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From the desks of Alan Schwartz, CEO of Bear Sterns and James Dimon, Chief Executive of JP Morgan
Salutations, investors, citizens of America and readers of The BEAST. We’re honored to welcome you to this exciting April edition. March was certainly a whirlwind month for us and we’re even more excited looking ahead to what this month has in store. It’s just really, terribly exciting. And we’re excited. Really.
For one thing, we’re eager to catch up on old times. We haven’t seen each other regularly in quite a while, but we used to be tight back when we were fraternity brothers at Duke University. That’s right, folks, two of the wealthiest, most powerful people in high finance—whose cavernous, opulent offices are separated by a New York street—pledged the same social society as students at the “Harvard of the South.”
You see, that’s where captains of industry are forged. What were you going to say—economics class? Business school? Only an American prole would think that. No, the fundamental lessons of capitalism are inculcated in the dimly-lit subterranes of porticoed houses, where semi-naked boys “assume the position” and submit to various thin pretexts for frottage. Under the banner of “Greek brotherhood,” they mutually agree to maintain the illusion of heterosexuality. The conditions essential to guarantee future success—deindividuation, bestiality, alcohol poisoning—can only be achieved in this cruelly stupid, beer-drenched crucible.
Don’t act so surprised. Admit it, you don’t really believe all that Obama claptrap about America being a country in which everyone has an equal opportunity for success. Your daughter, Jenny, with her C’s in long division…Or little Billy, your son, with his lazy eye—you can’t possibly imagine he’ll be president one day? No, the truth is, little Billy will have his cockeyed ambitions physically stomped out of him as a child by his sturdier peers. Thus primed for a life of anonymous misery, he will quietly take his place—which, not coincidentally, used to be your place—among the numberless pillars propping up my children in their life of carefree luxury. Just as you will have done in our generation.
Which brings us to some delicate business. Gee, how do we put this tactfully? See, Schwartzy here and his company made some pretty poor decisions in the name of untrammeled greed over the last few years. Now, the Federal Reserve has gone and done something they haven’t done since the—it almost hurts just to say it—the Great Depression. There, whew. Anywhoo, they’ve agreed to let all Wall Street banks borrow from the Reserve. What that means for us is Dimo’s company now has $30 billion for them to purchase my company. We don’t want to bore you with the technical aspects, but basically you—the workaday jerks—are on the hook for this $30 billion, if Schwartzy’s company’s assets tank (a strong possibility, incidentally).
You say that’s impossible, you didn’t have anything to do with all of this? Why don’t all us guys in suits just line up at our office windows and swan dive onto 5th Avenue? Once upon a time, some of our trepid forebears—oh, did you hear that, Dimo? Bear Sterns, forebears? I made a pun! As I was saying, some of our forebears made that hasty decision. These days, we’re a savvier and much calmer bunch. For one thing, we’ve realized the game is so stacked that there’s virtually no way us to suffer any meaningful reversals—we live essentially consequence-free lives; and, in the rare instance we have a figurative fall, we’ve learned how to cushion the impact by landing on you.
Look, we don’t want you to fret about any of this. You’re screwed and there’s nothing you can do about it. So, just relax. Okay?
Good. Now, strap on little Billy’s eye patch, take a seat on the couch and let him enjoy this new issue of The BEAST together with you.
Act like you don’t have any idea what’s happening on Wall Street. It shouldn’t be much of a stretch.
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