Goldman Sachs – more naked greed

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The Guardian (and many others) have reported that

Goldman Sachs, which made profits of $9.54bn (£4.9bn) last year, has ... revealed that its co-presidents, Gary Cohn and Jon Winkelried, each received $53m in cash and shares last year - only a shade below the $54m paid to its chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein. Its chief financial officer, David Viniar, got $40m, while the vice-chairman, John Weinberg, got $34m.

It sickens me that Goldmans have as the dominant image on their homepage an image suggesting that the most important thing about them is that they support immunisation programmes. They might. But the reality is that they create division in this world. They make the richest richer and the poorest poorer, both by their own pay policy, their private equity activities and their promotion of 'financial engineering' as a means to generate what they consider wealth.

The reality is that their home page should be headed 'Naked greed in action'. After all - their real goal, as they put it is:

To provide superior returns to our shareholders.

As market theorists know, superior returns only arise from market failure or abuse. Both are unacceptable. Both impose costs on others. That's what Goldman Sachs is really doing.