Selig Cartwright Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant: Doing The Second Amendment Fandango

Sorry to bother you, Mr. B. But something happened this morning I thought you should know about.

What is it Selig? A leak in the piping? I hope my Stall #8 hasn’t been flooded.

No, sir. Nothing that serious. It was just that guy who came by this morning. I don’t know who he was, but he said he was here to install gun mounts over the sinks and toilet bowls.

Oh that. No need to worry. He was authorized. Something new we’re offering our staffers. For their protection.

Protection? From what, sir?

Crazed investors. Fanatical terrorists. That sort of thing. Can’t be too careful these days, Selig.

Everyone is doing it. Have you heard about that Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida this June?

Yes, sir. Word about it has filtered down to the washroom.

Well, Selig, they’re allowing concealed handguns in the area around the convention site. In some parts of the country you can also carry concealed weapons in bars and schools. So why not have them in the toilet stalls of an investment bank?

When you put it that way, Mr. B., I can see the logic. And I guess anyone who really understands the Constitution would have to conclude the Founding Fathers wanted everyone to have loaded guns at political gatherings, in bars and schools. Very prudent. But in Wall Street washrooms? I don’t know. I mean…

What exactly do you mean, Selig? What’s the problem?

Well, Mr. B., some Wall Street traders who come into washrooms are kind of… sort of… hyper. Overwrought. You know. Losing a few hundred million of other people’s money on a bond bet upsets them.

No reason to get upset over that, Selig.

You’re right, of course, Mr. B. But some traders respond by taking strong stimulants to help get them through the day. And when you combine that with guns you sometimes…

Strong stimulants, Selig? You mean cups of strong, heavily caffeinated coffee.

Of course, sir. What else could I possibly mean?

What else indeed, Selig.

Don’t get me wrong, Mr. B. I’m not saying that anyone, for any reason, most certainly not a highly stimulated trader, should not have ready access to a handgun. Or assault rifle. Or machine pistol. Or a bazooka or hand grenade if that’s what self defense requires. Only that in a Wall Street washroom it might cause occasional difficulties.

Say no more, my good man. Be assured this is only a temporary arrangement. The election coming up in November obliges Wall Streeters to make certain alliances to keep the country from going still further in the wrong direction.

You mean toward socialism, sir?

Yes. There. Big banks and gun super-enthusiasts will have to vote the same side to beat back the socialist beast. And if that means guns above sinks and toilet bowls, what the heck. We go along for a while, after November, the guns disappear. Does that make you happy?

Anything that promotes the interests of investment banks makes me happy, sir. Your own Stall #8 is ready, by the way. And the man who came by this morning left a sample gun for you to play with… I mean for you to inspect. I think he called it a ‘MAC-10,’ along with a few banana clips of armor piercing ammo.

Splendid, Selig. Splendid. Forty-round banana clips with armor piercing bullets, you say?

For self-defense, sir. Just give me a few seconds warning before you actually lock and load. I have a family.

*******
If you enjoy reading about Selig, you might also enjoy author Michael Silverstein’s two new books being offered on Amazon. Just hit the icons below to check them out:

Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012     A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012

A collection of dozens of Selig Cartwright, Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant adventures, featuring Selig, Mr. B, and other lovable (and not so lovable) characters will soon be available on Amazon.

The Adventures Of Selig Cartwright, Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant: Can Selig Save Goldman’s Image?

Mr. B. Back again this afternoon? Been eating those tacos again for lunch?

No, Selig. I’ve come to see you.

Me, sir?

Yes, you Selig. Ever done any media?

Well, I was included in a New Kybo Monthly story a few years back about advances in sanitary hand drying. And…

No, Selig. Media. Real media. Television. Every been featured in a TV ad?

Not that I remember.

Well, how would you feel about doing one for Goldman Sachs?

You want me to do an ad showing off those hand drying techniques I talked about in New Kybo Monthly? Or maybe telling people how you let me invest my life savings in one of Goldman’s synthetic CDOs?

