Monday, April 26, 2010

From an article about Goldman... the Times yesterday:

Goldman on Saturday denied it made a significant profit on mortgage-related products in 2007 and 2008. It said the subcommittee had “cherry-picked” e-mail messages from the nearly 20 million pages of documents it provided. This sets up a showdown between the Senate subcommittee and Goldman, which has aggressively defended itself since theSecurities and Exchange Commission filed a security fraud complaint against it nine days ago. On Tuesday, seven current and former Goldman employees, including Mr. Blankfein, are expected to testify at a Congressional hearing. (My emphasis.)

20 million pages of documents? That sounds like a lot.

Remember when the Republicans were complaining about a 2,700 page health care bill? That was nothing!

(By the way, I heard someone on TV say that a 2,700 page bill is really not that big of a deal. You have ten staffers read 270 pages each. Happens all the time.)

But 20 million pages would mean that ten staffers would have to read two million each. And then, according to Goldman, "cherry-pick" the most incriminating e-mails. How would that work?

Well, it's not hard to picture Lloyd Blankfein and the rest of the Goldman board, smoking cigars and laughing:

"They want e-mails? We'll give 'em e-mails! Send 'em everything we've got..."

Cut to the SEC:

"Hey, we got those e-mails from Goldman. There are three semis downstairs filled with boxes of paper. Hope you guys didn't have any plans for the weekend."

And then what? Now picture a group of staffers sitting around a table with their collars open, ties down and a bunch of those white containers of half-eaten Chinese food.

"Here's an incriminating one we can use. It's on page 14,583,247."

"Yeah, I saw that one. We can't use it. Keep cherry-picking."

And you thought you had a hard job.

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