Warren Buffett is continuing his rather full-throated defense of Goldman Sachs, saying in a Good Morning America interview broadcast this morning that CEO Lloyd Blankfein shouldn’t step down — and that Goldman has done nothing wrong.
The SEC has filed a civil lawsuit against Goldman Sachs over a shoddy mortgage product that Goldman allegedly knew was shoddy, and a Senate subcommittee hearing that put many of the firm’s top executives on the spot last week has brought the firm under even more fire.
But Buffett — whose company invested $5 billion in Goldman during the height of the financial crisis — is standing by Blankfein’s company.
“I don’t think he should step down at all,” Buffett said today.
The billionaire said people do the wrong thing at his 260,000-person company too — and implied that it’s how a leader reacts to such wrongdoing, rather than how he prevents it, that really matters.
“Somebody’s doing something wrong right now,” he said. “Now it’s my job when I find out if they’re doing something wrong to do something about it. But I do not think Lloyd at all should step down. I would be disappointed if he stepped down.”
Buffett had previously defended Blankfein at a Berkshire Hathaway meeting over the weekend, saying that “there’s really no reason to think about somebody else running Goldman.” Buffett also said of Berkshire’s investment in Goldman: “We love this investment.”
Buffeett stood by his defense of Goldman yesterday, saying at a press conference that “I don’t have a problem with the Abacus transaction at all, and I think I understand it better than most.”