Next to the huge economic crisis, the most unfortunate thing about the past two weeks has been having to spend so much time with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. I never could stand investment bankers. They're always trying to sell you something. Since the people are calling for more transparency in our decision making, here's a transcript of our conference call:
Hank Paulson: Ben, this free market shit isn't working for us anymore. The bankers aren't making any money and are being held accountable for their losses.
Me: That's how free markets work. Remember when Lloyd [Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sacks] got that bonus check of almost $70 million just last year? Should he take the losses too?
Hank: Lloyd, that little shit. Good thing I had to sell my $500 million of Goldman stock before I took office. Betty [that's Hank's secretary, she just won Secretary of the Month], get Lloyd on the phone.
Lloyd: Hey Hank. Oh, Ben's on too? Hi Ben. I got a little worried when you let Lehman go bankrupt, but they could barely pretty up a PowerPoint anyhow. So I guess if you'll bail AIG we have nothing to worry about. Imagine how the world would feel if they heard Goldman was out of business.
Hank: Lloyd, if I have to bail Goldman out, my former fucking company, I will look like an asshole in front of the whole country.
Me: Don't you already?
Hank: Shut up Ben. We're trying to do a deal here.
Lloyd: So you won't bail us out?
Hank: Of course I will, but I'll have to bail out the whole fucking system with you so it looks good. But I'm not doing this for nothing. In the time of this conference call, I just wrote a three page piece of legislation on my BlackBerry. I'm going to buy all your assets that are worth 50% of what you paid for them for 80% of what you paid for them.
Me: I thought you had an iPhone.
Lloyd: Thank you!
Hank: No so fast. Before I buy your shit assets, you're going to become a bank holding company. Why? That will let me regulate your ass. Lloyd, you and the rest of Wall Street is working for me again.