footinmouthWe have to tolerate the [pay] inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity and opportunity for all -Brian Griffiths, Goldman Sachs International Adviser

Griffiths made the remarks while arguing that outsized banker pay will boost the economy, via increased spending. Bloomberg is the source, and unfortunately they didn’t provide too much more info. Lord Griffiths made the statement during a panel titled “What is the price of morality in the marketplace?”.

“Smartest Guys in the Room” Defense Not Working Anymore

Looks like now everyone realizes Goldman is getting tremendous benefits from the Feds, they’ve been forced to switch-up their defense tactics. They can’t use the old “hey, we’re awesome at what we do” defense anymore.

But I don’t think the trickle-down argument is fly either. Too much populist outrage for the “We pay taxes on our Porsches, and that helps everybody” case to work.

Alms For the Poor

The charitable-giving angle isn’t working either. Goldman recently pledged $200m to charity in an attempt to generate some good PR. Doesn’t look like it was successful so far, and it may even be fueling the Goldman-haters’ fire. But Mr. Griffiths mentioned the “alms for the poor” message too:

To whom much is given much is expected. There is a sense that if you make money you are expected to give.

There is a sense?! These guys are ripping off the world, and there’s only a sense they should give something back? How about everything? All bonuses from the last 5 years clawed back? That would be a good starting point for negotiations.

When a bank has access to the discount window, has raised $50b in taxpayer-guaranteed debt, and benefits in other ways from the Feds’ actions, it’s ridiculous that they’re handing out record bonuses. They shouldn’t be getting bonuses at all. The balls of a guy like Griffith are mind-boggling.


Letting Goldman Roll The Dice