Blankfein Gives a No-Tentacles Speech

This morning, a couple days after telling the London Times that Goldman Sachs is “doing God’s work,” C.E.O. Lloyd Blankfein explained that it’s not so complicated, really.

“Our business is very complex, and I won’t deny that, but it’s far, far simpler than most of the competitors,” Mr. Blankfein said at a conference this morning, according to Bloomberg. “I wonder myself how some of these things get managed.”

Mr. Blankfein noted that Goldman only employs about 30,000 people, compared to 280,000 at Bank of America–which sponsored the conference–and 220,000 at JP Morgan Chase. “We pretty much stuck to our investment-banking knitting,” he said. That knitting has, of course, made Goldman the most successful securities firm in the history of Wall Street, and led to comparisons with, among other things, a vampire squid.

And while the “God’s work” bit was part of the preemptive p.r. offensive before Goldman hands out some record-setting bonuses, this was Goldman playing defense against calls the company should be broken up, or perhaps worse, regulated. “We haven’t suffered from people saying, ‘Don’t do this,'” Mr. Blankfein said.