International banking giant Goldman Sachs has announced a major overhaul of the way it does business, finally addressing some of the controversial trading practices that earned the company its reputation as a sinister vampire squid. In a now-infamous internal email, Thomas Montag, who helped run Goldman's securities business, described a set of mortgage-linked investments sold by his firm "one shitty deal." Under the new rules, Goldman employees will no longer be allowed to encourage clients to buy into such shitty deals... Oh, wait. Correction: They can still shovel the shit, they just can't use the word shit. "Dookie deals" are presumably permissible.
According to the rules of Goldman's sanitized communications policy, all 34,000 traders, investment bankers and other Goldman employees are prohibited from using a wide array of popular vulgarities in instant messages and texts from company-issued cellphones and emails. The change will be implemented by screening software, and violating emails will be directed to The Compliance Department—and those fuckers are real ball-breakers. Employees also have to sit through a bullshit 10-minute online course called "Improper Electronic Communications."
The Wall Street Journal reports that Goldman is hardly the first to try to wash its employees mouths out. Media company Bloomberg LP has monitored emails for over a decade using a program that scans messages for 70 profane words and phrases in English and several other languages. Pardon our French, but isn't it nice to know these rich assholes in the financial industry have their priorities straight, so at least when the Great Recession drops into dip #2, they'll be able to laugh all the way to the bailout bank with a certain degree of decorum? Not that this has anything to do with Vietnam, man, but we're suddenly reminded of Colonel Walter Kurtz's observation in Apocalypse Now: "We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write 'fuck' on their airplanes because it's obscene!"