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Goldman Sachs is sorry Add to ...

Last week the Globe's financial services reporter Steve Ladurantaye brought us a story of outreach at Goldman Sachs. Specifically, the frenzy that developed around rumours that the richest investment firm in Wall Street history wasn't going to step up and pay a veterinarian bill of about $2,000 to help a litter of kittens found on the building site of its New York headquarters.

Goldman's public relations team swung into high gear, seeking to dispel still more stories of greed and inhumanity at the firm. A representative told Steve, "we want to make this very clear, all of the kittens have been adopted and we paid the bills. We are very happy they have found homes."

Goldman Sachs, of course, has been under immense pressure for allocating billions of dollars for bonuses just a year after bellying up to the public trough for a massive government bailout.

The latest goodwill story from the investment house comes from Bloomberg's Robert Schmidt and Christine Harper. The reporters said Tuesday that Golman Sachs is preparing to team up with its biggest shareholder, billionaire Warren Buffett, to provide assistance to small businesses.

The charitable project would provide counselling, funding and other assistance to 10,000 businesses in the United States, coinciding with one of President Barack Obama's top economic priorities: spurring hiring at small companies, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.

If that's not enough to sweeten policy makers' and public sentiment on Goldman Sachs, how about a big apology for its role in activities leading to the financial crisis.

That's what Lloyd Blankfein, the chairman and chief executive officer, gave at a conference in New York Tuesday. "We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret," he said. "We apologize."

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