Review & Outlook

Our take on the investing, financial, & economic themes of the day

Even Better Than Drones?

4 March, 2013 by Ben O'Brien in Commentary

Readers of the Wall Street Journal probably had the same thought I had last week upon seeing headlines of the SEC’s investigation of Goldman Sachs. Since 2011 the watchdog agency has been probing Goldman’s role in a failed investment made by the Libyan Investment Authority. Seems the Libyans lost 98% of a $1.3 billion bet on currencies.

My immediate wise guy response was to speculate, if that’s the right word, why the SEC is investigating with an eye to prosecuting Goldman when the government more properly should consider giving Goldman a medal. In the wake of the Goldman investment, Muammar Gaddafi fell. It seems Goldman succeeded where embargoes and trade sanctions and U.S. presidents failed. Consider President Ronald Reagan ordered an air strike on his tent, but even that paled in comparison to the Goldman touch.

Surprising the damage Wall Street can wreak, though of course, one doesn’t have to go to Libya to learn that.

Mark O’Brien