Response to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s Bloomberg TV interview
This is not pointed at Goldman Sachs per say or Lloyd directly. I do feel that we treat grey areas in business endeavors as morally okay just because we may not have adapted with rules to prevent overt exploitation. This comment is not about that.
I do have to say that Mr. Blankfein should not of done that interview yesterday on Bloomberg TV, and with no surprise, is really hard to find at the moment. It applaud him at least trying to explain some of the firms culture, objectives and mis-steps.
BUT, BUT, dear sir.
Lloyd through out the duration of this interview, gave THE MOST convincing argument for the FULL re-reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act we have had to date in my humble but serious opinion.
In effect he said that “when you invest for a customer (client) and LEND to them, “Ah-Ha”, you now have an INTEREST in the outcome of any given transaction. You are absolutely correct in your analysis of the nature of these types of transactions.
But this is also one of the major reason for Glass-Steagall. It separated the deposit taking commercial banking side that lends money from the investment banking side that invests it and give advice. The most he gave us on if this what a good idea what that he said “he felt” that the world needed companies like this to be competitive today.
I would respond with, that type of competition sounds pretty ruinous if we are at a point where our advice givers have to play both sides AND lend to be competitive. Yes we are in a world of constant competition but that does mean that we need to throw objectivity and real integrity over-board to compete.
What really has happened is that Goldman Sachs is now a public company that has a long and vaulted history with major expectations from not only stock-holders but also historians to continue to live up to this past. To do this they have needed every advantage and inside connection to continue this miracle (they can be good and bad).
I believe when we are at a point where we need to compromise our integrity of our business to meet the “challenges of our current global landscape” we really need to reevaluate what our priorities are.
Money is not an end in itself, just a very useful tool to give you opportunities in life. I agree with have a some what fair market system with the most important purpose to provide opportunity and general betterment to all people. If we miss this important point then we are missing the whole point. If you think this system is instead for the chance of being one of the few people who get to live lifestyles that are written and talked about then you have been captured and fully mis-guided.
I am not advocating any sort of full equality because we are all given different talents and traits but YES SIR, there is too poor and to ignore that means you have lost some of your own humanity. I just want a fair game that provides basic opportunity to all who participates and from there we will see where the chips will fall. Instead of attacking capital and wealth I would rather come up with creative ways of providing incentives for wealth to help provide more opportunity. It is a truly win-win.
Here is the best I could find so you could watch the interview. I think it will be increasingly hard to find it in full length.
Link (Bloomberg Videos)