Wall Street moves to aid Sandy victims


It would be hard to interpret the aid that Wall Street banks and investment funds are pledging to victims of Sandy as anything other than a humanitarian gesture.

The financial district took a direct hit, as did many areas in which lots of Wall Street employees live. The drive to aid victims is very much a case of helping their own and their neighbors, and the banks are to be applauded for this effort. Goldman Sachs has pledged $5 million in loans to small businesses affected by the storm. The bank also says it and its employees will donate another $5 million to victim relief efforts. Goldman employees also are planning volunteer for projects to help the Tri-state area. JPMorgan Chase has also pledged $5 million for storm relief. Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo also announced charitable donations.

As noted, many consumer banks in hard-hit areas have waived certain fees for customers as well. Hedge funds and private equity have gotten in on the act. The Robin Hood Foundation has pledged $3 million. DealBook detects a bit of defensiveness from Goldman Sachs, which executed its continuity plans with great success, in ways that helped others.

"I'm not going to take it that someone is going to scorn us for doing what we did," CEO Lloyd  Blankfein was quoted. "We worked hard and did sensible things. And by the way, having done that, it put us in a position to help other people in the neighborhood. I don't want to sound haughty, but I think if other people did it, the place would be better off."

For more:
- here's a look at relief efforts
- here's the DealBook story

Related articles:
Bank of America waiving more fees automatically
Financial district creaks back to life