Goldman Sachs employees received a couple of emails last week about the Facebook deal.
The first explained how to respond to inquiries about it.
The memo arrived in Goldman inboxes last Monday and did not name Facebook, but referenced a high-profile deal that might attract media attention.
Bankers were given directions on how to field questions they would be asked about the deal.
- Don’t answer “yes” or “no” to questions about the deal.
- Instead, copy and paste this paragraph of text. (The paragraph, which was included in the email, essentially explained that employees could not comment, and advised curious prospectors to refer to another department, for which they gave contact details.)
Later, they were told not to destroy any documents relating to the Facebook deal.
Goldman’s Asset Management chief explained to the BBC recently that obviously, in light of the furor surrounding the Abacus deal, the bank is cautiously proceeding with the Facebook transaction.
“We are quite a paranoid crowd,” Jim O’Neill said, “and given what we’ve gone through I would put it to you that we’ve made sure we’re doing all the right things before we approach the situation.”
Nonetheless, the SEC is still wants to check things out.