Chart of the day: Goldman’s integrity

By Felix Salmon
August 20, 2010
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integrity.png

My Reuters colleague Robert Fullem had a really bright idea a few days ago: he went through all of Goldman Sachs’s annual reports and counted how many times the word “integrity” was used in each one. And the results are pretty interesting. The reports have been getting fatter and fatter: that’s the red line in the chart. But all those extra pages don’t seem to give the bank any more opportunity to talk about integrity: quite the opposite.

In fact, the Goldman Sachs integrity index peaked in 2002, when the word was used 12 times. Since then it has been on a steady decline, appearing just twice in 2008′s 162-page report. Sad.

Incidentally, the word “honesty” appears exactly once in every report. But the word “ethics” has only ever appeared once since Goldman went public. And that was back in 2002.

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