There’s a parody email circulating around Wall Street right now, in which dialogue from A Few Good Men is turned into Goldman Sachs fodder. Here’s a snippet:
You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth. Son, we live in a country with an investment gap. And that gap needs to be filled by men with money. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Middle Class Consumer? Goldman Sachs has a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.
So I decided to try my hand at something similar, with the scene in which Danny Kaffee (Tom Cruise) and Jack Ross (Kevin Bacon) discuss the possibility of Kaffee putting Col. Jessop on the stand. Standing in for Kaffee will be SEC chair Mary Shapiro, while Goldman counsel Gregory Palm gets the Ross treatment. It takes place one day before the SEC goes public with its allegations of fraud:
Palm: Mary! Great job today on the “SEC should be self funded” speech.
Shapiro: I have Tourre’s email.
Palm: Where is it?
Shapiro: In a stack of docs back in my office. There’s six federal marshals outside the door.
Shapiro: The offering documents relating to Abacus are phony. Goldman’s statement to ACA that there was an independent third party creating the derivative is a lie. We’ve gone through about 3 million emails. In the mean time I thought we’d put “Doing God’s Work” Blankfein on the stand and see if we can’t have a little fun.
Palm: Alright. I have an obligation to tell you that if you accuse Tourre or Blankfein of a crime without proof then you’re going to be subject to a raft of lawsuits for professional misconduct, and that is something that’s going to be stapled to every future political appointment that you ever seek out. Tourre’s email’s not going to stand up, Mary, he’s a crazy man! Now, I’m not telling you this to intimidate you I’m being your lawyer here.
Shapiro: Thanks a lot, Greg. And I want you to know that I think the whole fucking bunch of you are certifiably insane. This whole “we have the right to be on both sides of the trade” thing makes me want to beat the shit out of something.
Palm: Don’t you dare lump me in with Blankfein and Tourre just because we both got the same taxpayer funded bonuses! I’m your friend and I’m telling you, I don’t think Abacus was a great deal for investors, but I don’t get to make that call! I represent Goldman Sachs without passion or prejudice and my client has a case! Now I want you to acknowledge that the counsel of Goldman Sachs has made you aware of the possible consequences of accusing a CDO marketer of a felony without proper evidence.
Shapiro: I’ve been so advised.
Palm: You got bullied into that courtroom, Mary, by everybody. By Barack. By the taxpayers. Shit, I practically dared you. You got bullied into that courtroom by the memory of Bernie Madoff.
Shapiro: You’re a lousy fucking squash player, Greg!
Palm: Your boys are going down, Mary. I can’t stop it anymore.