Up until recently, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) has been one of the most hated banks on Wall Street. After the Great Recession of 2008, Goldman took a lot of heat for betting against securities they were selling to their customers, etc and soon it seemed as if they were being sued every other day for some sort of misconduct. Additionally, it seems as if Goldman did and still has its hand in everything as described by Matt Taibbi in his 2010 Rolling Stone article, “The Great American Bubble Machine”, which certainly does bother a lot of people because Goldman has been accused of manipulation and other unflattering qualities.
However, recently, I have noticed a shift in Main Street’s hatred for the big banks on Wall Street and it is starting to be directed at JP Morgan. I first suggested this earlier this year after documents revealed that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) profits handsomely from food stamps. We can see with the recent events of the $2 billion loss, Main Street and the US government are very concerned with JP Morgan and the other banks. However, JP Morgan is the new poster child for the big banks, which means they will be targeted by OWS and other groups.
Interestingly enough, the shift in hatred doesn’t stop there. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is now being targeted after its questionable acts on the Facebook IPO. The investment bank is being sued for allegedly misleading investors on the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and, additionally, for not publically disclosing that some of its analysts downgraded Facebook prior to the IPO.
As you can see, right now there is a spike in Main Street’s criticism of the Wall Street banks due to the banks’ recent mistakes. OWS is no doubt planning big protests in the wake of all this critical news.
What some people may not realize is that banks have only one job: to make money. While sometimes their methods can be questionable, they have to be tough to survive. Making money is tough to do when you have three to four other fierce competitors looking to snatch up some of your clients and other assets.
Sometimes there is collateral damage and the banks could be playing with too much money, which is the premise for “too big to fail”. It is difficult to find the right balance for banks and Main Street but in the end something has to give.
Who do you hate the most?