John Oliver went metal on The Daily Show. Specifically, he went into the artificial aluminum bottlenecks Goldman Sachs has been creating with his "Arcane Details of Boron-Group Metals Pricing Update" — which wasn't as boring as it sounds.
As The New York Times reported over the weekend, Goldman owns a key set of aluminum warehouses in Detroit, giving the bank outsize influence in the pricing of the metal, and increasing the cost of products like beer for consumers. "Goldman Sachs can bet on the price of aluminum, while simultaneously having the ability to goose the future price of aluminum, if that's something they'd find interesting and/or profitable," Oliver said. "In the stock market, that's what's known as insider trading. In the commodities market, that's known as simply Thursday."
The scam is so simple, even a child could understand it. To prove his point, Oliver brought out an adorable eight-and-half-year-old girl named Elliot and asked her if she'd read the Goldman Sachs story. "Yes," she said, "they're artificially inflating prices with storage delays." That's when Elliot got a little sassy. After comparing the Goldman scam to cooties, she asked Oliver when Jon Stewart was coming back.
"In a few weeks," he replied. "Oh, thank God." Not sure if we agree with you there, Elliot. While we're excited for Stewart to get back, Oliver isn't half bad.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.