Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said:
Goldman is giving the country a chance to see what Wall Street is all
about. It's about stuffing money into your pocket and taking advantage of everyone in sight. Members of Congress get to decide if they are for this way of doing business or against it.
This issue comes up not only with the financial reform bill itself but also with a number of amendments, most important the Brown-Kaufman amendment, which would break up big banks like Goldman.
Peter Navarro, professor of economics and public policy at U.C. Irvine, said:
Depends if anybody can find more damning evidence. So far it looks like goldman is mounting at least some counter-attack.
Damon N. Spiegel, entrepreneur and writer, said:
I’m not sure if it will affect financial reform legislation but clearly the first 2 hours has been very entertaining. If Mr. Levin continues to repeat “this is a sh**ty deal” in ten different flavors it will certainly start to get primetime ratings. I suspect that the Goldman folks are the smartest guys in the room and in-time everyone will realize that the Government is simply putting on a show to further their efforts for reform legislation. Anytime anyone testifies before the Senate it is an uphill battle. The government has unlimited resources and the ability to take any piece of information and manipulate it.
That being said, if a smoking gun comes out of these Senate hearings that prove Goldman to have acted in gross negligence this certainly will help with the efforts of financial reform. If this is nothing more than informing the public that Goldman was going short on the market won’t matter as the far majority of people watching this form home right now don’t understand what selling short is. They might even confuse it for selling shorts or being short.
John F. McManus, president of The John Birch Society, said:
The congressional hearings dealing with Goldman Sachs appear to me to be an attempt to divert attention away from the main causes of the economic recession. The financial reform legislation being proposed will not deal with these causes.
Our nation is suffering an economic slowdown because our money is not real and is losing value (it's fiat money) and because government taxation, controls and regulations impede economic activity. These are the causes of the continuing doldrums, not Goldman Sachs.
Targeting Goldman Sachs and its questionable money-making schemes is a smokescreen. If its officials broke some laws, they should be charged and prosecuted.
Grandstanding congressional leaders will take the opportunity given by these hearings to make themselves seem like the sainted guardians of the public's interests. Yet, most of these high and mighty political leaders will continue to do nothing to rein in and ultimately abolish the Federal Reserve and allow real money to again become available. They will do nothing to extricate the U.S. from NAFTA, WTO, CAFTA and other pacts that force U.S. producers to take their firms to other nations in order to survive. And they continue to do nothing to abolish the many regulatory agencies - OSHA, EPA, EEOC, etc. - that are a) unconstitutional, b) inhibitors of productivity, and c) not doing to other nations what they are doing to ours.
It seems obvious that Goldman Sachs has taken advantage of loose oversight by the Security and Exchange Commission and other federal agencies. The American people, believing that SEC and other so-called watchdogs of the public's interest are protecting them, have been putting their faith in totally deficient (and possibly corrupt) agencies. A huge mistake on the part of the public.
Meanwhile, deficits continue to soar, enormous unfunded obligations of the federal government remain unfunded, and economic disaster looms on the horizon. Without treating the real causes of economic slowdown, the recession of 2008 will soon be looked upon merely as a minor irritant.
John Feehery, Pundits Blog Contributor, said:
If Goldman sachs does as bad a job with the testimony as they have done with the PR campaign in the last several months, it will be a major impetus to a new regulatory scheme.
Bernie Quigley, Pundits Blog Contributor, said:
Won't help. I think the Goldman Sachs hearings could well backfire. This relatively new style of public humiliation seems drawn from Mao's cultural revolution when healthy community builders were sent around in carts with dunce caps; forced to wear humiliating signs and sent to "therapy" until they were "rehabilitated." When tobacco was the talisman for class enemy in the Clinton administration the model seemed to awaken in a new form well beyond the Joe Welch/Joe McCarthy entertainments, at least for the 40 million of his own age who saw Clinton as generation avatar. In that generation's college years (and mine) Mao's Red Book was a give away on college campuses; I had one, everybody did. It was as relevant to the zeitgeist as Frank Zappa and Swami Satchidananda, the Woodstock guru. This kind of public and televised humiliation underscore the latent totalitarianism which result when participation mystique convergences press, television - an eye in every room - big government, congress and the Presidency. It is an American trajedy. Recall when Ollie North was sent to the public stocks. It completely backfired. May this time as well.
Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:
Forget the poltical posturing going on at the hearing. The actual content of the bill institutionalizes the bank bailouts, and virtually ensures that the "too big to fail" crowd will be feeding at the public trough unto eternity. Because when you get right down to the nitty gritty, folks, the question before us is: Should we allow the banks to fail when their inherently bankrupt condition becomes all too apparent? No matter how much they rail against Goldman Sachs, politicians of both parties unanimously answer "No." The one exception, of course, is the heroic Ron Paul, the only known advocate of deflation in an age of both monetary and moral inflation.