New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is very disappointed in the way the media has handled the story of Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith's very public (and very expensive) resignation, except for one outlet. Hint: It's the only news wire named for a billionaire. The mayor, who already has visited the troops at Goldman on Thursday to boost the morale of high-end taxpayers, used his weekly Friday radio segment on the John Gambling show to bash Smith, his New York Times op-ed, and all the Goldman-bashing it provoked. "I thought the news coverage was — ridiculous isn’t even quite the right word," Bloomberg griped, according to Capital New York. "I thought it was not up to what we should do."
One media outlet that did get the timbre right, according to the mayor: His own. Bloomberg View's editorial, which the mayor insisted he didn't have a hand in, sneered in response to Smith's assertion that Goldman doesn't care about its clients. "It must have been a terrible shock when Smith concluded that Goldman actually was primarily about making money. He spares us the sordid details, but apparently it took more than a decade for the scales to finally fall from his eyes," read the editorial which was signed "The Editors."
Bloomberg (the mayor, not the news organization) said, "I thought the guy that wrote it had it exactly right. He said, Surprise surprise, Goldman is not the Make-a-Wish Foundation."
Elsewhere in Bloomberg News, coverage of recent employee departures from Goldman has made a point of contradicting Smith's account of a "toxic and destructive" environment there. A Friday story about two executives leaving noted that "Their decision to leave wasn’t connected to this week’s resignation by Greg Smith." Another Bloomberg story from Thursday about 30-year-old Goldman executive Joe Nelson, who quit to start his own condom company, quoted the former vice president who called Smith's move "low quality," and suggested he was bitter about not making managing director. "I can honestly say I did not witness the same culture change he claims to have,” Nelson said. “The firm was always about making money, it just got better and better at doing so."
Money's exactly what Mayor Bloomberg is worried about losing if Goldman and its ilk feel like they're no longer wanted in New York City. He told Gambling: "They pay taxes. They live in this city. And we want to have more companies come and locate here." If they call their beneficiaries "muppets," as Smith alleged insiders at Goldman did, Bloomberg said, "I think that is fair," as long as they're paying out.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.