“The great Goldman Sachs, despite its greatness, should apologize for not living up to its higher standards of greatness which are greater than others.”
It’s been a while since I’ve read such a gullible piece of corporate spit-shining as this Breakingviews column today. Christopher Hughes slobbers all over Goldman Sachs (an Audit funder) while tsk-tsking it for enabling Greece’s lies about its true indebtedness.
And Hughes isn’t just talking about Goldman’s investment prowess or its seemingly superhuman ability to be on every side of a transaction (how can your client always come first when you represent both sides?) No, he’s talking about its principles and ethics—ones of a “global standard setter… eschewing the practices of the crowd.” I mean, Lucas van Praag would probably be embarrassed to write something like that.
Even while recommending that Goldman apologize, Hughes is essentially pitching (oh-so-gingerly) a sort of savvy PR chess move rather than saying Goldman Sachs did anything wrong. Or if it perhaps did err a bit, it’s because Goldman Sachs’s near-religious commitment to its clients led it astray from its normally Eagle-Scout-like devotion to the good and the true:
Goldman’s longer-term interests would be best served by admitting that on this occasion dedication to client service and creativity got the better of its judgment, something it won’t let happen again.
I’m pretty sure we don’t need a column telling Goldman Sachs how to flack its way out of its wrongdoings.Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.