No, Selig. And please keep your voice down when you talk about that exciting investment opportunity. Look, here it is in a nutshell. We took a beating in those Senate hearings the other day. People we’ve been supporting with good advance and hard cash for years turned on us like, like…

Frightened weasels, sir?

Exactly. So now we need an image refurbishment. Something that lets people know that Goldman Sachs isn’t just a bunch of bonus crazed traders who can borrow cheap because we finagled ourselves into a commercial bank arrangement that also guarantees we get bailed out every time we overdo our financial innovations.

That’s not the Goldman Sachs I know down here in the company washroom, sir.

Of course it’s not, Selig. We’re people who know there’s more to life than just making more money than everyone else on the planet. And we need a new Main Street-friendly image to show that in a new TV ad campaign. We need a person out front who doesn’t immediately bring to mind someone in a thousand-dollar suit who thinks he has a God-given right to huge compensation even when most everyone else is hurting badly because of a few perfectly forgivable and understandable but much misunderstood investment gambits.

An ordinary sort of person, sir? A different image for Goldman? Something that tells the world that Goldman is as much at home in a washroom as a stock and bond trading floor?

Exactly! So, Selig, what would you say to wearing a gleaming white tee shirt, sporting an earring, having a gold tooth inserted in your mouth to pick up studio lighting, and having your head shaved? Would you be willing to do that for Team Goldman?

Of course I would, Mr. B. I’d be honored to be Goldman’s Mr. Clean. I may be a little scrawny for the tee shirt, though.

Our 33rd floor gym can take care of that. Even been there? Done the tanning parlor?

We have a gym? A tanning parlor?

Never mind. A couple of days up there, you’ll look like Charles Atlas fresh from a few weeks in The Islands. The TV guys can also hid your scalp eczema.

You’ll supply the tee shirt, sir?

They’ll be a three-pack delivered tomorrow morning. And any you don’t use for the shoots you can keep for yourself. Because when someone deals with Goldman Sachs, Selig…

I know, sir. I know. They’re family.

*******

If you enjoy reading about Selig, you might also enjoy author Michael Silverstein’s two new books being offered on Amazon. Just hit the icons below to check them out:Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012     A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012

The Adventures Of Selig Cartwright, Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant: Makes A Supreme Court Visit

[Keeping the top executives washroom at Goldman Sachs in world-class condition is a challenging and important endeavor. Along with the job's prestige, it allows Selig Cartwright an excuse, on occasion, to meet with others who have similar responsibilities in other high profile lavatories. Here's part of the transcript of such a meeting between Selig and Telemarcus (Telly) Sinclair, who does the honors at the men's washroom of the Supreme Court.]

Telly, old buddy. How’s my favorite Mr. Clean?

Scrubbing away, Selig. Scrubbing away. Making life a little better for some of our nation’s best, brightest and most deserving.

I know that feeling well, Telly, working as I do at Goldman Sachs. But tell me, the people you work for here. Nice folks?

A grand group of gentlemen, Selig. A grand group. And the way they treat a simple fellow like myself! You’d never suspect their incredible power, and the great good they’re doing every court session. It makes me wonder sometimes why we need a Congress in this country at all.

A lot of people are wondering the same thing these days, Telly. Or why we need a President when we have a Supreme Court.

Exactly, Selig. The time, the energy, not to mention the money that we waste voting for a Congress and President. And for what? To decide important issues? You know that health care bill they passed awhile back? Congress and the President spent years arguing and debating it.

Messy business legislating.

Messy, indeed. My boys, my Supremos, they heard the health care law debated over just three days. That’s all it takes for them to decide whether it stays or goes. It won’t even require the full nine justices to decide the health care future of 300 million Americans. Five can do the job. Clean. Efficient. Cost effective.

Do you think they’ll ever come a time in this country, Telly, when just one person decides things like this?

I hope not, Selig That would be anti-democratic.

True enough. Tell me, Telly, about that Citizens United decision I’ve heard so much about. What’s the washroom view?

