So they are calling Goldman Sachs "Little Brother"....
By "they" I mean the Goldman alum who have acted as TV pundits, bloggers or commentators on the firm in the past three days. Over the weekend they received repeated phone calls from their alma mater telling them to desist.
"Hey you'll play fair, won't you?" the voice from Goldman has said, "gently," but according to one recipient ever so "slightly menacingly" over the phone.
"I mean we did great business with your new firm, so you won't be knocking us on TV, will you? You know we are the good guys...."
Good guys? More like Goodfellas....
One very indignant recipient of these calls phoned me Monday morning.
"They've been calling me all weekend, gently pressuring me, trying to control what I say about the firm on television. They haven't stated an overt threat but it's like "little Brother" [as opposed to the dictatorial regime of "Big Brother" in George Orwell's 1984.]
My source isn't giving in. "I don't do business with them any more, so I don't care. I'm going to say what I think."
What he thinks is that they are as arrogant as the guys at the former Lehman Brothers and the rest of the securities houses who got hedge-fund envy and as a result ratcheted up their leverage to completely unacceptable levels.
Even so my source was taken aback by the phone barrage. He's conferred with other alum and he's not the only one to have received the calls from the old mother ship. They've all been told what to say and repeatedly to "play fair."
It goes without saying that if Goldman Sachs has done nothing wrong, it shouldn't need to "control" the words of those who left the firm a long time ago.
Doing this not only affirms its image as deeply arrogant - remember Lloyd Blankfein recently said he was doing "God's work" - but also deeply sinister.
Vicky Ward is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and the author of The Devil's Casino: Friendship, Betrayal and the High-Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers (Wiley)