Internal Memorandum No. 8121b
We did it. Bottom of the ninth, down by three, bases loaded, and we cranked another grand slam to the moon. They may have shot Lennon, but nothing can kill the Beatles.
I admit things looked bleak for a minute there. We had to convert to a bank holding company and were forced to accept a taxpayer bailout. It felt un-American. Terribly unbanksmanly. But we accepted the money, knowing that we could magically weave it into a much larger mountain of money.
We had a few hard months there, didn’t we? They regulated our corporate jet so that we could no longer use it to fly from hole to hole on the green. Dave had to drain his money pool to half capacity. I stopped injecting gold into my blood. They don’t call it a recession for nothing. One day, we’ll look back on the year we received only five-figure bonuses and laugh.
Wanting to celebrate our renewed success is natural, but it’s important that we don’t go crazy here. Remember, ten per cent of the non-bank country is unemployed, and even those who are working have “real” jobs, where payment is proportional to the creation of a “product” or a “service.” Those poor bastards. So I ask that, in celebrating our raping of the stock market, we show restraint in the following ways:
- Please limit high-fives and chest bumps to a dozen a day.
- Don’t wear your crowns, except around the office.
- Stop paying for things in Monopoly money—I understand it is the same as real money to us, but there have been some complaints.
- For now, let’s take down the giant scoreboard that reads “Main Street: zero. Wall Street: a billion gazillion bajillion.”
Furthermore, to avoid drawing criticism from the press, this year the bonuses, expected to be comically large, will be distributed in blood diamonds, which can be easily concealed in a briefcase so it looks like we’re working.
I’d like to thank everyone who made this possible—for a second time. Respect to President Obama for keeping us in the green. Thanks to the big guy upstairs (me). And let’s not forget all the ordinary Americans, who, for some unfathomable reason, have refused to put us behind bars. We are literally taking money out of their wallets. Seriously, with these returns we are making Madoff look like a little kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar. Amateur!
Yours in money,
Lloyd Blankfein, C.E.O., Goldman Sachs