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from FaithWorld:

POLL: Is Goldman Sachs “doing God’s work”? Its CEO thinks so



Check out the headline at the bottom left of the Sunday Times front page. The man the London paper calls the most powerful banker on Earth says he is "just a banker 'doing God’s work'" .

The report says Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein"proudly pays himself more in a year than most of us could ever dream of — $68m in 2007 alone, a record for any Wall Street CEO, to add to the more than $500m of Goldman stock he owns" .

Goldman Sachs looks set to pay about $20 billion in bonuses for its top traders this year, at a time when the fallout from last year's financial crisis is still being felt and the United States unemployment rate has hit 10.2 percent, a 26-1/2-year high.

In his defence, Blankfein said in the interview: "We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital. Companies that grow create wealth. This, in turn, allows people to have jobs that create more growth and more wealth. It’s a virtuous cycle ... We have a social purpose."

Back in coach for Wall Street, Goldman pulls the free soda

A trader puts his hand to his face while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York November 1, 2007.For many bankers and traders, the days of company perks such as sleek limos, cushy business seats, and fat steaks are gone.

Credit Suisse has reduced some cell phone subsidies and done away with car vouchers. Merrill Lynch has banned business class travel for some divisions. Goldman Sachs has pulled free soda and JPMorgan has upped the requirements for free meals and car rides.