Goldman Sachs Group

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Goldman Sachs Group, founded in 1869, describes itself as a "leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net-worth individuals ... It is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms ... headquartered in New York [with] offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world."[1]

Record and Controversies

Political contributions

Henry Paulson (Hank), then Chair & CEO of Goldman Sachs, was a Bush Pioneer having raised at least $100,000 for Bush in the 2004 presidential election. In 2006, Paulson was appointed by Bush to be Secretary of the Department of the Treasury.[2]

Goldman Sachs gave $478,250 to federal candidates in the 05/06 election period through its Political Action Committee(PAC) - 35% to Democrats and 65% to Republicans.[3]

Over the decade 2001-2010 its PAC and employees made a total of US $22 million in campaign contributions, with $1.4 million of that targeted at members of the House and Senate tax-writing committees. According to the group Public Campaign, Goldmans emerged from the banking collapse of 2008 "relatively unscathed, in part because it was fortunate enough to receive a $10 billion federal bailout and almost $800 billion in federal loans. It then proceeded to pay 953 employees bonuses of at least $1 million, a move that drew outrage nationwide and prompted six senior executives to decline the extra compensation. That same year, the company paid only 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion. [4]

Goldaman Sachs have also been listed as funding the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, the leading 'remain' outfit in the run up to Britain's referendum on its membership of the EU. The company is reported to have given £500,000 in funds to the group, making it the largest contributor thus far. [5]



The company spent $2,380,000 for lobbying in 2006. $1,031,250 went to nine outside lobbying firms with the remainder being spent using in-house lobbyists. The lobbying firms included DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, The Duberstein Group, and Vinson & Elkins.[6]

According to a 2011 report by the group Public Campaign, Goldmans spent $21 million in total on lobbying from 2001 until 2010. [4]

Goldman spent $3.4 million on lobbying the US government in Washington in 2014; a figure which has hardly changed over the last three years but is down from the record $4.6 million in 2010.[7]

The bank also declared that it employed nine external law firms. These were: Alston & Bird for $50,000, Capitol Tax Partners for $240,000, Daly Consulting Group for $240,000, Duberstein Group for for $400,000, Elmendorf Ryan for $360,000, Gephardt Group for $90,000, Nixon Peabody LLP for $240,000, Squire Patton Boggs for $480,000 and Sullivan & Cromwell for $0. Including the eight in house lobbyists employed by Goldman, they had 35 lobbyists in Washington, with four being former congressman and all but one from the revolving door between Congress and business.[8]


Goldman Sach's lobbying firm in the UK is Lexington Communications.[9]

In October 2010 Goldman Sachs it also appointed Hanover as 'fresh agency backing in the UK to help it to keep abreast of the coalition government’s plans for the banking sector" according to Public Affair News. Hanover is working alongside Lexington providing UK political consultancy, and Cicero Consulting, which provides Goldman with EU monitoring. Leading the account for Hanover is senior account director Laura Chisholm.[10]

In Europe

In 2010 Goldman's lobbying activities earned it the Worst EU Lobbying Award [11] in the finance category, having been jointly nominated with the International Swaps and Derivatives Association for aggressive lobbying to defend their activities and influence over the EU's response to the financial crisis.[12]

"The very people responsible for running up huge banking debts have been advising the EU Commission on what to do next, literally capturing most of the EU advisory bodies on that matter. Needless to say, they haven’t been keen on regulatory reform," said the award organisers.[12]

MEP Dennis de Jong told the organisers that the influence of the financial industry was tremendous.

“I have experienced how in 'public' conferences critical voices are being silenced and how members of the Parliament and the financial sector seem to be singing of the same hymn sheet in the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum. The financial industry has an enormous influence on shaping the policy debate,” he said. [12]

In April 2015 the European Commission's transparency register revealed Goldman's spending on lobbying in Brussels had increased 14-fold from 2013 to 2014. The bank estimated they had spent between €700,000 and €799,00 in 2014 compared to an estimated €50,000 the year before. The increase has come after the EU strengthened its disclosure rules and banned commission officials from meeting companies unless they were on the institution's transparency register by December 1 (Goldman joined late November) and for companies to include a proportion of trade association fees in their lobbying spending disclosures.[7]

