You couldn't make it up. "...little better than a criminal enterprise that earns its billions by bilking the market, the government, and even its own clients in a bewildering variety of complex financial scams." These financial wonderkids devised new ways of pushing the market until it couldn't possibly sustain itself, and then raked it in with bets that the inevitable collapse would happen - as it always did, since they created the situation. They made up "synthetic derivative package pegged to risky American mortgages" - deals that appeared to be almost too good to be true, sold them off to banks and financial centres, and then cashed in by betting that the market WOULD implode. AS it had to. They never disclosed how their own interests would be served if the market collapsed. This went beyond companies - how about whole countries? With Greece, "in the Greece deal, Goldman hilariously used exotic swaps to help the country mask its financial problems, then turned right around and bet against the country by shorting Greece's debt." One of the best analogies I've ever read: "Even if he stands to make a buck at it, even your average used-car salesman won't sell some working father a car with wobbly brakes, then buy life insurance policies on that customer and his kids. But this is done almost as a matter of routine in the financial services industry, where the attitude after the inevitable pileup would be that that family was dumb for getting into the car in the first place.