On Wall Street, it's assumed that anything can be bought and sold -- from fraudulent investment packages to congress critters.
It's no surprise, then, that the wizards of Goldman Sachs assumed they could buy an image make-over, turning malicious, money-grubbing narcissists into huggable bankers who only want to serve humanity. Hence, Goldman recently surged into the glorious garden of corporate philanthropy, donating several million bucks to "little people" as a sign of the bankers' generous character.
But who do the Goldman-Sachers think they're fooling? First, these banking barons are only putting a pittance into charity -- doing a corporate imitation of the old billionaire robber baron, John D. Rockefeller, who went around parsing out dimes to a few street urchins to buff up his sour public image. But, worse, Goldman's sly executives are not even donating their own dimes! It's the shareholders' money that these bankers are doling out. Worse yet, it's also our money. By ours, I mean that Goldman's so-called "gifts" are deducted from the income taxes the bank owes, thus, shorting America's public treasury of funds that We The People need for schools, roads, parks, clean water, and other essentials to advance our society's common good.
Also, what is "charitable" about funneling $375,000 into one of Bill Clinton's show-and-tell PR events? This donation to one of Clinton's Global Initiative Conferences allowed Goldman to emblazon its brand on a panel moderated by Chelsea Clinton. That's advertising, not charity!
The more that Wall Street bankers try to purchase morality, the less they have. We don't want their false "charity" -- we want honest accountability for their destructive greed, and we want a restructured, decentralized, and ethical banking system based on fairness and common decency.
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Photo: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, via Flickr user Financial Times, creative commons licensed.