Friday, March 16, 2012

Greg Smith to Babbo

"But I would have to say that who has had the largest effect on the whole planet without us really paying attention across the board and everywhere is the entire banking industry and their disregard for the people that they’re supposed to be working for… the ways the bankers have toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their own hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys."  Is this a quote from Greg Smith, the Goldman Sachs London executive who unleashed a much ballyhooed Op-Ed piece, critical of the rapacious corporate culture of the concern within minutes after resigning? No it’s from Mario Batali, the world renowned restauranteur and owner of Eataly, quoted by the Times (“After Chef’s Hitler Remark, Bankers Change Lunch Plans,” NYT, 11/09/11) at a panel promoting   Time Magazine's Person of the Year year issue. Wall Street took umbrage at Batali, but an Occupy Wall Street type boycott of Batali restaurants by Wall Streeters never materialized and the same heavy hitters who who originally expressed passionate indignation are still competing for reservations at the famed chef’s over priced eateries. Mario is there an opening for Greg Smith, as a greeter, at Babbo (after all he is a Stanford graduate)? Remember that Goldman Sachs was the firm which reputedly bet against its own customers, writing credit default swaps against the collateralized debt obligations it was marketing “Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won," NYT, 12/23/09).  It’s a plot similar to The Producers, only there was no light at the end of the tunnel, no hit play that inadvertently doomed the bad guys and spared Goldman’s customers their loss. Now Wall Street executives are lining up like shoppers outside Walmart’s on that infamous Black Friday of 2008, when the sky was falling, raising their voices in a collective mea culpa, one more holier and more self congratulatory than the other in condemning Goldman and admitting that there’s a little bit of larceny in even the most honorable of men. Hopefully no one will suffer the fate of the Wal-Mart worker, who was crushed to death in that infamous stampede. (“Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death,” NYT, 11/28/08)


  1. Springtime for Goldman Sachs, agreed, would be a Zero-sum game. Can things get any Wilder?

  2. Yes a bailout of the House of Atreus by the EEC. FL


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