November 22, 2010

Re: Goldman Sachs, Come Back to Me

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CC: JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, AIG, Bank of America, Wells Fargo

To My Dearest Goldman Sachs,

Blasphemy is what spews out of Tony Manfred’s ’11 mouth. Goldie, pay no heed to his lies. You are not a vampire squid sucking profits from my every nook and cranny. No, that is far from the truth. We are lovers, engaged in a mutually affectionate embrace. And may we be so in love forever — Uncle Sam and Goldman Sachs, me the Juliet to your Romeo.  Manfred doesn’t know what he’s talking about, just another Matt Taibbi who doesn’t understand our connection, our love and our feelings for each another. He doesn’t know the complexity of our affair, let alone its nuances and its secrets. Let’s not let him get into the middle of our torrid affair. The fact is you and I are inseparable. I’ve had many loves in the past — with other countries, a few presidents here and there, the United Nations — but you, you are special. I’ve never felt this way before, Goldie. Well, at least not with another American industry.   The pundits, politicians, the middle class and the economists don’t want us to be so intimate. They hate the sight of big business and government cozying up with each other. But they are blinded by the pessimism of a pessimistic age. Government and the banking sector working hand in hand? What a quaint and impossible notion! Who would ever be so foolish and let such a close, overly dependent and unregulated relationship rise? But Goldie, here we are. Our relationship defies the impossibilities and common sense of so many — no one could’ve seen this coming. We indeed have become two peas in a pod, our destinies permanently intertwined. If you go down, I’m coming with you. And probably so would everyone else. That’s not so bad, is it though?Because let’s be honest. We have great chemistry, better than most. After all, what is yours is mine and what is mine is yours, right?Darling, don’t you remember just two years ago when you came to me for some much needed money? I gave it to you with no hesitation and with no strings attached. “Just make sure to return it sometime later,” I said. But we both know what I really meant: Take your time. I trust you with all my heart. And remember all the advisers you gave me? Boy, what a help they have been. Hank Paulson was great. Neel Kashkari? I can’t begin to describe what a doll he was. And remember Robert Rubin? Charismatic. Smart as penny, too.  Don’t forget about William Dudley. He’s doing amazing things at the New York Federal Reserve. And you can be damn sure I will never desert you. Even in the worst situations — even if, God forbid, we were in some sort of crisis. Believe you me, I would never abandon you. But you would never let that happen to me, would you, Goldie? You would never put me at risk, put me in behind your own self interest? I know you too well and you’re just not that type of company. But even if you did, I still wouldn’t leave you.  I wouldn’t be able to.  I just couldn’t muster up the courage. And you know me. I never learn my lesson until it’s too late. The truth is, Goldie, I don’t think I can live without you anymore. Why, if something were to happen to you, I just wouldn’t know what to do. No Goldman Sachs? What a dreary thing to say and what a depressing life to live. What would I do? What would everyone else do? They need you just as much as I do. The truth is, I think I’ve become too attached. I don’t know how our relationship became so important to me, to us. We weren’t always this close, Goldie. There was a time when you were just another bank. But ever since those regulations disappeared, I saw that you were different. You were bigger, a lot bigger. And I’m okay with that. And I know our relationship hasn’t been perfect. We have had some lover’s quarrels in the past, but all couples fight. That’s just how these things work. But look on the bright side, Goldie: we have come out stronger than before. Don’t you recall that minor transgression with the SEC for securities fraud? $550 million quickly solved the issue and it was pocket change for you, wasn’t it? You just needed a little slap on the hand to set you straight.  We need each other, Goldie. We need to back each other because that’s what people in love do.  Goldie, I think this is only the start of a beautiful and long relationship.

Yours truly,Uncle SamSteven Zhang is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He may be reached at szhang@cornellsun.com. The Bigger Picture appears alternate Tuesdays this semester.

Original Author: Steven Zhang