Category Archives: Goldman Sachs

The Last Will And New Testament Of Henry J. Worthmore, Jr.

I, Henry J. Worthmore, Jr., being of sound mind and failing health in my 73rd year do hereby set down in words this final and irrefutable disposal of all my worldly goods.

No matter what anyone may say to the contrary, this document represents my true wishes, written without undue influence except perhaps by the uncomfortably close and ever-looming shadow of my Maker. May He prove to be the first honest and faithful authority I encounter in a lifetime of lonely, self-reliant struggle. And may He understand that what transpired in my lifetime, much of which may appear of questionable humanitarian purpose, was merely a matter of good business practice and never anything personal.

Oh, damn . . . ! No sooner do I write those words than a soft, unfamiliar voice (could it be my conscience after all these years?) whispers, “Is that entirely true, Henry? Good business practice and never anything personal?”

What right does a conscience have to speak to me now–answer me that–after a lifetime spent in silence?

I know what’s wrong, and why I suffer myself to sit up in my sick bed scribbling to replace a will previously drawn and re-drawn half a dozen times. This very morning, awaking from a dream in which I’d been dragging dead weights across the floor of the Boston Stock Exchange, I looked over at my nightstand to find amidst the panoply of pills and potions a thin, black vinyl-covered copy of The New Testament. Left, no doubt, by an overzealous nurse or one of you, my dear children, desperate for a larger share of my appreciation and, ultimately, my fortune.

Well, no complaints there. That’s the way I brought you up and I have no right to complain if you prove apt pupils in the end. I suppose I should even be proud, but I raised you so damn well in my own image I can’t stand the sight of you.

And now all of you—my five progeny, my attorneys, my associates, even my ex-wives—will laugh, and with good reason, to hear that Henry J. Worthmore, Jr. woke up on his death bed to find the New Testament staring at him like a snake placed in his path by an ironic deity. Funnier still, that when I angrily picked it up to fling across the room, my eye—still sharp as ever–was caught by a saying from the text that went right to my heart and stayed my hand from its angry gesture.

And for those critics who implied otherwise, I hereby affirm that I, Henry J. Worthmore, Jr., did actually have a heart. Not my fault if it was so small most people naturally overlooked it.

But I digress, and there is little time for diversions. I feel the shadows closing in and can barely write as my fingers struggle to grip the pen.

The words that caught my eye, from the Gospel of Luke, caused something magical, or maybe I should say mystical, to happen. In an instant, I saw that this fragile life to which I was clinging was only one of many lives my spirit had taken on. And when the time soon came for me to die, that same spirit would not vaporize into nothingness but rather take on a shiny new body and a lifetime of yet-to-be-sampled experiences.

Now laugh if you want, but the funniest part is still to come, because I also saw that everything I did in this incarnation would have consequences in the next. And, as most of you know better than I, mine was a life spent far from the fields of brotherly love and higher ideals.

And so, if you look below you’ll find a long list of charities to which I bequeath my entire fortune down to the last penny, yacht and offshore tax shelter.

As for you, my children, I leave the wisdom garnered in these last fateful moments of my existence. And my apologies for abandoning your needs to once again serve my own selfish purposes.

But there’s a lesson in this worth more than the $350 million dollars you almost inherited. And that is, to make sure you never go anywhere in life, or death, without adequate insurance. I knew I had almost failed to provide such insurance for myself—call it travel insurance–when I read those fateful words from Jesus, “Give, and it shall be given unto you . . .”

As a tired old man completing his last piece of business in this lifetime, I just wish Jesus had given me more detailed instructions.

"The Game Is Rigged" (A Letter From Uncle Bernie)

January, 2011
FCI 336
Butner, NC

Dear Nephew:

How the mighty have fallen. And how far they have yet to fall…

For now I reap the bitterest harvest of all!

No worse punishment can be imagined than for a father to see his son die. But I who have never taken small steps where leaps would carry me forward, nor stolen small things when the world’s riches were laid bare and unprotected—no, I can now testify to one fate even more cruel for a father…to be the cause of an adored son’s untimely and self-inflicted death.

I only pray that my fragile and beloved son—the cousinly playmate of your youth—may now know the peace he could never find here on earth.

Please know that your expressions of sympathy have comforted me in my darkest hours, and I now turn to your inquiries in the hope that some meager measure of service to you might serve as balm to my troubled soul.

You ask me to recommend investment vehicles that will offer a reasonable return for a novice investor such as yourself. Should you look to one industry versus another, stocks versus bonds, domestic properties versus international, mutual funds versus securities…well, the list goes on and on, doesn’t it?

As I indicated in my last letter, wealth is finite, which means that all investors—you as well as the millionaire brokers of Goldman Sachs—are competing for the same spoils of war. And I purposely put you in battle with such behemoths, in my example, to show you exactly how little chance you have of taking anything but crumbs from the table in your efforts to pursue what has long been mislabeled the American Dream.

Put simply, my boy, the game is rigged. Once there was a stock market where a boy with pluck and wit like yourself could search out diamonds in the rough and make a fortune for himself. Yes, he could nurture his assets and grow his future, confident that the United States government would protect his holdings and maintain a level playing field.

Well, does that sound like today’s world of finance? Like hell it does! Unless of course you’re in elementary school listening to an impoverished third grade teacher explain the workings of our capitalist system. Out in the real world, the money boys (and it is mostly men) have taken control of things. Up until recently, your poor uncle was one of them—one of the ones whose shadow fell upon billions of dollars and thousands of innocent investors. And these selfsame money boys have made a science of separating money from the system and assets from innocents such as yourself.

We used to have a saying: steal an old lady’s pocketbook and you’ll go to jail, steal her pension and you’ll go to the Ritz.

How many ordinary individuals do you know who have made more than pocket money in the stock market in the last 20 years? While I can show you hundreds and hundreds of millionaires who have made millions and millions of dollars.

Dear boy, why would anyone in their right mind invest in an American company when it is practically guaranteed its CEO, board of directors and top echelon executives will suck all the cream off the top in the form of excessive salaries, incomprehensible bonuses and golden parachutes? Before any ordinary investor receives a single penny in corporate dividends, millions will have been siphoned off by the parasites who are now recognized as a normal part of the system’s operation.

And speaking of parasites, when there actually is money to be made on investments, it is made by PWM’s (People With Money) and PWM’s alone. Companies like Goldman Sachs structure IPO’s and other deals that are open only to their own PWM’s. And rather than police these deals, government regulators limit themselves to whistling as they walk by the graveyard, knowing that one day—if they’re well behaved little regulators—they may find gainful employment with these very same financial behemoths and perhaps become PWM’s themselves.

No, my boy, the only investment that makes any sense these days is real estate which, because of the limited nature of its inventory, will always offer a good return on your investment. Even if at times the PWM’s manipulation of the real estate market creates valleys and peaks and nearly destroys the American financial system.

But enough for now. I must end this letter and return to my singular life in confinement. How ironic to recall my earlier beliefs that punishment was something externally administered. A pain visited upon me by others. The truth is, no prison cell holds the terrors I now find welling up from my broken heart. And no amount of wealth and power could possibly fill the void that now lingers in the darkest reaches of my being.

I trust you will not forget to write and say a prayer for a tired old man, who sends his love and remains,


Uncle Bernie

P.S. And please, though I suspect you have already done so, remember to say a prayer for your unfortunate cousin, may he now rest in peace.