Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein took responsibility for the bank’s conduct during the financial crisis on a call with wealthy clients on Wednesday, according to media reports.
Blankfein said in the call that Goldman must “recognise that we put ourselves in a position where people can raise those types of doubts.” according to a recording of the call broadcast on CNBC.
“We not only have to deal with the doubts, we have to analyse what we did and how we performed that got us into this place,” he said.
Goldman, Wall Street’s dominant firm, is facing fraud charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which has accused the bank of failing to tell investors that the securities underlying a so-called synthetic collateralised debt obligation were chosen by a short-seller, John Paulson, whose fund was betting the CDO would lose value.
Goldman has also drawn the attention of a Senate subcommittee and is facing a Justice Department criminal investigation and shareholder lawsuits.
Blankfein has done a number of media interviews over the past week, and top Goldman executives have been meeting more frequently with clients and investors.
Blankfein, on the call with private wealth management clients, said the increased communication with clients is the silver lining of the scrutiny facing the firm.