Thursday, December 17, 2009

We All Have Our Issues

It's a well known fact that Bankers around the world are currently facing some of the roughest times in their carrers having to tackle extremely serious issues pertaining to the very survival of their organizations and the protection of their own financial and social status.

Goldman, of course, could not be an exception and here is an excerpt from a NY Times story revealing the cruel severity of issues senior managers there are forced to address at their corporate retreat:

... "Given Goldman’s plans to pay out billions of dollars in bonuses this year, many outsiders might think the bank pays little attention to its public image. In fact, current and former executives say, Goldman is acutely aware of its diminished public standing.

But even people close to Goldman acknowledge that as long as the bank is making a lot of money, public opinion does not matter all that much.

“Their reputation has suffered,” Mr. Levitt said. “So has every other financial institution. And I’d rather suffer the way Goldman suffers.”

Still, Goldman’s tarnished reputation has become a hot topic inside the bank. A few months ago, at a meeting of Goldman’s in-house leadership program, known as the Pine Street Group, the bank’s image came up. The group of 30-odd people wrestled with questions like how to talk to family members about Goldman and its role in the financial world.

Another question that came up was what to do if someone at a cocktail party started criticizing Goldman. Mr. van Praag, who ran the meeting, suggested that the executives should explain how Goldman made its money. But another Goldman executive offered a different answer: change the subject."

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