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Occupy Wall Street: The 'Squidding' of Goldman, Sachs

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squidding ows
Occupy Wall Street protesters carry a giant puppet squid during a march to the offices of Goldman Sachs in New York.
REUTERS /ANDREW BURTON /LANDOV

I almost shed tears of pride this morning when I read this hilarious passage in the Daily News:

Earlier Monday, about 300 protesters in squid costumes surged outside the offices of Goldman Sachs investment bank shouting, "We fry calamari!" and "Everyone pays their tax – everyone but Goldman, Sachs!"

I wish someone had called me – I would have loved to have attended this "Let's Go Squidding" expedition. Folks, if you do this again, please let me know, and I promise to put some serious man-hours into designing a squid costume. As it is, I'd like to see in person some of the ones that turned out yesterday, especially that giant papier-mâché-looking thing I seem to see in the News photo. Whoever made that thing, if you're out there, please contact me.

In all seriousness, I commend these protesters and hope no harm came of those arrests. Goldman continues to be a natural and appropriate target of protester anger and if OWS actions continue to mock the bank and make sport of them, it might help the public learn more about how these state-dependent banks operate and why they need to be reined in, if not broken up altogether.

A perfect if small case in point, courtesy of Zero Hedge.

Last week, Goldman upgraded European bank stocks, raising their rating from Underweight to Neutral. As ZH pointed out, "Goldman has just started selling European bank stocks to its clients, whom it is telling to buy European bank stocks." Seeing this last week, ZH instantly and correctly concluded that Goldman was attempting to unload crappy assets on clients, and immediately advised its readers to interpret Goldman's recommendation in the opposite direction.

In other words: if Goldman says a stock is good, you should immediately conclude that the bank actually thinks the stock is shit and is merely trying to unload it on suckers. Anyway, a few days later, ZH reported:

Sure enough, European bank stocks are down 3.84% today alone...

This may seem like a small thing, but it's a nice little tale about the ethics of modern investment banks. If Goldman sold cars, it'd issue a "buy" on '09 Toyota Corollas as soon as it finished its sticky accelerator pedal tests.

Anyway, kudos to the Squidders. I'm sorry I wasn't there.

UPDATE:  Now the Squidding protests have inspired this crazy video from the Taiwanese animators at Big Apple TV. This is amazing. When do we get a "World of OWS Warcraft" spinoff?

Related
Photo Gallery: Occupiers Go Squidding in New York City

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

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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