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Goldman to Pick Up Small Businesses by Their Shoelaces


The bank's charitable reach has no bounds.

Editor's Note: Breaking news from our satire department.

Goldman Sachs (GS) is dominating the headlines today with its 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. The $500 million program will unlock the growth and job creation potential of 10,000 small businesses in the US. Goldman's Senior Investment Strategist Abbie Joseph Cohen estimates the program will have a success rate "at or above 99%," according to a recent Goldman press release.

But there's more to the story.

Internal Goldman documents, exclusively obtained by Minyanville, indicate that child entrepreneurs will be a key target for the program.

Goldman Sachs Senior Managing Director A. Clifford Slater will head up a new group offering investment banking services to child entrepreneurs, starting in underserved New York communities such as Manhattan's Upper East Side and Tribeca neighborhoods.

In a draft for an upcoming press release, the Goldman Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein is quoted as saying "I'm just a regular blue-collar guy. And if there's one thing I've learned in this business, it's that children are humans too. If they want to carry out God's work as we do every day on Goldman's trading floors, we will be there to help every step of the way." (See also, Rags to Riches CEOs: Lloyd Blankfein)

One memo indicates that Goldman's new "Little Happy Super Bankers" division is already hard at work. Slater is personally advising an 11-year-old Soho resident on the restructuring of Nigiri Schnitzel, a pan-Asian organic beer garden located on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

"This is exactly the type of growth business that America needs in a time of economic crisis," Slater mused in an email to department employees.

Another key project is the financing of "Feel Good Now." Founded by an enterprising student at New York's elite Dalton School, poor kids will be paid to tell their life stories to the wealthy, helping the latter understand just how good they have it.

Blankfein is an early champion of the program, noting that "For a poor kid, this will be a lot more lucrative than selling candy on the subway. 'Feel Good Now' has more growth potential than 99% of the businesses we've taken public -- if expanded beyond children, FGN could terminate every poor person in New York City."

Unfortunately, none of this is likely to impress the animals that comprise the jaded and cynical business media. I mean, look at some early reactions to the 10,000 Small Business Initiative.

Paul LaMonica, CNN Money:

"...if Blankfein is really sorry about the mistakes Goldman made, here's a thought: Instead of contributing a meager $500 million to help get small businesses back on track, maybe he could kick in $14 billion instead."

David Weidner, MarketWatch:

"There is something too naked about apologizing and teaming with the well-loved Buffett and offering a half-billion in aid to small businesses. It smells dubious and, as some have already pointed out, it takes Goldman about five days to make $500 million in trading profits. Some sacrifice."

Mark Gilbert, Bloomberg:

"The public isn't likely to fall for this charade. The financial community has already spent too many years parading its charitable contributions to help divert attention from its risk-taking adventures. Tax-deductible gestures are no longer sufficient to comfort those who have seen their pension pots devastated by the credit crisis."

To Paul, David, and Mark, I say this:

Goldman saved Nigiri Schnitzel. What did you ever do?
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