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Paulson Gives Goldman $10 Billion for Bonuses, Bails Out Shoe Shine Guy

NEW YORK, 2008-10-22 — Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, has announced that the US government will inject an additional $10 billion into Goldman Sachs to enable it to pay year-end bonuses to its partners and employees. He also announced that the government would lend $500 to the man who shines shoes in the lobby of Goldman Sachs's headquarters.

Paulson has come under criticism for bailing out his old firm, Goldman Sachs, and its respected competitor, Morgan Stanley, while letting a firm he didn't respect, Lehman Brothers, go bankrupt. He came under more criticism for throwing a lifeline to insurer AIG when the Lloyd Blankfein, the head of Goldman Sachs, called to let him know that Goldman had a $20 billion exposure to AIG.

Undeterred, Paulson has moved swiftly to plug the bonus accrual gap and shoe shine service at Goldman.

"Lloyd called me about the bonuses," Paulson admitted. "He said he had no funding for the large bonuses he is due to pay this year. We have to restore confidence in the markets. If Goldman employees don't get their usual bonuses, think what could happen to the New York real estate market and restaurant scene! There would be a nasty downward spiral.

"Of course, Lloyd was making a representation on behalf of all investment banks, not just Goldman," Paulson continued. "So I gave him the money, and now other investment banks can have the confidence to go out and get some sovereign wealth fund or Japanese bank to fund their bonuses. The Arabs and Japanese want to learn how to do investment banking. Now's their chance to learn that it starts with hefty bonuses. You can't attract and retain the best and the brightest without humongous bonuses!

"Lloyd also called me later about Joe the shoe shine guy. He's been polishing shoes in the lobby of the Goldman Sachs headquarters building for 20 years. Why, he even shined my shoes! Lloyd pointed out that with all the bankruptcies and layoffs, people were having their shoes shined less, and Joe's business is down. Again, Lloyd was calling on behalf of all shoe shine guys on Wall Street. So I lent Joe 500 bucks."

Paulson also announced that former Goldman Sachs employees will henceforth be in charge of the SEC, collecting taxes, managing foreign exchange reserves and printing banknotes, while the wives of current Goldman Sachs partners will redecorate Treasury buildings.

Felix Frelinghuysen

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