Goldman Sachs is a master at making money, but lately it has become a master at giving it away too.
The New York Times reports with the same calculation that earned it a reputation as the savviest trading house on Wall Street, it has staked out a position as one of the nation’s leading corporate philanthropists, giving away more than $1.6bn since 2008.
You may remember Goldman as the bank accused of making billions of dollars while ordinary people were losing their homes during the financial crisis. Or as the firm whose traders were said to have misled investors by selling them, as one memorable internal e-mail described it, 'junk that nobody was dumb enough to take first time around'.
Now Goldman executives say the firm wants to give something back. But Goldman also has been trying to polish its reputation with ordinary Americans and politicians in Washington. 'Engaging wasn’t just the right thing, it was necessary, especially in the wake of the financial crisis when people said we weren’t doing enough', said John F.W. Rogers, Goldman Sachs’ chief of staff, and a driving force behind the bank’s philanthropic efforts.
The shift is particularly noteworthy because Goldman - unlike most corporations with large charitable efforts - has no presence on Main Street.
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