Friday, July 17, 2009

Goldman Sachs Full Frontal

The full scale media war against Goldman Sachs is now on and Mssrs. Canaday and Van Pragg can't hardly wait for the weekend to come already. The most recent exposure comes courtesy of Time Magazine and CBC Radio. The interesting thing here is not the exposure - everyone who is anyone knows all this stuff, and as for Joe Sixpack knowing the facts, well: absent a pitchfork billion man march on Wall Street, nothing will really come out of it. But the key thing to keep track of is whether Goldman will do a placating PR media campaign or merely stay shut in their shell. At this point the mediaavalanche is in full onslaught mode, and the insightful thing is whether Blankfein thinks it makes sense to preemptively approach the situation. The CEO of GS knows full well that the "full market support mode" will last only so long, and once it breaks and the floor out of the 666 S&P drops, the public will again demand blood (or Trueblood for all you vampire squid fans out there).

However, unlike before when the rating agencies were the most easy and direct populist target for the next round of rancor, Goldman is edging perilously close to becoming the strawman for the upcoming Congressional lynching campaign, and depending on the depth of the market collapse, the repercussions for Goldman could well be far more dire than a wrist slap on C-SPAN. This is especially true as everyone realizes that both Citi and BofA are merely puppet banks of the state, and while JPM is probably as much as symbol of Wall Street as Goldman, JPM is also much more of a real bank, while Goldman is simply the biggest state-backstopped hedge fund in the world (and thus, by implications, speculator) and thus, expendable in the grand scheme of things (at least from the administration's point of view if push really came to shove).

Which is why keep a close eye out on Goldman Sachs Press Releases and 8-K's: any releases (or even a silence) would speak volumes more about Goldman's perception of the future than Goldman's Conviction Buy or Sell list.

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