Let's see. There was $700 billion dollars for a bailout in 2008. Another $787 billion economic stimulus package in winter 2009 and then again in summer, a $75 billion dollar foreclosure prevention program.
Enter Lloyd C. Blankfein.
I'm not here to imply that this little troll of a turd has an unethical character or that he is often seen making funny faces or that he makes more money than God. I'm just saying that he once proclaimed that he was "doing God's work."
Which is a rather pukey statement overall, but even more contemptuous considering that Lloyd Blankfein is the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, replacing Henry Paulson, who left to become treasury secretary in the Bush administration in 2006. Presiding over one of the richest financial enterprises in history, Blankfein, who started his successful financial services career as a gold salesman, is in the news now because we are all SO ANXIOUSLY awaiting word on just what his own bonus will be this year...
In 2007, Blankfein took home a $68 million payout. Then, in an attempt to appear more ethical and less greedy, Goldman Sachs announced in December 2009 that its top executives, including Mr. Blankfein, would forgo cash bonuses and instead get paid with special stock (that turns out to be enormously lucrative,
reported the New York Times, to the tune of up to almost $100 million.)
Which leads me to the crux of my little story on the power of words. You see, Blankfein's spokesperson, Lucas Van Praag, regularly tackles media relations with ferver and spite and not so much tender loving care. In a recent rebuttal to the day's wonder of whether or not Goldman will indeed award Blankfein with a $100 million special stock payday, this is what Van Praag issued as a press statement,
"There’s speculation, and there is stupidity. This speculation transcends the simply stupid and takes it to an entirely new level...giving credibility to tittle-tattle is pretty shoddy journalism"
Back to math...2007, 2009...what happened to 2008? Oh, that was the year that Henry Paulson (ex-Goldman Sach exec who gave his job to Blankfein) announced that Goldman, which converted from the largest U.S. securities firm into a bank holding company in September, was one of nine U.S. banks that received a total of $125 billion under a government-funded rescue plan for the financial industry. In a telephone interview, Van Praag said,``They believe it's the right thing to do.We can't ignore the fact that we are part of an industry that's directly associated with the ongoing economic distress.''
Really Lucas? You can't ignore that? Either can we.
Just how does the average consumer cope with all this nonsense? This shoddy journalism...these fuzzy number math games...this horrible economy...these strange leaders of leading organizations and such...how do we muster up enough courage to continue trekking forward through all this muck? By drinking more! Drinking more and paying less, actually. Back to a numbers game, this one is a little easier to understand and a lot less difficult to swallow. Sales indicate folks are buying less alcohol at restaurants and spending more at stores for their weekly glass of fugettaboutit. And the cheaper, family-friendly versions are slowly replacing the higher, more expensive brands. Because not everyone gets a bonus the size of a bailout.
"WHAT? No bonus? That's crazy talk..."