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Goldman Sachs' agreement to pay $5 billion at the government's behest on Monday is just another notch in Uncle Sam's loose belt.
In fact, the government has a history of lax settlements with the Wall Street investment leviathan.
Goldman Sachs thinks they've spotted an economic anomaly - and they're warning it may force the firm to redefine the nature of capitalism itself.
In a research note, produced by a team of analysts and released earlier this year to clients, the firm highlights the fact that profit margins in the United States and elsewhere are historically high and that they may remain that way for a long time - especially when it comes to companies engaged in mergers, acquisitions, and stock buybacks.
In what may be the ultimate case of the pot calling the kettle black, Goldman says that's not how things are supposed to work.
I can't say I disagree.
Since 2007 we've talked about how today's markets are a completely artificial construct made possible by the Fed's incessant meddling, regulators who were asleep at the switch and who still aren't fully awake, and a completely out-of-control Wall Street machine.
You simply cannot engineer your way out of a crisis caused by too much debt by adding more debt.
Because it messes with the very relationships Goldman has evidently just latched on to.
Something has to give...
...just make sure it's not your money.
Goldman Sachs has special ties to the Federal Reserve. Currently, former executives head up the Minneapolis, Dallas, Philadelphia, and New York Federal Reserve branches.
Yet just yesterday, the financial behemoth was fined $15 million by the SEC for lending practices that violated federal law. Goldman Sachs agreed to resolve the SEC's allegations -- as usual, without admitting or denying the findings.
Four of the Fed's 12 regional branches will be run by former Goldman Sachs executives in 2016.
Considering the banking and investment firm's contribution to (and benefit from) the 2007 financial crisis, is that such a good idea?
Pardon us for not sharing Wall Street's excitement that Goldman's Conviction Buy List now includes Apple stock...
Now, we love AAPL stock. It's Goldman's Conviction Buy List we don't trust - and neither should you.
You see, Apple has been on the Goldman conviction buy list before, and it didn't go so well.
Amid a challenging commodity and emerging market landscape, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) quietly shut its BRIC investment fund last month, marking the end of an era for the investment bank.
Since the move on Oct. 23, GS stock has climbed 7.3%.
Stock market investors celebrated the continuing economic downturn by driving stock prices higher again last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 132 points or 0.8% to 17,215.95 while the S&P 500 added 18 points or 0.9% and the Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.2% to 4886.69. The worse things get, the more investors believe that the Fed will delay any interest rate increase into 2016.
They are probably being too optimistic. At the rate things are going, we may not see an interest rate increase until Barack Obama leaves office. And if we do, it won't be more than a token 25 basis points that won't amount to a hill of beans.
And that probably isn't a coincidence. Mr. Obama has appointed every member of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. This is highly unusual. The Federal Reserve Act provides for terms of 14 years, but in the past two decades the average tenure of governors has dropped to five years. This has arguably reduced the independence of the board.
This Goldman Sachs financial crisis "third wave" is upon us. But what exactly were the first two waves, and aren't we through the financial crisis yet?
Keith Fitz-Gerald was on CNBC's "Word on the Street" discussing the best investments if the Fed raises interest rates.
A recent Goldman Sachs report calls into question Keith's suggestion that Apple will see little impact from a rate increase.
Don't trust investment advice from Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS).
The banking giant often bestows its "wisdom" on retail investors with such vehicles as Goldman's Conviction Buy List, as well as its quarterly chartbook updates.
Trouble is, Goldman's advice is wrong most of the time.
Banking behemoths JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley are teaming up to create a company that will give them shared access to certain market data, which will help them cut data management costs.
The trio are each investing "seven figures" in the new initiative.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and Wall Street in general are bullish on this market darling, even after it has already fallen more than 45%.
This is why you definitely don't want to listen to "the herd."