Goldman Sachs is making plenty of money, but that’s in part because CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s abandoned the bank’s old customer-first ethos and long-term outlook, insiders say. The New York Times spoke with nearly 20 former and current Goldman partners, and found many uncomfortable with the current regime. Where once discreet banking advice was Goldman’s bread and butter, Blankfein’s shifted to a more trader-centric model, focused on making big bets in world markets.
Goldman now keeps “profiles” on its bankers, tracking how much money they’re squeezing out of clients, and encouraging them to squeeze more. And some blame that shift with the bank’s current public relations woes. “Would John Weinberg ever be in this situation?” asked one former partner. “No way. He would have thought about the firm over 50, 100 years, not what people will get paid this year.” But others say that, as long as profits are flowing, Blankfein will be fine.