Goldman Sachs: The Marie Antoinette of Our time!

Published SFgate and Reader Supported News.

I have ever believed that had there been no Queen, there would have been no [French] revolution.”

-Thomas Jefferson-

Thomas Jefferson said many things in his wide-ranging autobiography, but he rarely spoke ill of anyone. He made a notable exception in the case of Marie Antoinette. In describing the infamous cake-distributor, he painted a biting portrait of the contemptible Queen:

Her inordinate gambling and dissipations…her inflexible perverseness, and dauntless spirit, led herself to the guillotine…and plunged the world into crimes and calamities which will forever stain the pages of modern history.”

According to Jefferson, Marie Antoinette treated French citizens as little more than lice under her well-powdered wig…until tax collection time, of course.

Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein pushes a camera lens away as he finishes testimony before the Senate, 04/27/10. (photo: AP)

Enter Goldman Sachs. A modern day financial monarchy, Goldman acts with the impunity once reserved for kings. Controlling legislators. Electing Presidents. Filling the Executive Branch with well-heeled lackeys, manipulating world markets and betting against the welfare of its own clients…the American people. When their equivalent of “tax time” came, they squeezed the peasants for billions of bail-out bucks.

Marie would be proud.

Is there any end to Goldman Sachs greed? Since the Supreme Court recently expanded a ruling that gives corporations the same individual rights as human beings, I’d like to ask Goldman Sachs…human to human…why they have such disdain for the American people and such a lack of love for the country that made them rich? How do their managers manage to skip merrily along, collecting hundreds of millions in bonuses after breaking the backs of this economy?

No contrition.

No apparent remorse.

Good Ol’ TJ described Marie as “proud, disdainful of restraint, indignant at all obstacles to her will and eager in the pursuit of pleasure.”

It’s eerie how much his Marie matches our Goldman.

They certainly showed no restraint in gaming the market. Sachs knew the market would fail, that’s why they bet against it. This is not an opinion, the emails are there.

Sachs clearly knew Americans would lose their homes. They bet “short.” They counted on it all failing. Come on, charming Tin Men. Where is your heart?

Watching the coverage of the congressional inquiry on C-SPAN, I wondered if, perhaps, this was our Marie Antoinette moment.

Charles Dickens wrote of Americans, “they will believe anything but the truth.” Now, the truth stares us in the face.  It’s an epiphanic moment in time.

Again, remember that those hearings were not mere commentary. They produced evidence. The emails tell Goldman Sachs’ story. It’s right there in writing, even as their pretty lips and forked tongues tell contrition-free tales and contradictory stories. This bipartisan committee worked like good old fashioned gumshoe reporters. They dug up the proof.

Remember when the leaders of big tobacco raised their hands and swore on the Bible that they didn’t know nicotine was addictive?

This is that moment…double squared.

We cannot afford to ignore it. How many neighbors have had their homes repossessed on your block, Mr. Goldman Sachs? I’ve witnessed two. These neighbors cry as they drive away with the contents of their lives crammed into the back of a car or pick-up truck.  One couple was well over sixty. How do they start over?

I’m not saying we should dislike those golden Sachs boys. We don’t have to hate them. They are just doing what they were taught. But what they were taught was wrong. The story of Jesus in the temple comes to mind. It seems applicable. Jesus ran the money changers (bankers) out of the temple. Why? Because the temple is not to be defiled with commerce of any sort. This democracy is our temple. So, please keep your sullied hands off our Congress, our Treasury Department and our President. Stay away from our temples.

Sachs can and will spin the “Dickens” out of the truth. I heard an interview with one Golden Boy yesterday on National Public Radio that made me laugh out loud. His sleight of hand was masterful!

Because of those hearings and because of Goldman Sachs, we are smarter than we used to be.

Thanks again, Goldman Sachs for the Marie Antoinette moment.

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