Revolving Door

  • John Browne, Lord Browne of Madingley, was a Non-executive Director of Goldman Sachs Group from 1999 to 2007.[13]
  • Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada and Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Finance from November 2004, was the managing director of Goldman Sachs' Canadian operation until 2003.[14][15]
  • Now a retired chairman, Stephen Friedman joined Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 1966 and became a partner in 1973. He was vice chairman and co-chief operating officer from 1987 to November 1990, and co-chairman or chairman from 1990 to 1994. Having been appointed again to Goldman Sachs as a director in May 2002,[16] , he was appointed Chairman of the U.S. President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and Chairman of the Intelligence Oversight Board in January 2006. He was Assistant to the President George W. Bush for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council from December 2002 until December 2004.[17] He had to quit his position at the Federal Reserve Bank "over questions about his ties to Goldman Sachs".[18] He is currently a board member of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and chairman of the board of Harbor Point Limited.[19]
  • U.K. Life Peer Brian Griffiths, Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach, has been Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs International and an International Advisor to Goldman Sachs on Europe since 1991.[20]
  • In January 2006, Goldman Sachs Managing Director Mario Draghi became the new governor of the Bank of Italy.[21]
  • Mario Monti, an international adviser to Goldman Sachs International, was European commissioner responsible for the internal market, financial services and financial integration, customs and taxation from 1995 to 1999 and for competition 1999 to 2004.[24] He is the founder of the European think-tank Bruegel, as well as being a member of the advisory board of the Coca-Cola Company.[25]
  • Mark Patterson, who was appointed U.S. Treasury Department Chief of Staff in February 2009, previously worked as a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs.[26]
  • In May 2006 President Bush appointed Goldman Sachs executive Henry Paulson as Treasury Secretary.[27]
  • Robert K. Steel, who was Advisory Director and Non-Executive Chairman of Securities at Goldman Sachs until 2004, was Under Secretary for Domestic Finance for the U.S. Department of Treasury from 2006 to 2008. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1976, became a partner in 1988, worked at the Equities division from 1998 to 2001, and joined the Management Committee in 1999.[28]
  • Christopher J. Wales, former Special Advisor to the Chancellor and other Treasury Ministers, has been Managing Director in the Financing Group at Goldman Sachs since 2004.[29]
  • In 2005 the late David Walton, who was chief European economist for Goldman Sachs in London, joined the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.[30]
  • In June 2006 U.S. deputy secretary of state Robert B. Zoellick announced that he was joining Goldman Sachs.[31]
  • Paul Deighton, a former chief operating officer at Goldman, now runs the London Olympic Games organising committee. [32]
  • Jim O’Neill, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist who coined the BRIC moniker,joined the UK government to lead its effort to devolve more power to cities. O’Neill, 58, was appointed commercial secretary for city devolution and infrastructure for HM Treasury, The position will be unpaid. O’Neill was also made a member of the House of Lords, the upper chamber of Parliament. [34]
  • Jose Manuel Barroso, the former Prime Minister of Portugal and more recently President of the European Commission has now joined Goldman as a non-executive chairman. His 10 years of service to the Commission followed a heavily corporate and big business agenda, and the appointment was described by Corporate Europe Observatory as 'jaw-dropping', a true indicator of the 'excessive corporate influence at the highest levels of the EU'. [35]

Company Profile



Key executives and 2006 pay:[36]

Members of the board

Members of the board:[37]



In 2008, the Goldman Sachs Group is reported to provide sponsorship to the Center for Global Development.[39]

Contact details

New York office: 85 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004
Phone: 212-902-1000


