[A comment that I made at NPR’s website on April 29, 2010, right after hearing the interview…]
I listened with interest this afternoon as NPR interviewed the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, on the heels of his grueling testimony before Congress yesterday. It was a rare opportunity to put some tough, direct questions to the head of the corporation that is more responsible than any other for causing the current US recession (not to mention their underhanded dealings on the international scene; they are behind Greece’s current difficulties as well). Not surprisingly, the NPR reporter was not up to the task, and let this duplicitous scoundrel off with a mere rap of his knuckles.
The main point that Mr Blankfein tried to use to defend his company is that they are constantly financing US business and government activities that help build and maintain our economy; that is only partially true, and hides an ugly truth. The glaring reality is that over 70 percent of Goldman Sachs’ profits come from trading for their own accounts. This is not investing in the real economy; it is like a cancer that is sucking the life out of its host body.
If the NPR reporter had bothered to do a little research prior to the interview, she would have found that Goldman Sachs is foremost in high frequency trading by having their own supercomputers located right at the exchanges, allowing them to front-end the trading market and skim off profits with near certainty, with their milliseconds of trade execution advantage. Indeed, recent evidence indicates that around 70 percent of all trading activity is done by this type of automated trading. If that is not newsworthy, I don’t know what is; the global financial investment sector has become one giant casino, and it will be our undoing yet again if it is not brought under control, and soon.
So, another lame interview from NPR passes for “news”…and the American people are kept in the dark once more. When there was a golden opportunity to shed some light on one of its chief denizens of darkness, the public is shielded once again from the ugly truth that Wall Street is a predatory and vicious institution that cares nothing for the real welfare of US citizens and their communities. They care for one thing: their lust for profits that enrich only them.