"¢ I feel the firm is guilty
"¢ I am currently unsure
55.2% of business leaders feel Goldman Sachs is guilty
20.7% of business leaders feel Goldman Sachs is innocent, and
24.1% of business leaders are currently unsure"
An earlier poll of the citizenry found that 82% in our highly polarized country wanted a "crackdown" on Wall Street. A public that seems to oppose bailouts, has a different attitude towards a jailout.
Writing on Greanville Post, Patrick O'Connor and Barry Grey see Goldman's actions as criminal even though the SEC only brought a civil complaint towards what seemed to be an arcane practice alleging a failure to disclose key information.. They write:
"The public marketing and secret short-selling of junk assets was a common practice carried out by virtually every major Wall Street firm. It was part of a colossal fraud perpetrated on the American people. The banks lured people into taking out mortgages they knew the purchasers could not afford. They then packaged these toxic loans into securities--collateralised debt obligations--and made billions in profits by selling them to investors around the world, including pension funds, 401(k) plans, insurance companies and private investors. Those involved knew very well they were running the equivalent of a giant Ponzi scheme--a fraud far more massive and destructive than the criminal operation headed by Bernard Madoff."
Madoff's sins preceded the meltdown by years diverting attention from how Wall Street itself had become a far more sophisticated crime scene, not of lone con men but of institutions that had successfully lobbied to loosen laws and regulations and build an industry on a bedrock of fraud, and deception.