Monthly Archives: June 2009

Bonus Time at Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs. Needing Diversion. Thinking About Elves.

Supersized Wall Street bonuses are planned by Goldman Sachs to be paid soon to their top executives and traders, bonuses exceeding last year’s and the year before. The moment I read about it, I

<I>Once again we may see stovepipe hats on Wall Street.</I>

Once again we may see stovepipe hats on Wall Street.

thought this decision was going to be undone by the provisions restricting TARP companies — since GS has not paid back the $10 billion it owes the U.S. But Goldman is NOT grouped among those handful of companies that received “extreme assistance”  on whom these restrictions lie. How handy!


No, they only received $10 billion, that’s all, and were laxly permitted to receive the complete value ($12.9 billion) of their credit default swaps from AIG — thus sending AIG into broke status — and special treatment at every step it has taken in recent years. GS is NOT being investigated for misrepresenting its financial status to its shareholders, although documents have emerged suggesting this very thing. Some would say those documents demonstrate it, not suggest it. 

So Goldman can go ahead and pay those bonuses, nothing much stopping them.

And now (according to one of the biggest Wall Street trade groups, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), is going on the road with a niceness campaign to try to convince the public in some of the big cities that Wall Street doesn’t really suck.

They hired former assistants of Henry Paulson in this campaign. Are they really hoping, let alone expecting, to change the minds of the general public?

But …we know that the security industries suck. How can we blind ourselves to the fact that they suck? Because they actually suck.

A nice parade might work, for five minutes anyway. This level of distrust is difficult to sustain and it would be a nice break. After all, I already have to divert myself from grim reality with cartoons of honest sheriffs and other righteous inventions. For instance, I went to read to look at Sheriff Pony.


(Cut to: Diversion from Bleak Financial Reality.)

Sheriff Pony looks like the offspring of Quickdraw McGraw and Smurfette, when maybe Quickdraw had to go to France during the war. The Smurfs are French, in case you didn’t know.

<I>Quickdraw McGraw's Baby Mama?</I>

Quickdraw McGraw's Baby Mama?



I bet all the major elves are related.

The tribe of Smurfs, I’d guess, are foreign cousins of the Keebler elves, who everyone knows are ardent capitalists — almost as bad as the Ferengi. Both the Smurfs and the Keeblers practice magic. You know the song: “And they’re baked in magic ovens and there’s no fac-tory. Hey!”

I know what you’re about to ask…. What’s their connection with the Rice Krispie elves? Well, they’re the first cousins of the head Keebler elf, who entertains a rather low opinion of them. The Rice Krispie brothers, Snap, Crackle, and Pop, were sort of drifter artists who at last found work in the cereal industry to keep themselves from starving in the gutter. The Keeblers, by contrast, are very bourgeousie and successful. They love their magic ovens. They’re so smug.

Yeah, they’ve got work and they do not need to rub it in. 

All of a sudden I’m feeling sympathetic towards the Rice Krispie guys. And all these people lately, who are out of jobs.

I Hear the Cries of the Trust Fund Babies. AIG and Hank G.


So!  On Wall Street, we hear that $4.3 billion in stock was set aside for the retirement of some of the most highly-compensated managers at AIG.  And for continuation of their bonus lifestyle. Now, Hank Greenberg is being officially accused of stealing that fund.  From what I’ve read I wouldn’t put it past him.

Wait a minute.hank-g

How dare AIG set up a trust fund for management only? Even if it’s been government-owned only since last year, before that it was government-related and before that, it was still a public corporation. Can they do that?

A goddamn trust fund for the already rich. How… predictable.

That Wall Street Maurice Greenberg is one little sonofagun. His little pursed mouth looks like he’s trying hard to smile and keep his false teeth from falling out at the same time.

And the attorneys on either side: Boies, Greenberg’s lawyer, represented the Gore side in Bush vs. Gore in 2000. Well, he’s now obviously on the wrong side.  And then the other guy, Theodore Wells, defended Scooter Libby in his criminal trial. Why is he now representing AIG in a civil trial? 

Oh, right. Big business is all criminal. So he isn’t actually going out of his specialty. In fact, I’m not kidding. It looks like U.S. business today is composed of 95% theft, 4% poor judgement, and 1% advertising.