Cable: Comments from Goldman Sachs boss shows threat of Brexit to our financial sector

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Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, is turning out to be a bell-weather of the London banking community regarding Brexit. He doesn’t tweet very often, but when he does, his tweets cause quite a kerfuffle.

Recently he made interesting comments about Frankfurt:

Yesterday, he suggested that filling desks at Goldman Sachs’ new London building could be up in the air:

Responding to these comments, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said:

This highlights very real concerns about the threat of Brexit to our financial sector.

The UK financial services industry generates over £65 billion in tax revenue each year. That is vital funding for our schools and hospitals that would be lost if companies move jobs and operations abroad.

This should serve as a timely reminder to Theresa May of the consequences of an extreme Brexit for our economy and public services.

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  • Is this the same Goldman Sachs that played a major role in the 2008 Financial Crisis ?
    Interesting to note a report in the Guardian, 15 September last year :

    “Goldman Sachs to pay $5bn for its role in the 2008 financial crisis. The settlement holds the bank accountable for its ‘serious misconduct’ in falsely assuring investors that securities it sold were backed by sound mortgages”.

    Whilst I understand Vince makes a reasonable point in the bizarre economic society we now have, he would cut a more radical figure and be heard more widely if he started to make a radical critique of the multinational imperial role of such as Goldman Sachs and its impact on the living standards of ordinary folk in this country.

    Rightly or wrongly a lot off people will probably just say “S-d Off” to such as Goldman Sachs.

  • I have to admit I have very little sympathy of bankers such as him. Thanks to the Financial sector’s playing loose with the banking sector our country was plunged into a banking crisis we still have not recovered from. Thanks to them we have had austerity applied to hard working families. Food banks and stagnant wages etc.
    Perhaps they can tweet an apology to those adversely affected by austerity policies. However I am not holding my breath.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 31st Oct '17 - 12:44pm

    I agree with Sir Vince , the Brexit effect is not good , but think David Raw is correct too.

    We need to be far more aware of the awful mistakes and attitudes , of such as G and S, the banking sector has better examples of behaviour, but on most ways of measuring , have been and are found wanting, but not wanting for more, money !

    Radicalism is not alienating anyone , or ruining the economy, but needs to be showing a better way and implementing it.

    Vince thinks too much about a radicalism that is not really that radical, ie , property taxes , and such, there is more to it than that , or land tax. It is all very fine to say land cannot escape but wealth and power can, unchecked, so thus , tax the land .

    We should be chasing the wealth and power horders !

  • Red Liberal 31st Oct '17 - 3:04pm

    Reality check: a lot of ordinary working people on modest incomes work in financial services. Doing thick-headed Corbynite ranting about “bankers” doesn’t help – many people who are not wealthy and have had no part in causing the 2009 recession face losing their jobs in finance over Brexit.

  • @ Red Liberal Thank you for your restrained and moderate rant.

    As far as thick heads are concerned there were a fair few in the Coalition Cabinet – and of course many millions of taxpayers had to divi up to and suffered because of said bankers going way beyond the PPI scandal.

    I suggest you contact the Northern Rock Pensioners in the North East for an opinion on bankers.

  • Red Liberal 31st Oct '17 - 4:05pm

    @David Raw I’m not going on about “bankers”. I’m going on about the ordinary people in the financial sector on modest salaries like £18k/year whose livelihoods are under threat by Brexit.

  • David Evershed 31st Oct '17 - 4:35pm

    As for the rest of us, Goldman Sachs needs to deal with the world as it is – not as they would like it to be.

  • Ed Shepherd 31st Oct '17 - 6:31pm

    Maybe if there had not been a banking crisis there would have been fewer disgruntled people who protested against the status quo by voting for Brexit last year.

  • I believe had we had wealth and opportunity more evenly distributed among our population and not in the hands of a small elite then we would still be in the EU. Brexit would not have happened.

  • Red Liberal 31st Oct ’17 – 4:05pm
    I’m going on about the ordinary people in the financial sector on modest salaries like £18k/year whose livelihoods are under threat by Brexit.

    While it’s possible there may be a few more jobs polishing brassplates on the continent it isn’t likely that large numbers of back-office or retail finance jobs will move. Any transfers are likely to be of mostly professional staff and total less than net new recruitment. London is the World’s number one financial centre and it continues to grow…

    ‘Professional jobs rise 7pc as employers look to smooth Brexit transition’ [October 2017]:

    Finance, tax and legal jobs were also up during the last three months compared with the same period last year, with Robert Walters attributing the rise to increased regulation driving the need for more specialist workers.


    Although financial services firms have arguably been more heavily impacted than other sectors by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, regulatory change means hiring has continued.

    The figures come just weeks after official figures showed Britain is in an employment boom, with a record number of people in work and the lowest unemployment rate for 42 years.

    ‘HSBC is latest bank to downgrade Brexit exodus warning’ [October 2017]:

    HSBC has become the latest bank to change its warning of a Brexit exodus as it signalled that the number of jobs to leave London might be fewer than first thought. The UK-based lender’s finance director Iain Mackay said the total “may be less than 1,000 employees”, the number it has previously been suggesting would need to be transferred to Paris. It comes days after the head of Swiss bank UBS said its “worst case scenario” of having to shift 1,000 jobs out of London was looking unlikely.

  • Richard Easter 31st Oct '17 - 9:22pm

    Goldman Sachs fall into the same category as Southern Rail, Phillip Green, Sports Direct, G4S, Serco, Crapita, A4e and Ryanair – the worst examples of capitalism or more accurately in many cases – “corporatism / corporatocracy”.

    I’m afraid a large section of the public, whether left or right are going to see that anything that benefits the above lot is not in their interest, and many will actively cheer their downfall.

    Goldman Sachs in particular has an insidous influence within government and supranational institutions. The fact that leading politicians (including Clegg) have taken money from them, coupled with the fact that here is a revolving door between Goldman Sachs, public office, shadowy think tanks does not paint a good picture.

    If the party wants to argue against Brexit on business purposes, Goldman Sachs (or any of the above list) are just about the worst examples to use.

  • And everyone missed what Lloyd Blankfein actually tweeted which were just reminders of just what Brexit means, probably because they were too busy shooting the messenger rather than reading the message:

    With London outside of EU, Frankfurt as the EU’s second finance centre can only become more important, thus financial institutions wanting to do business in the EU will need to expand their operations within the EU. Job losses aren’t just redundancies they are jobs (including back-office jobs) that could have been created here but won’t be. Which in turn brings into question business decisions made several years ago (ie. years before the referendum) when the UK was seen as remaining in the EU, particularly as it looks as if the government, with all their game playing, are heading towards a no deal – blame everyone else but themselves Brexit…

    Thus the tweets are simply timely reminders of what is at stake.

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