Monday, March 16, 2009

The New-New Gettysburg Address

(With apologies to our greatest President.)

Old Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

New-New Gettysburg Address

Four or five years ago our Investment Bankers helped bring forth on this continent, and around the world, a new banking system, conceived in Leverage, and dedicated to the proposition that all persons working for Investment Banks can create enormous Wealth for themselves with almost no Risk except to Taxpayers.

Now we the Investment Bankers of Goldman Sachs are engaged in a great Scam, testing whether that Nation of Bankers can get paid without Tipping Off the Taxpayers to that Scam.

We have come to cash our checks.

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this, for we have Houses in the Hamptons requiring upkeep.

But, in a check-clearing sense, we can not Cash Our Checks so long as AIG cannot make good on the credit default swaps we purchased to Hedge our Leverage. Thankfully, the brave men of Goldman who struggled to Attain Positions of Power in Treasury and the White House have consecrated it, far above Barney Frank’s poor power to detract from our AIG Contracts.

The Small Investor will little note, nor long remember, how completely screwed He got, but we the Investment Bank of Goldman Sachs can never forget what they did to provide us this cash. We thank them for the $8 billion Their Government is paying to AIG in order to Make Us Whole.

We here highly resolve that The Little Investor shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under Goldman Sachs, shall have a new birth of Leverage Without Risk -- and that government of Goldman, by Goldman, and for Goldman, shall not perish from the earth.

Jeff Matthews
Well, Yes, I Am Making This One Up

© 2009 NotMakingThisUp, LLC

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews.
Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice. It should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever. Nor are these comments meant to be a solicitation of business in any way: such inquiries will not be responded to. This content is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.


a said...


Lyon Jewett said...

When I read about the AIG beneficiaries I about threw my laptop over the balcony. However, there isn't any bailout money for me to buy a new one, unlike Goldman Sachs.

This SCAM has got end....NOW.

Anonymous said...

People won't let each other merge in traffic but they're more than happy to let bankers rip off their retirement. Boy, I wish I had my own mainstream media and military industrial complex. Must be great times for those who do! Wonderful planning! I wonder what their end goal was? Spiritual enlightenment, perhaps? Something worthy of "civilization," I'm sure.

Ben said...

Now let the Weimar Republic begin in earnest.

Steve said...

Can you believe the hubris, the sense of entitlement of Paulsen and his cronies? "Give me a trillion dollars. Don't ask any questions. Don't worry, I'll know what to do with it."
The Treasury is their piggy bank. Must be: his name is on the bills.

Dan T said...

Yes it was a Goldman bailout, and a Merrill bailout, and a bailout of any other firm that overleveraged the various debt instruments. But if the choice was to let AIG and all the rest fail then the right choice was to bailout AIG and hence all the rest.

The problem was, they did not communicate that this was the intention. They (government) had to know the money was going to be used to pay counterparties.

To be fair, problems do not get to be this large, this complex, and this extensive without complicity by government and business. Those who are pointing finger the most in government also share the blame.

The risk now is a renegade Congress overreacacting now because they underreacted earlier.

Anonymous said...

I like how everyone lines up to blame the bankers when really the main issue was the American consumer bathed in an orgy of consumption fueled by borrowing against our childrens' future. Much more convenient to blame the peddlars of leverage than the consumers who demanded it. Glad to see that taking responsibility is still not in vogue.

Clever twist on the Gettysburg Address though.

antlord said...

you really think congress overreacting is a risk? that's nonsense. they will do little and even less of any consequence.

Mr. Friendly said...

Amen indeed.

Anonymous said...

AIG, Merrill, Bear Stearns, Lehman, Fannie, Freddie...too much too fast - how, with the anchor of administration around one's neck - can one right such a large and surely sinking ship? Print money. Not all the i's and t's get crossed in a crisis but they can always go back and throw a 90% tax at bonuses.

Hey we all agreee bonuses are out of line but let's not get carried away. There are greater beasts hiding -- derivatives, commercial real estate, the auto industry -- the Fed will continue to throw money at this all year long.

But in the end, when the "great unwind" is unwound, it's the high paid bankers that will deliver us back to some level of prosperity.

Ashok said...

The general tone of your post - even if I have some disagreements with particulars - is spot on. The pursuit of wealth with no regard to consequences, or even how that wealth is made, is a disgrace, esp. given what it took to preserve Union. The wounded and dead at Gettysburg: 60,000 in 3 days.

I wrote a commentary on the Gettysburg Address some time ago that explains the speech's reference to divinity. It's almost like this present crisis exists to remind us that there are higher things, and if we forget that, we're doomed to just ripping each other off and calling that government and business.