Michael Lewis: “The World Would Be Better Off Without Goldman Sachs” And Their Kind

When one is a best-selling author of many popular books and can work at his leisure, he is afforded the time to marinade on things that tick him off. Whereas others must let life’s annoyances roll off their backs rather than spending hours on end working themselves into a lather over, say, the guy who cut them off in the parking lot this morning, the barista who put too much foam in his vanilla bullshit latte cappa thing or the thieving investment bank downtown, this person has the inclination and the free afternoons to think about the stuff that’s pissing him off. Today we find out that a couple of things have been sticking in Michael Lewis’s craw. First, off there’s the leeches at Goldman Sachs. Sayeth Mike:

“The world would be better off without Goldman Sachs, and I don’t think it is just Goldman Sachs the world would better off without. If you waved a wand and wiped out Goldman Sachs, someone would step in and occupy that place. I think the world would be better off without the idea that Goldman Sachs embodies, which is that financial manipulation is a legitimate way to get really rich. If you look at the story of Goldman Sachs in the last six or seven years, you’ll see that they made an awful lot of money getting people to do stuff that never should have been done.”

Bothersome, really bothersome, yes, but not something he’ll have to worry about much longer, as the Oracle predicted back in June that Goldman is doomed and it’s only a matter of time before they shutter that dump. What has really been riling Lewis is a little thing in Greece called the Acropolis and its utter mismanagement. So poorly is it run that Lewis knows of a former businessman-cum-writer who could do a better job with the place if someone thought to ask.

“The problem with the Acropolis is that they don’t manage the flow of people onto it. You get up there and the only thing you can see is the back of the head of the person who is taking the picture in front of you. And you can’t hear anything but the person behind you screaming to get out of the way because you’re standing in the way of their picture. There is no enjoying the Acropolis. It’s horrible. So if I owned it, I would start by rationing access to it and charging higher prices. I would also have an affirmative-action program where Greeks get in cheaply. I would make it more of a special event to get to the top of the Acropolis and wander around. I would have up-market tour guides, people who were experts in ancient Greece and in that site. It would be a privilege to go to the Acropolis rather than a right. I’m not sure I would make it a money thing. I want people to be able to earn their way up there. If they could demonstrate a proven interest.”

(hidden for your protection)
Show all comments

28 Responses to “Michael Lewis: “The World Would Be Better Off Without Goldman Sachs” And Their Kind

  1. This fuckin’ guy.

  2. Guest says:

    Stick to cheeseburger prank stories.

  3. guestosaurus says:

    didn’t this chump work in a bank for ~2.5 years and then made a long and profitable career whining, bitching and moaning about it? this guy is the ashley dupre of finance – except she’s got class

  4. Ali Hassan bin Sober says:

    Married to Tabitha Soren, so, you know, you have to make allowances.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would like ML to take his head out of his arse just long enough for me to punch him on the nose. What a doofus

  6. charles festerbottom says:

    FFWD 18 months and you’ll see her givin Lloyd a blumpkin on youporn.

  7. says:

    Wow. It’s a lot to burden Goldman Sachs with. Are they are a service provider or do they force products down the throats of their customers? I don’t know. Does Craigslist promote adult services or do they fill demand? Can Mexico win the battle with drug dealers when the demand must be filled? Goldman used to say they were long-term greedy, but they also blew up the Firm with short-term bets in 1994. Little changed after going public, risk just got distributed, which was the case in almost every facet of our busted financial system.

  8. Bill Randolph Hearst says:

    Michael, Baby, hasn’t anyone had the bottle to tell you that Matt Taibbi beat you to this by-line ages ago?

  9. FreddyMercury says:

    “and their kind” . . . don’t a lot of people of a certain religious affiliation / ethnic background work at Goldman Sachs? What was Mr. Lewis really trying to say? Thanks.

  10. Lew Dunbar says:

    I believe it is “marinate” not “marinade” in this context.

  11. Samir says:

    If I owned the Acropolis, I’d sell it. I’d invest half the profits in low risk mutual funds and then take the other half over to my friend Asadulah who works in securities.

  12. Texashedge says:

    “they made an awful lot of money getting people to do stuff that never should have been done.”

    Like buy mortgage bonds from Salomon Brothers?

  13. AmericanBandersnatch says:

    I veni, vidi, vicied that bitch and it ain’t that special. Having to take a quiz before walking up it wouldn’t have made it any better. Thank god the Brits stole the Elgin Marbles so you can see them in a civilized location.

  14. investorcluzo says:

    so I guess M to the L thinks that the world would be a better place if we bought his books otherwise he would have stopped writing them after liar’s poker…why can’t people stop when they’re on top?

  15. Access to the Acropolis is like democracy and voting, another Grecian innovation. You’ve got to pass a test to show you deserve to participate. Oh, and it’s “leeches” although it’s close but no cigar to say that a vampire squid empties or drains, as in “leaches” the lifeblood out of the middle class.

    Back to work.

  16. ML is a fraud says:

    ML cajoled me into buying bonds in the 80s – broke retired art history professor at princeton

  17. Anonymous says:

    goldmans best days are over.cheating investers and using $500 million of stockholders money to pay the fine! that went over well!

  18. Spurtucus says:

    You nailed it Mikey. Fuck these useless assholes who would fuck their mothers for a basis point.

  19. Goldman Sachs says:

    The real question for me is as follows; Would Goldman Sachs be better w/o Goldman Sachs?

  20. Guest says:

    oh no, he didnt

  21. Guest says:

    what a dush that guy is

  22. FinkNottle says:

    Someone paid attention in Latin class….

  23. Dr.Ruthie says:

    Why stop with GS- how bout Lawyers, Politicians, Judges, Unions, ex- wives, ex- husbands, poverty pimps, etc etc?

  24. KittyCowlyle says:

    GS doesnt hire at Princeton because wearing a blazer with a Tiger on it and using the secret handshake doesn’t drive business.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Isolating out Goldman is weak intellectually. Lewis would have to single out every firm, and around the world, public and private, that does Goldman type things. This would amount to legislating a lot of financial behavior beyond what might be productive. It’s not a Goldman problem but a “I can figure out how to make money from stupid financial behavior by others” problem, and that type of mentality will never leave us. (And it exists in every field and behavior).

    Like, “Hey look, those seats down there are empty and I can just go and sit and see Clisters hit the ball better from seats I didn’t pay for” Opportunism. Michael Lewis solution: “Tennis Center should not exist preventing bad human nature from showing itself”.

  26. Lloyd Blankfein says:

    Did Goldman give them reverse wedgies and yell, ” Buy those CLOs bitch, buy em, buy em now” or did they use the old whisper in the ear technique “c’mon buy the bonds, you know you want ’em, the first one’s free…”

  27. plang says:

    its starting to look like goldman will slowly fade from the headlines