Bill Black: The Vampire Squid Morphs into Jilted Valley Girl

By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Cross posted from New Economic Perspectives.

Matt Taibbi famously dubbed Goldman “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” Taibbi knew his metaphor worked a deep injustice on Vampyroteuthis infernalis, a small animal that feeds on carrion and excrement (I will let the reader explore the metaphorical possibilities). Goldman Sachs’ leaders were always secretly flattered by Taibbi’s metaphor. They like being thought of as hyper-aggressive and intimidating. Saying that an investment banker’s goal is to make money is to state the obvious and causes no embarrassment.

The news flash is that Goldman Sachs has revealed her new, softer side. She has become Ms. Good in the Sack and she wants us all to know that she has feelings and she is terribly hurt by the way she is being taken for granted, treated coldly, and made fun of as a “fat” feline. The cruelest blow is that Ms. Good in the Sack suffered these indignities at the hands of the handsome new guy who escorted her to the presidential ball. Her BFF, the tall, dark and handsome guy who was exotic without seeming too dangerous – the kind of guy her dad always warned her never to date – has betrayed her. No sooner had she gotten in a serious relationship with Obama that helped him climb to the top of the social order than she saw him flirting with that skank – Ms. Liberal.

Ms. Liberal is notoriously easy. She is always eager to jump in the sack with any Democratic President who pretends to care about her mind and ideas. Democratic Presidents always take her for granted the next morning and even mock her, but Ms. Liberal stands by her man.

As soon as Ms. Good in the Sack let Obama have his way with her he stopped calling her. Democrats! They’re all alike. Ms. Good in the Sack has learned her lesson and is in a deeply committed relationship with the safe guy who is a member of Daddy’s club. Republicans may not be exciting, but they know enough to date the rich guy’s daughter and to “dance with them that brought them.”

I learned about Ms. Good in the Sack and her breakup with her former BFF, Obama, by reading a WSJ article entitled “Goldman Turns Tables on Obama Campaign.”

When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, no major U.S. corporation did more to finance his campaign than Goldman Sachs. This election, none has done more to help defeat him.

In the four decades since Congress created the campaign-finance system, no company’s employees have switched sides so abruptly, moving from top supporters of one camp to the top of its rival, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of campaign-finance data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Employees at Goldman donated more than $1 million to Mr. Obama when he first ran for president. This election, they have given the president’s campaign $136,000—less than Mr. Obama has collected from employees of the State Department. The employees have contributed nothing to the leading Democratic super PAC supporting his re-election.

By contrast, Goldman employees have given Mr. Romney’s campaign $900,000, plus another $900,000 to the super PAC founded to help him.

Hell hath no fury like a maiden scorned. The WSJ article reveals what a cad Obama has been to Ms. Good in the Sack. He betrayed her for a tawdry one night stand with Ms. Liberal.

In interviews with more than a dozen past and current Goldman executives, many said they felt betrayed by Democratic lawmakers and the White House….

You may have thought I was jesting about Obama’s failure to call once he had his way with Ms. Good in the Sack, but the facts do not lie.

Resentments against the White House began, said senior Goldman executives, because the firm thought it would be consulted when the Obama administration began crafting regulations in response to the financial crisis. They weren’t. Instead, they were surprised by a measure dubbed the Volcker rule, which would damage one of Goldman’s lucrative businesses.

A million bucks and a passionate fling and Obama still wouldn’t give her a call the next morning. That was bad, but then that cad Obama made fun of her figure and sent her the Volcker rule instead of a dozen perfect roses. (Well, he also sent her trillions of dollars of aid, but that is simply her due for giving Obama millions of dollars in contributions – what a great multiplier effect. Our saying as S&L regulators during the debacle remains true – the highest return on investment always comes from a political contribution.)

Goldman executives, especially those who had raised millions of dollars for Mr. Obama’s election, said they were offended by the president’s populist rhetoric, including his famous quip about “fat cat bankers.”

