Chapter 6. Bank-Bashing

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. 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.

—Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, April 5, 2010

Letting banks “muddle through” provoked political hostility; and new injections of money for the banks proved necessary to keep the market rally going.

Only one big investment bank weathered the crisis with its reputation more or less intact: Goldman Sachs. Wall Street’s most prestigious institution had guarded against the risks of a collapse in housing prices, making repeated big bets against the price of subprime securities. ...

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