Capitalists criticise capitalism?

Issue 

"WOW. This is something you don't often see. Goldman Sachs says it may have to question capitalism itself." So went the tweet from Bloomberg TV correspondent Joseph Weisenthal.

I wondered what could possibly cause one of the world's largest investment banks, a company that is heavily invested in capitalism (both literally and figuratively) to “question capitalism itself”? Why isn't this bigger news?

"WOW. This is something you don't often see. Goldman Sachs says it may have to question capitalism itself." So went the tweet from Bloomberg TV correspondent Joseph Weisenthal.

I wondered what could possibly cause one of the world's largest investment banks, a company that is heavily invested in capitalism (both literally and figuratively) to “question capitalism itself”? Why isn't this bigger news?

"WOW. This is something you don't often see. Goldman Sachs says it may have to question capitalism itself." So went the tweet from Bloomberg TV correspondent Joseph Weisenthal.

I wondered what could possibly cause one of the world's largest investment banks, a company that is heavily invested in capitalism (both literally and figuratively) to “question capitalism itself”? Why isn't this bigger news?

"WOW. This is something you don't often see. Goldman Sachs says it may have to question capitalism itself." So went the tweet from Bloomberg TV correspondent Joseph Weisenthal.

I wondered what could possibly cause one of the world's largest investment banks, a company that is heavily invested in capitalism (both literally and figuratively) to “question capitalism itself”? Why isn't this bigger news?

Weisenthal's tweet was referring to a newsletter, Bull vs Bear — Fortnightly Thoughts, put out by the too-big-to-fail investment bank, Goldman Sachs. It was looking at corporate profit margins and wondering out loud whether they would continue at the current rates — which are at near-record levels — or whether they would revert to the mean.

While putting forward arguments as to why either of these situations could occur, Goldman Sachs was of the opinion that profit margins would have to decline as part of a regular oscillation.

However they also included this caveat: "A final point. We are always wary of guiding for mean reversion. But, if we are wrong and high margins manage to endure for the next few years (particularly when global demand growth is below trend), there are broader questions to be asked about the efficacy of capitalism."

Are Goldman Sachs really rethinking capitalism? Short answer: no.

A clear example was made when Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein warned that Bernie Sanders' campaign for the US presidency, in particular his attack on the “billionaire class”, “has the potential to be a dangerous moment”.

But it does give an insight into the thinking of one of the capitalist system's major financial players. Indeed, after the tweet there was much questioning by the financial commentariat as to what it meant, with many engaging in the no-true-Scotsman fallacy regarding capitalism, that is, if this happens it is because we don't have a “true” capitalist system.

But it does raise an interesting question — why are we so beholden to a system that puts the interests of a tiny minority above those of the planet and the majority of the world's population, especially when the so-called experts on the system clearly do not know much except how to best line their own pockets.

That is why Green Left Weekly brings you the news for 99%. We believe it is high time we moved beyond this inequitable economic system as the basis for organising society.

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