24 December 2009

The Financial Times Man of the Year - Lloyd Blankfein

How fitting, to mark the high tide of the will to power of the Anglo-American banking cartel. No better symbol of hubris, of the overreach driven by obdurate insensitivity and sociopathic greed, of the cult of ego and the darker impulses of the human heart, that creates nothing.

Honoring the man as the epitome of 2009, a man whose bank helped to precipitate one of the greatest financial crises, if not crimes, of the century, and used it as a means of profit for their own ends. No matter what damage was caused in the process, what corruption was required to undermine the nation's well-being, thereby sowing the seeds of their own eventual destruction.

And no better day for it, than on the eve of the commemoration of the renewal of life, of genuine value, of the perennial yearning of the human spirit from within the images and the shadows, a turning away from the stench of corruption and decay, and into the light.

"For what shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, but loses himself?
Not even the whole world, but bragging rights, a false bravado, and a bonus.

The man of the year indeed. King of the ash heap, almost universally held in contempt. And in the end, alone. Not even rising to the level of high tragedy, but merely furtive, grasping, manipulative, pathetic. A monument to banality, and the hollowness of Western materialism.

NY Times
Financial Times Names Blankfein Person of the Year

December 24, 2009, 2:37

The Financial Times has chosen Lloyd C. Blankfein as its person of the year. The Goldman Sachs chief has become the public face of Wall Street during its most testing period since the 1930s, the newspaper said, and Mr. Blankfein’s position and his personality were the basis of his selection.

Goldman Sachs, said the newspaper, “navigated the 2008 global financial crisis better than others,” and is about to make record profits while paying up to $23 billion in bonuses to its 31,700 staff.

The newspaper called Mr. Blankfein “a tough, bright, funny financier who reoriented Goldman. Under his leadership, trading and risk-taking have pushed to the fore, reducing the influence of its investment banking advisers.”

Facing public anger in 2009 — as taxpayers raged at having to bail out the big Wall Street banks — Goldman’s profitability, and suspicions that its ties to governments around the world give it unfair advantages, made it a symbol of greed and excess.

But Mr. Blankfein has rebutted the criticism effectively, the newspaper wrote, “shifting from insisting that it would probably have survived the crisis without help from the U.S. Treasury, to apologizing for its conduct,” and finally, the newspaper noted, in an interview with the Sunday Times of London, asserting that Goldman was “doing God’s work”.