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As a not-so-hot week for Goldman Sachs’ came to a close, Mayor Bloomberg embraced the investment bank. The New York Times reports that Bloomberg visited Goldman’s headquarters Thursday for some handshakes and burgers, and explained his support of the firm on his radio show Friday. “It’s my job to stand up and support companies that are here in this city that bring us a tax base and that employ our people,” he said on the show according to the Times.
Though no stranger to bad publicity, Goldman got an extra burst of it when the Times published an op-ed from Greg Smith a Goldman executive director announcing his resignation. Smith, denouncing the firm’s “toxic” culture, introduced the public to some of its assumed, but not explicitly known, unattractive practices. Smith wrote:
It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding.
Bloomberg said on the radio that “ridiculous isn’t even the right word” to describe the media’s coverage of Goldman. Well, you have to admit, whenever the “muppets” are invoked, things tend to turn towards the ridiculous.
In response to the “muppets” line, Bloomberg said he didn’t know “whoever said that,” adding, according to the Daily News, “but even if it was said, it’s a few people and, you know, Goldman Sachs is a firm that’s been around for well over a hundred years and it’s a great firm.”
Meanwhile, yesterday, Goldman announced that it would review “policies and procedures related to bankers’ investments and how they are disclosed, with the goal of strengthening them.”
The Times described the mayor’s office drop-in as an “unannounced show of solidarity” with the company that funnels money to him through the purchase of Bloomberg terminals. In addition to socializing on the trading floor, the mayor had burgers (Shake Shack, perhaps?) with CEO Lloyd Blankfein.