Goldman Sachs should win a prize for making the wrong comment at the wrong time about once a week.
Their latest is to call the billions of euros in debt that they concealed for Greece a rather small amount.
“With the benefit of hindsight … in the particular cases going back to the late 1990s and early 2000s … the standards of transparency could have been and probably should have been higher,” Goldman Sachs managing director Gerald Corrigan told a parliamentary committee in a public hearing.
The deal with Greece did “produce a rather small but nevertheless not insignificant reduction in Greece’s debt to GDP ratios at that time,” said Corrigan, a former president of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
As Felix Salmon points out, the sum equals 1.6% of Greece’s GDP, which in the US would be equivalent to $227 billion. In other words, more than the bailouts for AIG, Bear Stearns, GM, and Chrysler combined.
What’s the downside of another bad move by Goldman PR director Lucas Van Praag? It could spur Greece to do what we’ve said all along, launch a full-scale legal war on Goldman Sachs.