I can’t think when I’ve heard something as disingenuous as Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s claim that he was “humbled” by his questioning by Congress. Oh, wait, I can…in the musical Chicago, when Billy Flynn, the star attorney points out to Roxy Hart that because people are idiots, we can only sell one idea at a time.
Blankfein’s message is that Goldman is good for the economy, that ultimately, Goldman and its ilk are here to serve us and make our lives better. His presentation is reasonable, calm, and sleazy – but he’s definitely hoping you’ll believe it – that the problem is a universal one, one that couldn’t have been addressed, and that, of course, Goldman (and to be honest, Goldman and several dozen other companies like them) feels very, very bad about it. Just like Roxy Hart’s ‘accidentally’ killing someone Goldman blames their sins on the tragic combination of liquor and jazz.
Goldman, of course, spent a lot of time and money on lawyers to help Blanfein be humbled and acknowledge the problem, while making it clear that there’s no reason at all to do anything about it. Remember Billy Flynn’s observation: I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but if Jesus Christ lived in Chicago today, and he had come to me and he had five thousand dollars, let’s just say things would have turned out differently.
The process looks pretty much like this:
Goldman as innocent servant of the economy, humbled by its power… to quote Roxy, are you kidding?