When Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders play the envy card, which is the only card in their deck, it is always anti-Wall Street. They call Wall Street "greedy" and "opportunistic." This really does not bother them; it says that right on their business cards. According to them, it's always others who are "greedy," but not Sanders and Warren, who have become multimillionaires as "public servants."
Yet as a poster child for greed, "Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs" is chanted by liberals when Steve Mnuchin appears in public. I would be careful, lefties. Say "Goldman Sachs" three times and Hillary Clinton will appear wanting $500k for a speech. Only Egyptologists know where more skeletons are buried than Wall Street and politicians. The revolving door between Wall Street and Washington confirms that birds of a feather flock together.
When the Goldman alums went to work their first day in Washington and had to empty their pockets to get through metal detectors, five senators fell out. The verbal flogging of Wall Street that libs like Fauxcahontas Liz Warren and Bernie Sanders spew reminds me of a "professional" wrestling match where two supposed opponents verbally spar before a fake fight whose outcome is already certain.
Wall Street writes much of the regulations it must abide by, with no criminal conduct ever prosecuted. The game now, just like politicians' campaign laws, is to abide by the technical letter of the law while violating the spirit of fairness and common sense every day.
The latest "woke" move by Goldman about boards being PC is just another way to appease its overlords in Washington. Sir Winston Churchill said it best when he spoke of Nazi accomplices before and during Word War II: "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile — hoping it will eat him last." That is exactly what Goldman and the rest of Wall Street do.
Contact Ron Hart at Ron@Ronald Hart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.