Some weeks ago Matt Taibbi, author of a recent conspiracy-addled Rolling Stone article on Goldman Sachs, needled the financial-journalism community by writing on his blog that most mainstream journalists are “nudged into pushing the Goldman party line by their editors and superiors.” Only Taibbi himself, he indicated, had thus far been brave enough to say what Goldman really is: in his words, “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” Today’s Times, however, gives the lie to his allegation by running a big long story that uses a rumor that Goldman Sachs may report $2 billion in profits this year as a vehicle to print a bunch of juicy morsels about the company’s culture and what its enemies think of it. Yeah, so the Times isn’t afraid to call Goldman Sachs names, either!
As long as it is, you know, attributed to someone else:
On Wall Street, where money is the ultimate measure, Goldman is both revered and reviled. Its bankers and traders are sometimes referred to as the Bandits of Broad Street. An executive at a rival bank characterized Goldman traders as “orcs,” the warlike creatures of Middle Earth in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.”
That is probably the nerdiest insult-trading we’ve ever witnessed. All we need now is for Goldman spokesperson Lukas van Praag to come out of the woodwork, push the Times’ Graham Bowley and Jenny Anderson against a wall, and demand, “How ‘bout a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?”