Yesterday evening, we made the vague suggestion that one way Goldman Sachs might solve the problem of public anger and combat this whole “vampire-squid” thing was with cold, hard cash. Not making a charitable donation to an organization for children or animals or people with fibromyalgia — just giving ordinary people some money. Of course, should CEO Lloyd Blankfein dress up in a Santa suit and start passing out sacks of unmarked bills, ethical and legal questions might be raised. But the crux of the idea was appealing, apparently, because soon after Blankfein’s mea culpa, “constructive” thinkers at Goldman Sachs apparently got on the horn with the Old Man in Omaha and came up with a solid plan.
Per the Times:
a few hours later, as if to underscore that apology, the bank said that it was working with its largest shareholder, the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, to help 10,000 small businesses. The bank will offer them business and management education, mentoring and access to capital.
The $500 million initiative, the Journal tells us, is called 10,000 Small Businesses, and it is entirely possible that it not related to Blankfein’s apology or Goldman’s image problem, but a spontaneous act of kindness.
The Wall Street firm made no connection in Tuesday’s announcement between the largest single charitable contribution in the firm’s history and public anger over its compensation.
Should this fail to shut people up, they can always try Plan A, “A Million Dollars for Everyone.”