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Nov. 30 2009 - 11:23 pm | 378 views | 4 recommendations | 83 comments

Goldman Sachs Arms Itself

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) — “I just wrote my first reference for a gun permit,” said a friend, who told me of swearing to the good character of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who applied to the local police for a permit to buy a pistol. The banker had told this friend of mine that senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.

via Arming Goldman With Pistols Against Public: Alice Schroeder – Bloomberg.com.

I’m reading this article on Goldman executives applying en masse for gun permits and I’m trying to decide exactly how funny it is on a scale of 1 to 10. Reader assistance here is definitely appreciated.

On the unfunny side: it’s never good when anyone buys guns, particularly not rich weenies with persecution complexes. Also, it might possibly be true that people have threatened Goldman bankers physically, which would really not be all that funny and would make me personally feel somewhat uncomfortable, although it would probably never be very high on the list of things I have to lose sleep over.

On the funny side, there are several things to consider. There’s the image of Goldman guys walking into Dean and DeLuca’s nervously grabbing at their holstered nines as they buy espresso and soy waffles. There’s the idea that some of these dorks might actually think that they’re going to forestall proletarian rebellion by keeping guns in their Hamptons beach houses. There’s even the impossible-to-resist image of a future accidental shooting of some innocent hot dog vendor on Park Avenue, followed by the inevitable p.r. response from Goldman in which the bank claims that the only thing its employees are guilty of is “being really good at shooting people.”

Certainly, there are things to ponder on both sides. Right now I’m leaning toward making this a seven on the funny scale, trending toward eight. Advice more than welcome.


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  1. collapse expand

    oh, matt, it’s a definite 10+

    Goldman and tea baggers have more and more in common…delusional, self-important, herd-mentality…idiots all

  2. collapse expand

    Guns? Why? Do they not get that if/when the public come for them, it’s going to be en masse with pitch forks and torches? At least, that’s how the fantasy plays out in my head. Oh, and it’s got that German officer with the prosthetic arm from Young Frankenstein at the forefront, natch.

  3. collapse expand

    I gotta admit that I’m scraping the bottom of the schadenfreude barrel here: wistfully hoping that some reasonably prominent asshole bankster or two will do us all a favor and accidently harvest themselves while cleaning or otherwise (mis)handling their sparkly new deluxe iGuns with those cutting-edge killer apps.

    This is a predator herd that badly needs substantial thinning, yet occupy eyries in the topmost limbs of the capitalist food chain impregnable to natural thinning mechanisms. So any little bit helps!

    I am painfully aware that this type of vindictive thinking is contrary to the culturally prescribed festive holiday mood. Sorry about that.

    It’s not the proudest and most edifying item on my Wish List. But here I stand; God help me; I can do no other: it’s on there.

  4. collapse expand

    Mr. Taibbi,
    through all of your thorough investigations into the wall street bailouts, has anyone been able to make a concrete case/reason/excuse as to why we didn’t invest the bailout money into the industry through the all of the shareholders who had lost their savings? those people didn’t do anything wrong. where’s their bailout?
    i’m just curious if any politician or economist has listed a reason as to why that would’ve been a bad idea.

  5. collapse expand

    I share your surprise that we haven’t heard of acts of violence against Wall Street banksters. And if it were to happen today, would any of us feel too terribly about it tomorrow? Honestly, I think the only sadness I would feel would be for the poor bastard driven to the brink by their criminal activities, and any innocents (hopefully not) caught in the crossfire. Maybe it’s what’s needed to coalesce a mass uprising against the organized crime that masquerades as our financial system.
    Matt, I read your article in the Dec 10 Rolling Stone. Pretty much made up my mind who I won’t be voting for in 2012 before I turned the first page.

  6. collapse expand

    Maybe the guns are just “Contingency Plan Z” for dealing with the unlikely scenario that some regulator makes it into their offices after having overcome the Rambo-like oddsin fighting past the defending ranks of politicians, lobbyists, Federal Reserve goons, media shills and last line, in-house mercenary squads of Wolverine Corporate Lawyers.

  7. collapse expand

    Almost sounds like the villain of a 007 flick, “Goldman, The man with the Golden gun!”

    or one may even use this story to rename it as “Gunman Sucks”

  8. collapse expand

    I wholeheartedly encourage this.

    Especially if they’re too lazy to get trained.

    Because an untrained shooter is more likely to do something stupid that they saw in the movies and have their weapon seized and turned on them. This may be the only justice we get, given how in the tank all politicians and regulators are.

    As a great American philosopher once said, “There’s no justice like vigilante justice!”

  9. collapse expand

    Really this is hilarious. I put it at 8/10 on the funny scale. For piece of mind, they should just the money back, and try to be better people. Better than looking over your shoulder the rest of your life.

  10. collapse expand

    It’s interesting to watch a congregation of ostensibly intelligent people engage in such back-slapping philosophical hypocrisy. This very same sadistic mentality is shared by those assholes at GS. It is how they rationalize being thieves and liars, and how you rationalize revenge by way of violence. These people at GS are still people. Fear and anger tells you they are lesser demons standing next in line to lick the balls of Mephistopheles, but could a group this with-it really believe in the provincial concepts of good and evil? The gaiety in your fantasy of inflicting pain on others reminds me of a book burning party, or the Enron execs, who when notified of the California wildfires (positioning them to completely vitiate the entire state’s economy), gleefully cried, “Burn baby, burn!”

  11. collapse expand

    The mental image of GS employees laughing and and patting one another and chest bumping after target practice is a little more than disturbing.
    Keep up pointing out the obvious.
    “Great Derangement” was damn fine too.

