Occupy Wall Street supporters surely will be none too pleased by this.
Goldman Sachs has returned to levels of popularity not seen since a 2010 lawsuit alleging fraud during the subprime mortgage crisis severely damaged the company's reputation, according to a You Gov BrandIndex survey. In June 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman with a $1 billion fraud, alleging that bank officials didn't disclose that they were betting against subprime mortgages that they themselves had pushed on to clients.
Goldman also ranked as one of the survey's most improved brands, though there were a few other infamous names in the list, including British Petroleum, the oil giant notorious for its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Still, it's doubtful that the bank that many love to hate is permanently back in America's good graces. Occupy protesters protested the bank's role in the financial crisis by marching on Goldman's New York headquarters last month dressed as giant squids -- a reference to Matt Taibbi's characterization of the investment bank as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity."
That wasn't the investment bank's first run-in with the Occupy movement. About a month after the Occupy protests began, Goldman allegedly sent a memo to staffers telling them to stay out of Zuccotti Park, perhaps to avoid any clashes with the demonstrators. In addition, the bank pulled out of sponsoring a fundraiser in October after finding out that Occupy Wall Street was going to be one of the honorees.
Goldman is currently dealing with holes left at the top of its leadership. Two of the bank's high-ranking leaders decided to leave the firm yesterday, according to Reuters.
Despite that, Goldman no doubt remains hugely popular among many in the business community, as shown by it recently winning the top spot in a ranking of firms doing global takeovers -- an indication that the firm is still trusted by many corporate CEOs.