Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Goldman, Blankfein seek damage control

If you were tuned in to Bloomberg TV this past week, you probably caught Lloyd Blankfein on the Charlie Rose Show, as I did on Sunday.

Surprised to say I sat through most of it, considering I heard others who said they couldn't make it through 15 minutes of the guy's speil. I won't rehash for you here; if you're interested, take a look at the video link above.

I will say that while I was largely unimpressed with the broad details of the SEC's case against Goldman Sachs (and the political circus that quickly surrounded it), I also got the feeling that Blankfein was, at times, making some rather spurious arguments in his PR performance at Rose's table (Charlie is a friend of Warren Buffett's and the re-runs of Blankfein's spot coinciding with Buffett's defense of Goldman and Blankfein at the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders' meeting are no coincidence).

For some rather frank discussion of the problems facing Goldman Sachs (and other large, money center banks), may I recommend listening to the following recent interviews with James Rickards and Bill Laggner on the Eric King broadcast (Hat tip to Controlled Greed).

As Rickards notes in his discussion with Eric King, Goldman may be facing a very real danger from the recent blows to its reputation. And as Keith McCullough at Hedgeye points out, reputational risk is not something you can fix in a New York minute.