Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The United States of Goldman Sachs

Reversing course yet again, Secretary of the Treasury and former head of Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulson, announced today his intention to scrap his $700 billion bailout plan for the financial services industry, and instead ceded the government’s power to print money directly to his former employers. Said Paulson, “everybody knows Goldman owns the government. Who’s kidding whom? Let’s just make it official.”

Reaction has been swift. Senator Barack Obama’s top financial advisor, former Clinton Treasury Secretary and former Goldman head himself, Robert Rubin, proclaimed the proposal “full of merit,” and “a meaningful improvement over the current system.” Said Rubin, “although the credit default swap market was pretty much a license to print money, this should streamline the process, and I think markets will react positively to this innovative new approach from Treasury.”

Famed deregulator and top economic advisor to Senator John McCain (at least until the “Whiner-gate” dust-up) Phil Gramm announced from his marbled offices at Swiss Investment Bank UBS that he “believed the fundamentals of the plan are sound, but a few of the details of sharing the currency printing power among major investment banks remain to be worked out.”

Markets were up sharply, with its 11,000 point gain being both the single biggest one day percentage and point gain in the Dow’s history. Similar increases were seen on both the Nasdaq and S& P 500.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi buoyed markets with her comments that “I am so tired of writing a blank check for George Bush’s pointless wars that I am seriously entertaining the idea of at least writing a blank check for someone else, and, after all, they own our party.”

Some dark clouds did loom on the horizon. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd expressed substantial pique that none of the 4,742 text messages he had sent to Secretary Paulson in the past week had been responded to. Said Dodd, “ I know we’re an irrelevance, but couldn’t he at least have the common courtesy not to rub it in?”

Asked for comment McCain running mate Sarah Palin said she was fed up with economic distractions from the real issues of the day and challenged either Senators Joe Biden or Barack Obama to a “moose dressing competition,” saying “that’s what the American people really care about.”

Alan Greenspan, the legendary former head of the Federal Reserve was wildly enthusiastic, saying “at last we can begin to pull back on the underperforming aspects of the economy and focus on only the most productive sectors.” Said Greenspan, “by focusing on the printing of money we will be able to prune, substantially, unproductive activities, like agriculture, manufacturing, medical care, transportation, education, and construction.”

Congressman and two-time presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich expressed outrage: “They are selling out our country. They are betraying our country. George Bush, and Henry Paulson could not have done more damage to our economy if they had handed it over to Osama bin Laden.”

Reached for comment in his remarkably palatial residence in a hidden location in Saudi Arabia, bin Laden begged to disagree. “What I did to the Twin Towers of your World Trade Center, Bush, and Paulson, and Clinton, and Rubin, and McCain and Gramm, that is what they have done to the economy of the whole planet. Even I couldn’t begin to compete with that.”

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