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Goldman Suchs atones for Greed with one-day trash pickup

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November 20, 2009 – Comments (8)

Isn't that just so great of them? After all the billions of government handouts they took? After all the excuses they made claiming they didn't need them, or even, haven't benefitted. After the CEO shoved his foot into his mouth all the way up to his groin making ridiculous defensive statements such as Goldman is doing God's work... After hijacking a nice supply of H1N1 vaccine because Goldman employees are too important to wait in line at public clinics like everyone else...

300 of the most highly paid people on earth (who add so much value to the world by skimming trading profits of hundreds of millions per day...) will clean up the trash after the salvation army's thanksgiving feed in NYC.

Awwwww.

sj

8 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 20, 2009 at 4:02 PM, outoffocus (23.62) wrote:

They have to do something to clean up their tarnished image. Much like Ebernezer Scrooge had too in the Christmas Carol.

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#2) On November 20, 2009 at 4:12 PM, ChrisGraley (30.25) wrote:

I'd like to go down there and pay them a visit as the ghost of Christmas present!

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#3) On November 20, 2009 at 4:45 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.94) wrote:

Not surprising in the least bit, though.  This is corporate image control 101.  Run your business with the ethics of a swindler and con-artist, then make a few trivial donations to charities and do some minor volunteer work.  Then, you can always brag about how you are such "great citizen because of [x charity donation] and [y volunteer activity]" blah blah blah.

It's disgusting, but American megacompanies have basically been following that textbook for the past couple of decades. 

We need to renew our focus on producing ethical companies.  It's amazing when you read about a lot of the business pioneers of the early 20th Century because ethics were huge to many of them.  Seems less true these days. 

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#4) On November 20, 2009 at 5:03 PM, brickcityman (< 20) wrote:

Ethics was huge to the Carnegies, Rockefellers, and Fords of the world?  As well as the families that many banks are now named for?

 

Perhaps I am painting with a broad brush, but I think they succeeded in cleaning up their images after their fortunes were made.  Perhaps the ends justified the means, but don't sugarcoat matters. 

 

I agree that there is a general sense that companies used to have a stronger bond with their employees.  But I don't think you can attribute that to a different breed of company owner, more than likely it was just a function of circumstance.

 

About the only ground I think can be yielded here is that companies have become less and less nationalistic in their endeavours.  Most large cap companies now could seemingly care less about the state of the nation in which they are headquartered,  only when it effects the bottom line is any attention paid.  Isn't globalization great?

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#5) On November 20, 2009 at 7:26 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.94) wrote:

brickcityman,

It's hardly"sugarcoating" things to suggest that people were genuinely more concerned about the society around them in the early 20th Century.  

Can you imagine a businessman like Arthur Andersen today?  I think the most ironic sign of this era is that Andersen's name, associated with the highest level of ethics in business in the early 20th Century, became associated with some of the lowest ethical standards in American business in the early part of the 21st Century. Talk about "rolling over in one's grave" --- I don't think Arther Andersen would have been very happy about the happenings at the firm that carried his namesake. 

The world wasn't perfect in the early part of this century and there were certainly greedy, ruthless, and reckless people, but I think you had more people who were generally concerned about building ethical businesses. Arthur Andersen is a great example. But we live in a different era now, where "greed is good" and it's OK to do unethical things if it results in a bit of bling. 

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#6) On November 20, 2009 at 8:25 PM, abitare (60.72) wrote:

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#7) On November 20, 2009 at 11:02 PM, ChrisGraley (30.25) wrote:

Europe seems very afraid of GS albitare, any insight?

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#8) On November 23, 2009 at 9:25 AM, TMFBent (99.83) wrote:

But we live in a different era now, where "greed is good" and it's OK to do unethical things if it results in a bit of bling. 

Well, the problem is that, on an equal playing field, the assumption that a bunch of independent, rational entities trying to maximize their own take-home is reasonable, and should lead to aggregate gains for all. But we know that doesn't exist, right? So, we have politically-connected, too-big-to-fails living off the taxpayer teat via direct handouts and cheap-money policies, while stuffing large portions of those ill-gotten gains directly into their pockets. However, Blankfein's ridiculous statements about Goldman doing "God's work" show just how disconnected from reality jerks like him are.

I'm all for banking that supports an economy, encourages prudent investement, entrepeneurs, etc. But the big banks nowadays aren't banking, they're trading houses. They're making their profits not so much by encouraging investment as by skimming percentages and creating new products, new markets for those bets, and skimming off those.

A huge amount of it (especially in the housing bubble) amounted to little more than taking your pay up front on profits that have yet to be made. That is, at the root, what securitization turned into. It started as a way to share risk, but became a way for creative greedholes to run up their salary now by selling pretent future profits. (About the same thing as Enron was doing with its mark-to-market gargabe.)

As king of the trashheap, Goldman suffers the burden of trying to figure out how to justify having the most insane salaries in the most insane biz.

But what the hey. A couple hundred millionaires picked up garbage for a few hours. That makes up for the billions Goldman has extracted from taxpayers over the past few years, right? Not to mention the billions on top of that that they "earned" by gambling with taxpayer dough, right?

Sj

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