“Can Goldman Sachs Fail?”–Simon Johnson at the INET Conference, Bretton Woods

MIT Sloan Prof. Simon Johnson

“Who in the room thinks that if Goldman Sachs hit a rock, a hypothetical rock — I’m not saying they have, I’m not saying they will — today, who here thinks they would be allowed to fail, like Lehman Brothers did, unimpeded by any government bailout, starting Monday morning? Can Goldman Sachs fail?”

“I’ve asked this question around the country and only one person has ever raised his hand. It was in New York. He had a big short position in Goldman stock. That’s New York.

“Seriously, it can’t happen. Goldman is a $900 billion bank, total balance sheet. You might want to say its too big to fail, or you might want to use the language of Mervyn King, ‘too important to fail.

“You wouldn’t allow it to fail. I wouldn’t allow it to fail if it was my decision, you wouldn’t either. It’s too scary today, given the nature of the global economy. And from that scariness comes power.” …

See more of the transcript in Business Insider

See the full video

Simon Johnson is Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Global Economics and Management

2 Comments

  1. Lisa
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Simon, not you! When is enough, enough?

  2. J.A.Cramer
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    ref.Simon johnson’s article about Ackermann I stongly believe that so called economists which have not foreseen the major economical crisis in which we are presently engulfed,and who spent their lives by being sitted in an office to be for a few months chief economist in a structure the results of which are often discussed and which also survives with public funds are in no position to criticise those taking the risks taken everyday and for many years by active entrepreneurs and c.e.o.although I have strong reservations concerning the way that large banks have behaved and the way they have been financed with tax payers money.I also believe that salaries and other compensation taken by their management are a disgrace.Yours truly jac

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  1. [...] Simon Johnson.  This link to MIT Sloan’s website provides a partial transcript and video covering the points made [...]

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