FT Alphaville reports on the uproar in the US this week when Goldman's lead economist, Jan Hatzius, put out what has been described as a 'fear' note, sugessting that the end of the world was nigh (among other things he is said to have predicted a 15% slump in US house prices).
No-one took much notice of the research note, but many reacted to a column written by New York Times journalist Ben Stein, who pointed out that Hatzius's bearish note might well benefit Goldman's own proprietory positions (the firm has creamed it shorting the markets over the last few months). Goldman, of course, points to the objectivity of its research and the independence of its economists. Others cry foul play.
But those who really want to get to the bottom of Goldman's success need look no further than the taxis queuing outside the firm's Fleet Street offices in London. A cabbie in search of a fare late at night will, it seems, always get one at Goldman, as exhausted staff leave late after a hard day's toil and get a cab home on the firm. Even the cabbies cream it at Goldman.