“Who in the room thinks that if Goldman Sachs hit a rock, a hypothetical rock — I’m not saying they have, I’m not saying they will — today, who here thinks they would be allowed to fail, like Lehman Brothers did, unimpeded by any government bailout, starting Monday morning? Can Goldman Sachs fail?”
“I’ve asked this question around the country and only one person has ever raised his hand. It was in New York. He had a big short position in Goldman stock. That’s New York.
“Seriously, it can’t happen. Goldman is a $900 billion bank, total balance sheet. You might want to say its too big to fail, or you might want to use the language of Mervyn King, ‘too important to fail.
“You wouldn’t allow it to fail. I wouldn’t allow it to fail if it was my decision, you wouldn’t either. It’s too scary today, given the nature of the global economy. And from that scariness comes power.” …
See more of the transcript in Business Insider
Simon Johnson is Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Global Economics and Management