Shellshocked Goldman Sachs Bankers Have Just Stopped Reading The News

In a bar in Manhattan last night, I ran into an old friend who works at Goldman Sachs.

It was one of those places you read about in the papers.

Not in the “Metro” section or even the business section. In the section that was once called “Ladies” but is now called “Styles.”

The bartender poured drinks. Martinis made with Genever style gin, which smells like whiskey and juniper.

“So how was ‘God’s Work?'” I asked the woman from Goldman Sachs, referring to Lloyd Blankfein’s description of what the firm does every day.

“Oh. That. To be honest, I’m not even sure what it is about,” she said.

I was surprised by her lack of humour about this. She’d always been one of those rare people who ‘got it.’

“I mean, I’m sure it’s taken out of context. But since Sunday it is all anyone wants to talk about,” I said.

She took a drink from the glass, tipping her head back and averting her eyes.

“I just don’t read any news any more. Basically for the last six months. It’s just been too much,” she said.

“You used to pride yourself on being in the know,” I pointed out.

“We all did, didn’t we? Everyone at the firm liked to be on the cutting edge. Blogs, gossip, news, everything. But that’s over. It’s too, too much, isn’t it?” she said.

I thought about telling her that this was like a child closing her eyes so that the monster wouldn’t get her. The tactic would never work but there is no monster so it doesn’t matter. But then I saw the way she was looking at me, at the bar, at her drink, and I thought she didn’t need any lessons about life tonight. She just needed a drink.

“Two more of these,” I told the bartender.

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