Somehow attacking Goldman Sachs (GS), or being outraged by all the money they make seems so… September.
Haven’t we moved on? It just seems that by this point, there’s really little that can be said. We’re just retreading old ground. When an even reliably down-the-middle personalities like Dylan Ratigan starts sounding like Michael Moore, you know the anti-Goldman thing has jumped the shark.
So it’s weird that now, after all this, in mid-October Gawker has announced its “Goldman Project,” a scheme to track the moves of Goldmanites spending their bonus bucks and then, you know, being judgmental about them. It’s the liberal version of conservative morality. Conservatives and religious types say we’re all born with original sin. For haters of Goldman, the bank must forever attone for the fact that it got TARP money, and that, had the government done nothing last October, it, like everyone else, would have probably gone down the toilet. And so because they would have gone down the toilet, making money now is wrong.
Blankfein pronounced that Financial Times op-ed that “to avoid crises, we need more transparency.” We agree. What we’d like to render transparent is the precise ways in which people fortunate or connected enough to be employed by Goldman Sachs are deploying the $23 billion in windfall bonuses that they’ve managed to skim off the top of a massive taxpayer-financed bailout of their firm. Oddly, Blankfein doesn’t seem to value transparency when its directed at his own employees—he’s made clear that he wants Goldmanites to keep their lavish discretionary spending to a minimum for fear of enraging the people who made it possible until this whole thing blows over. At the same time, he’s floating the idea of making a $1 billion-plus charitable donation as public penance for the aforementioned sins. Why not all $23 billion, Lloyd? You didn’t earn it, right? And if you did earn it, why would you attempt to shame your employees into not spending it?
To facilitate Blankfein’s call for transparency, we’re launching the Goldman Project, an ongoing attempt to track and publicize the multi-million second homes, $50,000 cars, $500 bottles of wine, and ostentatious living that we are subsidizing. And we need your help: Are you Facebook friends with a Goldmanite who just posted photos of his lavish bachelor party? Post them to our fancy new tag page, #GoldmanProject, or e-mail them to us. Are you a realtor who just sold a $4 million duplex a Goldman banker? Is your ex-boyfriend Goldman banker planning a year-end trip to Cabo to blow his bonus wad? Shoot us an e-mail. Likewise, if you catch any references to Goldman employees living large in the media, post them to #GoldmanProject to keep a running clipfile. And if you know anything about why Goldman made so much from its fixed-income, currency and commodity trading division in the past two quarters—a phenomenon about which one analyst told Bloomberg, “A lot of us struggle with just the size of the FICC line and understanding exactly how they make as much money as they do”—posit your theory at #GoldmanProject. Seems interesting that Goldman made a killing on currency trading at a time when dollar is plummeting.
Of course, whoever doesn’t join in the fun of Goldman attacking is immediately branded as a Wall Street apologist, or worse, literally being a shill for Wall Street overlords. We wish!!!!
But no. The real reason for not joining in is that it’s boring. And we’ll just leave it at that.