The CEO said that for Goldman Sachs, there were two parts to the crisis: the existential part, where the banks and lenders that were hardest hit by the crisis questioned the system and those who had to fail failed, and the reputational part, where Goldman employees and others who came out of the crisis still functioning wondered how the managed to stem the blow.
Blankfein acknowledged that Goldman was fined for wrongdoing, but said that it is difficult to look at the crisis in retrospect and figure out why nobody really saw it coming.
“It was bad behavior. But who got it right?” the CEO wondered. “Did the Fed get it right? Did the pundits get it right? Did all the observers of the financial market who were active then say, ‘You’re lending too much money against real estate, this is a dangerous thing?'”
And, at the end of the day, Blankfein admitted that it was much easier to look back at how the crisis unfolded than to have ever predicted back then the damage that would be done.
“It was a bubble that burst and, in hindsight, I’m much better identifying bubbles in hindsight than I am in foresight,” he told Cramer.
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