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Since taking over Goldman Sachs nearly four years ago, David Solomon has made it his mission to change essentially everything about it. Elite was out, populism was in. Investment banking—the thing that made Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs—would be deemphasized; credit cards—which Goldman actually isn’t very good at—and retail banking were the future. After all, who wants to be special when you can be just like everyone else, but a little worse?

Among the smaller revolutions wrought by Solomon has been some token nods towards diversity, especially in terms of gender. Half of all newbies (and somewhat fewer, but still more than in the past, partners) were to be women. And they’d be enjoying an improved maternity leave and benefits program, to boot. Don’t have a skirt sitting around your boardroom table? Don’t call us. And when the time comes for Solomon to retire to a life of spinning obvious beats for the rich and oblivious, there may just be a woman sitting in his seat, following a trip to the barbers, of course.

Obviously, change is hard for any organization. Guess which particular change is proving particularly galling to the Olde Gods in these tougher times?

Some C-suite sourpusses say that the company under the leadership of CEO David Solomon is too focused on flashy executives with “personal brands,” rather than knuckling down to the good old-fashioned hard work of making rich people richer with very little effort…. There’s much grumbling about Solomon’s soft spot for rock star bankers — for example, Kim Posnett, who has rocketed through the ranks in recent years, and is often to be seen speaking on panels, attending galas and sitting for interviews, while, the (ahem, male, ahem) insiders claim, many of her actual deals have fallen flat….

I mean, just look at the disgraceful record of this penis-less parvenu.

The investment division where Posnett works — though, we hasten to add, not just Posnett works — was responsible for much of the downturn, earning 41% less in that time than the previous year. (We would be remiss if we didn’t note that Goldman Sachs’ executive team is reportedly around 80% male, so you’d think the number-crunching know-it-alls over there would figure out that if something’s amiss, the raw data suggests it’s overwhelmingly likely to be the guys’ fault.)

Some insiders have even been making a racket because Posnett spent much of last week in a suite at the US Open as the company was preparing to announce the layoffs, rather than, say, at her desk trying to make the balance sheet look a little more rosy next quarter.

Anyway, let’s focus on what really matters: How all of this will impact New Jersey, the governing of which is the preferred post-banking career hobby for Goldman execs.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s plan to cut hundreds of jobs is a sign of impending economic strains that may force his state to set aside “a very sizable slug” from its budget surplus…. “You’re going to see contraction,” he said. “You’re seeing it in Silicon Valley and technology firms. I’m sure you’ll see it in financial services.”

Tumult among flashy Goldman execs and DJ CEO is already getting nasty [Page Six]
New Jersey’s Murphy Says Goldman Job-Cut Plan Signals Stress for State [Bloomberg]


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