Obama used the “f” words about bankers! No, not the five letter “f” word – fraud. He called Ms. Good in the Sack a fat feline. Goldman Sachs executives, who have raised demeaning their staff, particularly women, to an art form in which they hurl the vilest insults in bursts that bring to mind an A-10 Warthog using its cannon’s depleted uranium rounds on a strafing run to slice open the top armor of a tank battalion, are reduced to tears of impotent rage when their former BFF Obama calls them “fat cats.” I hope I did not shock my readers by repeating Obama’s vile insult of Ms. Good in the Sack and her peers as “fat cats.” I assure the reader that Wall Street traders never use profanity and treasure civility.

The WSJ reporters, in order to demonstrate the extent of Ms. Good in the Sack’s rage at Obama, quote Rick Hohlt, the financial lobbyist who became notorious during the savings and loan debacle and descended rapidly from that low point over the next twenty-five years.

“Look at what he did—he attacked those guys and made it personal,” said Rick Hohlt, a financial-services lobbyist. “In the old days you give money because you want to have a seat at the table even if you get screwed. But they weren’t even offering a seat at the table.”

See, Obama “screwed” Ms. Good in the Sack to get her money, got elected to the White House, and now refuses to even invite her to the White House for lunch. Democrats!

The reality, of course, as recent “Washington insider” books by Bair, Barofsky, and Connaughton make clear, is that the Obama administration has been extraordinarily generous to the largest banks, including Ms. Good in the Sack. The shocking revelation is that this no longer suffices. Ms. Good in the Sack is a mistress who demands unconditional pandering. She demands that she be allowed to grow wealthy by defrauding her own customers with impunity and god forbid that any politician that takes her money ever adopt a regulation without giving her a private opportunity to veto it. Ms. Good in the Sack is the very model of modern American crony capitalism. She pretends to be tough but she is whiny and devoid of any sense of humor. She has lots of body issues so she is death on any politician who calls her a fat feline. Lo, how are the mighty fallen – the great vampire squid has morphed into a jilted Valley Girl.

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  1. Kokuanani

    Think how Ms. Liberal feels: she too game millions to the handsome guy. She gets called a “fucking retard” and “needs to be tested for drugs.”

    Dinner and/or roses? Not so much as a Happy Meal.

  2. Rimvydas Mieliauskas

    A global crisis – forecast…

    My letter is about the next stage of the current crisis. Now about my forecast accuracy – as I chose a job in Scotland in 2005, I have been thinking about this crisis; I knew, that it is unexpected and that it lasts until 2020. Nouriel Roubini predicted the twelve stages of current crisis, I predicted the first eight stages – how it will start and develop in USA and UK, but I didn’t predict that it covers the whole world and in 2005 I knew that 2020 China will be the largest economy in the world.

    Global debt and derivatives market is like a gigantic house of cards, if you take a one card or a one big bank out, you are having crash, as show 2008 crisis, now this gigantic financial house of cards is very fast growing – FINANCIAL IMPLOSION: Global Derivatives Market at $1,200 Trillion Dollars … 20 Times the World Economy

    USA, UK, EU and Japan are trying to fix a this gigantic financial bubble or a house of cards by printing the money: trillions dollars, pounds, euro, yen, it is visible part of this crisis and there is invisible part – the tax havens, where is 21-32 trillions $ – main reason for this crisis and the biggest danger now.

    A dollar crash is inevitable, as now is going the four processes, which can not be stopped:
    1. The ever worsening economic situation in the world, because has been not eliminated a main reason for this crisis – the financial black holes – tax havens: sixty years ago, USA companies accounted for 32.1% of the federal tax take, but by 2009 that proportion plummeted to 8.9%, over the same period, the burden on ordinary workers (paying standart payroll tax) soared from 10% to 40% of all federal tax receipts, according to official data, the same processes took place in all developed countries and the tax havens sucked from world economy 21-32 trillions $.
    2. The decreasing dollar market share.
    3. The protectionism, the regulation of investment, prohibition to sell the most important companies and more and all these measures have been taken to guard against the dollar…
    4. The global system of the tax havens is becoming every year bigger and stronger and more influential, it is practically impossible to reform it now, as show the tax havens history.
    A only way to reform the global financial system and central part of it – the tax havens, is crash, a only one question is when?