The view in this washroom, my friend, the Supreme Court washroom, is that it was long overdue. Do you have any idea how grievously the very rich in this country suffered because they were unable to have their views heard? Because they were unable to influence policies just because they happened to be so wealthy?

I do, Telly, because that’s been a subject of conversation in the Goldman Sachs washroom for a very long time. Maybe now, though, your own Supremos won’t have so many long three-day sessions protecting the rights of the deserving rich. Now that enough money can be given legally to elect a Congress and President that won’t pass laws the Supreme Court has to dump.

And let’s not forget, Selig, a correctly elected, big money elected Congress and President means there’s no danger that this court will ever be packed and lose its power.

Or that companies like Goldman Sachs, Telly, will ever be over-regulated. Or maybe even regulated at all.

(The transcript indicates several minutes of laughter and back slapping following these last two comments. The entire contents of this meeting, however, will be available in the next issue of the Washroom Sanitation Engineers Beacon and Enquirer)

*******
If you enjoy reading about Selig, you might also enjoy author Michael Silverstein’s two new books being offered on Amazon. Just hit the icons below to check them out:

Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, art by Kay Wood ©2012     A Dyspeptic's Guide To Contemporary American Politics (In Verse) ©2012

Selig Cartwright And His Boss Diss Pay Czar Ken Feinberg (A new Goldman Sachs washroom attendant adventure)

Mr. B. You look angry, sir.

I am, Selig. Did you hear when Ken Feinberg, the Administration’s special master on executive compensation, said the other day about executive pay at America’s 17 largest banks?

No, sir. We don’t have great access to news down here in washroom.

It was horrible, Selig. Horrible. He said our record bonuses last year at a time when most Americans were suffering financially in large measure because of Wall Street practices, he said these bonuses were ill-advised.

Dear God, Mr. B. He didn’t actually use the words “ill-advised?”

He did, Selig. He actually did.
How did the people on our trading floor take this, Mr B? I know from listening to them here in the washroom that they’re a very sensitive lot.

Naturally they were shocked. Shocked! Then angry as all get-along. To have such an accusations hurled at them…well…It’s a wonder they were able to carry on at all after something like this. And there’s more, Selig.

No. I can’t believe it, sir. After such a forceful outburst, using words like ill-advised, I can’t believe any Administration official would say still more.

Feinberg did, Selig. He had the nerve, the gall, the temerity…you know what temerity means, by the way?

I do, sir. You need a couple of years of college to land a washroom attendant job these days.
Lucky for you that you have that kind of background so you can work here and pay off those college loans. Anyway…this Feinberg also said that our bonuses were not only ill-advised but giving them demonstrated bad judgment. Bad judgment! Us. Goldman Sachs! Showing bad judgment!

This Feinberg, Mr. B, has clearly come under the influence of crazed left-wingers. I pray he didn’t actually…

Say we should return some of the money, Selig? Pay a special tax on it like the one levied in the U.K? Suggest the bonuses were contrary to the public interest? No, Selig, we haven’t reached that juncture yet. And if, God forbid, we ever do, the Wall Street empire has its ways of striking back.

You mean by cutting back on campaign contributions to Administration candidates, sir, so they can’t afford more TV ads that tell voters how they’re standing up to Wall Street?

Like that, Selig. But something even more potent. The top 5 percent of income earners in this country now account for 33 percent of all the spending that even keeps this economy on its present life support. And Selig, I can assure you there isn’t a single top executive or trader at this country’s largest investment and commercial banks that isn’t included in that top 5 percent.

I have no trouble believing that one, sir.

So they take any more of our money through taxes or other ways, Selig, just to cut government deficits or fund programs for the needy and middle class, our spending goes down. And if that happened even the illusion there’s some economic recovery going on would go up in smoke

So if I understand you. Mr. B, what you’re telling me is that over the years you, Goldman, other big banks, powerful business interests and a compliant federal government have so reshaped the American economy, that any sincere attempt to reshape it back into a more progressive form that benefits the other 95 percent of our population will only make things worse for everybody.

