Indeed, had such a plan been in place in the years leading up the collapse of Lehman, I bet the bank would still be around, because former Chairman Richard Fuld and his acolytes would have been far more prudent. They would have taken the time to analyze the risk the company was taking on, which is exactly what Goldman Sachs did in late 2006 when it decided to short the mortgage market to take advantage of its competitors’ foolishness.
William D. Cohan is certainly right about his statement. But the problem doesn’t simply lie behind prudent behavior, it is also Goldman not being in-line with its clients, to the mind of general public. Take a look at the comments, no one seems to care about Goldman changing its internal compensation model for the top-tier of the payroll, because to most people’s mind Goldman is morally bankrupt.