By Richard (RJ) Eskow
May 3, 2010
An anonymous email
has been making the rounds on Wall Street from some loser who thinks he's a shark. It's a nasty piece of work that reveals the mentality of the people that have been running our economy for some time, thanks to deregulation and political influence peddling. We caught a glimpse of that mentality in Goldman Sachs' testimony last week. But even though they seemed pretty odious to the public, the Goldman Sachs boys actually had their "play nice" faces on.
This email takes off the mask. It reveals the psychology of Wall Street in its rawest form. If it didn't it wouldn't have gone viral so quickly, being passed all around the Street by brokers satisfied that someone is finally telling "Joe Mainstreet" what superior human beings - what ubermenschen - brokers really are.
We've responded, below, and we're offering a challenge to the author: We'll debate you anytime.
Why go after this loser? Because he's the real face of Lloyd Blankfein. He's Robert Rubin's Id. He's Jamie Dimon's Picture of Dorian Gray. He's Alan Greenspan, too. He's the inner monologue, the true voice of everyone who offers supposedly "rational" arguments for the perpetuation of a runaway Wall Street kleptocracy. Oh, Mr. Wall Street? Show yourself. If you think you're right, have the guts to come out in the open and fight.
Dear Privileged Recipient of Public Largesse:
I've read your email, and let's get this out of the way first: The only thing worse than a spoiled, self-satisfied brat is a whiny, spoiled, self-satisfied brat. Why are you spoiled? Because you're only successful thanks to the indulgence of the American public, which for too long has allowed its leaders to cut you one break after another in return for fat cash and cushy jobs when they retire. Without that you'd have failed a long time ago.
Know what, hot shot? You're no shark. You're a pet goldfish who would die and float belly up at the top of the tank without politicians to protect you and taxpayers to bail you out. Think I'm wrong? Come out and face any of the dozens of well-informed people who know you're wrong. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm available. Anyway, anyhow, anywhere, as the old Who song goes.
You know the real reason you're so angry? Because the public's starting to figure you out and it scares you. Good. You should be scared. Your easy life of privilege is coming to an end. If this year's reforms don't end it, a whole lot of people will keep working to make sure that next year's will. The tide is turning.
"It's our job to make money," you said. "Whether it's a commodity ... or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn't matter." You know why it doesn't matter to you whether what you're selling is fake? Because you're a criminal at heart. Only larcenists have such an amoral indifference to the idea that they might be selling phony goods.
You know that guy selling bootleg DVDs on the corner of Pine and William, the one you pass everyday on the way to work? The only reason you're wearing Cole Haans and he's not is an accident of birth. You're both peddling fake goods. Chances are you're worse than him morally, because you probably had more choices.
You talk big. You claim that Main Street Americans will "hurt themselves " if they "take you down." Here's what you said: "What's going to happen when we can't find jobs on the Street anymore? We'll take yours."
Take America's jobs? You? You don't have what it takes. Where are you going to work, a warehouse? You don't have the tenacity to stack hardware onto pallets in a warehouse for twelve hours a day. Without some fast-money grifter buzz to keep you juiced you'd fold like a stack of wet Post-It notes.
"We get up at 5 am and work till 10 pm ... we don't take an hour or more for a lunch break ... we don't demand a union. We don't retire at 50 with a pension." Actually, pretty much nobody does anymore, but we've already established how out of touch you are.
"We're going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-oo-oo underpaid for building the youth of America." Oh, please. You couldn't handle being a teacher. You don't have what it takes. You couldn't face a classroom of inner city kids for fifteen minutes without getting the shakes. You'd be craving a double gin and tonic and a few hits of chronic by recess just to steady your nerves. Those kids would break you.
Think you're tough? You couldn't drive a cop car around Detroit for eight hours on the night shift, either. All you guys - like the ones from Morgan Stanley who'd brag that they "ripped the face off" their own client by selling him phony goods - all of you would quake in your Ferragamos at the sight of real danger. You'd burst into tears of terror and boredom before the stroke of midnight.
You gonna work in a hospital? You don't have the courage to dress the wounds and wipe the butts of dying children. You'd fold in less time than it takes to tip the delivery boy when he delivers your Turnbull and Asser shirts from the drycleaner. The only blood and feces you can handle are in the derivatives you sold to America's struggling cities.
"We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we'll eat that." The truth is, you don't kill anything. The American government softens your prey up for the kill, and then you come in for the easy pickings. If you really had to kill what you eat - without cheating involved - you'd starve to death. You think you've got a competitive advantage? Newsflash: Lying isn't a competitive advantage - unless you're working in a criminal enterprise.
And skipping lunch or dinner doesn't make you a harder worker. It just makes you somebody who really, really enjoys stealing. It makes you somebody who gets an adrenaline rush from cheating people. You think that makes you smarter than them, but every cheap grifter since the Dawn of Time has felt that way.
Sure, there are some people working downtown who can compete on a level playing field. There are people who don't depend on legalized gambling with government-backed "losers' insurance" to make a living. But not you. That's why you - and the lobbyists and politicians who work for you - are struggling so hard to prevent change.
You talk tough, but the truth is you're running scared. Those beads of perspiration on your forehead aren't from hard work. They're flop sweat. You can't cut it out here where the rest of us live, and you know it.
I've got bad news, pal: We've carried you long enough. We're cutting you loose. We're leaving you and your friends to face the awful truth of who and what you really are: Government-subsidized losers.
Get a life. Or don't bother. Just stand there and watch while we take your unfair advantages and your legalized theft away from you. If we don't succeed this year, we'll do it next year. Then you'll have to get a life. And you know what? You're in for a nasty shock. Fact is, when it comes to being a contributing member of society, you don't have what it takes. Honest working people have nothing to fear from you. Their jobs are safe.
But that guy down on the corner selling phony DVDs? He's the one who should be worried. You guys are in the same line of business, after all. And you probably have less scruples than he does.
Think I'm wrong? Think I'm being unfair? Think you can back up your talk? Fine. Come out in the open and we'll talk about it. Like I said: Anyhow, anyway, anywhere. Some of us aren't afraid of hard work or seemingly impossible challenges. Why, we'd even be willing to try making a decent human being out of you.