Goldman Concedes its PR Strategy was “Probably a Mistake”

In case you missed it, here’s Lloyd Blankfein’s first extended television interview in, well, we can’t remember how long. Goldman has long been a firm that refused to answer most journalists’ questions and usually gave a “no comment” to interview requests, even the most innocuous ones.

But, as Lloyd told Charlie Rose on Friday, the firm is doing some “soul searching.” He conceded the firm’s longstanding strategy of not engaging with the public was “probably a mistake.” (Secretive hedge funds take note.) That strategy sowed a misunderstanding among the public at large about what the firm actually does, he said.Well, it’s taken a financial meltdown, civil fraud allegations and, most importantly, a big drop in its stock price for Goldman to finally realize it needs a better way of telling its story. It recently hired Mark Fabiani, a crisis management expert who was a special counsel to President Bill Clinton, to help repair its image.

“We’re very important but the public doesn’t see that,” Blankfein said on the show. “There are ways in which I can do a better job of informing people about markets and what we do and the contribution we make. We have to be more transparent.”

On the Volcker Rule, Blankfein said it would only affect about 10 percent of the firm’s revenues. “If we eliminated all the activity that’s unrelated to client activity at Goldman Sachs, it would probably do away with about 10 percent of our revenue,” he said. Also, forget any notion of Goldman reverting back to a private partnership, as some have suggested, because it needs access to permanent capital, Blankfein said on the show.

In addition to the strong support from Warren Buffett, the negative publicity doesn’t seem to have affected Goldman’s client business. It advised, along with JPMorgan, on United’s $3 billion merger with Continental and it’s advising, and providing financing, for Pearson’s $3.1 billion sale of its Interactive Data unit.

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37 Responses to “Goldman Concedes its PR Strategy was “Probably a Mistake””

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have started playing a new game with DB headlines. I read a headline and try to guess whether the article was written by BL or Pooey… I’m 3/3 today

  2. Anonymous says:

    Zach – did you take ESL in college?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Zach – I wish you had a policy of not engaging with the public.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is to early to tell if Goldman’s business will be affected by this…..Heck if criminal charges come down(which I doubt) they will be carrying the furniture out the door.

  5. Perkins Maxwell says:

    It’s “sowed a misunderstanding,” you idiot. For God’s sake you write for a living–learn to fucking proofread.

    Similarly it’s “Volcker,” not “Volker.” It’s not like the man is a nobody. It takes 10 seconds to spellcheck.

    Finally, please insert a “to” between “permanent” and “capital” and delete the “-ly” in “negatively publicity.” You’ve got a cushy fucking gig here, Zach, while you search for someone willing to overlook your negatives and hire you full-time–so put some fucking effort into your work please.

  6. concede this says:

    03 May 2010
    A Summary of the Goldman Sachs Fraud Case, and the Downfall of Icons

    Goldman was not making a market. They were actively creating inherently dangerous products, and then recommending and selling them to their customers, qualified investors or not. It was fraud, and Goldman is a disreputable firm, that has been shown to engage in fraud across many markets and countries and venues. This particular scam with ACA is small change compared to the setting up of AIG, and the foul bailout ripped from the public with the collusion of the NY Fed.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “…the firm’s longstanding strategy of not engaging with the public…”

    That’s why I love GS

  8. Anonymous says:

    LB don’t fret, the reason why most Americans, including Congress, hate you and do not understand the whole story and GS’ small part is that our President was elected by the majority, which consists of a large population of uneducated and uninformed individuals; perception is reality

  9. anon says:

    Is this because LVP is a just a worthless mouth piece who only knows the quick retort and cannot devise a STRATEGY for engaging the media? Dumbfuck.

  10. Anal_yst says:


    GTFO, we don’t like your kind around these parts.

    Ditto @Perkins Maxwell. When half the comments are more coherent, well thought out, etc than the post, itself, that should be taken as a sign that you need to stop drinking during the day or just put a little effort into your “work.”

  11. Trash the whole place... says:

    Trashing Rubin

  12. Anonymous says:


  13. chop chop says:

    @10 WhoTF cares..?

  14. Mr. Awesome says:

    @8 GS gave over $1M in donations to Obama. bad investment? Yeah, I’d say so.

    I actually didn’t vote for the guy, think he sucks and still dislike GS and hope they get all that’s coming to them!

