Is The Goldman Pile-On Getting a Little Tired?

Marla Singer's picture

The Zero Hedge tips line has received perhaps a dozen emails pointing to today's Alice Schroeder piece in Bloomberg "Arming Goldman With Pistols Against Public."  Apparently, we are expected to take the fact that some unspecified number of Goldman employees have applied for handgun permits as some sort of harbinger of an impending coup d'état by Goldman employees, or perhaps merely some sign of their close personal and financial connections to the antichrist.

Ms. Schroeder, most recently in the public eye for her work as Warren Buffett's "hand-picked" court historian, also seems to make much of the security precautions Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein took "two months before Bear Stearns Cos. collapsed."  We are expected, it seems, to draw a sinister connection between these events to support her assertion that "Blankfein somehow anticipated the persecution complex his fellow bankers would soon suffer." I sort of suspect that there is a less interesting explanation that does not actually require the presupposition of clairvoyance.  We suppose also that by "persecution complex" we are expected to believe Mr. Blankfein, and by extension the average Goldman employee, are the victims of some sort of paranoid disorder.  It's only paranoid, we might point out, if the country isn't out to get you.  In this case, it doesn't take the President himself warning you about pitchforks to make it pretty clear the country is actually out to get Goldman (whether they have earned that ire or not) but it sure helps.

That Ms. Schroeder has absolutely no idea how handguns are actually used (or, apparently, what they are for) is quickly apparent:

Common sense tells you a handgun is probably not even all that useful. Suppose an intruder sneaks past the doorman or jumps the security fence at night. By the time you pull the pistol out of your wife’s jewelry safe, find the ammunition, and load your weapon, Fifi the Pomeranian has already been taken hostage and the gun won’t do you any good.

If New York legally required storage in such a manner, Ms. Schroeder might be right- if such an imaginary statute was uniformly followed.  Of course, gun owners with even a lick of actual common sense (contrary to Ms. Schroeder's version thereof) do not deploy their home-defense or work-defense handguns in this fashion for exactly this reason.  This precise issue was center stage in successful Supreme Court arguments to invalidate gun control laws in Washington, D.C. recently.  (District of Columbia v. Heller 554 U.S. _ (2008)).

We might add that the million plus Americans who use a handgun to stop crimes every year might have a different view with respect to their immediate utility.

Then there is this:

Concealed gun permits are almost impossible for ordinary citizens to obtain in New York or nearby states.

Obviously Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania (all of which either have "shall issue" concealed carry permit laws or permit carrying outright without restriction) don't meet Ms. Schroeder's definition of "nearby states."  Further, Delaware permits "open carry" without a permit and the procedure to get a permit, which includes "open carry" is actually quite reasonable in Connecticut.  This is a pretty big "gun law fail" on the part of Ms. Schroeder.

This is our favorite part:

Talk that Goldman bankers might have armed themselves in self-defense would sound ludicrous, were it not so apt a metaphor for the way that the most successful people on Wall Street have become a target for public rage.

Really?  We actually think Ms. Schroeder's piece is the apt metaphor.  Either one must believe that every single Goldman Sachs employee is an individual personification of manifest evil and should be the subject of unrestricted suburban warfare wherever he or she beds down- and further that acquiring the means to protect themselves should carry the death penalty, or you might just find yourself not blaming the Goldies for arming themselves.  On this point I have to say, just personally, as a long time, avid and law abiding handgun owner, and carrier, I'm with Goldman on this one.  Moreover, I'm ready to make that call that, yes, when we heap abuse and threats on them and then finally chastise them for preparing to defend themselves in response to a public threat so pervasive and obvious that we would gloat at them after the fact for not "seeing it coming" should something actually happen, it seems pretty obvious that the Goldman bashing has, finally, gone just a wee bit too far.

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Anonymous's picture

the real problem is always the politicians.
you can trace any problem back to that group of inept, corrupt, fraud and ignorant individuals.

the banks are just scavenging the remains of what the politicians have destroyed.

D.O.D.'s picture

"Goldman bashing has, finally, gone just a wee bit too far."

Not even close....

WaterWings's picture


Careless Whisper's picture

since when has exposing the truth become "bashing" ?

as for their right to arm, yes, they have that right, however so do alot of citizens in manhattan. unfortunately it is impossible to get a full carry permit in manhattan unless mayor bloomberg signs the permit. so why do goldsachs employees get pistol permits while everyone else must remain unarmed?

