Last week the American public got a glimpse of how the other half lives. Seven executives from Goldman Sachs including its CEO Lloyd Blankfein appeared before Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations, responding to SEC charges against the firm for defrauding investors in the housing market.
Whether or not Goldman’s behavior was business as usual on Wall Street, many outside the financial world say it reeks of wrongdoing, which the firm vehemently denies. Media covering the testimony on Capitol Hill easily surmised the lack of remorse among Goldman employees as well as the great divide between Wall Street and Main Street.
While the public is evenly divided (36%) over which political party can do a better job of dealing with banks and financial institutions, two-thirds of Americans support reform. It doesn’t take a political scientist to realize that financial reform can be a favorable issue to either party, especially going into this year’s mid-term elections.
Republicans finally may be getting the message. GOP leadership on Wednesday dropped a threatened filibuster and allowed a financial reform bill to move to the Senate floor for debate, ending weeks of rancor and making passage more likely. No doubt the Goldman Sachs public hearing was a key factor in the Republican turnaround.
Previous Spinnernationblog posts show that the Republican’s strategy as the “party of no” will be detrimental to GOP success. Polls indicate that their approach has not been working thus far. Passage of healthcare reform should have been a lesson learned and promoted an immediate shift in Republican strategy. Now thanks to Goldman Sachs, it’s better late than never.