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Matt Levine

The Goldman Sachs Aluminum Conspiracy Was Pretty Silly

Everything I learn about the aluminum warehouse conspiracy just makes it more mysterious.
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I am still digesting the giant Senate report on banks and commodities, but it's worth starting with the fun part: the Senate's version of the Goldman aluminum warehouse scam. Because, credit where it's due: The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations really has advanced the ball on that. It's been over a year since the world first heard the mysterious story of Goldman taking aluminum out of warehouses to show it the sights of Detroit and then return it to the same warehouses, but its mysteries are only deepened by each new set of revelations. The Senate's are pretty good!

The basic story has always been that Goldman charges people above-market rents to store their aluminum in its warehouses and won't let them take it out. That sure sounds like a scam, but also a really dumb one. You can store aluminum anywhere; why store it in an overpriced terrible warehouse?