William D. Cohan
Who: New York Times columnist
What was said: “Has the fact that we are all looking for someone to blame for the financial crisis—and haven’t found anyone yet—influenced the government sanctions?”
What was left out: We’ve found a lot of other villains already. And Mr. Cohan mentioned parenthetically that he owns Goldman stock, but not how much.
Who: The Awl editor (and Observer alumnus) Choire Sicha
What was said: The suit is “the sadsack SEC’s unconvincing look at a minor bit of potential malfeasance in a single unit of the company in its transactions with other banks.”
What was left out: It was not so minor. A Wachovia analysis reportedly called this Goldman mortgage deal one of the housing crisis’ very worst.
Who: The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board
What was said: “Far from being the smoking gun of the financial crisis, this case looks more like a water pistol.” Also: “By the way, Goldman was also one of the losers here. … [I]t ended up losing $90 million on the transaction itself.”
What was left out: Elsewhere, The Journal reported that the deal was approved by “roughly a dozen senior executives,” and that Goldman “never intended to buy any of the deal; it just couldn’t sell all the instruments to other investors.”
Who: CNBC host
What was said: “This is not—not—a rigged game. The stock market is not a huge con against you. … Just because of a case involving one firm selling an obscure instrument to another firm? Frankly, that’s poppycock! It’s nuts. I can’t let it happen.”
What was left out: “These fucking guys,” Jon Stewart said on The Daily Show.