Exactly, Selig. Heads we win. Tails we win. The coin lands on its side we win. Think of it as the guaranteed entitlement for the best and brightest.

Oh I do, sir. I do. Your own Stall #8 is ready as always, sir.

Out of my way then. And Selig…

Sir?

Do tidy yourself up a bit better after cleaning out our stalls. You’re part of the Goldman team, man. You should feel the same pride in your work as our appropriately compensated traders and top managers.

Selig Achieves Job Security; Mr. B. Suffers Hamptons Angst

Mr. B. You look concerned. Is it that fine Goldman just got hit with?

Fine, Selig? What fine?

I just heard Goldman has to pay $550 million to settle a fraud case with the SEC. For putting investors into a deal where they were almost certain to lose money.

Oh that. Just the cost of doing business, Selig. We made $13 billion last year.

But the value of the company, sir. Won’t the fine hurt that?

Don’t be silly. Our stock went up $3 billion in value the day this settlement was announced. We’d budgeted more than a billion, and everyone on The Street now understands this new Administration in Washington just wants a big sounding number or two it can throw around so it can pretend it’s really for the little guy and standing up to Wall Street.

So this fine of $550 million for Goldman was just…just…

Chump change, Selig. We probably could have dragged the thing out in court and in the end even gotten the SEC to apologize and pay us for the pain and suffering they caused. But we wanted to stay focused on making sure the regs that will be coming along because of that new so-called reform don’t cause any real problems for us down the line.

But I heard, sir, that these regs could cause real trouble for banks.

Ah, Selig, I love that word ‘banks.’ Thank goodness most of the public still doesn’t understand the difference between community banks that actually lend money to small businesses and consumers, and investment banks that raise money for large public companies, and these days borrow practically free from the Fed so we can play in a stock market where we always win. It’s the community banks that will end up screwed by the costs of new regulations. Not even chump change for us.

Yes, sir. That sort of ignorance has certainly worked in Goldman’s favor. But Mr. B. If you dodged a big bullet on financial reform, are paying chump change in fines for past behavior, and aren’t having your own pay and bonuses limited by the Administration’s pay Czar because he can only regulate banks that haven’t repaid their TARP money, and you repaid it easily by diddling a stock market you can play with money borrowed practically free from the Fed, why are you looking so glum?

Why Selig? I’ll tell you why. I just lost my gardener. The immigration people scooped him up. And we were bumped from the A-List table at a Hamptons fund raiser for Borneo howling monkeys. Some hedge fund guy and his wife got the last two seats with a contribution a few thousand larger than ours. My own wife is furious.

I can understand how you feel, sir. I share your pain. As do the howling monkeys as well, I’m sure. But speaking about wives…

Your own hasn’t taken me out of her nightly prayers, has she Selig?

Not yet, sir. But she keeps asking me whether my own job here at Goldman is secure. I know The Street is hiring more investment bankers to work the wonders that have made our country’s economy what it is today. But small people like ourselves, our own jobs…

Selig, Selig, Selig. Please assure your good woman that while the American middle class is being destroyed by ongoing government policies designed to keep enriching and enriching and enriching the best and brightest at investment banks, there will always be trickle down to people such as yourself who keep our restrooms squeaky clean. And speaking of that, Selig…

Stall #8, your own personal thunder box, is ready to serve, sir. As are happy washroom attendants like myself. No class war thinking here.

Very good, Selig. And very prudent, too.

Selig And Mr. B Share A Laugh (A new Goldman Sachs washroom attendant adventure — # 12)

Mr. B. I haven’t seen you this happy since you suckered the Beltway crowd on that A.I.G. bailout.

That was fun alright, and we haven’t lost our touch. You may not have known it, Selig, but all that talk of real financial reform awhile back had me worried.

Actually sir, there were hints. You seemed digestively challenged for a time.

Well, that’s water under the bridge. The big banks are back in charge full bore now. No more need to even fake otherwise. We weathered the reform storm with hardly a tar ball. We even got Congress to make sure taxpayers fund the reform.

