After a statement of the aria at the beginning of the piece, there are 30 variations. The variations do not follow the melody of the aria, but rather use its bass line and chord progression. Because of this the work is often said to be a chaconne.
– ‘The Goldberg Variations’, Wikipedia
And so we come to Goldman Sachs’ annual letter to shareholders, sent on Wednesday ahead of its annual shareholder meeting in May. The aria, according to the FT and the WSJ, melodises Goldman’s commitment to its clients — and flatly denies that the bank bets against them.
(A full excerpt of the letter can be found in the Long Room).
As for the variations on that tune? Hmm. The letter may, or may not, set the record straight on clients. But what it has to say on Goldman and AIG strikes more than a few bum notes.
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