National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Goldman Sachs on the Hill

 |  NCR Today

Watching the executives of Goldman Sachs testify before Congress yesterday brought back a distant memory. They looked exactly like the tobacco company executives did when they were hauled before Congress years ago. They, too, seemed utterly ignorant of their own wrong-doing. They too were evasive and slightly condescending in their answers. They, too, had been caught doing very bad, possibly criminal, things, knew they had been caught, and they knew the elected representatives of the people knew they had done the catching, but none of that provoked even the slightest hint of remorse. Alas, no wonder greed is rightly deemed one of the seven deadly sins. These men were dead to the moral impulses of their nature.

I was especially mystified by the answers provided by the chief executive officer, Lloyd Blankfein. Better to say the lack of answers. He pleaded ignorance to the goings-on of his own company so many times, one wondered if there was not a case of mistaken identity, if there might be another, different Lloyd Blankfein who ran Goldman Sachs and this poor fellow was really a sous chef at a local eatery. But, of course, Mr. Blankfein is no dummy. He runs the most successful Wall Street firm in history. He was not ignorant. He was lawyered up.

The most disconcerting thing was the sheer indifference to the consequences of their own actions displayed by the Wall Street giants. They could not answer a simple yes-or-no question about whether or not they owed their customers a minimum standard of honesty. Indifference to the suffering one causes is the height of moral callousness.

rectangular-logo.jpgVisit our new website, Global Sisters Report!

There is only one remedy. Throw the book at these evil men – and they were all men. Keep searching until you find the grounds on which to prosecute them and throw them into jail. At the very least, they should be removed from their positions, and their enormous salaries and bonuses, and barred from ever again plying their trade. Because one thing did become clear yesterday. For these men, their trade was not derivatives. They are bookies and their betting days should be ended.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014

09-12-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.