Let's Not Have a World of 'Greed Without Limits'

Goldman case is a referendum on modern America
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2010 6:23 PM CDT
Let's Not Have a World of 'Greed Without Limits'
Goldman's Lloyd Blankfein in a January file photo.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, file)

The case against Goldman Sachs is about far more than the legalities involved, writes Matt Taibbi. It may "turn into a final referendum on the greed-is-good ethos that conquered America sometime in the 80s," he writes in an op-ed for the Guardian. That ethos has been worming its way into the nation's DNA ever since Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged and inspired devotees both knowing (the "gremlinish" Alan Greenspan) and unknowing (pick a tea partier). Now the debate over Rand's philosophy—self-interest is all, government is evil —"is going to be crystallized in the Goldman case," he writes.

"Much of America is going to reflexively insist that Goldman's only crime was being smarter and better" than the suckers who lost money and that the government should back off. The other side will say that a Goldman victory "would be a rebuke to the whole idea of civilization—which, after all, is really just a collective decision by all of us not to screw each other over even when we can. It's an important moment in the history of modern global capitalism: whether or not to move forward into a world of greed without limits." (More Goldman Sachs SEC stories.)

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