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Quick follow up.

Today's WSJ Money & Investing section headline: "Goldman Holders Miffed at Bonuses: Some Investors in the Stock Urge That More of the Riches Be Passed Along to Them"

From the article:
"Some major Goldman shareholders also are concerned about a little-noticed change in the company's financial statements that increased the firm's total head count by adding temporary employees and consultants. The change reduced per-employee compensation, making it look like Goldman employees earn less than they actually do."

Wow, that seems pretty ballsy.

There are a lot of smart, good people that work at Goldman and I know a few of them personally, but there seems to be a superior/holier than thou attitude embedded in their organizational culture that manifests itself in not only what they say ("I'm doing God's work.") but also in how they operate.

While the risks of "putting one over" on the public and government may be manageable, doing so with your investors seems to take hubris to a new level.

If Warren Buffet is trying to teach them about humility, it's time for another lecture or he may be he better start looking out too.


Bob, the older I get the more cynical I get. I don't believe for a NY Wall Street second that Goldman is doing this out of some kind of new found altruism. Time will tell but don't be surprised when we read about how they made billions off this scheme too. Now where did I put that tinfoil hat?


Bob - there's a lot more to it than that when you really dig in and de-construct. Basically bashing GS is not mindless but in fact based on the abuse of influence by a key player. Your monkey minded social instincts are correct.
That's as far from a casual statement as I can make. No organization, let alone a business, can survive in an unhealthy society. It is therefore a fundamental responsibility of management to act socially responsibly. Starting with "first, do no harm". A test that the Finance Industry failed to the point of (literally) threatening Western Civilization and the culture behind which has continued and been renewed. There are five major "business case" argument that go with that but let me defer them to discussing social responsibility and overall social performance in:
The Corporation vs Society: Performance, Social Responsibility and the Win-Win
The URL for which is:
We are social animals -cf. Sapolsky and Baboons which somebody mentioned recently. It generalizes - and when it doesn't you get revolution and social collapse - cf. Diamond and Easter Island.

working girl



Hi Bob,

I guess this makes sense...just struggling while trying to relate this to experiences. I think the problem I'm having is that I don't know any billionaires, let alone millionaires. Hell, I don't know any three-hundred-thousand-aires!

Still, occasionally I run across certifiable assholes in everyday life. Is it really just money and power that corrupts?

I went to a party years and years ago and got into a conversation with a friend's fiance, who was going to Harvard Business School at the time. (I never cared much for this guy, to tell the truth.)

Over beers, we got into a discussion about starting businesses, and how big was big enough. I was content to have enough to pay the rent, own my car outright, and be able to save some. So, the idea of millions of dollars seemed immense to me. I had no idea how I could even spend such an amount. (Now, having two kids and seeing what college is starting to cost, I am having a better idea of that. But I digress.)

So I said, "How big is big enough? Ten million? Fifty million? Five hundred million?"

He looked at me as if I was from outer space. "That's not what it's about," he said. "You can always get bigger."

regards, John

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