Not smart enough to avoid almost certain death without that government lifeline in 2008, but smart enough to realize that said lifeline, coupled with the 1999 banking deregulation that helped lead to the financial crisis of which that almost certain death was a part, gave it (and Morgan Stanley) a tremendously unfair advantage over everyone else vis-à-vis commodities, one that’s still printing money for the bank.
The 2008 transformation gave Goldman and Morgan Stanley extra leeway as they aggressively expanded their commodities business after the crisis….
The exemption originates with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which Congress passed in 1999.
The legislation relaxed crucial banking regulations. It also contained a clause that effectively allowed any firm that became a regulated bank to continue conducting physical commodities business if certain conditions were met.