The Rage Over Goldman Sachs

CEO Lloyd Blankfein has a great backstory. But it's lost in the noise over his firm's lopsided earnings--and its outsize bonuses--as the rest of the country struggles. Is Goldman a paragon of Wall Street smarts or a showcase of its greed?

Chris Hondros / Getty

Lloyd Blankfein, the 54-year-old chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, is powerfully perplexed. In the past six months, his investment-banking and securities-trading firm has roared ahead in profitability by taking risks — that other firms would not — for itself and its clients in an edgy market. It has paid back the billions of dollars, and then some, of taxpayer money the government forced it to take last October; raised billions of dollars in capital from private investors, including $5 billion from Warren Buffett; and urged its cadre of well-paid and high-performing executives to show some restraint on the conspicuous-consumption front.

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