How is that possible, sir? I thought there was going to be a $19 billion fee on big banks like Goldman to pay its cost.

What a disgusting notion, Selig. Why $19 billion is almost 15 percent of what we paid ourselves in bonuses last year, after we were kind enough to accept nearly free money from the Fed lending window, and additional money from TARP. Even a washroom attendant can see how wrong it would be to have big investment banks pay for reforms made necessary by a financial disaster we ourselves helped bring about.

You’re right there, sir. Any fair-minded person could see that. So where is the money to pay for these reforms going to come from now?

Mostly savings from closing down TARP early, which is fine, since we already tapped it when we needed to. If this money didn’t go toward paying for financial reform, it probably would have gone toward paying down the federal deficit. In other words gone indirectly back to small taxpayers. Can you imagine!

Well played, sir. Well played!

And it gets better, Selig.

Better, sir? How could it get better? You already explained the other day how that Volker Rule that was supposed to separate investment banks like Goldman that automatically get bailed out by the government if they lose too much money betting on derivatives has been so weakened. It was even reported today that Paul Volker himself was disappointed at this weakening that banks engineered. What could be better than that?

Hang on to your toilet brush, Selig. You’re not going to believe what Congress ended up doing next with this reform.

Actually, sir, I think I’d believe anything that Congress does when it comes to Wall Street. But lay it on me anyway.

You know how I once told you that the Glass Steagall law, that socialist monster the Roosevelt crowd passed back in the 1930s that separated depository banks from Wall Street betters, how that law gave the banks just one year to do the separating? Well, we have a dozen years if the regulators in Washington let us put it off that long. And guess who’ll be making decisions about whether we can put it off?

Timmy, sir? Tim Geithner, the investment banker’s friend at Treasury?

You got it, Selig. This whole reform thing has turned out to be so… Hee…Heee…Heeeee…

You’re turning beet red, sir. Are you alright?

Forgive me, Selig. I just can’t seem to stop laughing.

I know I speak for all true non-socialist Americans, sir, when I say we all share your joy.

Selig Cartwright And The Deforming Of Financial Reform (Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant Adventure #11)

Mr. B. You’re back again with another bottle of screw top sparkling wine. What’s the occasion this time?

BP isn’t the only company that cares about small people, Selig. Goldman Sachs cares, too. And the celebration this time is for that financial reform bill Congress is finalizing. You know, Selig, for a while I thought they might actually do things that would cut strongly into our ability to churn out huge profits with innovative financial products.

Can’t have that, sir.

No, Selig. That was something we most definitely could not allow.

But didn’t that Senator Blanche Lincoln get re-nominated? I heard some of our traders discussing it here in the washroom. She had a proposal…

She did. Had a proposal that would really have separated us from derivative peddling backed by government bailouts. After getting re-nominated, though, she returned to Washington and got an earful. In the end they always compromise away things we don’t really like.

I guess that’s why you brought me another bottle of Asti Spumanti down here in the washroom.

Don’t be silly, Selig. Goldman loves its small people, but we’re not splurgers — except when it comes to bonuses, of course. No, this bottle of inexpensive cheer celebrates the true triumph of our crack Beltway lobbying cadre. Regardless of what the new reform measure says, the person who will oversee the law’s administration guarantees the job will be done right.

Paul Volker, sir? Elizabeth Warren?

Very funny, Selig. No. I speak of a man who has done right by The Street time after time, year after year. A man who helped ensure we would get all the money we wanted in the A.I.G. bailout while the public was being screwed. Know who that was, Selig?

Can I get another hint, sir?

How about this, Selig. While a left-leaning government in Britain was levying a special tax on excessive banker bonuses last year, a tax that cost bankers like us $2.2 billion, and the new conservative-leaning government there is planning to levy another excessive bonus tax this year that will cost bankers like us another $3 billion, the person who will be in charge of enforcing our own financial reform saved us from paying one extra cent in taxes! Now do you know who he is?

Another hint, sir? Can I get just one more?

