Goldman Sachs Didn't Profit From Mortgage Defaults, But It Tried

We're good guys, really!

Goldman Sachs, the publicly vilified former investment bank famously nicknamed a "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity" by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi for the way its seemingly wraps its tentacles around every far flung money-making opportunity, issued a defense in its annual letter to shareholders this week. The company did not benefit by wagering that the mortgages behind the securities it originally issued and sold would default, it said. Goldman's chief operating officer Gary Cohn wrote in the letter: "The firm did not generate enormous net revenues or profits by betting against residential mortgage-related products, as some have speculated."

So, fine, Goldman didn't reap huge profits off bets against securities built upon the plummeting prospects of underwater homeowners. But that's not to say that it didn't try.