FirstFT: Goldman CEO says he should have cut jobs earlier

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David Solomon told a private gathering of Goldman Sachs’ top executives that he had erred by not cutting jobs earlier in 2022, according to people familiar with the remarks.

Speaking to about 400 Goldman partners at a closed-door meeting in Miami this week, the chief executive said he took responsibility for being slow to reduce headcount and pare back investment in new projects when it became apparent there would be a significant business slowdown.

“As the environment was growing more complicated in Q2 of last year, every bone in my body believed we should be much more aggressive in slowing hiring and reducing headcount,” Solomon said, according to one of the people with knowledge of the remarks.

Goldman waited until January to cut 3,200 jobs, roughly 6.5 per cent of its workforce, as part of the bank’s biggest cost-cutting exercise in years. Solomon acknowledged this would have been less drastic if he had taken action earlier.

1. US shoots down fourth aerial object over North America The US military shot down a high-altitude object over Lake Huron on Sunday, in the fourth operation of its kind this month over the skies of North America, according to lawmakers and officials. While US officials have described the balloon shot down last week over the Atlantic as originating in China, they have not publicly identified the origin of the aerial objects shot down later.

2. Erdoğan targets construction firms as earthquake deaths top 33,000 Prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for scores of developers as the death toll from last week’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria tops 33,000 and the security situation in some areas of the disaster zone deteriorates. Turkish investigators have identified 131 people of interest in a wide-ranging probe into the catastrophe.

3. Israel on brink of ‘constitutional collapse’, president warns In a primetime address on Sunday night, Isaac Herzog appealed to the hardline new government to delay a contested judicial overhaul, warning that mounting political polarisation had left the country “on the brink of constitutional and social collapse”.

4. Japan picks next central bank head, say local media Kazuo Ueda, a respected monetary policy expert who has previously warned against an early exit from Japan’s ultra-loose policies, is expected to replace Haruhiko Kuroda as governor of the Bank of Japan. News of the likely appointment, reported in local media, fired up the yen.

5. Second MEP is charged and another arrested in ‘Qatargate’ probe Marc Tarabella, a Belgian socialist, was remanded in custody on Saturday after being charged with corruption, money laundering and participation in a criminal organisation. He was arrested on Friday, just eight days after parliament lifted his immunity from prosecution, as Belgian prosecutors continued their investigation into the “Qatargate” scandal.

The day ahead

India inflation figures January consumer price index data is set to be released today. Use our global inflation tracker to see how your country compares on rising prices.

EU economic forecast The European Commission will publish its winter interim economic forecast.

Nato secretary-general address Jens Stoltenberg speaks to the press ahead of a two-day meeting of Nato member defence ministers in Brussels this week. Recently Nato allies have been under pressure from Kyiv to provide western aircraft to Ukraine.

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What else we’re reading

How English football became the real Super League The European Super League may have failed, but after an onslaught of spending on new players by Premier League clubs, many in the game are now wondering if it has become a de facto super league, where superior financial muscle is leaving the rest of European football behind. Premium readers can sign up to our Scoreboard newsletter for more on the business of sport.

The untold story of the world’s most resilient currency In the 1998 Asian financial crisis, the Thai economy contracted by nearly 20 per cent, as stocks fell by more than 60 per cent and the baht lost more than half its value against the dollar. While the drama of that year is etched in history, the epilogue comes as a surprise: the baht has proved uncommonly resilient, writes Ruchir Sharma.

What is the role of cultural understanding? Over Lunch with the FT Taiwanese-American scholar of Chinese literature Jing Tsu shared with the FT’s Yuan Yang why the west and China misunderstand each other — and how culture can bring them closer together. She expands on this theme in her series of public lectures at Yale.

The death — and rebirth — of the ski resort The spot where Alpine tourism began seems now to offer a glimpse of how it might end, writes Tom Robbins. And yet despite the grass, mud and rain at Christmas, the abandoned off-piste routes and forsaken resorts brought on by climate change, the ski industry is not throwing in the towel.

Saudi Arabia goes electric For decades, Saudi Arabia has attempted to launch its own car industry with nothing to show for it. It is now trying again — but this time with electric vehicles. It intends to pour billions into the project to create an electric vehicle manufacturing hub, with the aim of producing 500,000 cars a year by 2030.

Take a break from the news

Increasingly people are sharing their home renovation dramas on social media, captivating thousands of strangers as TikTok and YouTube have become star-makers of a handful of people turning their homes into content farms. Meet the influencers amassing thousands of followers and using their platform to fund ambitious projects.

Chelsea Stonier
Chelsea Stonier is documenting her second Victorian home renovation on @thehousethatblackbuilt: ‘The vast majority of this house renovation is paid for by Instagram’

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