It’s become an accepted point that if it weren’t for the bailouts, especially the bailout of AIG, that Goldman Sachs (GS) would have been toast like all of the other banks during the extremes of the panic last fall.
The defence for Goldman has been: So what? If the entire system is coming down, how is it an indictment of them that they would’ve gotten caught under the collapse? So would have everyone, including millions of Americans, who rely on a functioning financial system.
But now the bank is talking it one step further, as NYT reports:
Now that Goldman is minting money again, the bank insists that it was never in any real danger. Mr. Blankfein, in an e-mail message this week, disputed his private account, saying Goldman’s survival was never in doubt. Other Goldman executives reject the notion that the bank was rescued at all.
“We did not have a near-death experience,” said Gary D. Cohn, Goldman’s president. The government saved the financial industry as a whole, but it did not save Goldman Sachs, he said.
Rarely has the view from inside a company been so at odds with the view outside it. Could Goldman Sachs have lived if all those other giant banks had failed? Could it alone survive financial Armageddon?
Thus, as the report goes onto note, the bank is defiant. It sees no need to change its business model or take less risk.
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