Archive for April, 2010

Goldman contends they have done nothing but sell what other sophisticated investors wanted to buy.  Did they do anything “wrong”?


I want to draw a distinction between ethics and morals:

Ethics is a set of rules, often set by a group, that defines right and wrong.  Morals are our own personal definition of right and wrong.  The two will hopefully be similar, but not always the same.

Goldman’s claim is that they have broken no rules:

They sold things others wanted to buy.

They made the best profit they could.

They did not break the law.

If you add a bit of personal responsibility (morality) to those claims though, the statements change:

They sold things others wanted to buy – – – EVEN though it was complete crap.

They made the best profit they could – – – EVEN when it came at the taxpayers expense or through special connections.

They did not break the law – – – EVEN though they perverted the intention of the law.

Goldman is basically claiming that if they didn’t break any rules, then they didn’t do anything wrong.

When we all know that is complete crap; its a lawyer’s excuse…finding some way of weaseling out of responsibility when it is plain to everyone they’re a bunch of crooks.

Not that I’m necessarily singling out Goldman.  The “profit motive” is a ruthless amoral code; it is the economic phrasing for “the end justifies the means”.

For Goldman, and many other companies, all that is not illegal is permissible.  The law is something to avoid and manipulate.  The spirit of the law is irrelevant.

So, to wrap up…Yes, Goldman has done something wrong….not breaking rules is not the same thing as doing what is right.

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I am traveling a lot for work these days.  Traveling for work is not healthy.

You work very hard all day; after all you were paid to travel to this place to work….so you do it.

You live at a hotel, so there isn’t much to do once you get back…so you work there too (since there is always something to do).  So I would say I am working from sun up to sun down, with breaks to eat.

Ah…eating.  That is one of the few truly pleasurable things I do in a day.  Since the meals are expensed, I do eat well…which means I eat too much.  Then there is the fact of the stress of working all day…I usually drink with dinner (which is expensed as well).

Working all day means you can’t go to the hotel gym.  The stress and a bed that isn’t yours mean you don’t sleep that well.

I always thought it would be somewhat glamorous to travel for work.  It simply isn’t.  “How was Chicago,” you might ask….well I don’t know, unless you count O’Hare airport, a random office building, and/or the Marriott downtown.

Airports are a HUGE waste of time.  You wait in a bunch of lines, can’t do much in the way of work…the only thing good about airports is drinking before you get on the plane (that’s if you make it to the airport in time, since you always work till the last minute).

You might also think it is cool to be at the airport with your fancy clothes and laptop, going to nice hotels, eating out on the client.  No, it isn’t.

You just wish you were sitting in first class instead of trying to cram your carry-on into the overhead bin and sitting next to some smelly (either from cologne or not showering) yahoo that wants to talk to you the whole time and needs to lose 3o pounds (which is fine…unless you are sitting next to them on a cramped plane).

You wish you were waiting for the plane in the Club Room instead of hunting for some greasy seat to park it while you wait for the opportunity to wait again when you finally board the plane (which you could also avoid if you were a Medallion member).  You really just wish you were at home.

So… eat too much, don’t exercise, don’t get to talk to your loved ones much, work too much, drink often, are stressed, and don’t sleep well.

At least I have a job.  For that, I am truly grateful….really.

Its worth it for sure….seeing that I would be living on the streets otherwise.

You don’t even want to hear me complain about that!!!


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