Marla Singer's picture

Sorry, where do you get that they are getting CCWs when no one else is?

MsCreant's picture

How can you report on what they and other too big to fails are up to and then say the bashing has gone a wee bit too far? There is not enough shame to heap on them. They can quit, turn them in for violations they are aware of, all kinds of things.

They made their choices. They brought this on themselves.


And if this were my son, I'd say the same thing-->Get out of there.

geopol's picture

I'm proud of you....


Careless Whisper's picture

@Marla  Out of a population of 8,300,000 people, NYC currently issues 2,200 CCW permits a year. If you already have one then consider yourself lucky. Unless you have "connections" you're not getting a CCW in NYC (which doesn't honor NY State CCW permits). It's been common knowledge but here's one article on the subject:

A spokesman for the National Rifle Association, Andrew Arulanandam, said the drop in permits is a reflection of the city's penchant for giving only wealthy New Yorkers gun permits.


Marla Singer's picture

The permits discussed in the article are business/home permits, I'm fairly certain. But if you have other information, please forward it.

WaterWings's picture

Plus, with your life on the line I'd carry anyway. Unless they have probable cause to search you, law enforcement, or anyone, would never know. And if you did get caught it's a misdemeanor - not a felony:

Section 265.01 Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree


(1) He possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or slungshot, shirken or "Kung Fu star"...


Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor.


Get a good enough lawyer, and a jury of fully-informed peers, and you'll walk if you need it for self-defense.

deadhead's picture

in NY a misdemeanor can be reduced to an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal if you are a citizen with a clean record.  A person can probably work it out on their own with an assistant DA

DaveyJones's picture

as long as the prohibition is not based on a conviction, the offfense is a misdemeanor in many jurisidictions. And a number of jurisdictions let you obtain a "dismissal" or equivalent if you have one offense and keep your subsequent record clean 

Lou629's picture

Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor.


"Get a good enough lawyer, and a jury of fully-informed peers, and you'll walk if you need it for self-defense."

Somebody ought to tell ^that^ to Plaxico Burress and his lawyers, lol.  Sorry for the late reply, i must've somehow missed this the first time around.

WaterWings's picture

It got sticky when he negligently discharged - could have been worse: he just shot himself, and then tried to hide it. No such thing as an accident - you either need more training or need to be less careless.

Anonymous's picture

Agreed. Not even remotely close.

Project Mayhem's picture

"sign of their close personal and financial connections to the antichrist."

---^ hahahahah

Anonymous's picture

+ The deficit including unfunded liabilities

....let the GS bashing continue, let them live in fear.

Divided States of America's picture

Trust me, the current adminstration will eventually bend the rules so that only bankers can carry firearms. I guess GS may outright purchase Smith&Wesson and hand them out to all the employees at work. We, the normal middle class, will have to do with pitchforks and maybe sledge hammers.

Kinda like how the bailouts are only for the wealthy and connected whereas the simpletons get left behind. Things dont just never change, they turn for the worse.

TheGoodDoctor's picture

+ the deficit including undfunded liabilities.

...and let the GS bashing continue, let them live in fear

Anonymous's picture

Dear Marla,

The PTB have gone just a wee bit too far themselves this time.

I'm not going to doom and gloom you more than you're alloted share, but goddam shit is fucked up.


Daedal's picture

Marla, is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

You Cant Handle the Truth's picture

Goldman = Cthulhu.

Love it. Hence my icon.

Shameful's picture

I would like to believe that mighty Cthulhu has better things to do then be a banker.  Though gazing upon Cthulhu is much like looking at a bank balance sheet.  Both will drive you mad and and send you screaming into the night...hmmm...maybe he is a banker... First Bank of R'lyeh?

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

Anonymous's picture

Do ya suppose GS knows the Indonesian Orphan is a knock off?!!

LittleSambo's picture

Handguns?  At least when the New York Times wanted to secure themselves in 1863 they knew enough to reach for a few Gatling guns.

JohnKing's picture

Sorry Marla, the squid is simply too nefarious to sympathize with at this point. The sociopath is an amazing creature, it can transfom itself into the "victim" when put on the spot. I'm surprised you fell for the BB piece. Obviously it has achieved it's intended goal (with some).

Awww, poor Goldmanites, why's everybody always pickin on me? If I destroyed the balance sheets of as many people as GS has, forget the handgun baby, I'd have more "entourage" than a West coast rapper.

Careless Whisper's picture

Marla has Stockholm Syndrome. Stop loving your abuser !!!

