Good article in the Times about how everything went to the top at Goldman that had these paragraphs:
One camp of traders was insisting that the American housing market was safe. Another thought it was poised for collapse.
Among those who saw disaster looming were an effusive young Frenchman, Fabrice P. Tourre, and his quiet colleague, Jonathan M. Egol, the mastermind behind a series of mortgage deals known as the Abacus investments.
Their elite mortgage unit is now at the center of allegations that Goldman and Mr. Tourre, 31, defrauded investors with one of those complex deals.
Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t the mortgage unit that Joseph Cassano ran at AIG Financial Products also considered “elite?” At any rate, Goldman’s “elite” mortgage unit with the “Fabulous Fab” was smart enough to see what was going to happen! They were like investment commandos! They had the BALLS to make the wild trades that others are too much of a pussy to make! They throw their double-foam latte in the faces of their aides when it isn’t perfect, and they’re not afraid to return a martini four times until it is just right.
But what is so elite about seeing the mortgage collapse coming in 2006? Kevin Drum, now at Mother Jones., was blogging at Calpundit before he went to the Washington Monthly, and he was talking about the housing bubble as far back as 2004 and maybe even earlier. He had so many posts about it from 2006-2007 at WaMo that he was apologizing to his readers for talking about it so much.
But back to what set me off- the notion that there are “elite” units within Goldman and in finance. It just reminds me so much of the behind the scenes stories of the guys at Enron, as detailed in the The Smartest Guys in the Room, how Skilling would lead these exotic trips that everyone had to attend- motocross trips, skiing, skydiving, extreme hiking, and they were forced to go so they could all compare penis sizes. These were adventurers! They are the elites of the elite! They were manly men (watch the whole thing, but start at around 3:02 for the relevant portion):
We see the same sort of nonsense in the Republican party with all the keyboard commandos like Peter Wehner telling us that we have to remain firm, and we have to FIGHT! We see it in the ridiculous military looking patches for the “Red State Strike Force” and other silly things like that. And, of course, Glenn Greenwald wrote an entire book about this nonsense.
Sure, greed played a role in all this, but it really is becoming abundantly clear that our nation is being run into the ground by a bunch of “elites” who are having their revenge on the rest of us because they couldn’t get laid and were given too many wedgies in High School. And we’re literally paying for their revenge.
I used to think American Psycho was a work of fiction.