Under the Black Flag

Sachs of Gold

The story thus far: Not content with plunging the world’s economy into the worst crisis since the 30’s, the avaricious and reckless bankers have been saved from ruin—momentarily—by our taxes, yet they continue to treat us with breathtaking contempt.  Far from feeling any remorse or humility, they pay themselves annual bonuses larger than what most people earn in their lifetime, and do so with an arrogance that beggars belief.

In a speech delivered last November in Texas, the sainted editor of this journal zeroed in on Goldman Sachs and its head honcho, Lloyd Blankfein.  He is the bum who helped inflate and then profited from a bubble that burst and cost tens of millions of Americans their jobs, incomes, savings, and home equity.  For his part, Blankfein has not only refused to apologize but, after repaying the company’s initial $10 billion bailout allotment, pledged $500 million over five years to help 10,000 small businesses.  It was a crumb thrown to the hungry for a public-relations exercise.  A real contribution would be in the high billions and aimed directly at taxpayers.

But that is not the way of the banks.  When America emerged from the Great Depression, a tightly regulated banking system was in effect.  The first big wave of deregulation, under Ronald Reagan, led to the savings-and-loan crisis of the mid-1980’s.  Taxpayers ended up footing the bill to the tune...

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