On Wednesday, accomplished table tennis player Greg Smith announced in a New York Times Op-Ed that he was quitting his job at investment firm Goldman Sachs, because the firm’s “culture” has become, at some point in the last 12 years, “toxic.” Goldman Sachs responded with a spirited P.R. campaign in which it claimed that Smith was not actually a very important person to the firm, and a leaked memo from Lloyd Blankfein in which he argued that Goldman could not possibly be evil because a recent internal survey proved that Goldman employees enjoy working at Goldman.
Despite that very good spin, Goldman Sachs lost $2 billion worth of market value as its shares fell 3.4 in trading over the course of the day (“oh man, some guy says Goldman Sachs is evil? I HAD NO IDEA” — the market). Thankfully, one hero stands ready to defend Goldman Sachs from public scorn: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg actually visited Goldman Sachs headquarters today to personally cheer up very sad bankers. Bloomberg met with Goldman head Blankfein and various other members of the 1 percent, in order to reassure them that they are good people who do good work, even though that is a ridiculous delusion that only fellow members of that class still believe.
“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’s spokesman said. Bloomberg is a billionaire mogul who owns a financial information company, so Goldman Sachs and other major financial institutions are a vital part of his economy.
Bloomberg continued to defend Goldman Sachs on his radio program:
“I don’t know whoever said what,” Bloomberg said on WOR Radio’s John Gambling Show.
“But even if it was said, it’s a few people and, you know, Goldman Sachs is a firm that’s been around for well over a hundred years and it’s a great firm.”
“It’s my job to stand up and support companies that are here in the city that bring us a tax base that employ our people and I’m going to do that.”
He called news coverage of the letter “ridiculous” and “not something we should do.”
There you have it - Bloomberg defends news organizations printing Teacher Data Reports that use a value-added measurement for evaluations with a maximum margin of error of 87% but says there's no way the NY Times should have published Smith's resignation letter and harsh criticism of Goldman or the media should have covered the story.
Alex Pareene at Salon points out that Bloomberg Views, the propaganda wing of Bloomberg News that hired Jonathan Alter and a bunch of other public relations specialists for the 1%, also defended Goldman Sachs while attacking Smith:
“Bloomberg View,” the opinion arm of Mr. Bloomberg’s media company that operates out of the offices of his charity, also defended Goldman in an unsigned editorial mocking Smith for failing to realize that Goldman exists to make money by any means necessary, which is obviously a self-evident Good Thing for The Economy and The Country. “If you want to dedicate your life to serving humanity, do not go to work for Goldman Sachs,” the Editors write. Then: “Goldman and other investment banks do perform an important role in our economy, and Goldman bankers — most of them, at least — can hold their heads up high.” I am sure they are relieved to hear they have Bloomberg View’s vote of confidence.
But Bloomberg Businessweek took Goldman to task for being, you know, crooks:
During the Great Depression, the then-small partnership on Pine Street became a target of national ridicule because of a scandal involving the Goldman Sachs Trading Corp., a publicly traded investment trust that blew up after the stock market crash of 1929.
For years, comedian Eddie Cantor, who had lost $100,000 and sued Goldman Sachs for $100 million, made the firm a running joke in his stand-up routines. In one of his bits, Cantor would appear onstage with a stooge who tried to squeeze juice from a dry lemon.
“Who are you?” Cantor would ask. Without missing a beat, the stooge would say, “The margin clerk for Goldman Sachs.”
Ever since being subjected to Cantor’s barbs, Goldman Sachs has cultivated an image not just as Wall Street’s preeminent firm but also as a paragon of financial virtue. But Goldman’s supposedly pristine reputation has always been more invented than earned, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its March 19 issue.
Read the rest of the Bloomberg Businessweek article - it shows you exactly the kind of crooked culture Smith was talking about at Goldman.
Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg needs to go to the Bloomberg Businessweek offices and give a stern warning to the editors there to stop saying nasty things about poor Goldman Sachs and it's merry men.
Or maybe Bloomberg can mind his own business and stop defending crooked behavior on Wall Street.
Nah - that'll never happen.
Instead he'll launch unfair attacks on teachers by giving error-riddled test score data with a MOE of 87% to the media to publish and fire 50% of teachers and close as many schools as he can before he leaves office.
Yeah, that's Mayor Bloomberg all right - the Mayor of Goldman Sachs, the Mayor of the 1%.
Bash teachers, defend crooked bankers.
New Yorkers ought to start giving Bloomberg the approval they gave him after the Bloomberg Blizzard of 2010.
Or the greeting they gave him in Rockaway.
Or the one in Harlem on MLK Jr. Day.
Frankly, this arrogant oligarch deserves nothing less.