Goldman Sachs and Lord Browne


Lynn says that Goldman Sachs should have backed Lord Browne, rather than


him. Matthew Lynn is clearly a very astute and intelligent man:

The New York-based investment bank still should have taken the opportunity

to make a stand for gay people and equal rights. It can draw no credit from

the episode.

I’m glad that Goldman is deservedly drawing some heat for its cowardly decision.

After all, Browne’s crime was minor indeed, and dates back to when he was trying

to suppress publication of details about his private life:

Browne was asked about where they had met. He claimed under oath that it

was while exercising in London’s Battersea Park.

The truth was they had met through a male escort agency…

For Browne, lying was foolish. Probably arrogant as well. No doubt he regrets

it. He would have been better advised to let the Mail go ahead and publish

its distasteful story.

And yet, let’s get some perspective. The lie was a very minor one — and probably

excusable. After all, it is slightly embarrassing to meet your partner through

an escort agency, whatever your sexual orientation. Not many of us would wish

to own up to that, either in court or among friends. Our first reaction might

well be to fudge an uncomfortable truth.

And there is no suggestion he has done anything else wrong. It is quite legal

in the U.K. to contact someone through an agency. Surely Browne can meet whomever

he wants.

It’s also worth mentioning in Browne’s defense that he and his boyfriend were

often asked, during their four years together, how they met. They decided early

on in the relationship that they would say that they met in Battersea Park –

a decision which certainly benefitted Chevalier more than it benefitted Browne.

Browne did not know exactly what Chevalier had told the Mail on Sunday, and

he might well have feared that he would be outing his ex-lover as a former escort

if he told the truth.

Goldman Sachs claims to value its gay employees highly. But in the wake of

this decision, those employees must be feeling that they’re getting rather mixed


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