Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I don't normally pay attention to the news, largely due to my propensity to become overwhelmed by the incredible amount of shit going on in the world and my inability to see any light at the end of the horrid tunnel that humanity seems to be hurtling down at breakneck speed without their seatbelts on. I'm a sensitive beast, I can't handle it.

On occasion though, something strikes me as so preposterous, so outrageous, that it I just can't help myself. Or I'm bored at work. In any case, allow me to wax incoherent on the Goldman Sachs fraud charges. There are many great analogies for this story, illustrated here by the Daily Show, but allow me to offer one more.

The Producers: a musical by Goldman Sachs

Starring Goldman Sachs as Max Bialistock
Paulson and Co. Inc. Hedge Fund as Leo Bloom
Little Old Ladies as pension funds and German banks. aka...Little Old Ladies

Down and out broadway producer Max Bialistock (Goldman and Sachs) and accountant Leo Bloom (Paulson and Co) realize that they can make money off of a shitty play (mortgages). First, they find the worst play (mortages) ever written and get little old ladies (pension funds and German banks) to invest in the show (mortages), knowing it will flop and when it does they can scamper off into the night with the money (money).

Now in the musical version the unwitting audience mistakes the show for satire and the show is a hit. This is where things differ though; there is very little room for satire in investments and the mortgages really did fail, as planned. However, after a backstage gunshot the police (Securities and Exchange Commission) arrive and haul Max and the accounting books off to jail (charge with fraud).

The finale of the real-life saga has yet to be written but if things stay on course we can expect to see Goldman and Sachs doing upwards of five years in Sing Sing before being pardoned by the Governor and walking off into the sunset, just like Max and Leo.

They say the truth is stranger than fiction. In this case though, the truth is almost exactly as strange as broadway.

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