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Investing in Change: The Reform of Europe?s Financial Markets by Andrew Gowers

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8Reputation in financial marketsALAN MORRISON, WILLIAM WILHELM, RUPERT YOUNGER

Introduction

Historically, bankers prided themselves upon their close client relationships. Many financial transactions were dependent upon trust, and financial professionals stressed the importance of word-of-mouth commitment to the smooth operation of financial markets. The second of the 14 business principles that John Whitehead identified as critical to the prosecution of business at Goldman Sachs stated: ‘Our assets are our people, capital, and reputation. If any of these is ever diminished, the last is the most difficult to restore.’1 For most of the past two centuries, a good reputation was a critical asset in finance.

And yet, notwithstanding the above remarks, ...

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