Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In the FT's parallel universe, Goldman Sachs boss is the hero of 2009

guardian.co.uk home

The wider public might view investment bankers as 'vampire squid', as one commentator put it, but the newspaper of the business world has made him its 'person of the year'

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs, recently claimed that bankers were doing 'God's work'. Photograph: Chip East/Reuters

Hats off to the Financial Times for refusing to pander to lily-livered liberals. The pink paper has opined that its "person of the year" for 2009 is none other than Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of the widely reviled Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs.

In the parallel universe inhabited by the FT, Blankfein is a hero - a "master of risk". The FT accepts that Blankfein has struggled to find an effective rebuttal of a deluge of public criticism unleashed on his bank.

But it says the former gold trader from the Bronx has "steered Goldman adeptly through the crisis, betting correctly that the global investment banks would survive the turmoil (with government help) and not be dismantled by regulators".

The FT's John Gapper continues: "The bank has stuck to its strengths, unashamedly taking advantage of the low interest rates and diminished competition resulting from the crisis to make big trading profits."

How charitable.


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