When one is a best-selling author of many popular books and can work at his leisure, he is afforded the time to marinade on things that tick him off. Whereas others must let life’s annoyances roll off their backs rather than spending hours on end working themselves into a lather over, say, the guy who cut them off in the parking lot this morning, the barista who put too much foam in his vanilla bullshit latte cappa thing or the thieving investment bank downtown, this person has the inclination and the free afternoons to think about the stuff that’s pissing him off. Today we find out that a couple of things have been sticking in Michael Lewis’s craw. First, off there’s the leeches at Goldman Sachs. Sayeth Mike:
“The world would be better off without Goldman Sachs, and I don’t think it is just Goldman Sachs the world would better off without. If you waved a wand and wiped out Goldman Sachs, someone would step in and occupy that place. I think the world would be better off without the idea that Goldman Sachs embodies, which is that financial manipulation is a legitimate way to get really rich. If you look at the story of Goldman Sachs in the last six or seven years, you’ll see that they made an awful lot of money getting people to do stuff that never should have been done.”
Bothersome, really bothersome, yes, but not something he’ll have to worry about much longer, as the Oracle predicted back in June that Goldman is doomed and it’s only a matter of time before they shutter that dump. What has really been riling Lewis is a little thing in Greece called the Acropolis and its utter mismanagement. So poorly is it run that Lewis knows of a former businessman-cum-writer who could do a better job with the place if someone thought to ask.
“The problem with the Acropolis is that they don’t manage the flow of people onto it. You get up there and the only thing you can see is the back of the head of the person who is taking the picture in front of you. And you can’t hear anything but the person behind you screaming to get out of the way because you’re standing in the way of their picture. There is no enjoying the Acropolis. It’s horrible. So if I owned it, I would start by rationing access to it and charging higher prices. I would also have an affirmative-action program where Greeks get in cheaply. I would make it more of a special event to get to the top of the Acropolis and wander around. I would have up-market tour guides, people who were experts in ancient Greece and in that site. It would be a privilege to go to the Acropolis rather than a right. I’m not sure I would make it a money thing. I want people to be able to earn their way up there. If they could demonstrate a proven interest.”