NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When asked what he thought about an underling's e-mail message describing a deal as "sh*tty," the response of Goldman Sachs (GS) CFO David Viniar was honest, but probably gave his public-relations team a collective aneurysm.
"I think that's very unfortunate to have on e-mail," Viniar said in response to a question from Senator Carl Levin (D., Mich.) on Tuesday, barely disguising a smirk.
|Goldman Sachs CFO David Viniar|
On one hand, the remark was a refreshing burst of candor in a tense, day-long hearing full of
There have been precious few signs that the financial industry acknowledges the havoc it has wreaked in average consumers' lives. That's partially because the industry feels -- rightly so -- that it isn't entirely to blame. But it's also because the Wall Street titans that President Obama described as "fat cats" a couple months ago are so far removed from the situation, that they've turned a blind eye to its severity."I think the banks thought the bailouts were the end, whereas it was just the beginning," says Doug Landy, a onetime Federal Reserve lawyer, who now heads Allen & Overy's bank regulatory group. Indeed, in the court of public opinion, Big Banks are the villains. Without the tremendous amount of taxpayer support that has been extended, banks may have succumbed to the crisis. And now, they have recovered miraculously while the real economy continues to bumble along. "We have 18%
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