You been sniffing the Lysol again, Selig? Alright, then. Last hint. This is the same person who when European bankers all wanted a transaction tax so tiny it wouldn’t hurt small traders at all, but a tax that would cripple the profits of high volume flash traders like ourselves while also reducing volatility and market risk, this is the guy who kiboshed that crazy proposal.

It’s Timmy, isn’t it sir? It’s the investment banker’s friend, Tim Geithner.

Of course it is, Selig. The Treasury will be gaining the most power to administer changes mandated by the new financial overhaul. Goldman has been staffing the Treasury for years with our own alumni, and the Treasury Chief, Tim Geithner, will be overseeing the whole project.

It was close there for a time, wasn’t it sir?

Yes, Selig. It was close. There were moments when even I thought that when people in Washington said ‘change’ they meant real change that would shift the power of markets in favor of small people rather than their best and brightest betters.

Can’t have that, sir. It’s socialism. And then I’d never get my occasional taste of the good life.

Good life might be overstating the case a bit with this particular vintage, Selig. Is my usual Stall 8 ready for use.

As always, sir.

Good man. By the way. Feel free to take the wine home to share with your wife.

She still remembers you in her nightly prayers, sir.

Selig Cartwright And Global Warming (A new Goldman Sachs washroom attendant adventure)

Mr. B. You’re late this morning. Forget to take your bran flakes with breakfast?

Just too busy to get away sooner, Selig. Following the energy bill before Congress. It’s back on the front burner because of what’s happening in the Gulf of Mexico. But its global warming provisions are being dropped. That could cost us money.

I don’t understand, sir. I don’t understand why global warming is of interest to Goldman Sachs.

That’s because you don’t understand the company’s inner workings, Selig.

Beg to differ, sir. No one understands the company’s inner workings better than the washroom crew.

Point taken, Selig. What I mean is that Goldman stands to make big money, really big money, if an energy bill containing certain provisions that are supposed to reduce global warming becomes law — if the bill lets polluters buy and sell credits allowing them to keep from cleaning up their polluting act. Someone would have to handle those trades, and investment banks are all lining up to do the dirty — so to speak. We’re talking here mega bonuses for our traders.

Not to be disparaging, Mr. B. but that’s crazy. I mean, if you want to stop companies from polluting, you just enforce laws better, you fine them more to make them stop. You don’t let them buy the right to pollute.

Selig, Selig, Selig. Not to throw disparaging back at you, but you still haven’t fully entered the world of counter-intuitive Wall Street thinking. Commonsense would have kept us from promoting lending to people and governments that couldn’t possibly pay it back. But did that stop us? Heck no, and we made a ton of money in consequence. Now, instead of being locked into the old ‘cap and enforce’ way of thinking, we’re pushing ‘cap and trade,’ the counter-intuitive solution to pollution, a trading approach that brings the mighty power of the market into play to save the planet. And a whole lot of new cash to The Street.

And the Administration and Congress went along on this for awhile?

Went along? For awhile they loved it! They were going to tax the pollution credits we peddled. Make it a cap, trade, tax plan. Everyone would win. Except now people in Washington have gotten a little queasy about our great cap and trade idea. They relabeled it ‘carbon pricing,’ but the public still isn’t buying. Now an energy bill might not even include cap and trade.

Would that really be bad for the environment, sir?

Good question, Selig…I’ll have to give that one a lot of thought. For now, did that new batch of green magazines I requested arrive?

On the shelf in your private Stall 8, sir. Next to the new Esquire and GQ.

I’ll check ‘em out right now, Selig. We’re all thinking green these days, you know.

Selig Salutes Senator Dodd (Episode 9)

Mr B. I’m surprised to see you. I thought you and the gang were monitoring doings in the Senate. And here you are in the washroom, carrying a bottle of champaign.

Actually, Selig, its Asti Spumanti. We ran out of the Dom Perignon upstairs. But this stuff does have bubbles, and it’s for you.

Gee, thanks. A white wine with bubbles. What’s the occasion, sir? What are we celebrating?

Not just what, Selig. But who. We’re drinking a toast to Senator Chris Dodd.