External Links



  1. CLS, CLS Members, accessed 04 January 2011.
  2. TPJ, "Bush Pioneer Henry M. Paulson Jr.," Texans for Public Justice, accessed August 2007.
  3. OpenSecrets, 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed July 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Public Campaign, The Artful Dodgers: How a Dozen Multinational Corporations Spent a Billion Dollars on Lobbying and Campaign Contributions and Avoided Paying Taxes, p9 accessed 15 April 2011.
  5. Laura Noonan & George Parker, 'Banks lead as business buys into UK’s pro-EU campaign', 22 January 2016, Financial Times, accessed 13 April 2016
  6. OpenSecrets, "Goldman Sachs lobbying expenses," Open Secrets, accessed July 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Duncan Robinson and Tom Braithwaite Goldman Sachs’ reported spending on EU lobbying rises 14-fold Financial Times, 28 April 2015, accessed 29 April 2015.
  8. Center for Responsive Politics Lobbyists representing Goldman Sachs, 2014, accessed 29 April 2015.
  9. APPC, APPC Register Entry for 1 December 2008 to 28 February 2009, accessed 04 January 2011.
  10. [Goldman Sachs brings in Hanover for public affairs support[pointer]=10&cHash=01c19bd27c], Public Affairs News, 4 October 2010, accessed 10 March 2011
  11. The Worst EU Lobbying Awards 2010 are organised by Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory, LobbyControl and SpinWatch. See
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Why the EU’s lobbyists need more than a good clean, New Europe, 5 December 2010 - Issue: 914
  13. Who's Who 2009, BROWNE OF MADINGLEY, online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.
  14. Bank of Canada, Biographical note, accessed 04 January 2011.
  15. Ottawa, Vieira, "Mark Carney and the Goldman Sachs economic club," National Post, 04 October 2007.
  16. Goldman Sachs, "Steve Friedman Joins Goldman Sachs' Board of Directors," 02 May 2002, accessed 04 January 2011.
  17. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Stephen Friedman, accessed 04 January 2011.
  18. USA Today, "New York Fed chairman quits over Goldman Sachs ties," 08 May 2009, accessed 04 January 2011.
  19. Council on Foreign Relations, Stephen Friedman, accessed 04 January 2011.
  20. Who's Who 2009, GRIFFITHS OF FFORESTFACH, online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.
  21. Lynn, Matthew, "Goldman Sachs Has Gained Too Much Political Power," 04 June 2006, Bloomberg, accessed 04 January 2011.
  22. ANZ, MR I J MACFARLANE, AC, accessed 04 January 2011.
  23. Bloomberg Businessweek, Goldman, Sachs & Co., accessed 04 January 2011.
  24. Brussels Forum, Biography, Mario Monti, Web Archive 10 May 2007, accessed 04 January 2011.
  25. European Commission, Mario Monti, accessed 04 January 2011.
  26. Schouten, Fredreka, "Geithner names ex-lobbyist as Treasury chief of staff," 27 January 2009, USA Today, accessed 04 January 2011.
  27. Washington Times, "Bush chooses Paulson for Treasury," 31 May 2006, accessed 04 January 2011.
  28. Wachovia, "Wachovia Names Robert K. Steel CEO and President," 09 July 2008, accessed 04 January 2011.
  29. Bennett, James, "Profile: Christopher Wales, Brown's buddy at Goldman Sachs," 08 December 2005, Accountancy Age, accessed 04 January 2011.
  30. Lynn, Matthew, "Goldman Sachs Has Gained Too Much Political Power," 04 June 2006, Bloomberg, accessed 04 January 2011.
  31. Hauser, Christine, "Rice's Deputy to Join Goldman Sachs," 19 June 2006, New York Times, accessed 04 January 2011.
  32. I'm doing 'God's work'. Meet Mr Goldman Sachs, Sunday Times Online, 8 November 2009
  33. [ 00144feab49a.html#axzz1G13ACFui ], Financial Times, March 2011
  34. Jim O’Neill Is Taking a Job in the U.K. Government, Bloomberg, 14 May 2015, accessed 4 Sept 2015
  35. Corporate Europe Observatory, 'Barroso and Goldman Sachs - dangerous liaison', 19 July 2016, Corporate Europe Observatory, accessed 21 July 2016
  36. Yahoo Finance, Goldman Sachs Key Executives, Yahoo Finance, accessed August 2007.
  37. Goldman Sachs, Board of Directors, accessed July 2007.
  38. Channel 4 'Dispatches: Sandwiches Unwrapped,' 28 July 2008.
  39. Centre for Global Development, Funders, accessed 22 January 2008.