People at Goldman Sachs are very intelligent. According to Jim O’Neill, the head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, they are also somewhat out of touch with reality.
O’Neill has worked at Goldman for eons and is retiring later this year. He joined the bank in 1995 as chief currency economist with responsibility for deciding Goldman’s view on the US dollar. “Within a week, about 200 other people at Goldman offered me their view,” O’Neill told the Financial Times. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God. They are all so bright.’ But that’s how the place is. It’s amazing in that sense. Amazing.”
Goldman’s incredibly intelligent employees could, however, do with greater appreciation of the realities of life for lesser mortals. As with other bankers, who demonstrated their disassociation from reality with their recent money-saving tips, Goldman bankers are privileged and have limited experience of – for example – public transport. “Not enough people at Goldman go on the tube,” said O’Neill. “You could say that about most of our industry. Understanding our presence in society is something we need to do better,” he reflected.
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