Donald Trump's second weekend as President was characterized by a burgeoning constitutional crisis as America faced the reality that our new leader is maybe less interested in creating a 21st Century Glass-Steagall than he is intent on imposing a 21st Century version of the Alien and Sedition Acts.
So as hopeful immigrants from a few countries that just happen to overwhelmingly muslim found themselves detained at US airports while crowds of Americans raged outside, Wall Street types that had cautiously backed the new president scooped their jaws off the floor and began to rethink the whole "Take him seriously but not literally" paradigm. But who, we wondered, would be first to be counted as the strongest anti-Trump Travel Ban voice coming from Wall Street?
The smart money was on Tony James or Soros or perhaps even the Khaleesi of Wall Street what with Jamie Dimon's penchant for speaking out morally from time-to-time. So it was something of a shocker to hear that Goldman Sachs employees found a voicemail waiting for them last night, a message from their leader Lloyd Blankfein who proceeded to say this:
"This is Lloyd. The President has issued an executive order that, generally, bans individuals from seven different countries from entering the United States and freezes the broader refugee program. This is not a policy we support, and I would note that it has already been challenged in federal court, and some of the order has been enjoined at least temporarily.
If the order were to become or remain effective, I recognize that there is potential for disruption to the firm, and especially to some of our people and their families. I want to assure all of you that we will work to minimize such disruption to the extent we can within the law and are focused on supporting our colleagues and their families who may be affected.
Let me close by quoting from our business principles: 'For us to be successful, our men and women must reflect the diversity of the communities and cultures in which we operate. That means we must attract, retain and motivate people from many backgrounds and perspectives. Being diverse is not optional; it is what we must be.' Now is a fitting time to reflect on those words and the principles that underlie them."
That's right, the most clarion voice on Wall Street speaking out against one of the most ham-handed and bizarre executive orders in American political history belongs to Lloyd, the man heading up the bank most vilified by the Trump presidency so far. Goldman Sachs is now at the forefront of resisting key items of the Trump agenda being dreamed up and force-fed by Goldman Sachs alums.
We are on the dark side of the moon, you guys.