Morning Coffee May 25 2012

Goldman: Shiny and New

By Julie Steinberg

Goldman Sachs had been having a tough couple years. Between a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the moniker "vampire squid," a squabble with a labor union and an op-ed decrying its culture in the pages of the New York Times, the bank was probably a little nervous about its shareholders' meeting.

No need to worry. All went according to plan. Shareholders voted yes on say on pay, which means the compensation of the firm's top executives is safe for now.

The firm didn't even have to contend with much protest from Occupy Wall Street, which hasn't exactly been the firm's greatest fan. Perhaps hosting the shareholders meeting in Jersey City, N.J. was a good idea (it takes a very devoted protester to make the trip).

Overall, it seems to be an easier time for the firm. Especially since J.P. Morgan has been monopolizing coverage and the conversation, Goldman has had a little time to breathe. In other words, having glimpsed the humanity at J.P. Morgan that resulted in a $2 billion trading loss, it's possible the public might be a little softer on the firm everyone loved to hate (everyone, that is, except for the myriad jobseekers who want to be inside 200 West).

It may not be the most dramatic of comebacks, but tides are subtly turning, and that may just give Goldman the PR it needs to come out on top.

Raking It In (Bloomberg)

In case you were worried, Matthew Zames, the designated mess-fixer at J.P. Morgan who's now running the CIO, has shares worth about $24 million. So we don't need to assume he's being well-compensated for his efforts; we now know.

What Not to Do (Telegraph)

The Deutsche banker who led a failed takeover for a client is leaving the bank. You can make mistakes, just not big ones.

A Long Way (Poets & Quants)

Sheryl Sandberg expands on the idea of a "career jungle gym" in her speech to Harvard Business School graduates.

The Story Continues (PEHub)

New details from the Kleiner Perkins sexual harassment case have emerged and they aren't pretty. The plaintiff claims a partner at the firm told her to marry the person she accused of sexual harassment and retaliation.

Some Salt is Good (WSJ)

Swearing at work can actually help your career, especially if it makes your and subordinates relax. Just don't take it too far.

Making the Switch (GoingConcern)

Going from internal audit to public accounting can be done. Make sure to have some plaudits before you try it, though.

Gentle Teasing (Deal Journal)

Lloyd Blankfein hasn't lost his trademark wit. Just read his response to a nun who asked whether he wanted to hire her.

Buzz Around the Office

Nine-Year-Old Shames School with Blog (Gawker)

A nine-year-old's blog prompted her school cafeteria to start offering healthier food options.

List of the Day: Focusing at Work

Problems at home may threaten to derail your life at work. Don't let them.

1. Adhere to a specific schedule or to-do list.

2. Don't vent to colleagues. Stewing can make problems worse.

3. Don't take personal calls at work.

(Source: CBS Money Watch)




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