David Solomon, who was tapped to take over Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, is best known outside the firm as an unconventional executive who likes to kite surf, buy expensive wine and take a turn as a DJ, write Laura Noonan and Ben McLannahan in a profile. Internally, bankers talk of his intensity, his "always on" mentality and reputation as a bit of a bruiser.
Unlike his predecessor Lloyd Blankfein, Mr Solomon hails from the firm's investment banking side and his immediate task is to make sure that a recent revival in the bank's troubled trading division is sustained. Mr Solomon has already asked executives to come up with ways to boost efficiency.
Sarah Sands explores the perils of pyjama paralysis and asks what it means for our society now that so many people work at home and don't have to dress up.
Stuart Kirk explains why he has given up his former scepticism of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google and learnt to love the Fangs in light of their phenomenal revenue and share price growth.
Tim Harford asks why such bad people end up in such important positions and concludes that the Peter Principle is right: “every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”.
Enchanted isle: Amid the noise and trauma of Brexit, Tom Holland reminds us what a privilege it is to live in an island as rich in history and beauty as Britain. We must value what makes life worth living, he urges.
Best of the week
How we lost America to greed and envy— Martin Wolf
Bring on the robot carers: my mother would have approved— Leyla Boulton
The Trump Doctrine — coherent, radical and wrong— Gideon Rachman
The week the Brexiters lost control of Brexit— Philip Stephens
Paul Simon’s music benefits from cultural appropriation— Michael Skapinker
Papa John’s succumbs to the curse of the founder’s dilemma— Brooke Masters
The cold war revival will be very expensive— John Gapper
The curious case of the vanishing ministers— Robert Shrimsley
Britain must stop inflating the biomedical bubble— Anjana Ahuja
What you've been saying
Netflix is the ideal issuer of convertible bonds— Letter from Bill Feingold:
Lex contended sensibly that Netflix should float equity instead of high-yield debt to finance its expensive original content (“Netflix: flixer upper”, July 18). While equity is not effectively costless, as Lex argues, it can be astonishingly cheap relative to debt as it is with Netflix and its valuation. But there’s a third and better way. Netflix should issue convertible bonds. It could do so with virtually no coupon and at a large premium to the share price, minimising dilution while capitalising on the company’s volatility and financial heft. Netflix is the ideal convertible issuer.
Comment by Marriner S. Eccles on European banks still have post-crisis repairs to do:
There is no doubt that toxic assets led to the downfall of some European banks which were fleeced by Wall Street, and that the US was the first/largest market to crack was the US. It is patently clear that the real estate bubbles in the UK, Ireland and Spain, or the sovereign problems of the Greeks and the combined troubles in Portugal, were largely homemade problems, which had a similar (I would venture much larger) influence in the evolution of their own banking/sovereign crisis. The continent is one recession away from a potential breakup of the Eurozone and/or collapse of the Euro.
Account of three Lehman generations took me back to 55 Water Street— Letter from Steve Butcher:
Simon Russell Beale, Ben Miles and Adam Godley stage a tremendous performance of Stefano Massini’s Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre. As a Lehman foot soldier in the early 1980s I am immediately transported back to the blacked-out trading floor of 55 Water Street, Manhattan. The takeaways are that dreams frequently come to an abrupt end, that Herbert Lehman was entirely accurate that “grabbing and greed can go on just so long”; that few lessons were learned from the Great Crash; and finally that, courtesy of Chapter 11, however abrupt the fall is, America has a proven system of immediate repair.
Person in the News: David Solomon, a smart operator prevails at Goldman Sachs
The new boss springs from investment banking and vows to get a grip on the trading arm
Amid all the sound and fury, Britain remains an enchanted isle
Sometimes it pays to be reminded of what makes life here worth living
Free Lunch: The other Brexit question
How should the UK address the failures of its domestic economic model?
How I learnt to love the Fangs
I was too negative when writing about Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google years ago
Nancy Sinatra Snr, Frank’s first wife, 1917-2018
The Jersey girl in whom Ol’ Blue Eyes met his match
Undercover Economist: We should not let bad managers stick around
Top jobs are difficult but the Peter principle was right: the wrong people are in them
The perils of pyjama paralysis
Does the way you dress say something about the rigour that you bring to your work?
City Insider: Paul Tucker is querulous about quangos
Former BoE deputy has particularly harsh words for Ofcom
Ingram Pinn’s illustration of the week: Power Games
An unhappy Google is set to appeal against the EU’s record fine
The FT View: An old movie is playing in emerging markets
But vulnerability to foreign funding need not mean an unhappy ending
The FT View: A rush to judgment over privacy will cause harm
The BBC should appeal against Cliff Richard’s legal precedent
This article is from today’s FT Opinion email. Sign up to receive a daily digest of the big issues straight to your inbox.