Apparently news that Goldman Sachs employees would help out at the Salvation Army's Thanksgiving meals isn't good enough for the NY Times editorial board! The Times published an opinion piece slamming Goldman Sachs for its "non-apology." Noting that CEO Lloyd Blankfein said, "Certainly, our industry is responsible for things. We’re a leader in our industry, and we participated in things that were clearly wrong and we have reasons to regret and apologize for," the Times thinks the investment firm should try a lot harder:
It is widely and correctly understood that Wall Street, with Goldman as a leader and with regulators in thrall, helped to inflate and profited from a credit bubble that burst and cost tens of millions of Americans their jobs, incomes, savings and home equity. American taxpayers continue to stand behind the bailouts and other government interventions that have stabilized the financial system, including Goldman, enabling the firm to post blowout profits in 2009 and to set aside $16.7 billion for bonuses so far this year...
Goldman has repaid its initial $10 billion bailout allotment, but that is only a sliver of its taxpayer support. The firm was paid $12.9 billion, for example, in the bailout of American International Group, and a report by the bailout’s inspector general refutes Goldman’s claim that it did not need the money. Perhaps the biggest continuing prop is that the government clearly considers Goldman too big to fail, which means that taxpayers are on the hook if Goldman faces the abyss again.
And of Goldman's $500 million donation to small businesses over five years, the Times says, "It is hard to take seriously Goldman’s claim that the program was not motivated by its public relations problems. The money will be welcomed by the recipients, but if Goldman wants to make a meaningful contribution, it would have to be in the billions and aimed more directly at taxpayers," and suggests a "multibillion-dollar gift to the federal Bureau of the Public Debt, which accepts tax-deductible donations to reduce the national debt" and leaves the address.