Damned If You Do: Profiting in a Recession

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Damned If You Do: Profiting in a Recession

While much of America remains mired in a recession, Goldman Sachs is booming. The investment bank just paid back the $10 billion loan it took from the federal government last year and today Goldman is expected to announce a $2 billion dollar profit in its second quarter earnings report. How did Goldman go from bust to boom so quickly? Joining The Takeaway with their analysis are Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, who wrote a scathing article on Goldman's practices, and Graham Bowley, a financial reporter for The New York Times. Graham's article on Goldman's expected earnings set off a market buying frenzy.

For more, read Matt Taibbi's article Inside the Great American Bubble Machine, in Rolling Stone. Also, read Graham Bowley's article, For Goldman, a Swift Return to Lofty Profits, in The New York Times.

"The entire Wall Street knows that this bank isn't going to go under because the government just isn't going to allow it."
—Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone on the high earnings of Goldman Sachs

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Sotomayor: Grilling the 'Wise Latina'

Yesterday was the first day of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings. Today the senators will get their chance to challenge the nominee on her rulings, speeches, and judicial philosophy. The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich joins us with a look at the highlights.

If you missed Sonia Sotomayor's opening statement, here it is:

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Buy Me Some Crackerjack! It's Baseball's All-Star Game

The Takeaway previews Major League Baseball's All-Star game with Takeaway sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin. The game in St. Louis tonight sees the National League trying to beat the American League for the first time in 13 years. President Barack Obama will be throwing out the first ball before joining former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter in a video address to be aired during the pre-game ceremony.

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Walking the Plank: The Sotomayor Hearings, Day Two

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Republican members of the Senate judiciary committee cautioned that Sotomayor could be an "activist judge," prone to favor minority groups; Democrats emphasized her American dream credentials. Today, Senate Judiciary Committee members will likely grill her on judicial decisions. Joining us for a recap of yesterday's events and a look ahead is Jeffrey Rosen. He is a Professor of Law at George Washington University, and legal affairs editor for The New Republic. He’s also the author of The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined America.

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Judge Sotomayor, The Bronx is Watching

The Takeaway checks in on Sonia Sotomayor's old stomping ground: the Bronx. Joining the conversation are Mary McKinney, founder of the Concerned Residents Organization in the Soundview section of the Bronx; Agnes Rivera, with Community Voices Heard, a low-income public housing campaign; and Orlando Plaza, owner of Camaradas del Barrio restaurant in East Harlem.

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Goldman Sachs: When Good News Is Bad

Today, Goldman Sachs announced massive profits from the second quarter— $3.4 billion dollars. But as they announced the good news, they had to brace themselves to deal with some inevitable public outrage. How can Goldman avoid a public relations nightmare? The Takeaway is joined by Jonathan Bernstein, President of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.

"It's a choice: does Goldman Sachs want to be known as successful and arrogant about it or successful and humble? Humble is a lot smarter because their continued success is not guaranteed, and their former arrogance can come back and bite them."
—Jonathan Bernstein, professional crisis manager, on how the banking giant should behave in the face of its record profit

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DJ Spooky: Civil Rights Unbound

Throughout the last century, the struggle of the civil rights movement has been documented in photos, speeches, poems and paintings. Paul Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky, mixed clips from the long history of the civil rights movement and created a digital media collage that was commissioned specifically for the NAACP’s centennial. It's called, "Winds of Change: A Composition and Homage to the NAACP on 100 Years of Change." The Takeaway talks to DJ Spooky about his work.

 

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In Their Wildest Dreams: Goldman's Record Payday

The financial markets were in a frenzy yesterday after rumors started circulating about Goldman Sachs' earnings. Most analysts were expecting a record $2 billion in second quarter profits from the investment bank. Now the numbers are out and Goldman's profits are even bigger than expected: $3.44 billion dollars profit from March through June. Ed Welsch, a markets reporter for the Dow Jones Newswire, joins The Takeaway with more on this story.

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Progress in Afghanistan?

As the U.S. military continues its operation in Afghanistan's Helmand province to flush out the Taliban and eradicate the area's opium trade, we check in with the troops. Brigadier-General Eric Tremblay of the International Security Assistance Force is watching over the 4,000 Marines there. He joins The Takeaway to talk about progress, casualties, and to provide an overall update on the security situation in Afghanistan. Also joining the conversation is Retired Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl. He’s the President of the Center for a New American Security a national security think-tank in Washington, DC.

Follow the Center for a New American Security on Twitter! Add @CNASdc.

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Record Earnings, Record Bonuses for Goldman Sachs?

Goldman Sachs has just released their earnings report showing that they made a jaw-dropping $3.4 billion profit from March through June. How are they doing it while the rest of the nation is facing bleak economic times? And what do record profits mean for the employees of Goldman? Graham Bowley, financial reporter for The New York Times, joins us for a closer look at the numbers.

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Do Goldman's Numbers Mean the Recession is Over?

Analysts were expecting Goldman Sachs to post around $2 billion in profit in their second quarter. But when the numbers were released they surprised everyone with a profit of $3.4 billion. If Goldman Sachs is doing so well, does this mean America is on its way out of the recession? Dan Gross, columnist for Newsweek and Slate, and author of Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation joins The Takeaway with his analysis of the financial news.

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