I'm outraged, like most, that a culture of excess has crippled the US economic system. Honest people got the short end of the stick and something needs to change. We need more transparency from Wall Street and there should be a level playing field for all investors.
Like many investors, I've been watching the questioning of Goldman Sach's executives about their behavior during the financial meltdown. We've heard about their views and behavior during the mortgage crisis and have also learned about how investment decisions are made at Goldman. We've also watched legislator after legislator pound on Goldman to prove their outrage (a reflection of the anger felt on Main Street). But I think there's a huge missed opportunity in the questioning that needs to be said out loud; in too many cases they are wasting time asking the wrong questions! And now is the time for the right questions, not useless posturing.
I understand politics and the need to let constituents know that their elected officials share their outrage. But most of the questions surround how all businesses operate and how tactical decisions are made to best benefit shareholders and clients. Trying to get Goldman executives to say that they did not have a negative view on the housing market is an exercise in futility.
The reality is Goldman hedged their bets and some of these bets paid off in a huge way. That's what investment firms do and there is nothing wrong with that (unless the profits result from unethical actions). Making honest money is not a crime. Making dishonest money is and that’s where the spotlight should be. The focus should be on uncovering any alleged shady behavior, not condemning Goldman for tactical investment decisions.