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Blankfein: We Were Dicks, We Admit It

POSTED:

"We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret," Blankfein, 55, said at a conference in New York hosted by the Directorship magazine. "We apologize."

via Blankfein Apologizes for Goldman Sachs Role in Crisis (Update1) – Bloomberg.com.

I'm almost beginning to feel sorry for Lloyd "God's Work" Blankfein. Could it be that the great tapeworm of conscience is beginning to eat its way northward?

Initially I thought the news story about Goldman's apology read like this:

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., apologized for the firm's role in some of the activities leading to the financial crisis.

"We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret," Blankfein, 55, said at a conference in New York hosted by Directorship magazine. "We apologize, and in order to make this right we're going to forgo our entire bonus pool this year and give back about $50 billion of the money we stole."

Blankfein said that the bank's mortgage-service subsidiary, Litton Loans, would be forgiving billions in mortgage payments and issuing a freeze on foreclosures during the Christmas season because, as Blankfein put it, "kicking people out of their houses on Christmas makes us look like assholes."

That's what I thought the story said. Then I went back and realized I had misread it and that while "God's Work" had in fact apologized, he was actually keeping all of the money and going ahead with a record year of bonuses while his company went about the business of mass-evicting people during the holidays.

Well, Lloyd, we don't know what to say. Uh… thanks for saying so? We're glad you're sorry?

Man, these people are amazing. Just as theater, they're impossible to beat. Someone should make a soap opera out of them, maybe call it Billionaires Cry Too or something.

Incidentally, did anyone else see that story and remember that old sketch from Kids in the Hall – the Bruce McColloch "I'm sorry I caused all that cancer" routine? It reminded me a lot of the Blankfein story, except in the Kids in the Hall version, the apology is followed by a promise never to do it again.

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Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary. Please direct all media requests to taibbimedia@yahoo.com.

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