Is all press good press? No, apparently not when it’s christened you a ‘vampire squid’. $GS cites “adverse publicity” as one of the risk factors to its business:
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) added something new to the laundry list of financial risks it faces: unflattering attention.
In its annual report, the New York company said “adverse publicity” could have “a negative impact on our reputation and on the morale and performance of our employees, which could adversely affect our businesses and results of operations.”
The unusual disclosure in a 12-page section of “risk factors” ranging from rocky financial markets to natural disasters is the latest sign of Goldman’s whipping-boy status among rivals, lawmakers and angry Americans because of the firm’s giant profits.
Personally, we’d like $GS a whole lot better if Blankfein (or at least his mouthpiece/spokesmodel Lucas van Praag) just flipped two middle fingers to the haters – it’d make it look like they have less to hide.
But, dropping a bomb like this in their annual report probably means we’re going to see the opposite of that. What do you want to see out of a Kinder, Gentler Goldman? Maybe Blankfein could stick flowers in Ben Bernanke’s printing press? Or MDs could start handing out Momofuku calamari in Battery Park? Or maybe they could start small and try wearing jeans to the office on Fridays or something. I dunno.