The public was already fuming at Goldman Sachs over the bank bailouts and the “lavish bonuses” Goldman’s giving its workers while ordinary folks lose their jobs and go bankrupt. Then at-risk Goldman and Citigroup employees got swine flu vaccine while others waited for shots. And now CEO Lloyd Blankfein tells The Times of London that Goldman Sachs is "doing God's work." Does Goldman want to be hated? (Watch an MSNBC report about Goldman Sachs's CEO claiming he does "God's work")
Is Blankfein really this tone deaf? Goldman Sachs has earned a reputation as “the Great Satan of the securities markets,” says Charles Gasparino in The Huffington Post, so a PR pushback is understandable. But Lloyd Blankfein's “spinning is reaching epic proportions.” The bank is making billions “on the backs of the U.S. taxpayer,” and Blankfein’s “doing God’s work”? “Really, Lloyd?” No wonder there are so many of us “Goldman haters.”
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Lighten up. It was a joke: "Even if you have serious questions about whether investment banks actually perform a useful societal function," says Matt Phillips in The Wall Street Journal, "there’s no reason to get all bent out of shape about Blankfein’s comments." The Times said Blankfein made his remark about doing "God's work" with an "impish grin" -- "the head Goldmanite just can’t resist winding us all up a bit."
Goldman doesn't care what people think: Goldman Sachs would like Americans to think of it as an engine of growth, says Douglas McIntyre in Daily Finance, instead of a primary villain of the financial crisis. But the bottom line is that Goldman Sachs doesn't owe money to the government, and it can give its hot shots multimillion dollar pay packages no matter what the federal Pay Czar says. It's fabulously wealthy, and "it is essentially thumbing its nose at the world because it can."
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.