You might think, having moved heaven and earth in an ultimately futile bid to throw a former programmer in jail and throw away the key for allegedly absconding with a few lines of code, that Goldman Sachs is still pretty sensitive about keeping its technology close to the vest. Ten years ago, you would have been right: Gary Cohn was on the fence about whether he’d license the bank’s prized Securities DataBase, even for $5 billion. For a license.
The firm’s motives aren’t altruistic; rather, many of the edges that once made Goldman’s traders feared and admired have been blunted. New rules have limited banks’ trading risks, and made it costly to hold large inventories of stocks and bonds on their books. And electronic trading has squeezed margins, dimming the clamor of trading floors across Wall Street….
Thus, Goldman’s new gambit: Deploy its technology to win more business from clients. Many of those tools are being offered in the form of web-based applications that customers can customize and operate on their own.