It is not Wall Street’s job to ostracize Russia

The Goldman Sachs chief executive argued this week that Wall Street should not play a leading role in ostracizing Russia from the international community over its escalating invasion of Ukraine — despite mounting calls on social media for companies to act.

David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, stated that his bank and other financial institutions should act on government directions, rather than taking a leading role in dictating policy toward Russia, “although he said he personally supports the sanctions.

Solomon explained his attitude during an interview with Time magazine after being asked if she thought Wall Street was doing enough to hold Moscow accountable for the invasion – during which Russian forces have increasingly launched heavy bombing attacks on civilian centers.

“I happen to agree very strongly with the policy,” Solomon said. “What is happening in Ukraine is absolutely terrible. I think the actions taken are reasonable and effective actions. But you ask: ‘Are we doing a good job excluding Russia?’ That’s not our job. And by us I mean the financial industry in general.”

Last week, Goldman Sachs became the first major US bank to announce that it would be ceasing operations in Russia because of the war. In a statement, a Goldman spokesman said the bank was “focused on helping our clients around the world manage or close pre-existing commitments in the marketplace and ensure the well-being of our employees.”

David Solomon
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon acknowledged increasing social media pressure on companies to crack down on Russia.

Solomon confirmed that Goldman is in the process of “doing our business in Russia” to comply with the sanctions — although he noted it’s not “like a light switch” and it would take time for the process to be complete.

Goldman’s top executive noted that the Kremlin’s actions are putting companies under enormous pressure to leave Russia and sever their ties with the country. McDonald’s is one of several companies that have decided to halt sales in Russia after initially resisting calls to do so in response to the war. It is not Wall Street’s job to ostracize Russia


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