Both Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) are repaying TARP today, finally freeing themselves of the burden of limited pay and a partnership with meddlesome Uncle Sam. Both of their stocks are way off their lows, and have shown an ability to raise money without government help (though we’d argue that both maintain an implicit guarantee of protection, TARP or no TARP).
Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein was in Washington DC talking to lawmakers (dropping off the check personally, perhaps), and his message to them was basically: Sorry about the whole crisis.
DealBook obtained a copy of a letter he sent to Barney Frank and a number of other powerful politicians:
Mr. Blankfein wrote that Goldman had “an explicit contract with our shareholders to be responsible stewards of their capital.”
“While we regret that we participated in the market euphoria and failed to raise a responsible voice, we are proud of the way our firm managed the risk it assumed on behalf of our client before and during the financial crisis,” he said.
Mr. Blankfein added: “We believe that repayment of the government’s investment is a strong sign of progress and one measure of the ability to recover from the crisis. But real stability can return only if our industry accepts that certain practices were unhealthy and not in the long-term interests of individual institutions and the financial system, as a whole.” Read the whole thing >