Bill Clinton also questions the merit of the SEC case against Goldman Sachs in this eye-opening clip noted by The Corner’s Daniel Foster. Coming from the previous Democratic predecessor, it undermines the argument carefully constructed by the Obama administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill that Goldman Sachs trashed the worldwide economic order out of greed and fraud. Instead, Clinton offers an alternate view that the nature of derivative trading is to blame, and provides no benefit except to those who play the game. At times, Clinton sounds almost Ron Paul-esque:
Normally, financial systems justify their existence by noting their role in allocating resources to successful entities and away from failures. This argument makes a great deal of sense, as the capital investment processes normally reward innovation, efficiency, and production. That question gets murkier when it comes to derivatives. Do winners in that market create opportunities in the real world, or do they just exist as a virtual casino for side bets that eat capital that could be put to better use? Wiser heads than mine will have to resolve that, but to the extent that it tends towards the virtual casino, better oversight needs to occur to ensure that damage only gets done to those who play the game.
Otherwise, this is rather notable for Clinton’s willingness to rebut the latest class-warfare agenda of his own party while his wife serves in Barack Obama’s Cabinet. To some extent, it’s self-serving, as he’s happy to assign himself the role of Great Equalizer, but that doesn’t explain it all. Could Clinton, ever the strategist, have some reason in mind for publicly sympathizing with Wall Street while current Democratic leadership demonizes it?