[Metaphors & Symbolism] 'Great vampire squid' no longer — Goldman Sachs has finally rehabbed its reputation, 10 years after the financial crisis

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From Madeline Shi:




  • Goldman Sachs' reputation has recovered since the depths of the financial crisis, according to a new report.
  • Slightly more adults would now feel "proud" to work at Goldman, as opposed to "embarrassed."

Once called a "great vampire squid" in the depths of the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs' image has recovered in the last 10 years.

Slightly more American adults would now feel "proud" to work for the Wall Street giant, as opposed to "embarrassed," according to new data from YouGov's Plan & Track, a research firm tracking brand awareness and perception.

This change comes after the firm’s reputation score — which gauges how open US consumers aged 18 and up are to being employed at a particular brand — spent years emerging from negative territory following the financial crisis, the data shows.

"We're working hard to be more transparent and we are pleased that some of the work is gaining traction," a Goldman spokesman said.

During the financial crisis, Goldman was publicly vilified for its role in the U.S. mortgage meltdown and the billions of dollars paid out in bonuses to senior employees.

But in the last several years, CEO Lloyd Blankfein worked hard to turn around Goldman's reputation by becoming less secretive and spearheading several initiatives for women and small business owners.

Incoming CEO David Solomon, who will take over from Blankfein on Oct. 1, is also viewed as symbolic of Goldman's transformation into less of a traditional, stodgy bank and more of a nimble technology company.

YouGov reputation scores range from -100 to 100. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley each have a reputation score of 12, while Goldman Sachs' score is 1.



Those who say they would be proud to work for Goldman Sachs are most likely to be men who between the ages of 50 and 64, live in a suburb, and received high school education, according to YouGov data.

Political affiliation also plays a role on their perceptions of Wall Street. Liberals place Goldman's reputation score at -12, moderates give it a 3, and conservatives, who are more likely to say they'd be proud to work for the banking behemoth, rate it at 10.

Two-thirds of respondents who said they are open to work at Goldman Sachs also tend to say they trust banks and credit unions, compared to 47% of U.S. adults overall.

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