If anyone was wondering whether or not Goldman Sachs would be kinder to the American public after the banking monolith was fined a $500M slap on the wrist and finance reform was put into place, well, wonder no more. Because we have the answer, and it’s apparently Hell no.
Working PR for Goldman Sachs must be a pretty interesting gig. For example, two messes made their way to the surface in the New York media today. The first? Not a complex financial instrument, or even a shady securities package. Oh no. Goldman’s newest weapon against the public is a noisy ferry boat. The New York Times reports:
The boats, which have been running almost constantly across the Hudson River every weekday since Goldman moved into its new headquarters in Battery Park City, have generated frequent complaints from residents of the neighborhood. Goldman does not own the offending boats, but it is paying a ferry company to keep them running 16 hours a day between a floating terminal at the edge of Battery Park City and a dock near Goldman’s waterfront office tower in Jersey City.
The president of the Battery Park City authority wrote a letter! People inside Goldman think residents are being whiny whiners who are piling on the company’s recent spout of bad PR! So, the solution? Goldman is now building two rapper-class ‘Big Pimpin’ boats. Naturally.
The firm is having two ferryboats built to its specifications at an estimated cost of more than $5 million, said people with knowledge of the firm’s plan who insisted on anonymity because they did not have permission to discuss it. The two boats, which would be more luxurious than the typical commuter ferry on the Hudson, could arrive before the end of the year, these people said.
Quiet boats! Genius. It’ll be especially amusing when the firm gets blamed for one of their rapper boats crashing into Battery Park City because nobody heard it coming. Meanwhile, more FiDi residents hate Goldman because they spend too much money. Out goes a Discount Shoe Warehouse, out goes a New York Sports Club. In goes…a Danny Meyer restaurant and high-end luxury retailers. The Telegraph UK reports:
“It appears that Goldman has no intention of replacing this retail tenant with one more attractive to the community,” said long-term area resident Tom Goodkind of the closing of the shoe outlet at a meeting of the area’s community board last week.
It would also appear Goldman has no intention of really giving a shit what you think. You want cheap stores? Sorry. You want a quiet boat? Fine, they’ll ball out. Depending on how you see it, they either can’t win or can’t lose.