Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Goldman Sachs, Easter Egg Hunt

Identifying the former Goldman Sachs employees working for the U.S. government is frankly like an Easter egg hunt. "Hey, look, I found one over here in the West Wing! Four for me! How many do you have so far?" From time to time, the media helpfully provides a map of sorts. Here's the latest I found, from the Huffington Post. Also note the revolving-door game, which is a bit more troubling (Former SEC head Arthur Levitt to Goldman -- argh, the white knight to the dark side, woe is us).

Goldman of course touts the Goldman-to-Washington-Halls-of-Power conveyor belt as a commitment to public service. Right. Which is why so many Goldman alums start soup kitchens for the homeless and found Goodwill used-clothing depositories. Not quite. Let's get real here. Any organization has its own DNA of sorts that defines itself and that ensures its survival. Anytime you can spread your DNA beyond the narrow confines of your business environment, into the larger political arena, where the big decisions are made that affect your industry (and many others), you stand a better evolutionary chance of long-term survival. This is what Goldman is doing. I bet the Goldman organism understands this too, on some level.

E.O. Wilson would just stand back and marvel.