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Hey, champ! You're back! Boy, did we miss you.
We just read about the whole Goldman thing. Yes, it was very impressive.
You probably know this already, but since you've been gone, we've taken quite the licking. We were starting to think this whole thing was rigged. But, that's the end of that. You're back for good now, right?
Long time no see!
A lot of us shareholders wondered if you were ever going to be a contender again. Sarbanes-Oxley came and went. We had a few good years of clean air. Then, poof! Like Keyser Soze or Ricky Williams, you were totally gone.
What? You didn't know that we need you here on your game the whole time? Well, we do, champ. There are no days off in this game, no vacations. This is not a set it and forget it market. By now, you should know that when things are going fine, you've got to work even harder.
These executives are always trying to make things appear better than they really are -- and that's just how it starts. One day, they're tweaking earnings. The next, they're nuking retirement pensions. You'd do us all a favor if you tackled some of these young punks sooner. We shouldn't always have to wait for them to start creating real problems in the market before you do anything about it.
Sure, we know you just prefer to make a big show when you take down a big fish. We understand -- better pay-per-view sales. But the truth is, you probably could have avoided the whole Lehman Brothers debacle before it got stripped apart and scooped up by Barclays (NYSE: BCS ) , just by making a bit more of an effort.
In the meantime, you've got to earn your reputation back. That whole Madoff fiasco didn't help, you know. Yes, well, people tend to get upset about multibillion-dollar oversights.
What's that, champ? You couldn't have knocked him out even if someone had told you precisely how? Of course you couldn't have. That guy was way too slick. There was more performance-enhancement going on there than your average baseball-playing, European cyclist.
Hit the pavement
Just wait till you hear what some of these bankers have been up to. You're going to lick your chops.
Now, I know you're excited to be back, and trust us, we're happy to see you. But, we do have one word of advice before you put those gloves back on. You can't just go right out and expect to be No. 1 again. It takes hard work to be the fearsome fighter you once were.
In fact, we must say you're looking a little flabby around the midsection. You haven't been working out, have you? That's what happens when you go on vacation for too long. You get a little soft, and you lose a step.
By the way
While we're on the subject, some of us thought you might have gotten a bit ahead of yourself in the last few days. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) is kind of the main bully on the playground these days, you know? Don't get us wrong. The list of overdue comeuppance for that company reads longer than Ben Roethlisberger's rap sheet. After what they did to AIG (NYSE: AIG ) , Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS ) , ABN AMRO, a bunch of other financial institutions, the U.S. government, and of course, us, we all think they deserve a good whooping.
But this is Goldman we're talking about here. They've got money, the best lawyers, and all those alumni who seem to end up in pretty much every government office between the Treasury Building and the Park Service. This feels like Homer Simpson taking on Drederick Tatum.
Go get 'em
Your chances? Well, they're not so great. Some people are saying you're just doing this as a smokescreen so your buddies in Congress can hamstring them on their turf. But if you work really, really hard, we think you could take them out on your own. Unfortunately, it's been a long time since you've jumped into the ring with a real fighter. Vegas thinks you're going to go down in the fifth.
Whatever happened to scheduling a few tune-up fights before the title fight, you know? Put a few easy companies on the mat, a few execs in the can, get your wind back. Work your way back up the ladder. It would have been great. This is totally different. None of us are convinced this particular strategy was such a smart one. Inspiring? Yes. Intelligent? Hmmm, we'll see.
Just do your best
You know, it's OK if you lose this one. We know you've got your "reasons" for picking this fight. Just hang in there for as long as you can. That's all anyone really expects. But don't make idiots out of us. If Goldman flattens you right off the bat, we're going to have serious problems convincing anyone that you are, in fact, back for good.
Just try to stick around this time after the fight is over.
Who's going to win this battle? Sound off in the comments section below.