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A high and low day for banking

Mr. Potter, whose ethics allowed for keeping Uncle Billy's misplaced money in 'It's a Wonderful Life.'
Source: Liberty Films | YouTube
Mr. Potter, whose ethics allowed for keeping Uncle Billy's misplaced money in 'It's a Wonderful Life.'

The first story is about folks ascending to the most coveted position in banking. The second is about folks in that business breaking the rules and being unethical. Again.

This time around they were rigging trades in foreign currency. Before that, they were rigging the market for interest rate trades (i.e. Libor). And those came after evil deeds–and fines–in handling mortgages, robo-signing, and so on.

In all fairness, Goldman was not involved in those most recent cases. But it has had some bad publicity in recent years in regards to its trading interests versus those of its clients (remember Fabulous Fab? And muppets?)

Nevertheless, today marks a high point for banking careers while it also marks yet another major blow to banking's image. Can one make up for the other?

"The appointments recognize some of Goldman Sachs' most valued senior professionals, their embodiment of our culture and values, and their leadership of the firm's business and people," said Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein in an internal email to employees.

I guess we can take heart from the "culture and values" bit…as long as they aren't those of Mr. Potter.