The giant vampire squid becomes gay-friendly

The Mafia, as has been said, is not an equal opportunity employer. But even if it was an equal opportunity employer, it would still be a criminal organization.

Likewise, while Goldman Sachs is cultivating a reputation for being gay-friendly, it is still the same financial predator that is always was, still what Matt Taibbi called the “giant vampire squid,” inserting its tentacles into every crevice of the American economy and sucking out the blood.

giant_squidHuman Rights Campaign, the gay rights organization, honored Goldman Sachs at its annual dinner last year, and named Lloyd Blankfein, its CEO, as its national corporate spokesman for gay marriage.   It’s nice that a few gay people will get a shot at high-paying jobs at Goldman, but that doesn’t entitle the firm to a plenary indulgence, or get-out-of-jail-free card, or whatever you want to call it from the harm it has done to ordinary Americans, including gay people, through its financial manipulations.

As Matt Taibbi has documented, former and future Goldman officials in government successfully lobbied for repeal of the regulations that held banks back from reckless speculation with their depositors’ money.    They then pursued a policy of pump and dump, bidding up the price of investments, such as subprime mortgages, that they knew were worthless, then bailing out at the key moment and leaving the suckers holding the bag.

Goldman and similar Wall Street manipulators did more harm than to just bankrupt a few unwise investors.  Their financial manipulations brought about the Wall Street crash of 2008 and the wave of layoffs and mortgage foreclosures that followed.  Gay people suffered as much as their straight neighbors.   As Kathleen Geier pointed out, gay people as a group as not especially affluent — contrary to the way they’re typically depicted on TV.

Some of us liberals like to point out how conservatives can be suckered into voting against their economic self-interest by cynical appeals to feelings about social and cultural issues[1].   However this may be, they aren’t the only ones.


The Great American Bubble Machine by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone (2009).   A history of Goldman Sachs and its financial manipulations from the Great Depression to the Great Recession

The Vampire Squid Strikes Back: The Mega Banks’ Most Devious Scam Yet by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone (2014).  Things haven’t changed.

Identity Politics and Its Discontents by Kathleen Geier for the Washington Monthly.

Why Elite Billionaire Liberalism Always Backfires by Thomas Frank for Salon.   It’s more than just Goldman Sachs.

[1]  If you happen to be someone for whom gay rights (or abortion rights or gun rights or some other cause, either for or against) is so all-important that nothing else matters, I don’t have any argument that would prove you wrong on your own terms.  Single-issue zealots are the ones who bring about change, for good or ill — abolition of slavery, votes for women and alcohol prohibition.  Just be aware that your supposed corporate allies may have a hidden agenda.   Rich and powerful people seldom support anything that would threaten their riches or power.

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2 Responses to “The giant vampire squid becomes gay-friendly”

  1. ebrew79 Says:

    Lipstick on a pig still makes it a pig. Nothing Goldman can do to restore it’s image outside of stop bilking people out of it’s money.


  2. djgarcia94 Says:

    Well, Goldman Sachs doesn’t care about LBGTQ issues beyond its use to make them look good. Wall Street Banking is an immoral lifestyle choice.


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