Goldman Sachs’ (NYSE:GS) reputation as a morally upright investment bank on Wall Street among both the general public and people who by virtue of professional experience can understand financially complex economic and accounting principles, has been damaged by the events of last year, the Financial Times reported on its Web site Sunday, citing research conducted for the paper.
In a survey of 17,000 Americans, notes FT, Brand Asset Consulting found that Goldman Sachs, the biggest U.S. investment bank and justifiably proud of its 140-year history, had suffered a decline in its stature in 2008 and 2009.
“Goldman Sachs still has that Gordon Gekko look to it among the general public,” said Anne Rivers, who oversaw the survey. [FT]
Goldman’s long-time rival Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) also suffered a decline in stature in the survey, but respondents liked and respected Morgan Stanley more than Goldman, the paper said.
For an investment bank that prides itself on its ability to manage the media – such a torrent of negative publicity including criticism of the bank focusing on the pursuit of profit at the expense of clients, or accusations the firm caused last year’s financial crisis, are unprecedented.
Last month, GS beat analysts’ expectations by reporting record quarterly profits of $3.44B on revenues of $13.8B ($4.93 a share, up from $4.58 y/y basis). It was the largest quarterly profit in the firm’s history as a public company.