  12. collapse expand

    I can’t believe that no one has used the
    “Man with the Goldman gun” line yet.

  13. collapse expand

    Don’t think anyone needs to worry about getting knee-capped by a Goldman employee.
    It’s looting they’re good at, not shooting.

  14. collapse expand

    I find it utterly astonishing that not one unemployed, red-blooded Amurikun gun nut has tried to barge into 85 Broad Street and unload on the Goldman crew. But then, it’s been said that psychopaths habitually go after the wrong target. So instead we grieve for a dead museum guard, for office workers, for a church congregation, for an entire family of innocents. Kind of throws the theory of Karma up against the wall and blows a big hole in it, huh?

  15. collapse expand

    Matt, I understand your initial ambivalence about the relative hilarity of Hedgehogs Packing Heat. To the extent that any G-Sers are purchasing weapons out of a true fear of being assaulted by a random investor gone postal, it is indeed not only 10/10 funny, but also the source of rare Goldman Sachs-directed schadenfreude. However, to the extent that the purchase of said weapons (no doubt high-end, extremely destructive pieces) is merely an extension of the typical “Don’t Fuck With Me Cuz I’m King of the World You Little Pissant Prole” Goldman-Sachs mindset, it’s not very funny at all, but instead just the usual despicable overly-entitled behavior that pisses us little people off.

    Personally, both because the gun buying spree is of such recent vintage, and because it amuses me, I choose to believe that the GS d-bags are in fact scared shitless and constantly looking over their shoulders for some random granny to deliver their well-deserved comeuppance.

  16. collapse expand

    Maybe GS are buying guns perhaps not because of past actions, but a future they expect?

    ‘Rule 48′ was invoked with the stock market in late November and a couple times future markets were closed for 3 hr intervals. Not much of this in MSM. In the midst, a rumour of an Ukraine default on a railway bond, and on Thanksgiving holiday the news about Dubai is released.

    You can almost feel the undercurrent of heightened anxiety.

  17. collapse expand

    Although there is a strong sense of irony here, this is sad rather than funny. There is a logical perverseness in events that the human mind responds to as humorous or funny. This certainly obtains here. Unfortunately, the underlying moral perverseness definitively qualifies this as tragic rather than comic. What person (who does not wish to be scorned) will openly admit to finding genuine pleasure in something that has its roots in the morally execrable?

    So, while it might be cute that these soulless whores are afraid of their just desserts, the underlying incongruity reveals the scope of the tragedy. Schadenfreude aside – the pleasure gained from their just paranoia comes only at the cost of a comparatively large amount of pain inflicted on every person (directly or indirectly) whether they enjoy a brief chuckle or not. At the root of most laughter is tension and our need to release it. The underlying tension here is built on a tragic premise.

    And what of the ironic aspect of this so called laugh? Why would we think it ironic that a swindler would have to arm himself against his enraged suckers? Because swindlers used to get run out of town, tarred and feathered, or hanged. We, the tragic heroes of this tale, have become conditioned to accept the criminality of those who wear the mantle of authority. Our helplessness to fight those who would steal our nation under the guise of Capitalism and Democracy has become so complete that we can only laugh and point as they buy protection with our money. Those who have something to worry about can afford better protection than a simple firearm (think politicians and sanctioned goons), which itself is somewhat significant (and certainly provides them with protection from their protection just in case).

    So, yes, by all means – you should all have a hearty chuckle about this. Go on back to your jobs and pay your taxes and keep your mouths shut. It doesn’t matter that more than half your wealth has just been stolen from you, along with many of your old rights that used to be guaranteed under past interpretations of The Constitution. I agree with our overlords and their new interpretation of The Constitution. I was getting pretty tired of the rights extended to me under The Bill of Rights. I rather enjoy perpetual war, insanely high taxes (to come), government partnership with party approved criminals, and general exploitation of the populace. Good times.

  18. collapse expand

    way back when i was in grade school, i asked my father, “why do the psychos always shoot good people like martin luther king and gandhi, but not bad people like hitler or stalin?” my father’s answer was, “because psychos LIKE hitler and stalin, that’s why.”

    therein lies the answer why some unemployed teabagger gun-nut hasn’t already taken a shot at any Goldman Sachs employee and never will.

  19. collapse expand

    “On the unfunny side: it’s never good when anyone buys guns…”

    Never? Really… Im no fan of GS, but you might consider.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtg3MwvYfEE&feature=related

    On the funny side, there are several things to consider.

    There’s the image of liberal guys walking into Whole Foods nervously grabbing at their holstered handbags as they buy fair trade coffee and organic soy waffles.

    There’s the idea some of these “Manly-Men” might actually think that they’re going to lead a proletarian rebellion by blogging from their Annandale-on-Hudson dorm room.

    There’s even the impossible-to-resist image of a future accidental parable of wisdom shooting forth from digital quill…

  20. collapse expand

    I would give this a 1 if it is true. If anything it’s evidence of guilt. Not in the remorseful sense, but of the legal variety. Not that there will be any justice. TBTF.

  21. collapse expand

    Is this real? Are we to believe that dumb, uneducated, poor, minority heavy corporate execs; who take the bus/train/pub trans everyday to work, are buying guns to protect themselves?

    Matt, et al., this website and your columns are amazing. I can only dream to have the view point and perspective (big picture) you have, but this?

    I’m sorry im confused please explain this article again?

    I’m ringing the bs/disinformation horn on this.

    Cheney obviously had a gun before today.

    Final note: Matt you ROCK keep it up!

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