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August 19, 2011

(Almost) Too Easy

By:Aaron Datesman

Nothing to see here:

A staffer working for Rep. Darrell Issa's Oversight Committee on financial regulation issues has come under scrutiny by ThinkProgress for changing his name after he left his previous position at Goldman Sachs. The story implied that he changed his name three years ago to hide his background with the company.

But Peter Haller, formerly known as Peter Simonyi, said in a statement to TPM that he and his sister switched their names a few years back to respect the last wish of his grandfather to carry on his mother's family name.

Except maybe this:

His last request was that if Theodora marries, her husband and children would carry on the Haller name. As my sister and I became adults, at some point discussions began that we should carry on the name of my mother's family, which had lived in Transylvania (emphasis mine)

Weird, huh? I had formerly assumed that this description from Matt Taibbi was metaphorical:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity

But that’s the thing about the American aristocracy: using actual vampires would probably be, in their opinion, just brazen enough.

— Aaron Datesman

Posted at August 19, 2011 04:44 PM

I'm just a sweet transvestite...

(c'mon guys, join in the chorus, you know you want to)

Posted by: otto at August 19, 2011 05:10 PM

so, a Kentucky guy,

Posted by: Bilejones at August 19, 2011 06:55 PM

It's like when the World Bank replaced Wolfensohn with Wolfowitz. It was almost as if they yearned for an actual wolf to be their president. ... Can I say that?

Posted by: HM at August 19, 2011 10:55 PM

YOUR MONEY is in a vault in the basement of Goldman-Sachs. Should YOU desire to get YOUR money back, then THAT'S where YOU'll have to go to get it.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at August 19, 2011 11:52 PM

Hilarious, but "American aristocracy"?

I wouldn't call it American. We're not in the age of nationalism any more. Capital moves faster than a speeding bullet now, and across nearly any border too. Cynically, getting rid of overt state-mandated racism was basically just a cover for getting rid of everything else that protected people against the depredations that flow from this brave new international economic order, which is now well beyond the control of any single national government, even mighty Uncle Sam.

But unless you are a socialistic sissy and care about people, so what? Getting a seat at the table to play in this game is worth any price. It's a fabulously lucrative game, with yachts and jets being among the more trifling perks for the players, but to play you have to get your chips from the bank, which these days is basically Goldman Sachs, just as it once was JP Morgan. Transylvania, Monaco, London, Kampuchea, the Bahamas, Riyahd--it doesn't matter. Wherever the game is held, one wolf or another will be there when you arrive to get your signature and ask for your deposit before you get those chips.

Posted by: N E at August 20, 2011 04:15 PM

Real aristocracy would be so much better than these shitbagz.

Noblesse Oblige? They've never heard of it.

Deracinated criminals. Who believe that theirs is the only way the world has ever known.

Posted by: rubra at August 21, 2011 02:30 PM

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Posted by: mutual funds at August 22, 2011 08:19 AM

@NE - I chose the word mostly because it fit in the punch line, but actually I think aristocracy captures what we're facing pretty well. I take your point about its international character today, but is that really much different than it was in Europe in 1750? The aristocracy in Europe all hated their own people, but were often related by blood to their peers in other countries. It might be broader today; I don't think it's different.

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at August 22, 2011 10:07 AM


good point

Posted by: N E at August 22, 2011 01:30 PM

In no way do I defend Goldman Sachs but Simonyi is a Hungarian name and Haller a Saxon one, so there is a great deal of heritage issues which are perhaps too complex and nuanced to get into here when it's a little easier to throw in a quick vampire joke, eh?

Posted by: Sam at August 23, 2011 11:35 PM

but the quick vampire joke is much funnier than your pedantry.

I love the spam from a mutual fund chophouse!

Posted by: Brian M at August 24, 2011 10:34 AM