Goldman Sachs’ (GS) latest public relations offensive involves its executives saying their capitalistic endeavours are not just tolerable, but spiritually beatifying.
CEO Lloyd Blankfein is recently said to have said he’s “doing God’s work” by raising money for clients and investing in businesses, according to the Sunday Times. And international adviser Brian Griffiths said last month “The injunction of Jesus to love others as ourselves is an endorsement of self-interest…We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieving greater prosperity and opportunity for all,” according to Bloomberg.
Those statements, amazingly, have united Matt Taibbi and Charlie Gasparino in their contempt for the bank they sparred about over this summer.
HuffPost: But there is something truly unsettling about the new message coming from the firm, honed I hear from a phalanx of image consultants who are literally trying to re-write history as the firm gets ready to dole out its enormous bonus pool. And that’s what all this spinning is about. For the record Goldman Sachs didn’t take down the financial system last year — Citigroup, Merrill, Lehman or Bear are much more responsible for that. And for the record every firm spins — its called public relations, and Goldman will need all the PR it can muster as it decides in the coming weeks how much of the $20 billion it will hand out to its executives. My sources at Goldman say Blankfein won’t be stingy because he needs to prevent top producers from bolting to hedge funds and private equity.
And here’s Taibbi on Griffiths’s church-invoking words:
True/Slant: I didn’t believe this story was true at first — thought it had to be a spoof. But it turns out to be true. The great banks of the world have gone on a p.r. counteroffensive in Europe, and are sending spokescrooks in shiny suits into churches to persuade the masses that Christ would have approved of the latest round of obscene bonuses.
See, there’s always common ground, even on vampire squids.