Yesterday's big news in the financial world wasn't Apple stock climbing above $600 per share — it was the op-ed resignation letter to end all resignation letters penned by former Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith, in which he savaged the Vampire Squid and accused it of betraying its clients.
According to Smith, Goldman clients aren't clients — they're routinely referred to as "Muppets."
Goldman lost $2 billion of market value in a hurry as the news circulated through the Muppet Theater.
No word on whether there is or ever has been a Vampire Squid Muppet in the works. They've already got Count von Count, after all. You could probably just add a few more arms and a blood funnel.
However, it turns out that calling clients Muppets, in Goldman-speak, isn't necessarily the insult that it sounds like at first. Because the Muppets are Goldman clients. I'm not kidding.
Back in May of 2003, the family of Muppets creator Jim Henson was advised by Goldman on buying back the fluffy, colorful characters from a merchandising company:
Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson, announced that he, his sisters Lisa, Cheryl and Heather, and his brother, John, have signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Jim Henson Company from EM.TV & Merchandising AG for $78 million in cash. Upon completion of the transaction, all five family members will serve on the company's board of directors, and Brian and Lisa Henson will be actively involved in the company's management.
This happened four years after Goldman's IPO in 1999, but within the tenure of Greg Smith, who was with the firm for 12 years. No word on whether he worked on the deal. Or whether Goldman subsequently tried to interest Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy in going long on some mortgage-backed securities while they worked with Statler and Waldorf to run a "Big Bird" short.
But it's early days. In any case, I'm going to assume that Kermit the Frog is well-positioned for the Facebook IPO.