Mayor Bloomberg, never to be matched in his kinglike benevolence, paid a visit to a place where absolutely no one wanted to be today: Goldman Sachs HQ in Manhattan. Stu Loeser, a spokesman for the mayor, explained: "The mayor stopped by to make clear that the company is a vital part of the city’s economy, and the kind of unfair attacks that we’re seeing can eventually hurt all New Yorkers." Bloomberg visited this morning and met with Vampire Squid numero uno Lloyd Blankfein and other Goldman employees. The visit was not listed on Bloomberg's public schedule.
In a 2005 New York interview, Bloomberg explained how he lobbied former Goldman CEO (and former Secretary of the Treasury) Henry Paulson to build the company's current HQ near ground zero.
This is where the best want to live and work. So I told him, ‘We can help with minimizing taxes. We can help with minimizing your rent. We can help with improving security. All of those kinds of things. But in the end, Hank, look, this is about people.’...Most of the guys that run these big firms, they’re my age. And because of my company, there’s a credibility. They respect somebody who’s not a politician, who’s trying to get things done. And I think it’s fair to say they like the progress in the city.
The damage control continues after Greg Smith's explosiveTimes op-ed. Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan, sent his firm an e-mail about the op-ed that was attracting a lot of attention "around the street," a word that means a completely different thing to Dimon than it does to you.
"I want to be clear that I don’t want anyone here to seek advantage from a competitor’s alleged issues or hearsay – ever. It’s not the way we do business...We respect our competitors, and our focus should be on doing the best we can to continually strengthen our own standards.”
Perhaps the most important story to come out of this Smith debacle: The disintegrating moral fiber of Wall Street has made one recent Yale graduate decide to become a playwright instead of a hedge-fund manager. A DealBook story about Wall Street's recent recruiting troubles includes the saga of one Cory Finley, a 23-year-old who applied to work at Bridgewater Associates, a Connecticut hedge fund, then decided to write a play called The Private Sector set at a hedge-fund corporate retreat. Finley, who wears a Barbour jacket and stands in front of some sort of dangerous graffiti in a photograph taken for the article, explains: “I don’t judge people who do go into finance, but it’s not for me personally.”