OK, we've used this headline before, and technically Goldman hasn't 'fired' anyone (at least not for doing anything wrong), but the company has undertaken its usual firmwide review of its bottom quartile, and 5% of staff (around 1,800) are expected to soon be leaving.
Goldman's annual review process is probably the toughest in the industry, and leaving the firm in these circumstances is certainly no disgrace, with employees often going on to have very successful careers at competitor firms.
In the meantime, our sources tell us that speculation that Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein might be thinking of leaving the firm in the coming year is untrue. Fox Business reporter Charlie Gasparino said Thursday that 'friends' of Blankfein have indicated that he (Blankfein) is considering his position, and may be attracted to working in private equity or starting his own hedge fund.
But although the average tenure of a Goldman boss in recent time is five years (and Blankfein will hit the 5-year mark in the middle of this year), his appetite to run the world's most successful financial firm is thought to be undiminished, and he is said to be looking forward to leading the organisation through calmer waters in the years to come.
Finally, Bloomberg reports that Blankfein is one of a group of financiers on an advisory board named by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, as he bids to make Moscow a main financial centre of the future. According to Russia's Deputy Finance Minister Dmity Pankin, Blankfein thought that one of the biggest obstacles to Moscow joining London and New York as a main financial hub was traffic jams. Pankin said in an interview Wednesday: 'The first question we asked was about the main problem for creating Moscow as a financial centre. He (Blankfein) said it was (a) bottleneck from the airport to the city centre'.
Traffic bottlenecks should be easily fixable, though, as the Russians could simply introduce traffic lanes exclusively for use by in-a-hurry bankers (after all, they have had some experience in this respect).