Daily Archives: July 20, 2010

John Gapper

It is rare to hear the senior management of a company insisting so forthrightly that it has little control over its own destiny, but that was the message emerging from Goldman Sachs today.

David Viniar, Goldman’s chief financial officer, was at pains to hammer home this point on the investor conference call following its poor second quarter results:

“Our mix of business in not driven by management and the board . . . it is really driven by what our clients are demanding from us . . . It was very, very largely reduced client activity [that caused a sharp fall in revenues]“

Mr Viniar was trying to counter the suggestion that Goldman’s results were due to poor risk-taking or trading with its own capital. Instead, he wanted everyone to believe that Goldman’s fate was largely out of its hands, since it rises and falls on the financial tide. Read more