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

Even investment banks want people to love their brands

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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.

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

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