What’s Good for GS Is Good for the Country
THE WAY IT WOULD HAVE ENDED:
(if Bush, Cheney or Paulson had an ounce of brains)
Josh Bolton (outside the Oval Office):
Mr President, Hank Paulson is here, he says he’s got to see you right away.
Ok tell him, in a few minutes. I got the DAR in here.
Mr. President, you better get out here & talk to him, he’s in bad shape.
What? Just send him in.
You don’t want anybody to see him like this, besides he’ll scare the holy shit out of them.
I’m serious, you gotta get out here right now.
Y’all excuse me a minute, ladies, I’ll be right back.
Hank, what’s goin’ on?
Mr. President, I broke the buck, the sky is falling. I’m so sorry, I broke the buck, the sky is falling.
What in the hell is he talking about?
Mr. President, I have no idea.
Ok, ok, throw a blanket over him, stick him in a closet, get those old ladies out of my office now. Then get him in my office. And call Cheney.
2 minutes later, Bush, Cheney, Paulson in the Oval Office
Mr. President, I broke the buck, the sky is falling. I’m so sorry, I broke the buck and the sky is falling.
Dick, what’s he talking about?
I’ll explain later. And get him away from that window.
Hank, now tell us, what happened?
I just got in from NY. I was with my partners at Goldman Sachs.
You mean your ex-partners.
Huh? Oh yeah.
Ok go on.
Anyway, I broke the buck, they can’t roll over their commercial paper and the sky is falling and I killed the U.S. economy. Now I’m Herbert Hoover. waaaahhhhhhhhh
Hank, it can’t be that bad. You can’t kill the U.S. economy.
Oh I did, Mr. President and I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. Blankfein’s ordered all the partners to max out their credit cards and they’re converting to a bank holding company as we speak.
Holy mother of g-d. A bank holding company? Goldman Sachs? You got to be kidding.
Call Bernanke, just ask him.
Holy Jeezus.They must be scared out of their shorts.
It’s not just them. The sky is falling, the sky is falling.
I’m not following all of this. What’s bad about a bank holding company?
It’s like breast reduction surgery. It’s worse. It’s like a voluntary penis reduction surgery.
Ouch. Jeez, maybe the sky really is falling.
Well at least at 85 Broad.
Hank, quick question. Why’d you bail out the Bear Sterns paper & not the Lehman paper?
We, I mean Goldman Sachs wasn’t holding any Lehman paper.
Sorry, dumb question.
What are we going to do?
We gotta contain this panic before it spreads. We need to quarantine off the Goldman Sachs headquarters. Surround it with barbed wire. Nobody gets in, nobody gets out. Cut the power & jam the cellphones.
Mr President, I can fix it if you let me, please let me fix it, I don’t want to be Herbert Hoover. Look, I’ve written up a bill, I’ll go up to Capitol Hill, I’m going to tell ’em I need $700 billion. The sky is falling, the sky is falling.
Ah hah hah hah hah. $700 billion, ah hah hah hah, Hank I didn’t know you had a sense of humor. What is this? it’s 3 pages. You’re going up to the Hill with this, to ask for $700 billion. Hank, you’re out of your gourd, stop, please stop, I’m going to piss on myself.
And, Mr President, you can get on TV & tell the country the sky is falling.
Hah hah hah hah hah Hank stop hah hah you’re killing me hah hah Screw $700 billion, ask them for some real money, make it an even trillion ah hah hah hah no no no 2 trillion tell them you want 2 trillion aaaahhh haha hahaahahaa tell ’em $4 trillion & on the 7th day, you’ll fix Social Security too haahaahaahaa
I’M SERIOUS. I MEAN IT. THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING.
Ok, ok, we believe you, the sky is falling, here sit down.
George, get up off the floor & don’t laugh at him anymore.
Ok, Hank, I promise not to laugh.
Dick, this is serious, what are we going to do? We can’t let anybody see him like this, he’s the Treasury Secretary of the United States, for crying out loud. We can’t let him out in public like this & how are we going to keep this quiet? If anybody sees him like this, the market will drop 800 points in a heartbeat.
Ok let’s all just try to relax a little. Let’s just think this through.
Everybody take a deep breath. Ooooooooh hoooooo. Ooooooooh hoooooo. Ok.
Hank, what do you drink, scotch or bourbon?
The sky is falling, the sky is falling.
Ok. Josh, get a bottle of Macallan 18 year old for Hank & get a bottle of Wild Turkey for George & me.
Get the 101, the 80’s for pussies. & see if you can find a straitjacket, just in case.
Bernanke’s on the phone.
Ben, what the hell is going on?
They are freaking out here in NY. I went in to get a bagel & the guy behind the counter told me the banking system is about to collapse. I figured you’d want to know so I called right away.
What about the rest of the country, are they freaking out too?
I haven’t a clue, I haven’t been anywhere but NY or DC for 2 months. You need me to pick up some bagels for you?
Screw the bagels. How the hell can the KBW bank stock index be up 50% in 2 months if the banking system is about to collapse?
Jeezus, why am I not surprised? Didn’t Greenspan leave a training manual or something? Look, here’s what you’re going to do, call up the Fed district presidents & you tell each of them I want them to personally call 25 banks in their districts, no make it 50 each, & to talk to the president of each damn bank & find out how many of them are still lending money & how many think the sky is falling. Call ’em at home, wake ’em up & whoever doesn’t get 50 presidents on the phone before breakfast tomorrow can just turn in their resignation. You got it?
Who the hell appointed that guy?
Here you go, Hank. Neat, right?
Come on, Hank. Just sip a little bit.
I broke the buck, the sky is falling, I broke the buck, the sky is falling.
Ok, here, just a little more … a little more.
