The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The one post on Goldman Sachs you NEED to read

Seriously, go read it. Numerian explains where Goldman Sachs’ profits come from.  Hint: it isn’t from investment banking or banking of any kind, and it isn’t from traditional trading either.

Numerian is the financial and econoblogger whom almost no one reads, whom everyone should read.  He gets almost everything right, long in advance, he understand the intricacies of financial markets extraordinarily well, and he’s good at explaining what he knows so ordinary people can understand it.



Perhaps record bonuses and no new lending is what Obama wanted


Confusion over what government does


  1. senecal

    thanks, that’s quite an article! The point I hadn’t fully appreciated so far was how arrogant they are, how unashamed of what they’re doing, and how willingly Congress creeps along behind their carriages.

  2. Lex

    Ian, Stirling and Numerian are the people i trust most on these matters. And, yes, Numerian does an amazing job of explaining it so that the layman really understands it.

  3. It’s not merely that they’re unashamed, it’s that they don’t realize they have anything to be ashamed about so as to be unashamed about that. I’m intimately familiar with the mentality. It’s sort of like when your parents told you to eat your vegetables because the children in Africa are starving, and you wondered why they didn’t send the vegetables you don’t want to eat over there.

  4. Numerian asks; “Why is the government allowing Goldman Sachs to function this way?” He never really answered that question; unless it was rhetorical. In any event, it was a devastating analysis and spot on.

  5. BCNurseProf

    Yes, Lex, I agree. I try to read everything that Ian, Stirling and Numerian write. But I would also add tjfxh as well. Sometimes I have to check several places to find everyone, but I’m always enlightened when I read what I find.

  6. B Schram

    Hmm, as a non-economist I want to make sure I have this right.

    They are a “bank” that in fact does a very poor job at banking. Although, due to a governmental dispensation, they are able to gamble in markets. This allows them to dabble in markets etc. with no fear of loss, due to assurances from their “bank” status. They can win, or minimally, not lose, as all losses will be reimbursed from the pockets of the taxpayers.

    Ian, thanks pointing out the gravity of that post, i had only glanced over it earlier.

  7. Ian Welsh

    Well, there’s no formal guarantee against losses, though as a practical matter, the idea that GS would be allowed to go under is absurd. It’s more that as a bank you have access to capital at the lowest possible rates and access to various other facilities as well.

  8. Lex

    Agreed on tjfxh, BCNurseProf, and there are others. Thankfully the tend to congregate, comment and cross-link.

    Sean-Paul Kelly is another good one, and i think i learned more practical econ/financial context and detail related to the news we see from the old Agonist than i could have practically gleaned from going back to school and slogging through classes i would hate.

  9. Howard

    I agree with Lex as to the great reporting on the economy at the old Agonist and, before that at BOPnews. Does anyone know where Stirling has disappeared to. I haven’t read anything of his in a long time.

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