  3. Lune

    Does this mean that (assuming he wins), Obama will no longer kowtow to an industry that worked to defeat him? One can only wish…

    1. C

      You may jest but I have had Obama supporters tell me this with a straigt face. If he wins they say and IF the dems take the house then we will see them “get tough on Wall St.”

      Basically once he has no fear of losing an election then he will do what he was elected to do.

    2. David Clay

      I think that if reelected Obama will do what he *wants*; all signs point to some grand bargain gutting social security, medicare and medicaid; making the Bush tax cuts permanent and negotiating the glorious trans-pacific “free trade” agreement.

  4. Waking Up

    Here is another possibility…Obama had a back room discussion with Ms. Good in the Sack and told her it wouldn’t help his re-election if she was once again one of his biggest campaign contributors…especially with all the “free” money she is receiving thanks to his administration.

    1. diptherio

      You may be on to something there. When trying to parse developments in the financial/political arena I always like to ask myself, what would Al Swearingen do? (or better yet, George Hearst)

  5. TimR

    Pretty funny. I’ve been wondering about that storyline. I’m not sure from Black’s conclusion though if he thinks GS sincerely feels jilted. I thought maybe they had decided the best way to support Obama was to say he was the Worst! President! Ever! So people would think, “gosh, if GS hates him, he must really be tough on the banks!” But that seems a bit over-orchestrated, so maybe the bankers are actually super sensitive… None of it really makes sense to me I gotta say, trying to ascribe motivations to this stuff.

  6. 305d85

    I like how Mr. Black here is taking chances.

    Wasn’t there an article some time back with interviews of the call girls servicing these men that made it abundantly clear these Goldman Sacks of —- were not good in the sack? Thus, while discrediting them he gives the organization perhaps too much credit with his new label.

  7. Hugh

    The truth is Goldman Sachs wins if Obama is elected, and they win if Romney is elected. And we lose either way. Kleptocrats as a class act together against us, but within that class there is a lot of jockeying for comparative advantage. So last time, GS backed Obama and this time Romney. It’s not that Obama isn’t a great enabler of looting. It’s that GS thinks that Romney might be an even better one. And what’s to lose? They know they already have Obama in the bag.

    1. David Chaney

      Great post Mr. Black, as always. And Hugh you are so right about Obama and the Bag. Perhaps an intervention is in order. If Obama goes into the debate tonight with his hubris and entritlement in place, he’ll be for a bone-rattling come to Jeebus moment. It is odd Mr. Obama hasn’t noticed all the knives sticking out of his back. De Nile, I guess.

  8. pws

    I know that Goldman Sachs and other financial types like to be thought of as apex predators, the vampire squid metaphor was still apt though. I’m reminds of a Simpson’s episode where Homer goes to buy a pool, the name of the place: “Pool Sharks: Where the customer is our chum!”

    Not the kind of people you want to do business with if you can avoid it.

  9. Blue Meme

    Underlying the whole idea of progressivity in tax policy is the concept of the diminishing marginal utility of money.

    That hypothesis probably isn’t so popular with the oppressed Masters of the Universe, but they prove its correctness every time they ignore the fact that they keep getting richer under Obama, and focus instead on how the government meanies hurt their oh-so fragile fee-fees.

    Most of us would be perfectly happy to be so “abused” if the browbeating could be accompanied by eight, nine or ten-figure annual income. When that tradeoff no longer seems attractive, you are too effin’ rich, pal.

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