Are Goldman Sachs Critics Anti-Semitic?

Goldman Sachs is often used as the poster child for some of the most egregious practices on Wall Street that are believed to have set off the current economic crisis now sweeping much of America and Europe. This sentiment was summarized in an article Matt Taibi wrote for Rolling Stone Magazine as follows: "The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."



Taibi's criticism of Goldman Sachs immediately drew charges of antisemitism from some American Jewish leaders. And as the "Occupy Wall Street" movement gathers momentum, similar charges are now flying against the protesters who are joining this movement. Some of the Jewish media outlets, like Yeshiva World News, are using video footage of individual protesters to editorialize the claim that “many Jews” are feeling a bit uncomfortable with the growing protests.

“The reasons for these ‘uncomfortable feelings’ don’t need to be elaborated on this page,” the editorial reads. “Suffice to say that Jews have been blamed for the world’s troubles for thousands of years, and many are nervous that this finger-pointing will soon start — or , maybe it already has.”

I, for one, do not believe that the protests are motivated by antisemitism, and such charges are a great disservice to ordinary middle class Americans who have been forced to take to the streets.

From what I can tell, "Occupy Wall Street" appears to be a genuine grass roots movement that stems from a sense of deep dissatisfaction with the way the majority of American politicians of all parties have aided and abetted in the misdeeds committed by the big Wall Street firms. Some of these misdeeds have been laid bare by a number of authors, including Michael Lewis most recently in his two books on the subject. The actions of Goldman Sachs and other big Wall Street firms have led to massive job losses, growing homelessness, and deep concerns among middle class Americans about their own future and the future of this country. A similar situation is now gripping Europe as well.

I think President Obama should seize this opportunity to tap into this anger and use it to push new legislation to bail out the middle class and put an end to the excesses committed by the big business including the Wall Street banks and their highly-paid executives.

Related Links:

Are Jews Culprits of Collapse on Wall Street?

Financial Crisis Brings Out Anti-Semites

Wall Street's WMDs

Jewish Power Growing in US Congress

Schumer's Phony Outrage

Buffet Warns of Financial weapons of Mass Destruction

Who Rules America?

Will American Capitalism Survive?

China's Nuclear Option

Senator Schumer: The Champion of Wall Street on the Hill

Pay to Play is the Name of the Game in Washington

Are Jews Culprits of Collapse on Wall Street?

Keynes on Jews

Democrats and Republicans Share Blame for Financial Collapse

Jewish Network in US Congress

Jewish Power Dominates at Vanity Fair

Jewish Power Grows in US Congress

Did Schumer and Emanuel Sink Freeman?

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
After the Storm: The Instability of Inequality
Nouriel Roubini, Project Syndicate: "This year has witnessed a global wave of social and political turmoil and instability, with masses of people pouring into the real and virtual streets.... While these protests have no unified theme, they express in different ways the serious concerns of the world’s working and middle classes about their prospects in the face of the growing concentration of power among economic, financial, and political elites."
Read the Article

http://www.truth-out.org/after-storm-instability-inequality/1318691887
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an interesting piece about democracy and oligarchy by Michael Hudson:

Book V of Aristotle’s Politics describes the eternal transition of oligarchies making themselves into hereditary aristocracies – which end up being overthrown by tyrants or develop internal rivalries as some families decide to “take the multitude into their camp” and usher in democracy, within which an oligarchy emerges once again, followed by aristocracy, democracy, and so on throughout history.

Debt has been the main dynamic driving these shifts – always with new twists and turns. It polarizes wealth to create a creditor class, whose oligarchic rule is ended as new leaders (“tyrants” to Aristotle) win popular support by cancelling the debts and redistributing property or taking its usufruct for the state.

Since the Renaissance, however, bankers have shifted their political support to democracies. This did not reflect egalitarian or liberal political convictions as such, but rather a desire for better security for their loans. As James Steuart explained in 1767, royal borrowings remained private affairs rather than truly public debts. For a sovereign’s debts to become binding upon the entire nation, elected representatives had to enact the taxes to pay their interest charges.

By giving taxpayers this voice in government, the Dutch and British democracies provided creditors with much safer claims for payment than did kings and princes whose debts died with them. But the recent debt protests from Iceland to Greece and Spain suggest that creditors are shifting their support away from democracies. They are demanding fiscal austerity and even privatization sell-offs.

--------------
What is missing is the counterweight to a tiny minority who didn’t set out to be petty kings but who know perhaps realize that there is no one and nothing in their way as things stand. . . . As things stand: things will change. Revolution is as likely as oligarchy; more likely I would say. And revolution has more modern precedents than does oligarchic recession. But I do think that society is not presently well-balanced to restrain finance-capital: so it’s them or us who goes down. Let’s make it them.


http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/12/michael-hudson-debt-and-democracy-has-the-link-been-broken.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a NY Times report about allegations by a resigning executive of Goldman Sachs:

That question is now out in the open, exposed anew by an Op-Ed article in The New York Times on Wednesday by Greg Smith of Goldman Sachs. It could reignite public suspicion that the culture of Wall Street has swung so sharply to the short-term side of the ledger that clients have not been coming in first, or even second, but dead last.

Even bankers who disagreed with Mr. Smith’s conclusions said the piece had struck a chord because it stirred up their own doubts, especially in the wake of the financial crisis. It is a sign of this anxiety that since then, one giant firm after another has publicly proclaimed it is putting clients first.

That much-advertised claim stands in sharp contrast to the world Mr. Smith depicted.

At meetings at Goldman, he wrote, “not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients,” Mr. Smith wrote. “It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.”

He warned, “People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients — for very much longer.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/business/a-public-exit-from-goldman-sachs-hits-a-wounded-wall-street.html?_r=1

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html

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