So That's What a Blood-Sucking Vampire Squid Looks Like

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi famously called Goldman Sachs the "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." Turns out Nazi cartoonists came up with that image first.

ArtsJournal blogger Jan Herman found the cartoon, and joins others in accusing Taibbi of "rank anti-Semitism" for the, um, vivid language he's used to characterize Goldman Sachs. Those charges are ludicrous. There's nothing anti-Semitic in vigorously attacking Goldman for its use of revolving-door politics to secure profits in good years and back-door taxpayer bailouts in bad years. And we sincerely doubt that Taibbi went trolling through Nazi-era cartoons in search of the perfect image for his opening paragraph.

Still, there are unavoidable resonances here—the octopus is supposed to be Winston Churchill, but that's a star of David over his head and that appears to be blood dripping from his tentacles—that certainly don't help Taibbi's cause. So let's retire the phrase, shall we? That includes you, Goldman employees.