Yesterday during Lloyd Blankfein’s testimony at the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading trial, Blankfein noted that, professionally, he prefers using voicemail to email. This is not a Lloyd quirk but something of an institutionalized “thing” at Goldman, where management has, for years now, been known to fill up employees phones with messages, rather than typing them out. The messages can range from morale boosters (LB left one for the staff last April around the time of the SEC investigation into ABACUS), to administrative and everything in between. For example, there was the time Hank Paulson left a firm-wide message, telling the staff he’d said some stuff he didn’t mean.

Mr. Blankfein’s predecessor as chief executive, Henry M. Paulson Jr., was also a fan of the spoken word. Voice mail was his preferred method of communication and in 2002 he famously used voice mail staffwide to apologize for his “80-20″ comment, when he remarked that 20 percent of the staff add 80 percent of the value. “It was glib and totally insensitive response, which is totally at odds with the way I think about the people here,” he told employees in a voice mail.

If that sounds awkward, it doesn’t really compare to the message he left for Jon Corzine one night not too long after pushing him out, telling him “it’s not you it’s me,” in an attempt to bury the hatchet, footage of which we’ve been able to obtain.

Goldman’s Love Affair With Voicemail [Dealbook]

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Comments (60)

  1. Posted by NakedShort | March 24, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    I just got out of a six-year relationship. Okay? That should help to explain why I’m acting so weird. It’s not you. It’s me. I just wanted to say that. Sorry. This is Hank.

  2. Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    But he was completely serious when he said that 100% of the doctors add 0% of the value.

    -Fellow Christian Scientist

  3. Posted by Wahoo | March 24, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    60% of the time it works every time

    -I’m Hank Paulson?

  4. Posted by J. G. | March 24, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Truth hurts. Never apologize and, believe it or not, titanium is just as good as glass.

  5. Posted by J. G. | March 24, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Truth hurts. Never apologize and, believe it or not, titanium is just as good as glass.

  6. Posted by J. G. | March 24, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Truth hurts. Never apologize and, believe it or not, titanium is just as good as glass.

  7. Posted by J. G. | March 24, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Truth hurts. Never apologize and, believe it or not, titanium is just as good as glass.

  8. Posted by Ole Talon Face | March 24, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Hank apologized to me once by letting his hawk maul my face. I would have preferred a voice mail.


  9. Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Bess read the article in the WSJ about the rivalry between Greifeld (sp?) from Nasdaq and Neirderhauer (sp?) from the NYSE, I think roasting their rivalry would be right up your ally.

  10. Posted by Jessi | March 24, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    I could listen to his recorded voice all day long….swoon….

  11. Posted by Jessi | March 24, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    I could listen to his recorded voice all day long….swoon….

  12. Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Are those Dre Beats headphones? Baller.

  13. Posted by Hank Paulson | March 24, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Jon, it’s not you, its me. I hope we can still be friends, I still love you but just are not in love with you. I hope you understand.

  14. Posted by Put me down for 8 | March 24, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Bess the John Favreau/Swingers reference is classic. One of the best scenes ever. 2nd only to the XBox scene post the hand-gun activity.

  15. Posted by Marlin Perkins | March 24, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Financial predators are like male lions. They wait for the females to kill something, then they get up and take a long piss on a bush, stretch, saunter down to the kill while growling, eat their fill, walk off and take a huge dump then go back to the shade of the bush and fall asleep. Then the females get to eat what is left. Fortunately for male lions, they don’t have to make comments or apologize for the ways things are.

    Now, while Jim tries to get the anaconda off his ass, lets talk about getting life’s risks of your ass with Mutual of Omaha life insurance….

  16. Posted by GS Sucks Cock | March 24, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Yeah Bess, it’s Asshole Tennis and we need a net.

  17. Posted by In case you forgot | March 24, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    How much does Paulson just not give a crap?

    Swapped out of all his GS stock at a high valuation into US bonds tax-free when he joined GW….

    Charlie Sheen does not know the meaning of winning…

  18. Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Paulson was just doing God’s work before God told him to do it

  19. Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Paulson was just doing God’s work before God told him to do it

  20. Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    Paulson was just doing God’s work before God told him to do it

  21. Posted by Texashedge | March 24, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    There is a system in which the 80-20 rule does not apply. It’s called communism.

  22. Posted by Ed | March 24, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Probably because they can be sure it was deleted.

  23. Posted by G. Costanza | March 24, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    That’s my line!

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