Pay no mind to all those concerns surrounding the federal bailout of AIG and how it affected Goldman Sachs, the firm's perceived grip on the government, and their ever-reaching tentacles, House of Cards author and former banker William Cohan says in his obsequious story about Goldman Sachs in the upcoming issue of Time. The real story, Cohan says, is CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
"Goldman's riches have deflected the spotlight from what should be great story fodder: Blankfein's personal journey from one of New York City's poorest neighborhoods to its most élite investment bank — and his astounding rise within Goldman. Instead, he has to explain Goldman's performance — and connections — in the face of the nation's epic financial calamity."
You're right, William. It is a crime that the American people have wasted so much time asking questions in an attempt to figure out whether the people controlling all the money in our pension plans and bank accounts are trustworthy and will not completely fuck up the system again and then run into their barricaded second and third homes with their gold bars, leaving the rest of use mewling and starving in the streets. We're sorry, how selfish of us. Do tell us about Lloyd's "personal journey."
Actually, it's pretty good:
Once upon a time, he smoked two to three packs of cigarettes a day. He was overweight. He often dressed inappropriately or ostentatiously. And he had a love of gambling in Las Vegas.
See? Nothing to be worried about here. Lloyd understands! He used to be fat and pathetic and goofy and poor and embarrassed about being so smart, but he tried hard and Lost The Weight, and became successful, like that nice Tina Fey. There's nothing to worry about with Lloyd, even if he does like to gamble a lot and now he has a lot of billions of dollars to do it with. He and his crew are like George and Brad et al. in the Ocean's Eleven movies; they can always get themselves out of a sticky wicket. Somehow. They think. I mean, they're pretty sure.
"If AIG would have gone bankrupt, it would have affected every institution in the world, because it would have had a big effect on the entire financial system," explains David Viniar, Goldman's CFO. He countered, though, that Goldman would have most likely figured out how to make money trading in such a volatile environment.
We feel much better.
The Rage Over Goldman Sachs [Time]