On the heels of putting up the new Futuresmag.com Poll Question, which asks who will win the Goldman Sachs/SEC smack down , I received results from a survey done by the Argyle Executive Forum, a firm that holds leadership conferences for senior executives, asking a similar question to their clients. I found Argyle's survey results, especially with its clientele, a bit surprising. The question was:
“As Goldman Sachs Group is currently at the center of a legal maelstrom triggered by the SEC’s fraud charge last week, we want to ask you how you currently feel about the charges. " The answer choices: I feel the firm is innocent, I feel the firm is guilty, I am currently unsure.
By a large margin, responders believe Goldman Sachs is guilty. That is 55.2% are saying Goldman committed fraud. Only 20.7% of Argyle's members believe Goldman is innocent (which is almost more surprising as we're talking Wall Street here) and 24.1% are unsure, as of yet.
Argyle's "business leader community" isn't made up of mom and pop store owners; it is made up of, well, potential or real Goldman clients. If the speakers list can be a proxy for "members," it includes top execs from TCW, Loews Hotels, BoozAllen, Reuters, International Paper, Nike, et al. But it also includes executives from the likes of Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, which might account for the "guilty" votes.
This is one anecdotal survey, but may indicate trouble for the venerable Goldman Sachs, that being: clients don't trust Goldman anymore.