Casaubon's Book

Lloyd Blankfein, Meet Roxy Hart

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?



  1. #1 Gail
    April 30, 2010

    Sharon, thanks for that! I loved it!

    They levels of deceit and carefully worded responses amaze me. I would prefer the “$#%$ off” that is behind the politically correct answer. I know that’s not gonna happen, but I feel ill watching the Greek Tragedy unfold…oh, wait, I wasn’t even referring to the latest Greek tragedy…oy!



  2. #2 knutty knitter
    April 30, 2010

    And the rest of us get to innocently starve!


    viv in nz

  3. #3 Mike Cagle
    May 1, 2010

    Ha! Brilliant comparison. Stay away from jazz and liquor — and the men who play for fun.
    Oh, and vampire squids.
    Thanks for watching the “testimony” so I didn’t have to.

  4. #4 Debbie
    May 1, 2010

    I really love your articles Sharon, but that I Pad advertisement is so annoying with it bouncing all over the place, I couldn’t even finish reading this one, it kept getting in the way of my concentration. Hope it won’t be around for long.

  5. #5 vertalio
    May 2, 2010

    Looks like someone fell down the wrong rabbit hole…
    of course we like boobs a lot.

    Sometimes it seems a shame to have given up on stocks and pillories. In Times Square, say, in the case of Lloyd and Fab, etc. With bushels of heirloom tomatos nearby.
    Or on the shores of the Delta for Halliburton and BP execs; not as public, but currently boasting plenty of actioncams. Set up in three feet of oily surf, so their boobies get wet.

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