Remember Spencer Morgan’s profile of the former Goldman associate who fled to Buenos Aires and became a male model? Apparently it violated the formerly unwritten rule of the Era of the Bailouts by treating the investment banker too sympathetically.
All bankers are villians, is the message of Rob Fishman’s response in the Huffington Post. An associate at Goldman Sachs is more or less equivalent to Bernie Madoff, in his view.
“For so many years, financial types from Madoff down proclaimed to be doing something, when in fact they were doing nothing,” Fishman writes. “And now that they’re actually doing nothing, the media thinks that’s something.”
Fishman attacks Morgan for daring to veer off this moralizing storyline:
“Beautiful Banker Yields Interest,” headlines the New York Observer (to whom, they don’t say), in a profile of former banker David Webb, “a model citizen of the post-crash era.” Webb’s story, if you read between the aggrandized lines, is typical i-banker: Ivy League education, job at Goldman Sachs, promoted to associate, canned after financial crisis, travels to Buenos Aires for soul-searching, returns jobless.
But for the Observer‘s Spencer Morgan, it’s a veritable bildungsroman: the callow youth deflowered twice — first at boarding school, and then again after graduating Dartmouth, by a tattooed seductrix in New York (“When it was done she got dressed,” Morgan writes. “He had never done anything like that). From there, Webb gets mixed up in a Polish tennis league in Brooklyn (think O’Neill’s Netherland with hair gel), only to be banned for playing “half-drunk.” Then there’s the Merlin-like encounter with a Columbia prof at Whole Foods, something about philosophy…
Curiously, although it’s admitted that Webb was unceremoniously laid off by Goldman, by the end of the article, it’s made to seem as if Webb has quit. “He’s sort of the one black sheep,” says a friend. “He beat the system — he made a lot of money and got out.” As Morgan bafflingly concludes: “Last summer, Mr. Webb was promoted to an associate position at Goldman. This, it seems, was as far as Mr. Webb had intended to climb.” All evidence to the contrary, it was as far as Goldman had intended Mr. Webb to climb.
Ironically, Fishman, a journalism student, is also a “Research Analyst at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.” Pete Peterson, of course, is the former Lehman Brothers investment banker who went on to found the private equity firm Blackstone. So Fishman’s job is basically paid for with evil investment banking profits.