(Translated into English by Harvey Rosenfield)
November 22, 2009
Dear People of the Rest of the Country:
The holidays are here. Like you, we have all worked very hard during this difficult and trying year. Now it’s time for all Americans to take a well-deserved few days off, chill out at your favorite Caribbean getaway, crack open a bottle (we like the 2006 Antinori Cab), gather around family and friends and yachts, and recognize how blessed we are for getting to “do God’s work,” as Master Blankfein says.
Like you, we have so much to be thankful for. Here are just a few items we’d like to mention on our end:
Thank you for sending us $700 billion. We know some of you did not understand why we, the people who pretty much single-handedly caused the current depression recession, should be given $700 billion of your money. We can hardly believe it ourselves, in fact. But the truth is that if we didn’t get that money, we would have stopped working. Think of how much that would have hurt you, the People of the Rest of the Country. Do you know how many private airplane pilots, limo drivers, bartenders, and members of Congress we keep employed? A few years ago, we were responsible for 30% of all corporate profits in the United States. That’s how important our work is to this country. Now, thanks to you, we are back in business! And that means that soon, some of you will be, too. Hang in there!
Also, we are very thankful for the bonuses. For a while, 2009 looked pretty bad on the bonus front. But, as it turned out, no worries. This year is shaping up to be our biggest yet. You can hardly tell that the economy had a “bad moment.”
Trillions of thanks to Barack Obama for being the smartest guy in the room! We all knew he was smarter than the last guy. But none of us would ever have guessed how wise BO would be about our plight. First, he appoints all of our friends to be in charge of the government agencies that are supposed to regulate us. Then he lets our buds draft all the “reforms” that certain uncooperative people in Congress want to pass. Regrettably, none of us were available when the President came to Wall Street to make a speech a few months ago, but we thank him nonetheless.
And very best wishes to our other BF, Barney Frank. You got our back all those years, and we are here for you. And you too, Chris D. (It’s ok. We know you don’t mean all those harsh things you are saying right now. Looking forward to talking with you again right after the primary.)
We are also very grateful for health care reform. Rather than wasting a lot of time and attention on what we’re doing, Washington has cleverly shifted the focus to something that really is a mess. (Okay, we own the health care system, too. But we’re very pleased to participate in “reforming” it, especially since under the current proposals, everybody in the country will have to buy health insurance from us. Great news, PotRotC: once that happens, we can finally stop denying your claims.)
Thank you, thank you, Warren Buffett. He lives somewhere out there with the Rest of You but he’s still one of us. That was a big help when we needed to put a little “skin” of our own into the economy with that Goldman plan to donate $500 million to small businesses. Heck, there's more where that came from, so if this kind of thing makes you dear PotRotC happy, just ask. It’s only 3% of this year's GS mega-bonus blowout but Buffy has always shown that when you write big checks everyone thinks you’re a great guy. Even Ralph Nader thinks Buffett can save the world. He sure saved ours.
Derivatives? Our thanks runneth over. Okay, we realize most of you have no idea what those things are. Guess what? We didn’t either. LOL! We just hired a bunch of math geniuses with Dells to come up with ways of making money out of thin air. Once we launched those gi-normous mortgage and credit card mashups, nobody could even figure out who owns what – that’s the gift that kept on giving. For a half a second there was actually talk about getting rid of these scary money bombs, but now the government is encouraging us to use them. In fact, we’ve got a brand new derivative that we are going to ask your local officials to invest your money in next year. It’s a bond that can turn into stock! More magic!
Well, we could go on and on, life is grand, isn't it? but we’re getting hungry. Even ravenous. Oops – we forgot to offer special thanks for making sure we got supplies of the scarce H1N1 vaccine before hospitals, senior citizen centers, and just about everyone else. We are definitely too big to get the flu. Your sacrifice means we can continue to work hard (starting right after our six week Thanksgiving-Christmas break) to protect your investment in us.
From All of Us to the Rest of You,
Enjoy the Holidays!