Anonymous's picture

LOL! That's hilarious.

Sharp dressed men of Golden Sachs 2009 Pin Up Calendar.

Hephasteus's picture

Good article. The fact that they actually applied and respected the law was good. These people can get ahold of mini-guns and armored SUV's with mini-guns mounted in them exactly lke what is used to protect the president. Everyone has the right to protect themselves from tyranny. Righteous unrighteous doesn't matter. Humility and the willingness to discuss the true problems of our system in a reasonable way is still their best protection.

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

"The fact that they actually applied and respected the law was good."

And we would know about the ones who didn't follow the law how?

Hephasteus's picture

They'd get their FBI to tell ya.

Oh wait. Crap!!!


Project Mayhem's picture

I agree , all have the right to protect themselves from tyranny whether righteous or unrighteous.  Good point.

WaterWings's picture

Yes. Let 12 of their fully-informed peers decide.

I think the Bloomberg article was some kind of, I dunno, sideshow. I really doubt these bankers are all getting Glocks and taking firearms courses. Like I said in a previous post this article looked like it should have been in People magazine.

If things get ugly they'll get Xe to do some dirty work. GS is in symbiosis with the apparatchiks - ya think they haven't planned for every contingency! But I doubt there will ever be any real populist anger - there are too many good showz on TV:

Budd Fox's picture

They are not getting Glocks, Glocks are cheap...they get customised Sig Sauers or the New FNs with the new Kevlar piercing ammos...they can spend.

JuicyTheAnimal's picture

Uh..too many good showz?  I dunno, I can't even afford cable.  So let's see there's football and.....fuck it, it's Tuesday, is banker season open yet????

jm's picture

I sometimes feel for the guys that are just doing their jobs there.  But then I think of the bonuses they get out of my wallet instead of repaying the government slop-trough.  Those bonuses seem to blind them to what is wrong with the whole system, and they make them live in denial when honest introspection is required.  Like Blankfein saying "we're doing God's work here". 

You, sir, are a fucking bastard. 

And they tend to be so dismissive of everyone and everything critical of the hypocrisy that is GS that they can't even see that their head is in their ass.  This may have changed.  I've been out of TBTFs for several years now. 

This is an opportunity for GS guys to weigh in.  I'll apologize if you give me reason.


Project Mayhem's picture

by 'God'  Blankfein means Lucifer

Hephasteus's picture

Aren't they one and the same? Two sides of the same coin.

"Good and ill to the physician surely must be one, since he derives his fee from torturing the sick." Heraclitus

Project Mayhem's picture

No, they are definitely not the same .  But I see what you are getting at.  Gotta be careful not to sink into moral relativism !

Hephasteus's picture

Moral relativism is how it works but it's not the root. It's all about legitimzation versus illigetimization. Prohibition is an excellent place to start with that. It took a previously legitimate form of behavior and made it made it unlawful or unlegitimate. If we encompass all behavior as legitimate then the worst behavior becomes the universal. It's the paradoxical, or hipocritical behavior of favoring and supporting the legitimate while not doing it that is the underlying theme of authority. The use of rejection to achieve a better "offering" of behavior while not living up to those behaviors. The pardoxical speaches present in religous text.

"You'll never control me." Well then, you won't live within the law.

"Those who love the law are with me and of me, those who hate it are against me".

But you are uncontrollable and therefore not lawful.

But I understand what you are getting at too. Eventually you have to fix within something.

Confiscate gold again. I'll freaking kill you. Shoot you in the crotch. Hammer you into the ground with a sledgehammer. But feel free to make such an action unlawful or morally wrong or unpopular. Still won't keep it from happening.

Make me live in a fractional reserve economic system. I'll give you guarantees of never treating my government or economic system with any respect or honesty or legitimacy. No matter how popular you can make it.

Basically it's the standoff from "The Thing". I do feel sorry for Goldman getting crushed by all the fear of retribution they are under. But if they twitch wrong. The trigger gets pulled and the thing gets roasted. Everything evolves. Quickly crushed rebellions turn into hard fought victories and become crushing defeats. Give me a good way to say no. Or accept the expression of it as it evolves. Thier choice.


Project Mayhem's picture

I am absolutetly pro-2nd amendment as well  , but I have no sympathy for vampire squid or their criminal leadership

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Agreed.  They would have failed in September 08 if not for their connections.

To me, a business that survives because of connections has no place in a free market.