Forty years ago the Wall Street investment banks were known for their ethics. They were personal partnerships with their own money at risk and key players in the growth of industrial America.
How things have changed. Today, Goldman Sachs (GS), the investment bank/holding company, thinks it is ethical to work both sides of a trade to their own advantage. GS is now a limited liability stock company using shareholder funds. In addition, the Federal Government guarantees some of its loans and it borrows from the Federal Reserve at the lowest rate of interest.
GS has a loyalty to no government entity. It feels it is perfectly alright to develop financial products like those developed for Greece to deceive the EU financial regulators. It feels it is perfectly alright to develop non-transparent betting products like synthetic collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps which were instrumental in the financial collapse of our country. This financial collapse has gravely weakened our maim street industrial economy.
Investment banks should return to being private partnerships betting with their own money. The Volker Rule should be supported to bring back financial rules, if not ethics, to our financial markets.