The FT article here failed to be clear on a very important point. Goldman Sachs could obtain near zero funding from the Fed by converting to a bank holding company. With zero cost money it could then "play" with the market when it was on its back. If it made mistakes, various Federal guarantees would take on its failure, but of course if it made money Goldman Sachs got to keep it. Goldman Sachs, the largest and the most privileged bank on Wall Street, has access to deals before you and I knew even existed.
This is yet another case of Joe Public helping out Wall Street without participating in the upside.