What are we gonna do with him? He looks terrible. He needs some sleep.
A night’s sleep is not going to be near enough. He’s waay waay beyond that. He needs some serious deep delta sleep. It looks like an acid trip gone real bad.
Dick, you surprise me, are you channeling Hunter Thompson?
So, what do you & Hunter recommend?
Well, I figure we could shoot him up with thorazine for a few days & let him sleep it off or we could try electroshock to reboot his brain.
Give me some other options.
How about a long weekend of booze & broads? He can get a reboot and some deep sleep.
Well, that sounds better. We can probably round up some interns. That used to be popular around here.
No, no. This isn’t kids’ stuff, this is a job for professionals.
What? Where are we going to get pros? & don’t look at me, I don’t know who to call.
Hillary? She’s a little long in the tooth, don’t you think?
Bill, you idiot.
Dick, calm down, I was just kidding you. Here, you need another drink.
I think you’re right, that’s good, thanks.
Josh, get Clinton, Bill Clinton on the phone right now.
George, you talk to him.
Bill, ol’ buddy, how you doing?
I’m ok, you?
The sky is falling, the sky is falling.
Well, we got a little problem here. I got somebody here really wound up tight & he needs some serious R&R & I’m counting on you to help.
It’s Hank, right?
Jezuz, has this leaked already?
Relax, your secret’s not out, at least not yet. Nah, Rubin showed up on my doorstep about an hour ago, I haven’t understood a word he’s saying other than the sky is falling. What’s going on?
Man, those Goldman guys got a real in-breeding problem. I thought Skull & Bones was bad.
You have no idea.
I bet Hank’s telling you the banking system is about to freeze up, am I right?
Hell, this is not the first or even second time Bob’s pulled this shit. The first time was Mexico. I still can’t believe I let him destroy an entire economy just to pull his buddies’ cojones out of the fire.
Then Indonesia, Russia, hell I can’t even remember all the people we screwed.
Georgie, when it comes to blowing up countries, I’m way ahead of you.
Next time you want to blow up some country, forget the Pentagon, you just dial 1-800-GOLDMAN.
And the best part, they don’t leave fingerprints. I don’t think they have fingerprints, I know Bob doesn’t. I think it’s part of the initiation. Go ahead, check out Hank’s fingertips.
lemme see, holymotherofg-d, how do they do that?
They get a choice, acid or a hotplate.
What I can’t figure out is are they morons or do they keep doing this shit on purpose?
This is scary.
All I can tell you is, whenever some Goldman Sachs boy wonder starts telling you he’s got it all figured out, you just get one of your Secret Service guys to Tazer him a few times and then lock him up for a couple of months.
I’d have Tazer’d Bob by now just for old times’ sake, but I’m afraid to keep one of those things around here in case Hillary gets her hands on it again. Those bastards hurt, has Laura ever Tazer’d you?
No, but I appreciate the warning.
So where do I fit in?
Oh yeah, well, Dick thinks we need to hide him away somewhere & put him in a coma for a few days.
So where do I fit in?
We’re leaning toward a case of booze & a house full of hookers.
That’s it; that’s the plan. We don’t do nuance around here.
Can you take care of this for us, you can have Camp David as long as you want, we’ll seal it off & put it under absolute radio silence.
Hot damn. Wait a minute, why don’t you take care of it yourself?
Bill, I’m the president of the United States. I can’t do that.
I don’t follow.
Just take my word for it, so, will you do this for us?
Shit yeah, anything for my country.
Ok we gotta move fast. We’re going to put Hank in a straitjacket & roll up him up in a rug, stick him in a helicopter. Air Force One is on its way to pick you up.
About the girls …
Ok, I get it, that’s why you’re calling me. Not a problem, no problema at all.
Look have you got any Secret Service guys still around from 8 years ago?
I think so.
Just find any one of them, tell him “little Billy wants to go out & play” & tell him “the magic number is” … hmm, these GS guys are kind of wimpy, you think 2 or 3 girls will be enough for Hank for a few days?
I’d say so, it’s not like he’s from Salomon Bros.
Ok tell the SS guy, the number is 10, wait, make it 12, uh, 13, no, that’s an unlucky number, 14, you’re paying, right? & don’t forget a nice tip.
Bill, you kill me.
You just wait, buddy boy, til Jan 20, my treat, Burkle & I are going to pick you up & that’s allll you need to know. We’ll take care of the rest.
Bill, I can’t wait. You’re not bringing Daddy along, are you?
No, he said he’s had enough. Look, you gotta cover for me when Hillary starts looking for me.
No problem. I’ll tell her you’re doing this for the good of the country.
She’s heard that one before.
Ok, I’ll tell Dick to come up with something better.
How’s Hank doing?
A lot better, the whiskey’s kicking in. He’s curled up on the floor, sucking his thumb.
Perfect. A few days in the comfort of a good woman’s bosom & he’ll be just fine.
Yeah, that’s what Dick said. Ok, gotta go.
Wait, what should I do with Rubin?
You better ditch him at a hospital on your way to the airport. You get in a room with him & Hank & you’ll be suicidal. & remove his wallet, just leave him some cash.
Got it. Bye.
(Bush & Cheney, together, finishing their drinks)
Boy I owe you, Dick, that was a close one. We thought the Harriet Miers mess was bad, imagine me on TV telling the country the sky is falling.
Besides, I hate sweaters & I can’t pronounce malaise to save my life. That sure as hell’d shred what’s left of my legacy.
No one would be comparing me to Harry Truman anymore. I’d just be Jimmy Carter Jr.
Although it would get Iraq off the front pages.
Let’s just consider us even now. You don’t bring up Iraq anymore & I won’t mention “$700B bailout”.