I have a very long list of favorite people on the planet, and Bethany McClean is one of them. For many years she wrote for Fortune Magazine, and more recently moved to Vanity Fair. In addition she co-wrote "The Smartest Guys in The Room" - a book about Enron, and you if you have not seen the movie, you should.
She weighed in about the Goldman, well, mess... by writing this oped for the New York Times - Meet the Real Villain of the Financial Crisis. She has this to say.....
"But the transaction at the heart of the S.E.C.’s complaint is a microcosm of the entire credit crisis. That is, there are no good guys here. It’s dishonest and ultimately dangerous to pretend that Goldman is the only bad actor. And the worst actor of all is the one leading the charge against Goldman: our government."
This article is a must read as it puts other actors in to both this transaction and others like it that are at the heart of this crisis. I did not watch the hours and hours of testimony yesterday, only about 30 minutes, but if you did, I ask you, what was accomplished? Do you think the folks asking the questions asked balanced ones? Do you think they understood the nature of this transaction, or even how institutional market making firms like GS work? ( from what I watched, not at all ) Where does it all go from here?
I am not defending GS in this transaction. I am not even defending Wall Street. Nor am I attacking anyone. It just seems to me that educated, unemotional, thoughtful and truth seeking dialogue was not what I witnessed yesterday and I would have thought that would be the purpose of those hearings.
A list of other lead articles written about the testimony yesterday... "'Fabulous Fab' breaks cover to face grilling as Goldman's woes mount"-Financial Times, "Goldman Sachs on the defensive as senators ask blunt questions"-The New York Times, and "Goldman is bruised, defiant in senate"-The Wall Street Journal.