Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs recently reported a second quarter profit of $3.44 billion, almost double the amount from last year. Western countries are now slamming the investment banking giant of Wall Street. Can they really make the greedy capitalist firm pay the price for its misdeeds and answer to the suffering masses? The answer is still a big question mark.
Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs recently reported a second quarter profit of $3.44 billion, almost double the amount from last year. The tremendous profit figure cannot chase away the looming shadows, however. Last Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Goldman Sachs of fraud, alleging that the bank misled its clients in financial derivative investments. Other countries like England and Germany also launched investigations into Goldman Sachs. It seems like the U.S. and its European counterparts are pursuing the culprits of the financial crisis.
Goldman Sachs asked for it. The investigation as a means to eliminate Wall Street “criminals” is only the tip of the iceberg. The instigators of the financial crisis caused great damage to global economic development and to the livelihoods of ordinary citizens, but they have never shown any remorse, as exhibited by their attitude since the onset of the crisis. They have even tried to blame others and shift responsibility to other countries. Nonetheless, under strong internal and external economic and moral pressure, financial regulators have been forced to investigate one of the giants.
The performance of Wall Street during the financial crisis warns us that we need to deepen our knowledge of capitalism. On one hand, capitalism has a positive function in regulating markets and allocating resources. On the other hand, the motivation of profit may lead to economic imbalances, possibly resulting in a serious crisis. In the past, we have had a negative impression of capitalism and have even resisted it. This is not the right attitude. In recent years, however, more and more people have blindly followed and cherished the power of capitalism; this is also an unacceptable attitude. We must benefit from the positives and avoid the negatives. It is necessary to create conditions so that capitalism can function properly, but regulations are also required to minimize the negative impact of motivation by profit.
A capitalist system, bent on fame and fortune, can never shed its greedy nature. The United States’ financial structure allows for unrestricted capital investment and profiting from other people’s wealth. Last year, Bernie Madoff was sent to prison as a scapegoat. No one would have questioned his investment strategies or his integrity were it not for the outbreak of the financial crisis, and it is nearly impossible to investigate Goldman Sachs to the fullest extent. It is still an unanswered question as to whether the Western countries’ populist revolt against Wall Street can effectively force the greedy capitalists to pay for its misdeeds and appease the suffering masses.
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