Lloyd Blankfein was just on CNBC talking start-ups — definitely a positive topic in our current dreary economic climate — so host Carlos Quintanilla just had to bring up the elephant in the room.Greg Smith, obviously.
He asked Blankfein what monetary or reputational damage the book caused Goldman Sachs, and here’s what Blankfein said:
“On his book…. it was jarring, we had no notice of it (the initial op-ed)…. But the press drummed it up and… fo course it was damaging to us and jarring to ourselves. We spent a ton of time trying to parse through the op-ed to find out what charges there were…I have anxiety about these things…We checked on everything exhaustively. We didn’t find anything…. and when the book came out I think a lot of people who reviewed the book couldn’t find anything…No one can flagellate themselves as well as GS can… and at the end of the day… we’re probably going to be a better firm anyway…. As far as the book itself, I think the consensus of those who read the book is that there was nothing there… But you know what, anything that makes us more introspective and review our processes is better for us.”
Of course, Quintanilla asked Blankfein if he’d read the book, and the answer to that was no.
“…a couple of the reviewers who have read the book have said you might want to save that hour and a half for something better,” Blankfein added.