Two weeks after rolling out a $500 million CSR campaign for small businesses, it seems Goldman Sachs still hasn't pulled itself out of the center of media criticism. In a January Vanity Fair article, set to hit newsstands next week, contributing editor Bethany McLean investigates the firm's evolution from respected investment bank to target for public critique.
Huffington Post is calling the article “some of the best reporting on the bank since the financial crisis,” and The Wall Street Journal reports the piece “comes closer than most journalistic features in explaining why Goldman gets under people's skin.”
From the Journal:
Vanity Fair's conclusion: “Maybe it's true that Goldman didn't need the government's help, but, nevertheless, the firm availed itself of all the help offered. What seems lost on Goldman executives is that questioning the necessity of that help from the safety of today's vantage point smacks of trying to have your cake and eat it, too.”
That could be amended slightly: Goldman didn't need the government's help to survive. But it used the government's help to profit amid the aftermath of the credit crisis.
If the firm wants to win over the public, the Vanity Fair article suggests the firm needs to acknowledge that it didn't get here — one of the best years in its history — all by itself.