Lloyd Blankfein on Short-Term Profits vs. Long-Term Value

Even investment banks want people to love their brands

Editor's Note: This post has been updated to more accurately reflect Blankfein's comments.

Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson asked Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein whether a company has "only one duty, which is a fiduciary duty to its shareholders" or whether it has a "broader set of long-range duties" to build for the future. "Yes to both," said Blankfein. "They're not opposite sides of the same coin."

Blankfein, who has been running Goldman since 2006, said, "Our duty is to shareholders to create an institution that generates value for the ages." That means focusing not just on today's returns -- as important as they are -- but also on "brand and reputation and the clients we have and the people want to call us and use us and who think highly of us and the service we provide, and the history of the firm."

You can see his full response below.

Emma Green is the assistant managing editor of TheAtlantic.com, where she also writes about religion and culture.

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Video

Just In