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Money managers under the microscope

Goldman’s Blankfein readies to bare all


Blankfein in full flow

Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein has been holding forth in the FT with a comment piece entitled: “To avoid crises, we need more transparency”.

It’s not the sentiment that raises eyebrows; It’s the pulpit it comes from. Goldman’s recent past is scattered with events that can be described as anything but transparent.

Try asking Goldman about the bank’s exposure as an AIG trading counterparty immediately prior to the American insurer’s near-death experience last autumn. There hasn’t been much voluntary transparency so far, and what has emerged has had to be squeezed out like the remnants of a toothpaste tube.

What of the frantic behind-the-scenes negotiations which led to the then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Goldman’s ex-CEO, to ensure the insurer was bailed out — to date to the tune of $170 billion-plus of US. taxpayer’s money.