Lloyd Blankfein: a continuing threat to U.S. persons or interests?

From The Times:

Goldman Sachs, the world’s richest investment bank, could be about to pay its chief executive a bumper bonus of up to $100 million in defiance of moves by President Obama to take action against such payouts.

Bankers in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF) told The Times yesterday they understood that Lloyd Blankfein and other top Goldman bankers outside Britain were set to receive some of the bank’s biggest-ever payouts. “This is Lloyd thumbing his nose at Obama,” said a banker at one of Goldman’s rivals.

Goldman Sachs is becoming the focus of an increasingly acrimonious political and financial showdown over the payment of multimillion-pound bonuses. Last week the US President described bonuses paid out by some banks as “the height of irresponsibility” and “shameful”.

The LA Times reports that Anwar al Awlaki, an American radical cleric, may be about to have his name added to the CIA’s hit list. In other words, if it is determined on the basis of current intelligence that he poses “a continuing threat to US persons or interests” then the CIA has, under a presidential order, the legal authority to kill him. Al Awaki has been linked to the Ft Hood massacre and the failed Christmas Day airline plot.

So here’s the question: is Anwar al Awlaki capable of doing more harm to America than the CEO of Goldman Sachs?

Let’s face it, Goldman Sachs might have weathered the financial crisis better than any of its competitors but that’s not by virtue of being squeaky clean. And let’s be objective, the harm done to the US economy and to millions of American families as a result of the rapacious business practices of Wall Street’s investment bankers far exceeds the damage done by al Qaeda.

When the economic bomb exploded, America was the point of impact with collateral damage strewn across the planet. Tall buildings might not have suddenly fallen, nor airliners exploded in balls of fire, yet lives have been lost, futures destroyed and security shattered while individuals like Lloyd Blankfein are still able to cast their eyes across the wasteland and conclude: sure, I deserve a $100 million more. It’s mine for the taking.

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