Its easy to think the God’s must be crazy. The lack of inaction, and sense of paralysis.The line always seems to go dead. In all likelihood, the Gods may have gotten involved with Goldman-Sachs; they went long on faith and now their hands are tied due to burdensome debts. Its costly enough building a paradise on earth, imagine the celestial overruns in the kingdom of kingdoms. But the news is not all bad. It appears even would be terrorists can have their plans scuttled through bad investments and an unholy faith in the capital markets.
”Anyone walking by that car in Times Square could have seen exactly how stupid-looking the bomb was. If there’s one thing I know about New Yorkers, it’s that they’re not going hold back about something like that.If you try to blow up New York City with a crap bomb, you’re going to hear about it. I’ve known people who’ve realized too late that they had carried the wrong handbag to a party in New York; they left that party immediately and booked a flight to Saudi Arabia on the way to the airport, much as Mr. Shahzad is said to have done.
You drive into Manhattan in a car past its prime, with Connecticut plates, that contains a “bomb” made out of propane tanks, gas cans, some firecrackers that apparently couldn’t blow a child’s finger off (and those things are like butter) and several bags of, as it turns out, non-explosive fertilizer, and basically you’re committing social suicide.” ( Tabatha Southey ) Much of the absurdity has been lost on the old socialist ringtails that make up an indistinguished collective of braying mantis’s at Goldman Sachs annual meeting, although with all respect, the dissent seemed well orchestrated:
”In another exchange, the Reverend Jesse Jackson suggested the company allow one member of the board to come from a trade or consumer organisation. “Wall Street is rising. Citizens are sinking,” Rev. Jackson told Blankfein, ”and states and schools are decaying, Jackson added; “A more diverse board might appeal to you today.” Blankfein said he agreed with Rev. Jackson. “There is no success for Goldman Sachs unless the economy as a whole grows,” he said.
- SEIU President Andy Stern spoke at the event, condemning what he called the “Goldman Rule”; those who have the gold get to make the rules. “Companies like Goldman Sachs seem to love their company more than their country,” he said. “And in the name of maximizing profits and their huge bonuses, they will foreclose on our homes and take jobs from our families while short selling America without a second thought.
5:50p: Sen. Levin asked, “You are betting against the same security you are out selling… you don’t think a client would care?” Lloyd Blankfein responds that he can’t speculate on what a client would think. This has been a common theme today from Goldman execs–we can’t speculate what anyone else would have done or thought. Strange for a group of bankers, whose entire job is speculating on others’ behavior. One would think if there’s one thing Goldman bankers could do well it’s speculate.
5:43p: Sen. Levin is asking Lord Blankfein if he doesn’t think the bank has a moral responsibility to disclose to a client that it betting against the very product it’s selling. Blankfein says no, he does think the bank has a responsibility to do any such thing.
5:37p: Lord Blankfein is going into smug mode, trying to say that the reason this doesn’t make sense to ordinary people is because we’re not as sophisticated as the bankers who crashed the global economy. When Sen. Levin asks if this isn’t a conflict of interest, Lord Blankfein said, “I know that we live in different contexts,” to which Levin responded, “What do you call it in a human context?”
- ”Every billion dollars in bonus compensation you direct to preventing foreclosure could save 200,000 families from losing their homes. For just 10% of your bonus pool you could both prevent those 200,000 families from losing their homes and lift an additional 100,000 families out of poverty because they lost their jobs in the recession. ”
Well it does look grim. But, as the expression goes, ”Its not over until the fat lady sings”. The Left has always been incredibly adept at using poverty and the poor as a platform, yet they fundamentally share the same elitist attitudes and disdain for their constituency. Ideologues not idealists is a more credible description. Given the decidedly lopsided score in the war of public opinion, Goldman-Sachs has engaged the services of Spiritualists and experts in the occult sciences to raise the ghost of legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow to defend their cause.
”Clarence Darrow was easily the most famous lawyer in America in the Twentieth Century. He practiced law in Ashtabula County from 1878 to 1887. His most famous trials have been dramatized on stage and screen. The Scopes A Monkey Trial became Inherit the Wind, starring Spencer Tracy as the Clarence Darrow character. The Leopold and Loeb trial was dramatized as Compulsion and was a stage play before being made into a film. Darrow has been played on stage and screen by some of America’s most famous actors, such as Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda, Paul Muni, and Edward Asner.”
In Goldman-Sachs defence, Darrow worked quietly in the Old Slip building near the waterfront and produced an astounding refutation of the charges levied against the firm. The market economy, and its apparent interest among those accused or supportive of international terrorism can be looked at as a pacifying force against the use of violence, he claimed. Perhaps Blankfein was not incorrect in stating he and his firm were ”doing God’s work ” as strange as it may seem at first glance. The perfect example is the foiled terrorist attack in Times Square by Faisal Shazhad, whose own proper implication in the mortgage mess and debt crisis likely prevented the attack. A society of consumption tends to breed a certain passivity, the mores of being part of the purity of the middle class beginning to take precedent of a life in heaven with hundreds of virgins; a preference for a parking spot in Manhattan and some decent landscaping around the home over training like a desert rat in and about the caves and grottos on the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier.
Physical suicide has now, like Goldman argues,can be readily converted into a synthetic, artificial product, not tied to a tangible asset, in this case the human body; you can go long on America and short your radical cause and still end up in the gravy. Social ridicule and honor can coexist in the world Goldman has offered. Even the latest terrorist activity has been biased towards the annoying rather than the death predicating; shoe bombers, underwear bombers and heritage tomato bombers are in fashion, and seething sheep herders are clearly demode. Darrow’s arguments have many compelling elements:
”Mr. Shahzad holds an MBA from a U.S. university. Am I starting a culture war if I say, trust an MBA not to know anything about fertilizer? And he doesn’t appear to have been particularly religious. He held a $200,000 mortgage on his Connecticut home, which he abandoned when he was unable to sell it. He had been granted a $68,000 line of credit. Alleged al-Qaeda recruits seem to have gone from fanatical to dedicated to disaffected to over-leveraged.
But why is there still so much surprise over this trajectory? Like most of those attracted to cults, terrorists are usually educated and middle-class. In this case, the accused would appear to have more in common with the computer programmer who flew his plane into the Internal Revenue Service building in Texas in February – rage that becomes mania. And given the idiot-to-genius ratio in our society, there are always going to be more Evil Idiots than Evil Geniuses.” ( Tabatha Southey )