Goldman Pumps $500M Into Small Businesses

Blankfein apologizes— but not for the $16B payout to employees
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2009 9:20 AM CST
In this March 27, 2009, file photo, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein leaves the White House.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – In a move that definitely has nothing to do with spiraling public hostility, Goldman Sachs has announced a $500 million small-business assistance program. Headed by an advisory panel that includes Warren Buffett and Lloyd Blankfein (he who works for God), the so-called “10,000 Small Businesses” program will invest half its money in entrepreneurs, and donate the rest to investor education programs and community-development financial institutions.

In announcing the biggest giveaway in company history, Blankfein made no mention of the $16.7 billion Goldman plans to pay employees this year, but he did acknowledge some blame for the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports. “We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret,” he said. “We apologize.” Of course, now that Goldman is a bank-holding company, it has to comply with the Community Reinvestment Act, which encourages banks to meet the credit needs of their communities. This program isn’t designed to fulfill that obligation, but should please Fed regulators.