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How Goldman Sachs made money from the sub-prime mortgage crisis

Last year, as I am sure you have heard, there was some trouble in the U.S. sub-prime mortage market. Lots of financial companies on Wall Street lost billions, except Goldman Sachs (WSJ article, Guardian article). columnist Michael Lewis draws an interesting conclusion from this:

I can't think of another example of a big Wall Street firm saying so clearly through its trading positions as Goldman Sachs did over the past year that it thinks the rest of its industry, including its own people, is a bunch of idiots. They have obviously designed their firm to take into account their idiocy -- without ever having to put too fine a point on it.

(Ironically, making billions while everyone else loses money may actually get Goldman Sachs in trouble.)

This has very, very little to do with games, but I found this a fascinating story. I find it interesting how industries and big companies deal with situations like this. (I may find this a lot less interesting if civilization collapses due to this, but well, we'll deal with that when we get there.)

(Via Kottke.)