BANZAI7 VIEW--Are you sick of hearing every new detail about the AIG implosion, Goldman Squid's predatory tactics, Goldman Squid's backdoor bailout, Goldman Squid's conflicting roles in shoveling subprime schlecht out to unwitting investors while shorting the product in the market, the impact of Goldman's Squid's tactics in accelerating the meltdown, Geithner's feeble negotiating tactics, Paulsen's ethical lapses, the smart idiots who ran AIG Financial Products, the dimwit CEOs that ran AIG...yadda yadda yadda. Don't be.
This story is a fine text book example of every single thing that can go wrong in a financial system. Disclosure opacity, misleading statements to the market, heavy handed consumer sales tactics, shoddy accounting, innovation run amuck, insider trading, systemic risk, breaches of trust, conflicts of interest, rating agency misconduct, ethical lapses, fast and loose selling tactics, improper influence over government officials, regulatory foolishness, moral hazard, excessive compensation, poor corporate governance... The list goes on and on and on and on and on and on.
The problem is that no single official government investigation (duly empowered with subpoena power) is actively connecting all of the dots in the public interest. Everything is coming out piecemeal. The dots are slowly being connected by journalists and bloggers. Congress is a three ring circus, the Justice Department is busy doing what?, Andrew Cuomo has a fixation with Bank of America and Ken "Screwless" Lewis, the SEC is busy investigating porn surfing by its employees, the Special Bipartisan Financial Crisis Commission conducts its theatrical investigation by surfing the internet. The only ones who seem to get the big picture are the SIGTARP Inspector General and Elliot Spitzer.
Wall Street is busy telling us that the Goldman Squid/AIG saga is yesterday's old news. We may yet learn that notwithstanding all the $hit that flew around, no one will be held accountable because no criminal laws were violated. That may well prove to be the case. Wall Street makes its living by pushing the envelope.
But dear reader (sounds like Dear Leader), no matter how much of this you have heard enough of, one thing is absolutely certain: this whole sorry state of affairs has made a mockery of the American financial system, it has damaged millions of innocent Americans and the situation has only been exacerbated by the inept rodeo clowns in Washington.
It is not unfair to put the magnifying glass on Goldman Sachs. Their God fearing CEO Lloyd Blankfein led his company to subprime ground zero. Their failure to publicly own up to their extraordinary role in creating the subprime disaster does not foster confidence in American financial institutions. Mr. Blankfein's public relations act makes Mr. Toyoda look like a crisis management guru.
Don't let anyone tell you that financial reform is a big government hootenany. If you live in a trailor park and keep your last paycheck in a gun bag, that may be the case. But for the rest of us, it has to be unsettling that the drinking binge on Wall Street never ended.
Nothing has changed, but something has to be done.