I cannot say I expected a blog best beloved for its breathless Gossip Girl recaps* would be the blog whose archives I spent the most time raiding to read up on the collapse of capitalism. But this crisis has been full of surprises and one of them is that reading New York magazine's Daily Intel blog could have saved investors a shit ton of money, because they have been paying superclose attention to the saga of America's Crapital Structure and they take very good notes. They reeled me into their archived coverage of what they call the "White Men With Money" beat when they ingeniously dubbed Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein the "Lila Fowler of Wall Street" after the moneyed alpha girl of the Sweet Valley High series. It wasn't a connection I'd think to make, but maybe that's because I'm not as savvy at parsing rumors…1. For instance, they totally rejected the worthless albeit true rumor about Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain's bad toupee and embraced the ex Goldman banker wholeheartedly. He looked like Clark Kent, therefore he would save his company with magical superpowers and common decency and it was really as simple as that. 2. Conversely, they did not like Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld. Did not trust his eyebrows. And seized an early opportunity in June to lambaste him for being a style nazi. He was superficial! And people like that are always way too concerned about what other people think, and they overlook what's inside. Korean Development Bank was no more likely to save him from his deluded sense of reality than Elizabeth Wakefield was Bruce Patman. 3. Early into their shift steering the John Thain love train, they hired a prominent astrologer to see what was in his stars for the year. Just to make sure their instincts were correct. WERE THEY EVER.
The Merrill Lynch CEO's cool troubleshooting at the company looks like it will earn him performance-based compensation (maybe a bonus for his plan to solve the stock-drop debacle?), but the new moon this Friday that links the sun, moon, and a brilliant Uranus, will bring news of sudden changes in relation to Mr. Thain's career path, and he's going to respond in a way no one expects!See, because this is Wall Street, where it is expected that CEOs are too busy smoking pot and playing bridge — and John Thain plays bridge!? — to notice when they need to sell their company rightthefucknow. 4. They pressed the Lehman Brothers is too obsessed with shopping to have a healthy balance sheet angle when CFO Erin Callan left abruptly. They did not particularly dislike Erin, but they did not approve of her nude lipstick. Indeed, it was ugly. 5. Yeah, and then in July the world's preeminent financial journalist of the era James Stewart advised readers to switch their money into undervalued financial stocks.
Those egghead debate team Pulitzer types always seem to miss out on the action. Sigh.
*And also, Jessica Pressler, who is, as I have disclosed previously, my BFF.