Him? I thought he was giving you…I mean giving us trouble with that financial reform bill.

It may look that way down here in the washroom, Selig. But trust me, when this ‘reform’ becomes law, and regulators like Timmy…

Tim Geithner, sir? Our man at Treasury?

And a very fine fellow, too. When Timmy and our other good friends there and elsewhere in government finish writing the actual regulations for this reform, you’ll be drinking Asti down here like, like…

Like Diet Coke, sir.

Right. Like that. Thank heavens Dodd saw the dangers we faced with the derivative part of that financial reform in time. After that Arkansas person…

Senator Blanche Lincoln, sir?

Right. Her. After she was somehow allowed to insert a measure into the bill that would have forced banks like ourselves to get out of derivative peddling…

Our big money-maker, sir?

Right, Selig. The thing that keeps the stalls in this washroom fully wired to CNN and super hygienic, and the thing that allows little people like yourself occasional exposure to cheap bubbly. This Blanche Lincoln person would actually have caused us to be separated from direct involvement in the derivative markets. You know what that would mean, Selig?

I do, sir. You explained it the last time you came down for your regular Stall 8 visit. Not only would Goldman’s profits plunge, but with all government insured banks out of the derivatives market, gamblers in that market would have to eat their own losses instead of being made whole by taxpayers.

You have a wonderful memory, Selig. Ever think of trading securities? There might be some overlap with your present work in the washroom. I’ll run it by people in personnel. For the time being, though, let’s just celebrate. Dodd put the kibosh on that Lincoln madness. His new amendment to the reform bill says there’ll be a two-year wait before Lincoln’s proposal goes into effect. Two years during which regulators…

Like Tim Geithner, sir?

Right. Like our Timmy, ultimately decides whether it should go into effect at all. Guess how that will be decided. Ha. ha. ha.  So let’s pop this champ…this Asti Spumanti, and raise a toast to Goldman’s old pal, Senator Chris Dodd.

Pop!

Here’s to Dodd, Selig!

And to the death to socialism, sir!

The Adventures Of Selig Cartwright, Goldman Sachs Washroom Attendant (Episode VIII—Selig Helps Set The Standards)

Mr B? Surprised to see you in again today. And carrying all those papers.

They’re for you, Selig.

Kind of you, sir. But I’m already well stocked with paper down here. Single ply. Double ply. Quilted. We got a new shipment of Charmin in the other day if you’d like to…

No, Selig. These are papers for you to read. To read. Didn’t you get the memo?

Get a memo? In the washroom?

Whatever. The thing is, Selig, the Goldman board is creating a business standards committee to examine our businesses practices, and we’re looking to broaden its membership.

I don’t understand, Mr. B. Why would anyone think Goldman Sachs should change its business practices? The idea is absurd.

Of course it is, Selig. But with all the misunderstanding about the way we’ve been operating that you read in the press these days…

You mean like slicking that A.I.G. deal, sir? Becoming a commercial bank to access cheap loans from the Fed? Helping Greece fool its way into the EU and threatening Europe’s entire economy in consequence? Those bonuses you’ve been giving yourself? Those misunderstandings?

Yes, Selig, those misunderstandings. Personally, I can’t fathom why any fair-minided person would qiuibble about such things.

These are certainly confusing times we live in, sir.

True enough. In any case, Selig. We want to tap a few outsiders, ordinary little people like you, to help with reshaping our company operations. Are you game?

I don’t know, Mr. B. My work here in the washroom, it just involves maintaining the high-tech stalls, distributing super sanitized hand towels, keeping the luxury fixtures well shined. It’s really just putting a fancy gloss on functions people don’t want made public.

You’re just the man we’re looking for, Selig. By the way. When you come to the board meeting on the 40th floor, wear what you’re wearing now. We’re all just Main Street folks up there.

And you’ll put me on the memo list, sir?

Consider it done. Because whether you’re a client or an employee, Selig, when you deal with Goldman Sachs…

I know, sir. I know. You’re family.