Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Softball at the Financial Crisis Inquiry Hearings

One thing we learned on day one of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Hearings: the heads of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America may not be good at managing risk or avoiding crashes, but they are good at dodging questions and sidestepping responsibility. Les Leopold has been following and blogging about the hearings. Here’s his first report.

From the Huffington Post:

The heads of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America came to testify and said… just about nothing.

Yes, they made mistakes. But gee, they had learned a great deal and they certainly didn’t cause the crash. They promised they are managing risk better, even though they claimed always to have done so. Also, they insist they are not too big too fail and they are reforming compensation so we shouldn’t worry about their sky-high compensation packages.

After these predictable pronouncements, Phil Angelides — the former Democratic California State Treasurer and Chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) — came out swinging at Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs. But he ended up shadow-boxing.

Angelides threw his best punches at Goldman Sachs concerning reports that it provided toxic assets to customers while it was betting against them. “It sounds to me a little bit like selling a car with faulty brakes and then buying an insurance policy on the buyer of those cars,” said Angelides.

Blankfein easily parried the punches by explaining that that’s what market makers are supposed to do. He then diverted the conversation into technical language that few of the public can understand. Meanwhile, the big questions weren’t asked.

Read the whole article here.


Related Articles:

Bern Baby Bern!

Feel the Bern, now read the Bern. Chelsea Green is bringing out the first major book chronicling the issues being raised by US Senator Bernie Sanders in his campaign for president of the United States. The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America is the only book that outlines, in Sanders’ own words and […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..