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Banking

Under attack, Goldman hits back

Mike Sherwood: trying to convey the message that Goldman does social good

Mike Sherwood: trying to convey the message that Goldman does social good

Lloyd Blankfein must be starting to see that damn squid in his dreams. On the last weekend in October, it appeared in papier-mâchè form, held aloft by protesters dangling its red tentacles outside his central park apartment building in New York. Two days later, there it was again in Chicago, a more rubbery looking version this time, seeming to swallow the head of one poor protester marching towards Goldman’s offices.

When you’re under attack and you’re scared, you hit back. And Goldman is both. Publicity has long been anathema to this most private of the world’s largest financial firms which still clings to the culture of a partnership more than ten years after floating on the public stock markets.

It operates best through private networks, in ways it has reduced to a management science. The firm identifies key decision-makers in politics, business and finance and schedules its own people to meet them at regular intervals, talk to them, understand their thinking and then report back.

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