In The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism Jack Bogle no longer sees Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” driving “capitalism in a healthy, positive direction.” Today, his “Happy Conspiracy” of Wall Street plus co-conspirators in Washington and Corporate America are spreading a contagious “pathological mutation of capitalism” driven by the new “invisible hands” of this new “mutant capitalism,” serving their selfish agenda in a war to totally control America’s democracy and capitalism.
The “Goldman Conspiracy” is the perfect B-School case study of Wall Street’s secret contagious pathology, with insiders like Blankfein, Paulson and others pocketing billions more of the firm’s profits than shareholders, evidence the new “mutant capitalism” has replaced Adam Smith’s 1776 version which historically endowed the soul of American democracy as well as our capitalistic system. But sadly for America, Goldman’s disease is rapidly becoming a pandemic spreading beyond Wall Street’s “too-greedy-to-fail” banks, infecting our economy, markets and government, as it metastasizes globally.
What are the symptoms of this growing “soul-sickness,” this “pathological mutation of capitalism” Bogle fears? Recently we reviewed the consequences of this “soul-sickness.” Several months ago we collected and paraphrase news reports about fifteen symptoms spreading “soul-sickness” further beyond the boundaries of this Goldman case study, and reform failures prove the disease is speading: These are the 15 signs of a moral pathology undermining not just banking, but American democracy and capitalism.
1. Gross denial of any moral damage caused by their rampant greed
Seeking Alpha: ‘Goldman is America’s most hated corporation. We cheer as Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi calls Goldman “a giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” Banks triggered a global crisis. Main Street suffers. Greedy bank CEOs raid the Treasury then stuff $30 billion in their bonus pockets, up 60% from last year.’ They are our 21st century General Motors, convinced ‘What’s good for Goldman is good for America.’ We saw how that arrogance ended. Wall Street has similar suicidal symptoms.
2. Narcissistic egomaniacs with secret “God complexes”
London Times’ John Arlidge interviewed Goldman CEO Blankfein: ‘He paid himself $68m in 2007, now worth more than $500 million, yet insists he’s a blue-collar guy. He says banking has a ‘social purpose,’ just a banker ‘doing God’s work’.’ When I was at Morgan Stanley in the seventies the firm ran an ad: “If God Wanted To Do a Financing, He Would Call Morgan Stanley.” Today, all of Wall Street is dual diagnosed: They’re morally blind money addicts who believe they’re “God’s chosen.” AA would say: They haven’t “bottomed,” won’t recover from their disease till a disaster hits, with another market meltdown and the “Great Depression 2.” Then maybe they’ll “quit playing God.”
3. Paranoid obsessives about secrecy, guilt and non-disclosure
Bloomberg: “New York Fed’s Secret Deal: Taxpayers paid $13 billion more than necessary when government officials, acting in secret, made deals with banks on AIG, buying $62 billion of credit-default swaps from AIG. The government would eventually cover about $180 billion in AIG swaps backing toxic CDOs when Paulson and Bernanke double-teamed to bailout Goldman, saving them from bankruptcy. (More)