One of the things we've never really understood about Goldman Sachs's purported hegemony is how it's possible for everyone who's ever worked there to be so totally in on it. Did they all kill a hooker together, and after the fact swear their secrecy to the brotherhood for life? That's always been our assumption. But journalist Matt Taibbi has done the legwork and, in the opening paragraph of his latest Rolling Stone story, reveals the true source of Goldman Sachs's power.
On January 21st, Lloyd Blankfein left a peculiar voicemail message on the work phones of his employees at Goldman Sachs. Fast becoming America's pre-eminent Marvel Comics supervillain, the CEO used the call to deploy his secret weapon: a pair of giant, nuclear-powered testicles.
The story goes on to posit — we think; there are a lot of other analogies and popular culture references in there — that it was through the sheer power emanating from Lloyd's balls that Goldman Sachs was able to strong-arm the government into bailing them out (via Société Générale via AIG), and that these balls then engineered a devilish plan to make Goldman into a bank holding company so that they could enter the TARP program and borrow money from the government at a zero interest rate (that this actually happened at the behest of the government is neither here nor there — remember these balls are powerful, they are nuclear, they make all the decisions, in one way or another, even those made by the federal government), then hoarded the money away, forcing the government to print even more money. It was the BALLS that somehow pushed Congress to change the mark-to-market accounting rules, and who deviously determined a way for the firm to front-run its clients through sneaky computerized "flash-trading" models. And now these balls are bobbing dangerously against the chin of the helpless, brainless, apathetic American taxpayer, and who knows what misery will erupt from them next?
It's a theory. We think there is one fatal flaw, though. If Lloyd's balls were so powerful, wouldn't he be able to get the entire world, or at the very least Matt Taibbi, off of them?
Wall Street's Bailout Hustle [Rolling Stone]