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Goldman Sachs defends having so many ex-bankers go into politics

yahoo

Goldman Sachs (GS) has seen many of its alums take government positions, including Cabinet positions under the president of the United States.

“We have been criticized for the fact that some of our colleagues, after long careers at the firm, have moved to work in the public sector,” CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in its 2016 annual report. “The charge is that Goldman Sachs is able to extract certain advantages that others cannot. In fact, the opposite is true. Those in government bend over backward to avoid any perception of favoritism. We are proud of our tradition of leadership and public service and believe it is a core part of our culture. That is why we will continue to encourage our people to contribute to government service if they are fortunate enough to be asked.”

Goldman has been nicknamed “Government Sachs” because of the long list of former bankers who’ve moved into public service.

In December, then-President-elect Donald J. Trump asked Gary Cohn, then-Goldman’s president and chief operating officer, to join his administration as director of the National Economic Council.

“Gary was responsible for developing and leading many of the firm’s most important initiatives, and demonstrated a deep commitment to our clients, our people and the culture of Goldman Sachs,” Blankfein said. “We thank him for having served as a trusted advisor, dedicated colleague and friend to so many at the firm, and wish him well.”

A number of other Goldman alums have been tapped for the Trump administration including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, economic assistant Dina Powell, and deputy Treasury secretary-designate Jim Donovan.

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group

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Here’s the excerpt from the annual report:

Gary was not the first person from Goldman Sachs to join the government, and we hope and expect that he  will not be the last. Five of my most recent predecessors went into government service, and that has not been by happenstance. One ethic that has long pervaded Goldman Sachs is a commitment to public service if  one is given the opportunity to serve. And that has been true over time and in many of the geographies in  which we operate.

We recruit people who are oriented to the larger world, and their jobs require them to be both outwardly and inwardly facing. In the process, they develop the skills  to make a contribution in large, complex organizations and the expertise to help drive economic progress and job creation.

We have been criticized for the fact that some of our colleagues, after long careers at the firm, have moved  to work in the public sector. The charge is that Goldman Sachs is able to extract certain advantages that others cannot. In fact, the opposite is true. Those in government bend over backward to avoid any perception of favoritism. We are proud of our tradition of leadership and public service and believe it is a core part of our culture. That  is why we will continue to encourage our people to contribute to government service if they are fortunate enough to be asked.

We also have contributed our expertise and knowledge  to broader public policy issues, such as fiscal policy.  And, when certain issues impact our people, we have not hesitated to speak up on their behalf. In the past, we have commented on marriage equality, and more recently, immigration policy, because they both affect our ability to hire and retain people from the broadest pool of talent. We will continue to express our views on policies that affect our people, our business and the long-term interests of economic growth.


Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance.

Read this article in its original format at Yahoo Finance


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