Greece (not Grease) and Goldman Sachs

The New York Times is reporting that Goldman Sachs helped Greece pull the old ‘sheist and stall’ made famous by American Bankers.

As worries over Greece rattle world markets, records and interviews show that with Wall Street’s help, the nation engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt European debt limits. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels.

Even as the crisis was nearing the flashpoint, banks were searching for ways to help Greece forestall the day of reckoning. In early November — three months before Athens became the epicenter of global financial anxiety — a team from Goldman Sachs arrived in the ancient city with a very modern proposition for a government struggling to pay its bills, according to two people who were briefed on the meeting.

The bankers, led by Goldman’s president, Gary D. Cohn, held out a financing instrument that would have pushed debt from Greece’s health care system far into the future, much as when strapped homeowners take out second mortgages to pay off their credit cards.

Makes sense that Goldman Sachs ($gs) had a wicked cool product that had run it’s course in the United States and could easily (more easily than cigarettes) be exported to unsuspecting foreigners.

There really is no story here.

As I have long been writing here, we will get by with LOWER consumption. It’s YOU against everyone. It’s a marathon in spending patience. You must be aware of collateral damage. You eat what you can afford. You live below your means. You learn to TRULY enjoy the freedoms you have in America.

19 comments

  1. Howard, love the angle on getting by through lower consumption. I’ve been meaning to write a book on this very topic in an effort to wake up the masses that have been hypnotized into thinking spending = happiness. There is a financial matrix out there and most have been sucked right into it.

    The Greek

  2. On another point, I am absolutely sickened at the games played by Wall Street and unequivocally believe this path will lead to financial chaos. You just can’t f^%$ with the system in perpetuity and expect it not to collapse on you. The ironic part is that GS and others will actually win in the end – until the masses literally come crashing through the GS doors and lynch executives from their corner office windows.

    Sounds crazy but you don’t need a slide rule to see where this path of elite financial mischief is going to lead.

    Regards,
    George

  3. Howard, love the angle on getting by through lower consumption. I've been meaning to write a book on this very topic in an effort to wake up the masses that have been hypnotized into thinking spending = happiness. There is a financial matrix out there and most have been sucked right into it.

    The Greek

  4. On another point, I am absolutely sickened at the games played by Wall Street and unequivocally believe this path will lead to financial chaos. You just can't f^%$ with the system in perpetuity and expect it not to collapse on you. The ironic part is that GS and others will actually win in the end – until the masses literally come crashing through the GS doors and lynch executives from their corner office windows.

    Sounds crazy but you don't need a slide rule to see where this path of elite financial mischief is going to lead.

    Regards,
    George

  5. It absolutely will not work. Postpone yes but financial chaos in the United States is inevitable. No country has ever been able to print its way to prosperity. It always ends badly. The United States is no different except for the fact they can prolong more than anybody else.

    If you're looking for a catalyst, look no further than China. People wrongly assume China is held in check by mutually assured destruction of any action that affects the US economy. Wrong. China will feel pain but you are talking about a society that can easily revert back to its poor ways for a few years. It will gladly do so in order to take the thrown and dictate terms.

    Americans, on the other hand, will utterly collapse without a life of Starbucks and exuberant consumption.

  6. Dave Pinsen says:

    Whatever happened to Goldman’s alleged guiding principals? Here’s their principal #2:

    Our assets are our people, capital and reputation. If any of these is ever diminished, the last is the most difficult to restore. We are dedicated to complying fully with the letter and spirit of the laws, rules and ethical principles that govern us. Our continued success depends upon unswerving adherence to this standard.

    It seems like Goldman has done more to tarnish its reputation in the last few years than in its first 130+ years.

    • being ap ublic company does that to everyone. the whole system is broken.

      it will evolve now that it is completely broken.

      it’s the opportunity

      only sellouts want to work for goldman anymore. people chasing the
      cooshness.

  7. ivanhoff says:

    Europe is getting hit by the perfect storm. Consumers are deleveraging for good – most are overdebted and have unsustainable spending habits. Governments will be forced to decrease spending in order to cut budget deficits. Lower consumers spending + Decreasing Government spending = long period of negative economic growth. Sounds harsh, but this is the medicine for being over-leveraged for so long. Taking the pain now will lay the foundation down for a more sustainable growth in the future. The only thing they should not do is raising taxes – it would be the alternative of taking money out of a manager who produces 20 cents on the dollar and giving it to a manager who losses 5 cents on every invested dollar.

    The USA has the privilege/the curse to take the path of least resistance and print its way out of the crisis. To postpone the pain for the future. Will it work? We can only hope, but hope is not a strategy.

    • It absolutely will not work. Postpone yes but financial chaos in the United States is inevitable. No country has ever been able to print its way to prosperity. It always ends badly. The United States is no different except for the fact they can prolong more than anybody else.

      If you’re looking for a catalyst, look no further than China. People wrongly assume China is held in check by mutually assured destruction of any action that affects the US economy. Wrong. China will feel pain but you are talking about a society that can easily revert back to its poor ways for a few years. It will gladly do so in order to take the thrown and dictate terms.

      Americans, on the other hand, will utterly collapse without a life of Starbucks and exuberant consumption.

      • it is indeed an interesting time. i cant decide on how i think it goes,
        because I hate betting against the best of america and our attitude and
        entrepreneurial way.

  8. ivanhoff says:

    Europe is getting hit by the perfect storm. Consumers are deleveraging for good – most are overdebted and have unsustainable spending habits. Governments will be forced to decrease spending in order to cut budget deficits. Lower consumers spending + Decreasing Government spending = long period of negative economic growth. Sounds harsh, but this is the medicine for being over-leveraged for so long. Taking the pain now will lay the foundation down for a more sustainable growth in the future. The only thing they should not do is raising taxes – it would be the alternative of taking money out of a manager who produces 20 cents on the dollar and giving it to a manager who losses 5 cents on every invested dollar.

    The USA has the privilege/the curse to take the path of least resistance and print its way out of the crisis. To postpone the pain for the future. Will it work? We can only hope, but hope is not a strategy.

  9. Dave Pinsen says:

    Whatever happened to Goldman's alleged guiding principals? Here's their principal #2:

    Our assets are our people, capital and reputation. If any of these is ever diminished, the last is the most difficult to restore. We are dedicated to complying fully with the letter and spirit of the laws, rules and ethical principles that govern us. Our continued success depends upon unswerving adherence to this standard.

    It seems like Goldman has done more to tarnish its reputation in the last few years than in its first 130+ years.

  10. being ap ublic company does that to everyone. the whole system is broken.

    it will evolve now that it is completely broken.

    it's the opportunity

    only sellouts want to work for goldman anymore. people chasing the
    cooshness.

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