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Gary Cohn: 'Banks were more responsible citizens in ’08 than some social media companies are today'

Key Points
  • "I think banks were more responsible citizens in '08 than some of the social media companies are today. And it affects everyone in the world," Cohn says.
  • Big banks and the financial sector are frequently blamed for exacerbating — if not sparking — the financial crisis 10 years ago.
  • Big tech companies like Facebook have drawn public ire more recently, as revelations behind its handling of data draw the spotlight onto social media.
Gary Cohn
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn reportedly believes that banks were more trustworthy in 2008 than social media companies are today.

"It's very interesting how the world turns," Cohn said Saturday, referring to social media's role in the spread of misinformation and fake news, according to Bloomberg News. "In '08 Facebook was one of those companies that was a big platform to criticize banks, they were very out front of criticizing banks for not being responsible citizens. I think banks were more responsible citizens in '08 than some of the social media companies are today. And it affects everyone in the world. The banks have never had that much pull."

Cohn's comments came at the Paddle & Party for Pink, a benefit for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation at Havens Beach in Sag Harbor, New York, an event led by his wife, Lisa Pevaroff-Cohn.

VIDEO19:2419:24
Watch CNBC's full interview with Gary Cohn

Big banks and the financial sector are frequently blamed for exacerbating — if not sparking — the financial crisis 10 years ago. The industry lost credibility with customers when risky assets like subprime mortgages led to large losses. Many crisis-stricken banks were bailed out by the government.

But big technology companies have drawn public ire more recently, as revelations behind Facebook's handling of a data leak to political consulting company Cambridge Analytica draw the spotlight onto the social media industry.

Most recently, Facebook told CNBC on Monday that it is considering a Messenger feature that would incorporate a user's bank information. The new feature, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, would apply exclusively its Messenger app, not to the larger Facebook platform.

Facebook's stock was up about 3.4 percent Monday following the report, its best day since April 26.

See here for the original Bloomberg report.