The Goldman Sachs charm offensive continued this morning, as Lloyd Blankfein made a guest appearance on a special Chicago-based episode of MSNBC's Morning Joe that highlighted the firm's "10,000 Small Businesses" program, which supports and trains growing small businesses to make money the Goldman way.
Joined by Warren Buffett and several graduates of the entrepreneurship training program, Blankfein talked up the firm's commitment to small-business growth.
"We wanted to go and show that you can invest in businesspeople, and they would make money from what they do, motivated by profit, and yet go out and make huge contributions to their communities," Blankfein said. "And I'll tell you, it just restores your complete confidence in what the future of this republic is. It's absolutely terrific."
Buffett, who presumably flew in from Omaha to attend the graduation ceremony for Goldman's budding business owners, said he had once bought a small business that started with $500 for $16 million, and a business that had started with $3,000 for $1 billion.
"So I'm trying to get closer to the source," he said.
Blankfein added a bit of Goldman-grade business advice for the graduates of the program:
I think, I think staying also within your — I mean, growing and not overleveraging yourself, frankly. In other words, getting that kind of support. In other words, kind of the information that comes out the course is not designed to make people more conservative, but designed to help them not make mistakes.
So big-bank CEOs are now giving lectures about avoiding mistakes and excessive leverage? Welcome to 2012, everyone!