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Opinion
Matt Levine

Goldman Has an Investing Robot

Also Bitcoin 50K, GameStop, Citi’s goof and the wrong Ark.

Corrected

You could have two basic views of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Marcus consumer-banking product. One is that it represents Goldman’s move into boring consumer banking: Shareholders put a higher multiple on stable recurring consumer revenue than they do on volatile trading profits, so Goldman is giving them what they want by building a boring consumer business. (To make sure it’s boring, it has a pleasant just-call-me-by-my-first-name brand, Marcus, to distinguish it from the more formal Messrs. Goldman, Sachs & Co.) The other is that it is a trick, and Goldman is going to lure consumers and then use their money to do horrifying structured products. Disclosure, I used to work at Goldman, structuring horrifying products (I kid, they were fine, fine-ish), and part of me is always rooting for the trick answer. It would give me immense pleasure to report to you that Goldman was selling synthetic tranches of its Apple-branded credit-card debt to unsuspecting German regional banks and then also betting against those tranches etc. etc. etc. you know all the tricks by now. 

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