    – Guy who is part of the minority of voters who can honestly say “not my fault”…

  15. Anonymous says:

    @6 – please provide the rationale behind why GS was “creating inherently dangerous products” and why this blindingly obvious insight was beyond the market’s ability to comprehend at the time.

  16. Anonymous says:

    “soul searching” = circle jerk

  17. Anonymous says:

    GS self evals FTW! Jeffrey Chiang would have fit in there seamlessly.

  18. risk free says:

    @15 could the risk created be absorbed by all parties independent of any government intervention? Yes or no

  19. Fancy Dan says:

    @10 Anal_yst …..emphasize the “anal” I guess.

  20. Anonymous says:

    So LvP is now the scapegoat as opposed to Fab^2? This comes as an interesting twist.

  21. Anonymous says:

    no shit! i’ve ached for lucas’s job for years now! plaster GS logos next to pictures of poor children, grateful retirees, saved puppies, camps for underpriviledged children, etc. the public’s dumb and always will be–play down to its level.

  22. Anonymous says:

    GS does need a rebranding, much like Dow Chemical did. I suggest they start with a new tagline, something like, “without money, life would be impossible.” It’s thoughful, it’s pithy, it’s already grooved.

  23. Anonymous says:

    lol Why is Goldman’s stock rallying? Are idiots buying on the Buffett news? lol

  24. Mr. Awesome says:

    Giant oil slicks in Gulf…

    the new killing it!

    GS is the only winner of that. Totally removed them from headlines.

    I wonder if GS shorted BP.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The only mistake was not hiring Putin as the firm’s new PR Consultant. I’d love to hear these pussy socialists talking then

  26. Anonymous says:

    @24 well if SEC can file a law-suit against GS to remove its own misconduct headlines from the papers, it’s only fair that some other disaster take focus off GS. Carl Levine to BP–did you short american oil? Do you hate America?

  27. Anonymous says:

    @5–you are my hero. marry me!

  28. guest says:

    Lloyd’s head will be part of the SEC settlement. Of that you can be sure….

  29. Anonymous says:

    Mike Duvally – you are doing a horrible job in Goldman’s Media Relations Dept.

    My prediction: you will be one of the chosen cut this year.
    (P.S. get a new pic on your Bloomberg profile before you start sending resumes, you remind me of Robert Chapman of Chapman Capital, his pic on Bloomberg scares me….)

  30. Mr. Awesome says:

    LB to congress on oil spill and shorting BP- Yes we knew about the oil spill before everyone but we are not legally bound to tell anyone about it or help fix the problem.

    We realize the wide range of eco devastation that the oil would cause but our shareholders were really the concern at that point.

    The stock was clearly going down and to hedge ourselves we shorted BP.

    This is America…get with the program.

  31. Jamie Dimon says:

    Doesn’t Lloyd seems a little faggy ? I wonder if he wears his wife’s underwear ? Just seems a fag, not that there is anything wrong with that. I also like Chaz and he’s questionable

  32. Fancy Dan says:

    Justice is looking into Front Running at GS, not simple fraud.


  33. Anonymous says:

    @32 Where are you getting that info from? Is that the rumor going around the street?….Haven’t heard that yet

  34. Anonymous says:

    Dealbreaker concedes hiring serial plagiarist and complete bore Zach Kouwe was definitely a huge mistake.

  35. Anonymous says:

    “Goldman Sachs Concedes it’s PR Strategy was a Big mistake”

    True,was actually referring to Jim Cramer and Erin Burnett.

  36. Anonymous says:


    Justice probe of Goldman goes beyond deals cited by SEC

    “The Justice Department probe began weeks ago and is essentially on a parallel track with the SEC investigation, the sources said. While prosecutors and investigators are focusing on some of the same mortgage-related transactions as the SEC, the sources said, the Justice Department has cast a wider net.”

    “The SEC filed a civil securities fraud case against the firm two weeks ago, and a source familiar with the matter said the SEC had referred that investigation to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution.

    But law enforcement sources said the probe by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office — which is known for aggressively investigating financial fraud cases — was not based on an SEC referral and was underway before the SEC announced the civil case April 16. “

  37. The post is good & about Lloyd Blankfein’s first extended television interview.They Should start with a new tagline,without money life would be impossible.