The Goldman Casino
Do investment banks do anything that helps America anymore?
5. How much income did Goldman derive from bets against products it marketed?
6. How much capital—debt and equity—have Goldman and the other major investment houses raised for their clients over each of the past five years?
7. How much capital have they invested overseas in foreign-based companies—especially through private equity funds?
This is just a starting list. I hope that the Senate, the SEC, and the Fed have other, more precise questions to add. The point is that we need to get a real measure of the social value of investment banking activity and to determine whether they are fulfilling the essential capital formation and liquidity needs of the markets. We taxpayers have given them billions upon billions upon billions based on the theory that they perform economically useful activities. They need to prove that they do.