Goldman Sachs and Shell “Win” Public Shame Awards

Friday, January 25, 2013
Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO

A Wall Street titan and an oil giant have been singled out for their shameful pursuit of wealth by two progressive European organizations.


In presenting the Public Eye Awards, Greenpeace Switzerland and the Berne Declaration (BD) chose to denounce Goldman Sachs and Shell for their “greed for profit and environmental sins.”


Goldman Sachs, recipient of the jury award, was dishonored for its role in creating the global financial crisis and helping cripple Greece’s economy. In the words of Andreas Missbach of Berne Declaration, “Goldman's derivative deals, which fudged Greece's way into the Eurozone, pawned the future of the Greek people.” In order to meet the requirements to join the European Union, the Greek government needed to mask the true level of its national debt. In 2001 Goldman Sachs stepped in and provided a secret loan using a fictitious historical exchange rate to convert dollars and yen to Euros. The deal instantly went bad—for Greece, but not for Goldman—leaving the nation owing more money than the loan itself.


Shell, which was given the “public award” (based on 41,800 online votes), has been “involved in particularly controversial, risky and dirty oil production projects,” including efforts to drill in the environmentally-sensitive Arctic and its investment in Canadian tar sands. Shell says that in the Arctic it will be able to “encounter 90% of any oil that is spilled without saying if it will be able to actually clean it up.

- David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

The Public Eye Awards 2013: Naming And Shaming Awards Go To Goldman Sachs And Shell (Public Eye)

Nominated For The Public Eye People’s Award 2013: Goldman Sachs (Public Eye)

Nominated For The Public Eye People’s Award 2013: Shell (Public Eye)

Goldman Secret Greece Loan Shows Two Sinners as Client Unravels (by Nicholas Dunbar and Elisa Martinuzzi, Bloomberg)


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