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Goldman Sachs traders have issues with their virus set-up at home

As Goldman Sachs ramps up preparations for dealing with a coronavirus pandemic, some staff at the bank are unhappy with the arrangements being made for them.

Goldman isn't thought to have actually moved employees to alternative locations yet (unlike JPMorgan, which moved some of its UK traders to Basingstoke this Monday), but it is said to have tested back-up sites in Croydon and New Jersey. 

One insider in the markets division at the bank in New York said critical employees are also being prepared to work from home and are being allocated wide screen monitors and laptop computers for home offices.  While this is seen as favorable ("It's easier to work from home and there are fewer distractions"), Goldman isn't entirely footing the bill for shift to homeworking.

"We're being asked to pay for our own internet and cellular phone services, as well as for an extra desk and a new chair and any other extra equipment we need," says the insider. 

Goldman declined to comment on its provisions. FINRA said today that it is prepared to be flexible on some elements of working from home, although there's no indication that it will be willing to drop the requirement that traders' calls are recorded. The Goldman insider said he's only able to make client calls on a recorded line. Senior executives at several banks told the Financial Times recently that they have insufficient recorded telephone lines to cover all their staff, although this can potentially be avoided by dialling externally into a recorded line first and calling clients after that. 

If the virus spreads widely and infects back-up offices, working from home may become an inevitability. However, contingency planning is expensive and banks in London have already spent over £100m ($130m) each on Brexit. There's clearly an incentive to cut costs where they can.

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Photo by Michael Soledad on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Ro
    Ron Liebermann
    24 March 2020

    The problem with Goldman Sachs is that it has an unhealthy relationship with the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that Goldman Sachs is in the enviable position of having been granted a monopoly on the issuance of certain types of securities. That's billions of dollars in profit, without having to do any work. I want that job.

    What David Solomon gets paid is chump change. We have to accept the fact that Wall Street is toast. It's nothing but con-men who use inside information to fleece small investors. If the F.B.I. ever decided to investigate Wall Street, they would have to arrest everybody. There's no way to reform the system. The only thing that we can do is close it down. Those traders are just gamblers, they don't create value.

    So if we don't have Wall Street, then what will happen? The answer is: Not much. Stock prices are not an indication of economic health. Right now, stocks on the S&P 500 are overvalued by about eighty percent. And eventually, there will be a correction. When that happens, it will be time to issue a new currency; and then make funds available through small local banks. No more Chase, or B of A, or Goldman Sachs. And no more traders, because the age of the publicly-held company is over. Employees will no longer get screwed, so that stockholders will receive a big check for doing nothing.

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